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Global Insurance Accelerator: Eight companies in the 2018 cohort

Global Insurance Accelerator

The Global Insurance Accelerator announced the 2018 cohort in a press release Wednesday that will feature eight companies from four states, Canada, England and Mexico.

According to the release, the eight companies are:

  1. Byeo—based in Chihuahua, Mexico—developed an online tool for collecting relevant life insurance information in a secure, social environment.
  2. HomeClub—based in Tempe—developed a mobile verification app which validates the installation of smart-home products.
  3. InsuredMine—based in Dallas—developed a cloud-based insurance management application for coverages, payment reminders, document storage and analytics to help insureds make informed choices.
  4. Insurmi—based in Phoenix—developed an AI-driven, life insurance app which helps consumers easily calculate coverage needs and compare quotes from the nation’s top insurers.
  5. Jauntin‘—based in Toronto—developed an on-demand insurance platform allowing insurers to distribute micro-insurance via smartphones and optimize data collection to improve risk and pricing.
  6. Lvlfi—based in London—is a company which ‘gamifies’ exercise to help incentivize healthy lifestyles and lower risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
  7. ProtectRisk—based in Washington D.C—developed a marketplace and social network designed to connect and sell insurance products and improve collaboration between insurance retailers and wholesalers.
  8. RiskPossible—based in Miami—has a continuous underwriting engine allowing insurers to continuously underwrite in-force policy portfolios and react to any relevant changes in individual risks.

This is the fourth cohort of the Global Insurance Accelerator; Each of the last three cohorts had six startups in them.

Brian Hemesath—Managing Director of the Global Insurance Accelerator—said he expects this year to be, “An awesome year.”

““The companies the GIA typically brings in to the program may be early stage, but the technologies they are working with and the applications they are developing for the industry get more interesting and mature each year,” Hemesath said.

Hemesath said 30 companies were interviewed during the selection process for the 2018 cohort.

Global Insurance Accelerator Program Manager Megan Brandt said half of the 2017 cohort featured companies from outside the United States.

“We’ve always had a spread of teams from all around the world,” Brandt said. “They can be from anywhere, as long as they are trying to solve a domestic issue in insurance.”

Hemesath said the Global Insurance Accelerator capitalized on key connections to help amplify its voice around the globe.

And with Techstars launching a new insurance accelerator program in North Carolina this week, Hemesath says that’s good for the insurance industry.

“It’s good that the industry is doing more,” he says. “Because the industry has a long way to go yet to understand how to work with startups. So the more accelerators there are in the insurance industry, the more these insurance companies will get accustomed to working with newer, smaller companies.”

The 100-day, mentor-driven program starts January 16. Members in the 2018 Global Insurance Accelerator cohort receive $40,000 in funding in exchange for six percent equity. Each startup also receives subsidized housing, which is one block from the accelerator’s office.

The Global Insurance Accelerator will conclude with the startups pitching live onstage at the Global Insurance Symposium at the end of April.

Coverage of the Global Insurance Accelerator in 2017

InsurTech Week: Introducing startups and insurance executives – October 25

A fourth cohort of the Global Insurance Accelerator is approaching – August 3

Global Insurance Accelerator names newest cohort – January 11


Global Insurance Accelerator: Eight companies in the 2018 cohort | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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