2024 Zurich Innovation Champion awarded to Australian tech start-up ‘Haast’

20 March 2024

Zurich Financial Services Australia (Zurich) today announced that ‘Haast’ has won the Australian round of its global Innovation Championship for its innovative software platform that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate compliance processes.

In its fifth year, the Zurich Innovation Championship offers start-ups the opportunity to work with Zurich on solutions to key challenges within the insurance sector. In 2024, the competition’s categories were: Commercial Insurance, Digital Simplification, Life & Health, and Retail Property & Casualty (P&C).

Local Australian winner, Haast, uses AI to scan and monitor digital assets for compliance issues before and after they are published, enabling significantly improved productivity and reduced risk.

Shaneen Marshall, Chief of Technology and Strategy, Zurich Australia & New Zealand said: “Investing in innovative, AI-driven digital solutions is critical for ensuring we continue to provide high-quality and efficient customer experiences.”

“The Zurich Innovation Championship provides an important avenue for us to support and propel startups and their groundbreaking solutions to customers and the broader community, whilst simultaneously driving Zurich’s local ambition to be Australia’s leading digital insurer,” Ms Marshall said.

Kunal Vankadara, Co-Founder of Haast said: “We are thrilled to have won the Australian round of the Zurich Innovation Championship and are excited by the possibility to elevate and scale our platform with the support of Zurich’s strong global presence and deep technological insight.”

The 2024 Zurich Innovation Championship attracted more than 3,300 applicants globally, confirming its status as one of the largest startup events in the insurance industry and the world.

Haast will now present to Zurich executives based in Switzerland against other winners from across the world. Two winners from each category will then receive up to USD100,000 in funding and enter a four-month accelerator program to test their solution on desirability, feasibility and viability. 


Zurich Financial Services Australia is a life insurance, commercial insurance and investments specialist that has been participating in the Australian market since 1920. Since its acquisition of OnePath Life from ANZ in 2019, the company provides life insurance to more than 1.5 million Australian customers under both the Zurich and OnePath Life brands.  Further information about Zurich Financial Services Australia is available at www.zurich.com.au.

Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer serving people and businesses in more than 200 countries and territories. Founded 150 years ago, Zurich is transforming insurance. In addition to providing insurance protection, Zurich is increasingly offering prevention services such as those that promote wellbeing and enhance climate resilience.

Reflecting its purpose to ‘create a brighter future together’, Zurich aspires to be one of the most responsible and impactful businesses in the world. It is targeting net-zero emissions by 2050 and has the highest-possible ESG rating from MSCI. In 2020, Zurich launched the Zurich Forest project to support reforestation and biodiversity restoration in Brazil.

The Group has about 60,000 employees and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information is available at www.zurich.com.