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Meet the Gen Z innovators hacking their way into helping Filipinos live better

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Jan 14, 2022 6:00 pm

As the world continues to cope and adapt to the challenges of the pandemic, the role of the youth has never been more crucial. With their fresh but ever-evolving take on the world, how can they use their ideas to become agents of change? 

Enter AIA Life Hackers 2021, AIA Philippines’ virtual hackfest tapping teams of Gen Z college students to pitch their game-changing ideas under three categories: Technology or Data Solution, Marketing Solution, and/or Product/Service Solutions. 

Now on its third year, the event has grown to include participants across the country, with almost 1,200 students joining the competition.

The Gen Zs are brimming with fresh ideas and they just need a platform to showcase it,” said AIA Philippines Chief Executive Officer Kelvin Ang. Through AIA Life Hackers 2021, were giving more young people the opportunity to come up with innovative, creative, and technology-driven strategies for more Filipinos to live better.”

PhilSTAR L!fe spoke with the winners of AIA Life Hackers 2021 to dig deep into how they came up with their groundbreaking ideas.

Team Philamthropic: Breakthrough Technology and Data Solutions and Breakthrough Product and Service Innovation Winner

Technology and Data Idea: MyAIA Plus: Integrating Vitality App Features

Product and Service Idea: AIA Covid Protect Microinsurance

Members: Ron Simon Lomibao, Jemar Luczon, Rachel Vivien Roxas, Crizan Kyle Jureidini, and Moreen Agustin

They say third time’s the charm, but for this group of innovators who already won the AIA Life Hackers Breakthrough in Marketing Innovation award in 2020, it only took a second shot to double their win.

Taking inspiration from the ‘freemium’ model that Gen Zs and millennials are accustomed to, the Philamthropic team comprised of students from the University of the Philippines Diliman and Ateneo de Manila University aimed to give the youth a sneak peek of the advantages of having life insurance through a super app with their Breakthrough Technology pitch.

“We had the insight that Filipinos, as bargain hunters, would really want to feel the benefits of something before they buy into it, and in the case of insurance, they cannot see the tangible output unless they avail a product and be involved with AIA Vitality features,” explained team leader Jemar Luczon.

“We’ve collected the best features we can include for the financial advisor side so users can feel at home with AIA before and after their application. This multi-stakeholder end-to-end value chain approach which involves consumers and service providers made us win in the category,” he added.

With their first winning pitch aimed at attracting new clients and financial advisors, their Product and Service Innovation idea took on a pressing issue: the COVID-19 pandemic. Enter ‘AIA Total Protect’, their proposed COVID insurance for only PHP19 for a month-long coverage from COVID.

“We felt the need to propose an affordable micro-insurance for Filipinos to feel secure about the future in the event that they contract the virus,” explained member Rachel Roxas.

And while victory is sweet, team Philamthropic is ready to bid farewell to their AIA Life Hackers winning streak, as they’re no longer eligible to participate next year as champions.

“It’s great to see the fruits of our hard work and grit. We made it through countless hours of studying insurance and the Philippine market, we surpassed academic challenges coinciding with our competition, we overcame our inner demons and came out with a strong finish,” noted Luczon.

Our AIA Life Hackers journey may end here, but we truly cherish the friendship we formed, the memories of hard work, and the practical skills we got from the competition," added Ron Simon Lomibao.

Marketing Solutions Winner: Dried Squid Changers

Marketing Solution Idea: AIA Sync: Actualizing The Mission Through Experience

Members: Lourey Enteria, Abigail Caig, Mary Joyce De Los Reyes, Annejeline Palomo, and De Leonor Marie Sestoso

Composed of students from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, the Dried Squid Changers married the idea of green spaces with financial literacy—a "one-stop all-in-one area that promotes the health and wellness of the Filipino people by providing a place for a first-hand experience.” But the road to earning the PHP100,000 cash prize wasn’t easy.

"Just tell your story.’ This was the most impactful message we have heard,” said member Mary Joyce De los Reyes. “At first, we were having a hard time organizing our presentation because we are too immersed in the format that we have. But when our mentor said this, it felt like our creativity was revived.”

“We presented this winning proposal not just for the sake of the presentation but to tell a story: the story of every Filipino, the story of AIA PH fulfilling its mission, and the story of these five students dreaming the fullness of life not only for themselves but for all Filipinos.”

As for their biggest takeaway in joining AIA Life Hackers 2021, the Dried Squid Changers saw the competition as a means to fully maximize their potential. 

“We have unlocked our potential, we can’t say that we have reached our full potential since we still have a long way to go, but Life Hackers became our stepping stone in becoming a better person by knowing the strength and passion living within us,” shared Lourey Enteria.

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Editor’s Note: BrandedUp is designed to provide you with insightful, inspiring and educational content created by PhilSTAR L!fe in collaboration with brands like AIA Philippines.