Public Relations  >  News Center  >  News Releases  >  February 2018  >  February 19, 2018  >  The Game of Life (Insurance): Creighton's RaD Lab is lone higher-ed competitor in contest to interest millennials in insurance
The Game of Life (Insurance): Creighton's RaD Lab is lone higher-ed competitor in contest to interest millennials in insurance

Unless playing the board game Life, most millennials probably haven’t given life insurance much thought.

But for the past few months, a group of student interns at Creighton University’s RaD Lab have been working steadily on a task from a life insurance company on how best to interest young people in what is otherwise one of those staid harbingers of adulthood. Last fall, a life insurance company asked 145 groups, almost all tech companies, to come up with their best ideas for pitching life insurance to millennials. The company also asked one group in higher education: Creighton and the RaD Lab.

Of the 145 ideas submitted, Creighton’s was one of 27 selected to have representatives come to the company's New York headquarters on Feb. 21 and pitch before the company’s leadership. With partner Canon Solutions America, RaD Lab intern and Creighton senior Nye Fong and Rad Lab innovation analyst Jordan Boetcher will have 10 minutes and a five-minute question-and-answer period to sell their idea to executives and the company’s board.

Fong, Boetcher, Creighton senior Josh Nichols and Mark Panning, a RaD Lab information technology manager, along with other RaD Lab student interns operating in a think tank, collaborated on the creation of the Envisage Estimator, an interactive application that allows users to estimate the occurrence of major life events and think about budgeting for them, with an idea of how life insurance could play in the mix.

“We joke about it, but looking back, we did design it sort of like the game of Life,” Fong said. “It’s not just a simple calculator, but it allows you to push and pull a little bit and think about how and when events are going to unfold. You can think about what happens if you get married at this point or go back to school at another point and what the costs are and what different levels of services are there.”

Indeed, the application is built around what Nichols styled “an interactive life feature” — a timeline onto which you can pull different icons at different periods and determine a budget, with what level of life insurance could be needed. The life events mirror those found on the Life board game.

“Dependents, education, marriage, housing, income, changing jobs,” Nichols said. “It’s all there. We think it’s pretty simple and quick to use, which was a main draw. We found that people don’t want to be tied down to entering their email or a phone number. They want to play with it and get information that’s useful, that they can think about. It’s a general budget tool that also provides you with an idea of what life insurance would cost you, given the other factors.”

Fong and Nichols hope the interactive nature of the app and its echo of the board game will provide the company with the main inroads the company is trying to make: showing the millennial generation that life insurance is something to think about, even now. With different services, the company is hoping to show youth that life insurance can be an investment they could realize in their lifetimes, not just in planning for their families’ futures.

“As we found out more about it, we saw how useful a thing life insurance can be,” Fong said. “It’s smart to have it, even now, and depending on the type you get, you are making an investment that could be helpful to you down the line.”

Of the 27 different teams who will present to the company leadership, eight will be selected to return to New York in May and make a final demonstration in a competition like that found on the television show “Shark Tank.” The program features entrepreneurs pitching ideas and products to well-known investors.

A component in the round of 27 competition will be meeting the constraints of the 10-minute presentation. Fong said the company has specified presentations be 10 minutes on the nose, no more, no less.

The leadership will then use a rubric to judge each presentation and levy its decision on the final eight by the close of the day.

Creighton’s offering is mostly a web-based program, but they are building it so that it could be accessed from mobile devices, too. The multiple platform availability, along with the savvy interactivity and slick presentation have Nichols and Fong hopeful to take that next step.

“That’s it,” Fong said. “The pitch has to be 10 minutes, exactly. Then we’ll take the Q-and-A, then the judging and we’ll see how we stack up. But I think they’ll find we’ve given them something that’s interesting. We were pretty confident in being asked as the only university getting a shot at this.”

Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.