Press release

Metlife ‘Speed Dates’ 16 Cutting-Edge Insurtech Start-Ups in 8-Hour Innovation Hunt

Sponsored by Businesswire

On Thursday, June 6, MetLife will host its fifth “Ignition” summit, an
annual one-day experience to identify emerging digital capabilities that
will drive transformation in the insurance industry.

By bringing 16 startup companies to MetLife’s New York City headquarters
with more than 200 of its own business, operations and tech leaders,
Ignition serves as a catalyst to spark creativity across the enterprise

Throughout the day, each startup team hosts seven, 30-minute sessions to
present the value they can deliver in partnership with MetLife – all
under this year’s theme of “Strengthening Connections in a Digital

“Digital experiences are embedded in every aspect of how MetLife
conducts business globally,” said MetLife Chief Digital Officer Greg
Baxter. “As technology advances at an exponential rate, we’re not only
committed to keeping pace with that acceleration but doing it while
simultaneously ensuring interactions remain extremely personal. Ignition
2019 looks to reinforce the critically important human aspect of our
connections with customers, partners and colleagues.”

The startups – specifically targeted because of their unique
capabilities to create new forms of customer value – will each present
under one of four subthemes. Three of these target connections with
existing customers, future customers, or colleagues and partners. The
fourth theme centers on confidence – which explores how MetLife can
leverage digital solutions to confidently manage risk while promoting
business growth.

This year’s presenters bring a range of technology expertise including:
Artificial Intelligence (AI), data security software, data mining,
governance solutions, sales platforms, apps for customer interaction
during life-changing events, data analytics to answer real-time customer
questions, virtual platforms to coordinate health treatments, tools to
optimize an organization’s internal performance metrics, and employee
onboarding and career development platforms.

In keeping with Ignition’s emphasis on the power of diversity and the
importance of being farsighted, Steven Johnson, the bestselling author
of Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
and Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions that Matter the Most,
is delivering the keynote speech.

Nearly 60 startup companies have participated in Ignition since its
launch in 2014. Those relationships have ignited over 20 Proof of
Concepts and contracts with 10 start-ups to date.

“A critical pillar of our innovation strategy is to have an external
orientation,” said MetLife’s Senior Vice President of Innovation John
Geyer. “It means that with every opportunity or challenge, we consider
which internal strengths – and which external emerging technologies – we
should apply. Once we uncover a technology or solution that might work,
quick experimentation is the key. We then learn from these tests with
the goal of quickly commercializing and scaling winning ideas.”

Ignition 2019 is part of MetLife’s enterprise-wide digital
transformation that combines AI, robotics and automation, advanced data
analytics, partnerships with startups and universities, and venture
capital investments. This integrated digital ecosystem is used to
improve customer experiences, drive business growth and optimize
internal operations.

This ecosystem includes:

  • Relationships with 18 venture capital firms, strategic partnerships
    with leading technology companies, and collaborations with
    universities such as Carnegie Mellon, the University of North Carolina
    at Chapel Hill and the MIT Media Lab.
  • Investment of up to $100 million through MetLife Digital Ventures to
    accelerate investment in strategically aligned startup companies.
  • The MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars®, which
    identifies and mentors start-ups that are developing
    industry-disrupting technologies in the insurance space. The next
    class of 10 start-ups will be announced in July.
  • Working directly with start-ups through LumenLab,
    MetLife’s Singapore-based business incubator which focuses on driving
    scalable innovation in the key areas of wellness, wealth and

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates
(“MetLife”), is one of the world’s leading financial services companies,
providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management
to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their
changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40
countries and holds leading market positions in the United States,
Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more
information, visit