By: Andrew Lo On: April 09, 2018 In: Insurance, Work Culture Comments: 0

Kanetix Ltd. successfully completed its 5th Annual Hackathon recently. Twelve groups, 24 hours of vigorous team interactions, four winning teams and some amazing award-winning ideas.

This year the winning idea was an intelligent solution to increase the site performance of our online aggregating platforms – Kanetix.ca, Ratesupermarket.ca and InsuranceHotline.com. Participants of the team won a prize of one-thousand dollars each.

“For my 5th hackathon at Kanetix Ltd., our goal was to improve customer experience to one of our online services by making it 2x as fast! It’s amazing how much you can achieve in 24 hours. The energy is amazing, even at 3am, especially when we played with some virtual reality sim racing!” says Eric Wu, Director of Infrastructure and member of the winning team.


Some of the other innovation ideas were pertaining to broker products, new API integrations, chatbots travel widgets and more. Runners-up were also awarded cash-prizes and Google Home Smart Speakers. Teams presented wildly diverse ideas but the end objective of all their ideas was to enrich the buying journey for insurance shoppers of today and tomorrow.

“Hackathon for our teams is not about winning or losing or for that matter, getting incentives. What drives the teams is their yearn to come up with an innovation that can result in tangible business growth. The high-octane energy around this time is always so infectious.” – says Andrew Lo, President and CEO of Kanetix Ltd.

One of Kanetix Ltd.’s first Hackathon innovations was the InsuraMap, which allows Canadian drivers to identify the most and least expensive cities for car insurance in Ontario. This innovation proved to be a dynamic tool from a business point of view as well. Kanetix.ca has received over 100 media opportunities in the last 4 years owing to InsuraMap.


This was just one of the many examples that makes Hackathon such a revered tradition at Kanetix Ltd. We use Hackathon as a tool for addressing our business needs as well.

“Last year, one of the winning teams successfully implemented a new business vertical, ‘Loans’, for our online financial services comparison tool, RateSupermarket.ca. This is something we had wanted to do for quite some time prior to that.” – says our Hackathon coordinator, Steven Ficko.

“Getting people to innovate, step outside their comfort zones, participate in developing business ideas and most importantly team building, are some of the things we had in mind when we started our first Hackathon,” says Ficko. “Every team is limited in size and makeup to encourage cross team synergy and maximize participation.”

Encouraging someone from the Creative team to participate in a Blockchain related project or collaboration between someone from the Client Servicing and Web development teams to number-crunch data…that’s how we achieve our Hackathon objectives. Giving people a platform to learn and motivating them to come up with a solution for what would otherwise be seemingly impossible to achieve.


“This is my second hackathon at Kanetix and what I love the most about these events is the opportunity to collaborate with other units within Kanetix to drive more innovation in the insurance industry. This year, my team is working on developing a “next generation” customer acquisition platform that is lightweight, easy to optimize, and cost effective. I think it’s going to be a game changer for many small to medium sized brokers who want to thrive digitally.” – says Rodrigo Fernandez, Senior Manager of Digital Strategy who worked on a developing an innovating broker product.


We at Kanetix Ltd. are inspired to innovate all of the time. In fact, as a trailblazer in the InsurTech space, innovation is imperative to our business. We use Hackathon as an opportunity to inculcate the same attitude in our people. At Kanetix Ltd. we’re inspired to foster a culture that supports intrapreneurship. When we empower our employees to be innovators, entrepreneurial and to be an important stakeholder in the business growth, everybody benefits.


About the author:


As President & CEO, Andrew Lo leads all digital innovation and operations for Kanetix Ltd., Canada’s largest digital customer acquisition platform for insurance and financial services.  He is also a Business Strategy Advisor for Ryerson University’s DMZ helping to develop digital entrepreneurs and startup companies at the #1 University Incubator in the world.
Andrew has 25 years of experience as a business, technology and digital leader for FinTech companies such as Filogix and D+H (now Finastra), and has developed organizations from startups into industry shaping ventures.



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