Rapid advances in technology, changing customer behaviors, and an increasingly competitive environment are fundamentally changing the global insurance industry. Over the past five years, we have seen InsurTech and FinTech startups raise more than US$ 100B in venture funding to develop new products, improve customer experiences, and modernize legacy systems. A crucial factor underpinning these startups’ successes is their ability to partner with an established organization who can provide deep industry expertise and the opportunity to experiment, refine, and scale solutions to a sizable customer base.

The Manulife BOOST program gives startups from around the world the chance to pilot their technology with leading international insurer Manulife, fine-tune their product offerings and potentially scale up their solutions to reach millions of customers in Asia.

Selected startups will get to work closely with business and tech leaders at Manulife on proofs of concept to validate and potentially commercialize their solutions. In addition, the startups will gain access to tools, resources and expertise via Manulife’s network of innovation labs globally where teams of business strategists, experience designers and engineers work with startups to explore innovative technologies that could shape the future of the insurance industry. Startups will also have the opportunity to tap into Brinc’s global network of mentors, investors and service providers with deep entrepreneurship and industry expertise.

Join our program to gain the opportunity to develop innovative solutions that solve the global insurance industry’s challenges and meet consumers’ ever-evolving needs. Leveraging Brinc and Manulife’s expertise and resources, we believe that promising startups can drive industry transformation and build the next generation of products that ultimately help people better manage their finances, develop healthier habits and ensure a more secure future.

2021 BOOST Cohort

Thank you for all those who have applied to the program. For the inaugural program we received an overwhelming 280+ applications, selected 12 finalists to pitch to our senior leaders and are now pleased to announce 3 startups selected for Manulife BOOST 2021 cohort:

  • OME Health (UK): Personalized nutrition and coaching platform.
  • Planner Bee (Singapore): Digital financial and insurance aggregator.
  • Pulse Active Stations (India): AI- and IoT-enabled health kiosk for lifestyle diseases.


Throughout summer, we have made considerable progress scoping and defining POCs with these innovative startups. The founders worked closely Manulife business, technology and innovation leaders along with Brinc program managers to adapt and customize their solutions to fit our desired business objectives and markets. In the upcoming months, we will be gradually launching some impactful solutions across our key markets in Asia. We look forward to showcasing our collaborative outcomes and new innovative ways to engage with our customers in the near future.

Our Offer

  • Opportunity to work with Manulife, an established international insurer with more than 155 years of expertise serving almost 30 million customers across Asia, Canada and the United States.
  • Collaborate with Manulife Asia’s business units and innovation teams on proofs of concept (POCs) to validate solutions and potentially scale to millions of customers across Asia.
  • Strategic advice from Manulife’s senior management across insurance, asset management and technology, with guidance on product development, market validation and commercialization in Asia
  • Tools, resources and experts (business strategists, experience designers and engineers) across Manulife’s network of innovation labs globally to support product validation, customer research and co-development.
  • Exposure at major insurance and technology conferences across Asia and the opportunity to showcase the results of the co-branded POC.
  • Introduction to Brinc’s global network of mentors, investors, and service providers with deep industry, entrepreneurship, and venture expertise.

Our Focus Areas

  • Differentiated propositions to deepen integration into customer lifestyles (sleep, nutrition, mental & physical health) and offer personalized and predictive recommendations to help them achieve their wellness goals.
  • Provide value-added services to customers in Asia across preventative healthcare, early disease detection and remote consultation, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment.
  • Solutions to make digital interactions with customers more frequent, relevant and meaningful beyond the transactional touch points that insurers have today (claims, purchase, payments).
  • Accelerate agent adoption of digital tools that enable them to sell effectively, motivate them to achieve their performance goals and encourage continuous improvement through targeted and flexible learning.

What Are We Looking For?

  • Open to international startups and scaleups that are looking to deploy their product or solution in the Asia market with support from Manulife Asia.
  • Startups and scaleups that have developed their own unique technology-based products or solutions that align to one of the focus areas listed above.
  • Enterprise-ready startups and scaleups that have at least a functional prototype and have demonstrated product-market fit with both fundraising (Pre-Series C) and early customer traction.
  • Startups and scaleups with the ability to commit time and resources to design and deliver a POC in collaboration with Manulife Asia.
  • At least two dedicated co-founders with relevant industry experience.
  • Consulting firms, agencies, developers and subsidiaries of larger organizations are not eligible for the program.

About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we operate as Manulife across our offices in Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. We provide financial advice, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2019, we had more than 35,000 employees, over 98,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving almost 30 million customers. As of September 30, 2020, we had C$1.3 trillion (US$943 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made C$31.2 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 155 years. We trade as ‘MFC’ on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong. Find out more:

Applications are currently closed for this year. If you’re interested in applying for our future accelerator programs, please fill out the form and we will be in touch when applications open.

Mix business with purpose

We create value for our portfolio companies and our ecosystem partners by facilitating mutually beneficial partnerships.

Global diverse talent

Our seasoned team of advisors from diverse backgrounds is critical for your long-term success, delivering value and supporting our founders on their journey to building profitable companies whilst addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues.

Our mentors


Sushmita Munshi

Head of ManulifeMOVE, Manulife Asia

Mark Van Den Broek

Asia CIO & COO, Manulife

Amit Chopra

Emerging Markets CIO, Manulife

Samah Babbo

Head of Change & Transformation, Manulife Asia

Our team


Samantha Ngai

Manulife Program Manager

Milan Thakkar

Program Manager

Bay McLaughlin

Co-Founder & COO, Brinc

Guillermo Ginesta

Managing Director, Brinc Hong Kong