InsurTech Week: Introducing startups and insurance executives

The third annual InsurTech Week kicked off Tuesday morning with the goal of exposing 15 insurance-technology startup companies to Iowa’s vast insurance network.

Hosted by the Global Insurance Accelerator, companies from Iowa, California, Ohio, Texas, Washington and Canada traveled to Des Moines for the four days of events. A handful of startups will participate in a pitch competition at the Science Center Wednesday and a networking lunch will be Thursday.

Global Insurance Accelerator Program Manager Megan Brandt said startups also have individual meetings scheduled with insurance companies from Des Moines and around Iowa.

“Anyway we can make connections is significant,” Brandt said. “Hopefully they notice how cool Des Moines is.”

Brandt said she’s not sure if any startups will apply to be in the Global Insurance Accelerator but with over 160 mentors and 13 investors—many of which were in attendance Tuesday morning—she hopes it showcases their network.

“It’s mutually beneficial,” she says.

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen thanked the mentors for volunteering their time, both Tuesday and during the Global Insurance Accelerator.

“What you are doing is really important,” Omnen said. “It’s not just important because you have a business interest. It’s important to advance our business industry.”

Applications for the Global Insurance Accelerator are being accepted until Oct. 31.

Brandt said the selection committee will spend November interviewing startups and finalizing the 2018 cohort in December.

The program starts in January.