When does a start-up stop being a start-up?

Imagine being part of a 170-year-old company that feels like a start-up. That’s exactly what Aegon’s 2017 Hackathon achieved. Using real data, teams had 24 hours to develop a product or service with customer centricity at its core.

Driven by the valuable insights that employees encounter in their day-to-day life, international teams with members from Aegon's offices around the world submitted their digital ideas based on the theme, 'Customer Centricity: customers at the heart of our decision-making'.

The top 12 ideas were selected to join the first of Aegon's 2017 Hackathons. Employees were challenged to cast aside traditional ways of working to turn their ideas into functional prototypes and compete to win €20,000 investment to bring their product or service to market. A handful of external digital innovators were thrown into the mix, to help add an additional perspective.

Elevator pitch

After 24 hours, each team had 3-minutes to pitch their idea to a jury of international Aegon managers. First prize went to the 'Anna' project, a customer service chat bot that uses artificial intelligence to continuously learn.

"Participating in the Hackathon was one of the most challenging and interesting things I've been involved in at Aegon," said winning team member, Alasdair Gilles from Aegon in the UK. "It was really inspiring to see the ideas brought to life by all twelve teams over the 24 hours. Many of us were meeting for the first time, so it was fantastic to see everyone work so well together and achieve so much in so little time (although the sleep deprivation was tough)."

An additional four ideas are already scheduled for further exploration. These include ideas to speed up the issuance of insurance, an app to increase agent retention, and an app to stimulate impulse saving.