Five questions for: Sabine VanderLinden, Rainmaking

Sabine VanderLinden, partner, Rainmaking; CEO, Startupbootcamp InsurTech

What does your business do?

Rainmaking is a corporate innovation and venture development firm. We work with businesses (from early-stage start-ups to Fortune 500 firms) to solve their most urgent problems, making growth predictable and sustainable through the use of innovation and entrepreneurial tools and techniques.

What’s been your greatest achievement?

The success of The InsurTech Book, the world’s first crowdsourced insurance book, which I co-edited with three other wonderful women, is a particular highlight. The crowdsourced process helped us to select 70 top abstracts, which were converted into articles. The book was published last year, and feedback has been phenomenal. I am also proud of how I made the shift from working within large corporations to creating my own fast-growing small business, as well as helping other smaller ventures.

My experience has been especially useful in our Colab projects, where we focus on matching companies with young ventures to help solve business-critical issues while accelerating insurers’ ability to build unique competitive advantage.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Educating the corporate market and convincing businesses that they can develop innovation and entrepreneurship into sustainable internal capabilities, which can drive predictable growth outcomes. This is necessary for firms to remain relevant in a constantly evolving market where the rate of change is becoming the biggest business challenge of our time.

What are your plans for hitting your targets?

We believe you cannot afford to apply traditional delivery models and timescales to a world driven by new economics. The key to addressing these challenges is to focus on building operational resilience – for example, agility and flexibility – and identifying business models that drive new sources of differentiation.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give?

Change is hard, but it’s a requirement for growth. You’ll always have naysayers, but you need to have the confidence that you are on the right path, and to feel comfortable standing up for your values when people challenge you.