Innovation Blog

John Hancock: FinTech Startup Challenges 2019 


John Hancock is a division of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services group. We strive to offer a solid foundation for the financial future of our clients. In all that we do we focus on making a difference – not only with our products, but in our community, in the lives of our employees, and for the environment. 

John Hancock supports over 10 million customers with a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, investments, 401(k) plans, advice and college savings plans. Building on our 156-year history and a deep expertise in protection and asset management, we continue to develop products that make decisions easier and lives better for our customers. For example, John Hancock was the first in the U.S. to link life insurance products with personalized health technology, such as Fitbit, Apple Watch, and smartphone applications like Apple Health. We’ve also launched Twine  – an engaging mobile application that helps couples to collaborate to achieve their financial goals, together. It teaches families how to goal-set and simplifies saving for the major milestones that come before retirement, like weddings, down payments, vacations and more.  

Partnering with startups in the MassChallenge FinTech program offers an unique opportunity to connect our deep expertise with new technologies and innovative solutions, and contribute to cultivating a robust FinTech ecosystem in Boston. We believe working with startups offers a fresh perspective on the industry and consumer needs.    

Our top challenges are:  

  • Transforming life insurance underwriting processes 
  • Leveraging emerging technologies to optimize and digitize back office processes (insurance, asset management)  
  • Applying technology solutions to enable our intermediaries and employees, improve engagement and efficiency  
  • Developing innovative digital solutions to engage with and address the most pressing problems for millions of Americans  

How will we help startups grow their businesses? 

We have experience incubating digital-first solutions, like Twine, and a track record of partnering with startups to develop new solutions and to digitize existing businesses. Our innovation team has invested in FinTech startups and continues to scout for promising companies and technologies that could present future strategic partnership and investment opportunities.  

We’ve also created an environment for incubating new solutions. In 2015, we opened the 6,500-sq foot innovation lab (LOFT) in Boston where teams of business strategists, designers, engineers and data scientists actively explore emerging technologies that could potentially shape the future of our industry, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, and voice applications. In addition, we set up a lab in San Francisco, CA to attract top digital talent and drive development of our digital advice solutions. Partnering with John Hancock offers access to experts in protection, asset management, retirement, financial advice, distribution and an opportunity to contribute to creating solutions for our and industry’s key priorities.  

Most importantly, partnering with John Hancock offers a unique opportunity to make an impact and reach millions of customers in the U.S. and globally, including Canada and throughout Asia, through John Hancock’s parent company Manulife.  

It is incredibly exciting to see a 156-year-old insurance company partner with MassChallenge and FinTech startups to develop innovative solutions that solve real problems for customers! 

We can’t wait to get started!  


Steve Dorval, Head of Digital Advice & Innovation 

Tatyana Zakrevskaya, AVP Innovation 

Want to partner with John Hancock during the 2019 MassChallenge FinTech program?

Apply at by October 12, 2018 at 12:00PM (noon) ET. 


Browse the list below to learn more about the challenges issued by MassChallenge FinTech partners for the 2019 program.


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