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Lloyd’s Lab: transforming challenge to opportunity

The Lloyd’s Lab embodies Lloyd’s purpose, sharing risk to build a brave world. It’s a space where innovation risk is shared and reduced, allowing start-ups with disruptive new ideas access to the market, and helping market firms to partner with them to build out innovative customer solutions.  

"I was drawn to the Lloyd’s Lab because of the exciting opportunity to work with start-ups that are aiming to change the world that we operate in.”
Ahad Khalid, Energy Underwriting Strategy Officer, AXA XL

Pitch day

The Lab acts as a central space for the development of new product concepts. The 10-week cohort system gives established firms and start-ups an opportunity to work together at a fast pace; to refine ideas and bring new products to onstream much more quickly.  

Because the Lab is a shared space for the whole market, the individual investments of time and commitment required are reduced. This gives existing market leaders a better way to access innovation, and a low-cost window to test ideas before committing to them, encouraging participation across the market.

Lloyd’s uses its unique leadership position to attract talent into the Lab and market firms input expertise to refine their ideas into market-ready customer solutions. In practical terms, the Lab’s legal structure allows market firms to work together, sharing knowledge in a safe environment with much lowered financial or intellectual property risk for both parties.

The Lab process really ignites when Lloyd’s hosts its Lab Pitch Day. Over twenty start-ups with ideas that they want to develop will be pre-selected to present during the day and to pitch for space in a particular Lab ‘cohort’. On the other side, market leaders, interested mentors and the Lab team will watch and judge the contenders.  

The Pitch event brings together a group with expertise and interest in innovation from across the market. It creates a critical mass for debate and discussion, while the pitch presentations supply a ready list of new ideas to feed leading firms with innovation ideas. This process helps build the culture of innovation within insurance, as well as actively setting new projects in motion.

A cohort of up to ten start-ups are chosen to be part of the Lab. At the end of the ten-week process, these fledgling firms will have developed ideas into what can be ready-to-go products; building along the way, valuable knowledge and contacts in the market. The relationships created during the Lab programme are one of the most valuable outcomes for the participants, driving successful outcomes in the months following the formal 10 weeks.

Many of the mentors who work with them will also have benefitted from access to fast-moving talent and new solutions. In some cases, market mentors from different companies may discover a shared interest in developing a new solution that they can work on together. In other cases, start-ups go on to work commercially with contacts that they have met in the Lab.