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Stefan Hyttfors

€70,000 Prize Fund for Journey Re Global Entrepreneurship Competition

Journey Re will provide:

  • Paid positions for a period of six months for six entrepreneurs based in Ireland
  • Office space in a Dublin incubation centre.
  • Two all-expenses-paid trips to Hannover, Germany.
  • Coaching from industry experts and business consultants.
  • €50,000 in prize-money for the winning team’s business idea; €20,000 for runners-up.

A competition announced this week is offering entrepreneurs the chance to win a share of a prize fund of €70,000, as well as paid positions, office space, business coaching, and two all-expenses-paid trips to Germany.

The Journey Re competition is an initiative of Hannover Re, the third-largest reinsurer in the world. The competition is calling on established and aspiring entrepreneurs to develop disruptive business ideas aimed at reinventing the world of insurance.

The first stage in Journey Re is an event at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin on Thursday, 21st April. 150 aspiring entrepreneurs will be selected to attend the event, at which they will learn more about the reinsurance industry and the opportunities available through Journey Re. Stefan Hyttfors, acclaimed futurist and speaker on disruptive technologies, behavioural change and next-generation leadership, will deliver a special address at the event.

Following this event, 20 successful applicants will be selected to participate in a two-day workshop at the end of May. During the workshop, they will participate in group and individual challenges, highlighting the skills and innovation they can bring to the competition.

From the workshop participants, six finalists will be chosen. They will be divided into two teams; offered paid contracts with Hannover Re; provided with office space in a city-centre incubation hub; and supported to develop innovative business models over a period of six months.

The Journey Re competition is running simultaneously in Dublin, Berlin, Boston and Johannesburg. The six finalists from each location will be brought to Hannover in Germany in July for an orientation week, and will return to Hannover in December for the final Journey Re competition. The winning team will receive €50,000 in prize money, with the runners-up receiving €20,000.

Discovering the Next Generation of Innovators
Announcing details of the competition today, Debbie O’Hare, CEO of Hannover Re in Ireland, said: “Our aim with Journey Re is to discover the next generation of innovators for the insurance and reinsurance industries. Participants don’t necessarily need prior knowledge of these industries – what we’re looking for is people with big ideas, an entrepreneurial mind-set and a willingness to take risks, innovate and challenge the status quo.

“Successful applicants will get the chance to work in a dynamic, international business environment, and to develop business ideas with real potential to change how Hannover Re – and, indeed, the wider reinsurance industry – operates.”

Ms. O’Hare said one of the distinctive features of the Journey Re competition is the excellent support awarded to finalists.

“In establishing Journey Re, we were conscious that a lot of start-up and entrepreneurship competitions provide little in the way of financial support or security to applicants,” she said. “We’re looking for high-calibre candidates for this competition and we’re willing to invest so that the best and brightest entrepreneurs take part.

“We are truly committed to finding people with excellent ideas and ensuring they have the right environment and all the support they need to develop innovative business models.”

The Application Process
Aspiring entrepreneurs interested in attending the Journey Re event at the Guinness Storehouse on 21st April must complete a simple online registration form at

“We’re not looking for people to have specific business ideas at this stage,” explained Debbie O’Hare. “We just need some simple background information from applicants.

“We’re open to applications from graduate level right up to people who are relatively established in their careers. And we’re also hoping for applicants to come from a wide variety of disciplines: financial or insurance expertise is not necessary; the main requirement is that applicants have entrepreneurial drive and a flair for innovation.”

About Hannover Re
Hannover Re, with gross premium of around €17 billion, is the third-largest reinsurer in the world. It transacts all lines of property & casualty and life & health reinsurance, and is present on all continents with around 2,500 staff. Established in 1966, the Hannover Re Group today has a network of more than 100 subsidiaries, branches and representative offices worldwide. The rating agencies most relevant to the insurance industry have awarded Hannover Re very strong insurer financial strength ratings: Standard & Poor’s AA- “Very Strong” and A.M. Best A+ “Superior”. In 2016, Hannover Re celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. The company has operated in Ireland for 25 years, and currently has 54 employees at its IFSC base.

About Reinsurance
Reinsurance is often defined as “insurance of insurance companies”. The purpose of reinsurance is the same as that of insurance: to spread risk. The reinsurance industry helps to protect insurance companies against unforeseen or extraordinary losses, particularly after major disasters such as natural catastrophes, pandemics etc. It is estimated that worldwide reinsurance premiums amount to over $200 billion a year.

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