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Created on 03.12.2020 | Updated on 26.06.2021

Paths to innovation: creating “miira”-cles

How do successful innovations come about? There is no single correct method, as shown by the success stories from VNTR | Innovation & Venturing by PostFinance. Rather, there are different paths to success. “miira”, for example, came from a collaboration with students from the University of St. Gallen.

Co-project manager Lorena Tschirky (in the red sweater) at a “miira” workshop.

VNTR supports innovation projects through to implementation. One example of this is “The link will open in a new window miira”, a prototype that can be used to identify and close gaps in personal retirement planning and family insurance coverage with just a few clicks. The project was initiated by VNTR as part of a Design Thinking Challenge at the University of St. Gallen. The challenge was to meet the future retirement planning needs of the average Swiss citizen with a simple and holistic solution. The project was then continued at VNTR based on the most important findings of the ten-month challenge. An interdisciplinary team, consisting of the two students Fabio Peterhans and Lorena Tschirky together with a developer and a UX designer, brought the prototype called “miira” to life. After a year, miira is now seeing its initial successes. We ask Co-Project Manager Lorena Tschirky to describe how VNTR acted as an innovation booster.

Innovation boost 1: exchange and cooperation opportunities

“A good network is essential. We were able to exchange ideas intensively with various startups, PostFinance employees and VNTR partners, and even enter into temporary collaborations with some of them. The exchange of ideas within this network helped us again and again to quickly identify new ideas and potential optimizations for the ongoing procedure, and to implement them in a structured manner.”

Innovations boost 2: PostFinance as a strong brand

“Having a strong brand behind us meant some doors opened for us much more easily. We often benefited from the good reputation of the PostFinance brand as the confidence it inspired was also enjoyed by our project. For example, it was easy for miira to attract partners, test persons, and customers. At the same time, the VNTR label also enabled us to signal that we are in the test phase of an innovation project and that our prototype was not yet complete.”

Innovations boost 3: In-house partnerships

“We were given the opportunity to run miira on Valuu for test purposes: The first fully digital mortgage brokerage platform in Switzerland operated by PostFinance offers our retirement planning and family check as well as our analysis of death insurance coverage as a supplementary test. This partnership with a company from PostFinance’s own business network was a milestone for us.”  

Innovations boost 4: access to resources

“VNTR supports miira with financial and human resources and also provides all the opportunities needed to advance miira efficiently. This in itself, truly promotes innovation. If we sometimes viewed as disruptive, that is probably in the nature of entrepreneurial innovations and corporate startups. "

Find out more about miira

With minimal information and just a few clicks of the mouse, the miira prototype makes it possible to identify and cover gaps in personal retirement planning as well as in insurance coverage for yourself and your family. Based on the analysis, users can request suitable options for optimizing these gaps, which can also be closed digitally.

Find out more about VNTR

VNTR is experimenting, testing and innovating in all things future-related, and it is playing a major role in developing PostFinance’s future business plans. With regard to the development of future business models, PFLab has defined the retirement planning topic as a relevant search field and launched an exciting innovation project with miira.

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