BrokerTech ventures announces cohort finalists, hires John Jackovin as executive director


BrokerTech Ventures (BTV) has announced 20 broker-centric, early-stage startups that will arrive in Des Moines on February 4. These 20 startups will be pitching to BTV’s nine super-regional owners and partners during “Selection Series Days” at Holmes Murphy’s headquarters. 

The startups, who are based all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico, cover an expansive amount of technology needs that serve the property and casualty (P&C), employee benefits, and clinical solutions spaces. Three of the startups—Chalkbites, Makusafe and Serious Social Media—are based in or have ties to Iowa.

The 20 selected startups are:

  • Agentero, Oakland, CA
  • Briza, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Broker Buddha, New York, NY
  • Careignition, LLC, Chicago, IL
  • ChalkBites, Inc., Davenport, IA
  • CogniSure, Warrenville, IL
  • ConsumerOptix, Dayton, OH
  • Equal Health, Detroit, MI
  • Goldfinch Health, Austin, TX
  • HazardHub, San Diego, CA
  • InsuranceMenu, Canton, MA
  • Kwema, St. Louis, MO, and Mexico City, Mexico
  • Loss Run Pro, LLC, Missoula, MT
  • MakuSafe Corp., West Des Moines, IA
  • OnRisk, Princeton, NJ
  • ProNavigator, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
  • Serious Social Media, Inc., Anaheim, California
  • Talage, Inc., Reno, NV
  • TRUSTLAYER, INC., San Francisco, CA
  • Wunderite, Inc, Boston, MA

When the Selection Series is complete, BTV will select the top startups to take part in the accelerator’s first cohort, set to begin in March. In addition to access to BTV Partners and distribution platforms, each of the selected startups will receive $50,000 in the form of a convertible note.

BrokerTech Ventures also announced the hiring of John Jackovin as its executive director.

“John brings with him a unique skillset, which we believe will add tremendous value to our BTV Accelerator Program as we embark on our inaugural year,” said Susan Hatten, BTV interim executive director. “His lens into the startup world, including his own first-hand experience going through the Techstars Accelerator, will prove invaluable in creating the kind of experience we hope to deliver through the BTV Accelerator.”

Over the years, Jackovin’s companies have produced millions in revenue and have serviced thousands of customers. In 2014, he took a company through Techstars, one of the most prominent and successful technology accelerators in the world.

“The need for an agent-broker-specific accelerator at this time is clear,” said Jackovin. “To be able to help shape the first program specifically for investors and innovators building the next generation of tech solutions for insurance agencies and brokerages is truly a dream.”

“This is an exciting time for the InsurTech movement, and especially for Central Iowa, as we now call home to the BTV Accelerator, the Global Insurance Accelerator, the AgriTech Accelerator, and Techstars,” said Dan Keough, Holmes Murphy chairman and CEO and BTV co-founder.