Accelerator program for insurance agent-brokers launches in Des Moines

Dan Keough, chairman and CEO of Holmes Murphy.

Six insurance agencies have partnered to form BrokerTech Ventures, a Des Moines-based investor group and accelerator program focused on delivering innovation to the insurance agent-broker industry.

The six agencies currently involved in the program are:

  • Holmes Murphy – Co-Founder (Des Moines, IA)
  • M3 Insurance – Co-Founder (Madison, WI)
  • PayneWest Insurance (Missoula, MT)
  • ABD Insurance & Financial Services (San Mateo, CA)
  • Conner Strong & Buckelew (Camden, NJ)
  • Assurance (Chicago, IL)

BrokerTech Ventures will consist of an accelerator program, a veteran mentoring network, seed funding for a portion of the chosen startups’ research and testing, and a distribution platform to help deploy new technologies.

Applications for the program’s first cohort will open Oct. 28, with the program launch planned for February 2020.

“There is an ongoing need for technology solutions specific to agents and brokers, and we’re proud to be at the forefront of this cutting-edge initiative,” said Dan Keough, Holmes Murphy chairman and CEO, in an announcement. “BrokerTech Ventures will alleviate some of these pain points by creating an ‘innovation hub’ for startups to test broker-centric ideas and products, while bringing new and innovative ideas and solutions to our customers.”

To further build the resources available through BrokerTech Ventures, the current agencies involved plan to partner with more insurance agencies and brokerages going forward.

“As the Midwest, and Iowa in particular, continue to see a surge in insurance-specific innovation, we could not be more thrilled to learn of Holmes Murphy’s new effort to enable and encourage start-up activity in this space,” said Debi Durham, Iowa Economic Development Authority director. “It is forward-thinking initiatives such as this that elevate Iowa as an attractive state for entrepreneurs, innovators, and top insurance industry talent.”

BrokerTech Ventures is currently in the process of looking for its first managing director. Brian Hemesath, former managing director of the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) will provide guidance and counseling to the program as the initial architecture and curriculum for BrokerTech Ventures are being developed.

The current schedule listed on the program’s website is as follows:

  • Feb 4-6: Program kickoff and selection process
  • March 2-13: Needs assessment period and educational curriculum
  • March 23-April-3: Primary 1:1 meeting period between brokers and startups
  • May-August: Onsite visits + co-working at brokers’ offices
  • September (TBD): Program finale including conference exposure and other marketing benefits