Innovation Critical for Business Growth: Survey

A survey from consultants Softchoice among 1,250 IT and business professionals has found that the majority considers innovation critical for business growth.

The main driver of this innovation, the survey also found, was technology, and there was a divide between IT and business professionals on the importance of technology.

According to the respondents in the survey, those business leaders that embraced technology as a driver of innovation were more successful in growing their business.


Healthcare-Focused Insurtech Startup Gets $25 Mln in Funding

A Singapore-based insurtech startup that has ambitions to disrupt the employee benefits industry in Asia has closed a successful financing round with proceeds of $25 million.

CXA Group, whose business is valued at $100 million, offers people employed in the healthcare industry flexible benefits, data analytics, and benefits administration through its platform.

Among the participants in the funding round were Facebook’s co-founder Eduardo Saverin, the investment banking division of the Singapore Development Board, Philips Healthcare, and international reinsurer RGA.


Insurance Consortium Looks to Invest in Insurtech

Two investment vets have teamed up to invest in insurtech startups with venture capital firm ManchesterStory Group, backed by a consortium of insurance businesses.

The firm, run by insurance industry vet David Miles and investment vet matt Kinley, will target businesses active in all the hottest directions insurtech is taking, including customer engagement and core systems, home automation, big data analytics, regulatory technology, the Internet of Things, cybersecurity, and claims processing.

The funding to be offered to each business would range from $1 million to $4 million in minimum commitment.


Scotland to See First Fintech Accelerator

The first fintech accelerator in Scotland will open doors in may this year with the support of both the central government in London and the Scottish government.

The accelerator will be housed in the Entrepreneurial Spark so-called hatchery, providing fintech startups with working space and support in developing successful growth strategies.

All stakeholders in the initiative recognize the growth potential of the nascent fintech industry and see the accelerator as benefiting everyone, from the local government to established financial services providers.


Three Tips for Choosing a Business Accelerator

Business owners who have had experience with accelerator programs highlight three things to focus on when choosing one.

First is the size of funding and the equity interest received in exchange for it. Second is the fact that this funding may not come to the startup at the end of the program. Third is the team that the business owner brings to the accelerator.

Accelerator program applicants should be aware of these before applying to ensure that their expectations from the endeavor are realistic and thus boost their chances of success.


Johannesburg University Sets Up Tech Incubator

The University of Johannesburg in South Africa has become the latest in a string of academic institutions to set up an incubator for tech businesses.

The facility, launched in partnership with Finnish Laurea University, which has a lot of experience supporting young entrepreneurs, will focus on students from the university, helping them set up businesses and create jobs.

In this, UJ will draw on Laurea’s models facilitating the transition from a working concept to a viable business.