The Future of Insurance Podcast – Sabine VanderLinden
CEO, Alchemy Crew
Season 2, Episode 12, January 18, 2022
Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur.
Sabine is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew a venture lab using open innovation, parallel experimentation techniques, and ecosystem thinking to accelerate the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine has over 25 years of experience in insurance.
She was the CEO & a co-founder of Startupbootcamp InsurTech & Hartford’s InsurTech Hub Accelerators where she worked with over 30 corporate insurers, accelerated over 100 startup ventures.
Sabine is a co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.
She was appointed as an Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow of The Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) in early December 2020 for her business model disruption work.
Highlights from the Show
- Sabine started her career at Lloyd’s, and six years ago, discovered FinTech and then InsurTech
- She started in the InsurTech scene by building accelerator and innovation lab programs for insurers, scouting startups, helping investors find good investments and helping startups move faster
- She started Alchemy Crew two years ago to take all she had learned to build an environment to industrialize, democratize and monetize venture labs
- Her focus spans Asia, Europe and the U.S., and looks at technology relevant for the insurance industry (rather than just those labeled as InsurTech specifically)
- Sabine has a strong focus on the European market especially, where passporting and licensing agreements can help a solution in one market spread to others within the EU
- Sabine sees great opportunities around Emerging Risks that require rethinking the product or operating models, like Climate and Sustainability
- Carriers are learning from other areas, like social media, in how they think about engaging or serving the under-served segments of the market, like Millennials and Gen Z
- We talked about the Asian and African markets, and the impact of the mobile-first society there can bring insights for other markets around engaging younger users
- In Europe, with all the different cultures at play, you have to stay more open to the needs and preferences of many markets, so business model innovation tends to be strong in Europe
- Germany and France are very dependent on brokers
- The UK is much more competitive and sees more customer demand for transparency, so digital channels really thrive there, both direct and intermediated
- This is part of why The UK has roughly 3x the share of startups in the space as either Germany of France
- Looking to the future, Sabine sees a few things
- More subscription models throughout the economy, driving changes in insurance
- Sustainability and upcycling, which could impact car repairs, for example, or other things
- Digital ecosystems, like Prudential Pulse and others, with the node owners having more value or benefits
- Embedded, and how we use to serve customers better with less friction
- For a player to succeed as a node owner, they have to be a bit selfless and recognize that they can’t do everything themselves
- In some platforms (rather than ecosystems), it’s more about owning the whole thing and calling the shots, while ecosystems are more collaborative
- Both will take trust to succeed
- Technology is just an enabler – an important one, but just an enabler. You need so much more to succeed, and it all boils down to customer need and market
- You need to have a plan, a thesis and a direction, but don’t be scared as you execute