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“We promote radical innovation to attract the best ideas”

Pelayo continues to advance its digital transformation model and a few months ago launched 2122 Lab, a new exploration center that seeks to promote radical innovation. To do this, it relies on TheCUBE, a leading ecosystem of entrepreneurship, technology and innovation in Spain, which houses the new center.

In this way, TheCUBE and Pelayo seek to promote the renewal of the insurance market and favor the creation of innovative solutions that respond to consumer demand and needs.
The new Pelayo Exploration Center is part of the company’s digital transformation plan, foreseeing a total investment of close to 16 million euros, between future projects and those already developed. About the projects that are being developed in this center and Pelayo’s innovative vision, we have been able to chat with Inmaculada César, Pelayo’s director of innovation and media.

[MCPRO] What is the scope of collaboration between Seguros Pelayo and TheCUBE like?

[Inmaculada César] The 2122 Lab was born in October 2020, at a very delicate moment, with a high incidence of the pandemic.

It is a time when many companies are cutting investment and spending lines but in which Pelayo dares to launch this initiative with the aim of seeking radical innovation. Business ideas that probably will not occur to us within our own ecosystem.

[MCPRO] How do you work on the 2122 Lab?

[Inmaculada César] What we do is develop business ideas that can support a possible company or project. From there we have a project or idea selection committee every two months. That committee is presented with ten ideas, ten projects, or even ten startups to invest in.
From those ten ideas, we make a selection of two.

We prototype these two, in order to test the hypothesis at the source, such as, for example, it could be the generation of leads, the market’s appetite for a specific product, etc. When that phase ends, if we detect that the hypothesis is fulfilled and that this idea can be scaled, we assess whether to invest in the project.

[MCPRO] What projects or ideas you are working on would you like to highlight?

[Inmaculada César] We have a bit of everything. We have ideas related to marketing channels or distribution channels. We have ideas related to navigation platforms, which for example allow us to work in micro-moments, which allow us to offer something in a certain context; We have platforms related to mobility in cities and issues that are on the border between banking and insurance: between fintech and insurtech.

We are also working hard to find out about segments that we did not know in Pelayo until now, or about which we are not as close as the younger people, who are usually fleeing the property and it is more difficult because normally what they insure are assets that are property.

[MCPRO] How is TheCUBE helping you to materialize these ideas?

[Inmaculada César] In TheCUBE they do practically everything. What we want is that the projects are as least contaminated as possible from the entire atmosphere of Pelayo. We want that those who enter there do not have to go through a process of unlearning, that they do not have preconceptions of what can or cannot fit.

Once the two ideas are selected, they work on the prototype with their own development teams, agile, marketing, data specialists, Artificial Intelligence, etc. They have their own resources, they do not count on us, although sometimes they may ask for prototyping within Pelayo, to understand the company’s existing value chain and perhaps develop some synergies.

[MCPRO] What would be your strongest points?

[Inmaculada César] The highlight is that they encourage radical innovation. TheCUBE’s own culture is one that is based on trial and error and the motto “get it wrong soon.” It proves a lot, that something sure goes well. It’s about not being afraid to discard ideas.

This is only achieved with the mentality that nothing happens if within a year we still have not found anything that is really worth investing in. On the other hand, the talent here is a very digital talent. They are usually younger people than the ones we have in Pelayo, and they have another culture, other skills, another way of thinking. That complements us a lot. Finally, it also stands out for its access abroad, to other industries, other markets … Collaboration between different companies is favored.

[MCPRO] What can you tell us about your intrapreneurship programs?

[Inmaculada César] We do not have a Venture Builder within Pelayo. We are more in search of alliances continuously. It is true that we are also introducing this culture of radical innovation into the culture of Pelayo.

We want the entire staff to touch all the innovation that is taking place at The Lab. We are sure that some of these ideas will not only come out, but will also have a radical impact on our income statement. Our goal is that in four or five years, 20% will come from these types of ideas.

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