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16 companies set to participate in InsurTech Week 2018

The Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA), has announced the agenda for InsurTech Week 2018, and the companies selected to participate this year.

Set to take place October 22-26, InsurTech Week 2018 will bring 16 startups to Des Moines, providing them with networking and education opportunities. The 16 companies participating in this year’s InsurTech week are:

Album Health (Des Moines, IA)

Care Bridge International (Lakewood Ranch, FL)

Ebbie (Olathe, KS)

Edmund Insurance  (Brisbane, Australia)

everyday life (Boston, MA)

FairClaims (Los Angeles, CA)

FilingMate (Boston, MA)

Flamingo.AI (New York City & Sydney, Australia)

Flekk (New York City)

Friendly (San Ramon, CA)

Insurancedirect123  (Largo, Md)

Luminant Analytics (Basel, Switzerland),

Pensio (New York City)

Rozie Ai (Raleigh, NC)

Sunrise Colab (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

UrbanStat (Chicago, IL)

Each of the 16 companies will present their products to the public on Oct. 24, and will have the opportunity to schedule sessions with visitors throughout the week.

“InsurTech Week is an additional opportunity for the GIA to offer growing companies a chance to build a stronger network of startup peers and engage with our GIA investors and mentors while showcasing innovative solutions to the insurance community,” said Brian Hemesath, managing director for the GIA in  press release.

InsurTech Week is intended for startups at a later stage than the early-stage companies that typically participate in the GIA’s annual cohort program, a 100-day cohort that runs from January through April each year. Companies who apply and are selected to participate in InsurTech Week have often already completed pilots and proof-of-concept projects with insurers, have successfully gained traction with customers or have secured seed funding.


16 companies set to participate in InsurTech Week 2018 | 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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