HONG KONG, Dec. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Manulife and global venture accelerator firm Brinc have announced today the three startups selected for the Manulife BOOST 2021 cohort. Manulife is increasingly engaging the startup community, including this cohort, to deliver new technology to make buying insurance simpler and to improve customer health and financial wellbeing in Asia.
The three companies—Pulse Active Stations, OME Health, and Planner Bee—were chosen from more than 280 international startups based on their ability to address customer needs and make digital interactions more relevant and meaningful. Together with Brinc, Manulife tech leaders are defining proofs of concept with the cohort and will trial selected solutions in the coming months.
"With an ambition to be the most digital, customer-centric global company in our industry, Manulife invests heavily to develop and deploy new technology, so that we deliver seamless, frictionless, and, above all, simple experiences to our customers," said Mark Van den Broek, Chief Information Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Manulife Asia.
"Manulife BOOST is one of our innovation programs that extends these efforts and connects us with outstanding startups who will help us drive products, services and digital experiences that are truly market-leading and differentiated," he added.
Pulse Active Stations is one of the three startups included in the Manulife BOOST 2021 cohort. The company has created a smart health kiosk that administers biometric tests and generates a report with more than 21 health indicators, including blood pressure and body fat percentage, as well as risk indicators for 12 lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes and heart ailments.
When placed at Manulife customer service centres, the kiosk can be a powerful engagement tool for advisors to talk to customers about their health. Manulife is currently exploring the underwriting utility of the kiosk's health data in Indonesia, the successful application of which could potentially reduce or eliminate a customer's trip to a hospital for medical screening.
Manulife continues to explore opportunities with the other two startups: OME Health, a science-based personalised nutrition and health coaching platform, and Planner Bee, a digital financial aggregator and advisor that link customer needs to the right products.
"The Manulife BOOST program has proven that there is a wealth of innovative startups in the market with the ideas and drive to build next-generation products and services," said Bay McLaughlin, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Brinc. "Offering these promising companies the chance to finetune and scale up their solutions, in partnership with an industry leader like Manulife, gives them a massive boost and will help drive industry transformation."
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services provider that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we provide financial advice and insurance, operating as Manulife across Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Through Manulife Investment Management, the global brand for our global wealth and asset management segment, we serve individuals, institutions and retirement plan members worldwide. At the end of 2020, we had more than 37,000 employees, over 118,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving over 30 million customers. As of September 30, 2021, we had CAD$1.4 trillion (US$1.1 trillion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made CAD$31.6 billion in payments to our customers.
Our principal operations are in Asia and Canada, and the United States, where we have served customers for more than 155 years. We trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong. Not all offerings are available in all jurisdictions. For additional information, please visit manulife.com.
Brinc is a different breed of venture investor. Core to our business is the belief that the world's biggest challenges can be solved by entrepreneurs, who we like to call GAME CHANGERS. Brinc believes that deep technology startups can fundamentally change how we move, what we eat, how we feel and where we live for the better if they are given the right backing. Brinc's mission is to support and mentor founders from around the world and provide investment to help them grow their businesses. Brinc currently operates 15+ sector-focused accelerator programs across nine markets and has made 150+ investments around the world. Brinc has also partnered with Artesian, Australia's largest and most active early stage VC, to launch the BrincArtesian Flagship Fund which will identify, invest and nurture game changing startups across Asia. Learn more at www.brinc.io.
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