Global Insurance Accelerator names newest cohort

The Global Insurance Accelerator's logo. (Matthew Patane/Clay & Milk)

The six startups converging on Des Moines next week for the Global Insurance Accelerator will do so with a guaranteed place to sleep.

For the first time, the accelerator will offer its participants subsidized housing for the duration of the 100-day program. It’s a new amenity for the insuretech-focused program that will give the startups a home just a block away from the GIA’s offices in Des Moines’ East Village.

The GIA announced its third cohort Tuesday. This year’s participating startups include:

  • Find Bob from Toronto, Ontario: a business transition and succession planning tool for insurance agents and financial advisers.
  • InsuranceMenu from Boston, Massachusetts: a data-based platform to handle benefits for small businesses and local insurance agents.
  • MotionsCloud from Munich, Germany: a mobile platform to streamline the insurance claim process.
  • RE-Sure from Detroit, Michigan: a app-based, on-demand insurance product utilizing the blockchain.
  • Sentrys from Belgrade, Serbia: a data-protection platform for consumers, insurance companies and vehicle manufacturers.
  • ViewSpection from Tucson, Arizona: a platform for agents, policyholders and underwriting, claims and loss control departments to share information.

Managing Director Brian Hemesath said the housing became an option due to additional funding. The GIA starts its third cohort with 10 total investors, each providing $100,000 a year.

The GIA has also hired Megan Brandt to handle communications and work with the program’s list of mentors. Two interns from Drake University will be on staff to aid this year’s startups.

The accelerator is taking in three startups from outside the U.S. this year, compared to two each the past two years. Even so, Hemesath said the GIA is not picking companies solely based on where they’re from.

“There’s no intention behind the geography. Good ideas are good ideas,” Hemesath said. In addition, the product each company develops, he said, needs to apply to the U.S. market, regardless of where they are headquartered.

Hemesath said five of the six startups this year enter the program with products already developed.

“Our ideal company is a post-product, early (or) no revenue” business, he said.

The cohort will finish its time with the GIA during a demo day at the 2017 Global Insurance Symposium in Des Moines in April.

Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at mpatane@clayandmilk.com.