Newfront's 2024 Hackathon: Transformation through Client-First, AI-Forward Solutions

Last week, Newfront's world-class tech team gathered in San Mateo, CA for the company's Hackathon. An outsider might ask - "A hackathon - at an insurance company?" The annual event is just one way that Newfront differentiates itself.

"The insurance industry really hasn't changed in 50 years," said Gordon Wintrob, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Newfront. "That's our whole opportunity - how do we infuse those relationships and that client experience with technology and make it even better?"

Each Hackathon team, consisting of world-class data scientists and engineers, partnered with one or more of Newfront's insurance experts to address high-impact problems across the business.

"The Newfront Hackathon is a great opportunity to get together our amazing technical team here at our headquarters in San Mateo, and have them work on some really high-impact problems across the business," Wintrob said. "One of the really cool things is they actually work with some of our insurance professionals, learning about what are going to be some of the most meaningful projects and how can they push things forward and just one week."

The theme of Newfront's 2024 Hackathon was "client-first, AI-forward."

"Everyone knows that we are in this age of AI," said Lin Yuan, Executive Vice President of Engineering at Newfront. "I truly believe that in any industry, not just insurance, the best AI products will be created by the combination of the best domain subject matter experts, and also the AI experts. In the insurance industry, Newfront is uniquely positioned to help both."

After late nights and endless coffee over four days, six teams presented their work on Friday, April 19 for Newfront team members to determine a winner via vote. The projects, all powered by AI, included:

  • 1st Place Project: A tool that assesses a specific insurance policy against the standard coverage specifications that our Newfront experts recommend. In seconds, this innovative solution ensures your policies don't have gaps that could put your business at risk of facing uncovered losses.

  • 2nd Place Project: A workflow assistant designed to enhance efficiency in managing client inquiries for commercial business insurance, connecting to Newfront's existing platform for managing insurance. Acting as a "copilot" for email and linking directly to Outlook, the tool quickly summarizes, routes, proposes workflows, and drafts responses, streamlining work and ensuring accuracy for service teams.

  • 3rd Place Project: Employee benefits programs often feel confusing and under-utilized. This tool provides a personalized interactive experience within an employee mobile app, raising awareness and increasing engagement around existing benefits.

Other projects focused on D&O exposure, AI-enabled lead generation, and third-party risk management.

"If you look at our roadmap this year, a number of the products actually came out of our Hackathon last year. So it's a really good place to prototype," said Newfront Co-Founder and CEO Spike Lipkin. "Some things aren't just prototypes though; we end up shipping things from the hackathon that go straight to clients."

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