Apollo Munich’s InspireNext: Inaugural Cohort for Embracing Tech Disruption

Indian health insurance giant Apollo Munich Health Insurance concluded the inaugural edition of their unique cohort program "InspireNext' on June 21 this year. Let’s take you back to where it all began.

On October 15, 2018, Apollo Munich Health Insurance launched the first edition of their accelerator program, InspireNext – a 15-week program run in close collaboration with MEDICI as the Knowledge Partner for the accelerator program.

Meet the Graduates of the InspireNext Program

InspireNext Design

We’ve previously written about InspireNext and heralded the collaborative spirit of the program as unique – this next section of the article illustrates the depth thereof.

The Zero-Day of the program was a culmination of more than three months’ effort led by the Apollo Munich Innovation Team, in tandem with MEDICI, a globally trusted destination for FinTech insights and advisory. It included the following stages:

The first stage of the accelerator program encompassed pre-program activities where over 50 meetings were held with 16+ BUs and internal technology teams – this was done to identify their most pressing pain points and develop a baseline view of which FinTech/InsurTech spaces would be best able to work with each BU for arriving at mutually beneficial solutions. As founding Knowledge Partner of InspireNext, MEDICI was uniquely placed to augment the design, strategy, and implementation of InspireNext’s first cohort. The MEDICI team brought an outside-in view based on several incubators and accelerator experiences that we’ve been privileged to be part of globally.

This was followed by an application process hosted on the MEDICI platform which ran over a duration of 40 days, starting January 2 where over 150 startups applied for the accelerator program. Thanks to multimedia marketing efforts and general virality of the program in startup circles, over 150 startup applications were received from multiple countries.

Following this, a total of three screening rounds took place over a period of two weeks. While the first round was a remote exercise, the second screening round witnessed multiple stakeholders from Apollo Munich Health Insurance along with industry experts and the MEDICI Team come together in Gurgaon and debate out their selection thesis.

Pitch Day
The selection process boiled down the total number of startups to about 17 which got selected to pitch live to the selection committee comprising on February 21 and 22, 2019, in Mumbai. These full two days of deliberation allowed Apollo Munich to select the final set of 9 startups that would comprise the first cohort.

Zero Day
The third phase of the InspireNext program was marked by the "Zero Day," where the startups met with the business team to gain a more in-depth understanding of the identified problem statements.

POC Phase
This was followed by an intense 15-week POC phase, where the startups along with the Apollo Munich’s business team worked to address the pre-identified problem statements and to co-create solutions. During the ensuing 15 weeks, startups and their business mentors used a workflow and program management tool that allowed them to communicate and collaborate seamlessly. A program management team from MEDICI was assigned to help organize and facilitate various interventions for each team.

The end of this 15-week POC phase was marked by the Demo Day (June 21) where the startups got a chance to showcase their solutions that they had co-created along with the Apollo Munich’s business teams. The seven finalists of the accelerator program showcased a mix of innovative solutions, encompassing use cases like alternative underwriting, new-age risk solutions, right hire, customer engagement, etc.


On completion of Demo Day, two of the graduating startups moved straight away to the commercial discussion stage with Apollo Munich. The other five startups are currently being evaluated internally for further engagement.

In summation, as part of the MEDICI Team, it has been an insightful and enriching experience working with the entire ecosystem of Apollo Munich’s InspireNext. We feel honored to have played a part in what we believe is now the new precedent for how InsurTech-focused accelerators should be designed and implemented in the country.

We fundamentally think InsurTech startups can help drive and sustain meaningful value with such partnerships, and the InspireNext story is just the beginning.