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Disaster Resilience Is Focus of Triple-I, U. Penn Student Competition

For the third year straight, the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) and the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center (Wharton Risk Center) at the University of Pennsylvania are co-sponsoring a student competition aimed at developing innovative solutions to real-world disaster resilience problems.

Held virtually, the third annual “Hack-for-Resilience” begins on Friday, Sept. 11 and concludes on Sunday, Sept. 13 as part of PennAppsXXI, the nation’s oldest student-run hackathon. The word “hack,” in the context of a hackathon, describes how multiple technologies can be used in new and innovative ways.

“This event allows the Triple-I and its Resilience Accelerator partners to bring together insurers and student innovators who have the same goal—to create new products and services that will reduce the risks people face from natural disasters,” said Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Triple-I. The Triple-I’s Resilience Accelerator was launched in 2019 to reduce the impact of extreme weather events on households and communities through insurance. 

The 2020 edition of this competition will give entrants from midnight on Saturday, Sept. 12 through 9 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13 to show their skills. During this time, teams of up to four students will conceive, test, and deliver working apps while others develop hardware solutions, Internet of Things (IoT) protocols, and data tools that can save lives and reduce property damage in the wake of a natural disaster.

 “Building resilience to disasters is more important than ever,” said Dr. Carolyn Kousky, Executive Director, Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, University of Pennsylvania.

A team of judges from Wharton Risk Center and Triple-I will award first- and second-place cash prizes in two categories: “Best Overall Hack” and “The Most Outstanding Application of Insurtech,” which is defined broadly as either a product or service that improves the insurance customer experience. The winning teams will be announced on Sunday evening, Sept. 13.

New to this year’s “Hack-for-Resilience” is that both first-place prize winners will participate in the Resilience Accelerator’s Lightning Round innovation showcase on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.

The first-place prizes in 2019 were awarded to the creators of Phoenix, an autonomous drone with the capacity to track and extinguish fires (Best Overall Hack) and WildFire Protect, a parametric insurance product which would pay a policyholder immediately after they incurred a wildfire-related property loss (The Most Outstanding Application of Insurtech).

You can follow this year’s competition on social media via the hashtag #H4R2020

By James Ballot, Senior Advisor, Strategic Communications, Triple-I