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NEW YORK, September 17, 2019—Four student entries were given top honors this month at a competition aimed at improving individual and community resilience to natural disasters and co-sponsored by the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and the University of Pennsylvania.
The winning teams emerged during the second annual Hack-for-Resilience, conducted between Sept. 6-8 as part of the PennAppsXX hackathon. It is North America’s oldest and largest student-run hackathon.
“Breakthrough platforms like those developed at this year’s Hack-for-Resilience illustrate the insurance industry’s avid support of innovations which make individuals, businesses, and communities more resilient in the face of natural disasters,” stated Sean Kevelighan, CEO, I.I.I.
Throughout September’s first weekend, 18 student teams used software and hardware technologies to “hack”—conceive and build new apps and devices—ways to combat the risks posed by natural disasters, such as hurricanes, wildfires, and floods. The students also vied to create either a product or service that provided insurance in a customer-friendly manner, a category generally known as insurtech.
A panel of judges from the I.I.I. and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center selected the winners below:
Best Overall Hack-for-Resilience:
- 1st Prize: Phoenix – An autonomous drone which detects and extinguishes fires
- 2d Prize (a tie): ProfitProphet – An app designed to help households save money
Navig8 – An app to assist the visually impaired communicate during a disaster
Most Outstanding Application of Insurtech:
- 1st Prize: WildFire Protect – A product which pays immediately for a wildfire-related property loss
The first place-winning team members received eScooters. Second place winners were given $100 Amazon gift cards. All entrants in the 2019 Hack-for-Resilience also may have opportunities to bring their hacks to larger academic and business audiences.
About the I.I.I.:
Established in 1960, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) is the premier independent resource on property/casualty and life insurance. Created to educate consumers about the benefits and economic value insurance provides, the Institute supports its audiences with timely and objective news, research, and thought leadership to make insurance more accessible and useful.
About the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center:
For more than three decades, the Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has been at the forefront of basic and applied research to promote effective corporate and public policies for low-probability events with potentially catastrophic consequences.