Press release

Principal Financial Group® receives the Fintech Corporate Innovation Award from Plug and Play

Sponsored by Businesswire

Among 75 corporations and companies in the Fintech vertical category, Principal® was recognized today with the Corporate Innovation Award from Plug and Play at its Virtual Winter Summit 2020. Plug and Play makes this distinct recognition to corporations that have demonstrated a commitment to expanding their innovation culture and cultivating relationships with startups, other businesses, and thought leaders within the Plug and Play ecosystem.

“Innovation is what helps us successfully deliver our purpose to foster greater accessibility to financial security. As we look for new ways to address access in areas such as products, experiences, advice and education, innovation can create avenues to help solve problems, to create value for our customers and to evolve our business,” said Bruce Hentschel, vice president of corporate strategy for Principal. “Leveraging the Plug and Play ecosystem allows us to engage a broader set of teams for greater diversity of thought, talent and background,” he added.

With the abrupt changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, Principal leaned heavily into its relationship with Plug and Play to embrace uncertainty as an opportunity to welcome creative problem-solving. Principal accelerated the utilization of technology and found ways to help address customer needs by engaging startups for solutions related to electronic health records, digital underwriting, digital payments, and online notarizations, to name a few.

“At Plug and Play, we believe our global network provides a platform where corporations can not only progress towards achieving their innovation goals, but also where they can learn from their peers, entrepreneurs and ultimately, help transform the future of their industry. Principal has shown a tremendous commitment to cultivating relationships through the Plug and Play Open Innovation Ecosystem in order to foster innovation and collaboration both internally and externally, which is why they were chosen for our Fintech Corporate Innovation Award. We want to congratulate Principal and look forward to continuing our relationship together,” said Michael Olmstead, Chief Revenue Officer at Plug and Play.

Principal is committed to helping customers navigate change and uncertainty, including recovery from the global pandemic and long-term trends that influence individuals’ ability to protect their financial future. Since 2016, the company has reviewed hundreds of opportunities, had dozens of deal flows and actively engaged over one hundred startups ratifying its commitment to advancing capabilities through relationships. Hentschel concludes: “Looking ahead, we’re planning to continue to grow our internal bench of innovators – both formally and informally – because we know that transformational ideas can come from anywhere.”

To see Principal accepting the award, click here.

About Plug and Play

Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Plug and Play has built accelerator programs, corporate innovation services and an in-house VC to make technological advancement progress faster than ever before. Since inception in 2006, its programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in over 25 locations globally giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 10,000 startups and 300 official corporate partners, it has created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. Companies in the community have raised over $7 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Rappi, Dropbox, Lending Club and PayPal. For more information, visit

About Principal®

Principal helps people and companies around the world build, protect and advance their financial well-being through retirement, insurance and asset management solutions that fit their lives. Our employees are passionate about helping clients of all income and portfolio sizes achieve their goals–offering innovative ideas, investment expertise and real-life solutions to make financial progress possible. To find out more, visit us at

©2020 Principal Financial Services, Inc. Insurance products issued by Principal National Life Insurance Co (except in NY) and Principal Life Insurance Co. Plan administrative services offered by Principal Life. Principal Funds, Inc. is distributed by Principal Funds Distributor, Inc. Securities offered through Principal Securities, Inc., 800-247-1737, member SIPC and/or independent broker/-dealers. Referenced companies are members of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, IA 50392. Principal, Principal and symbol design and Principal Financial Group are trademarks and service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.