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Global Insurance Accelerator announces seven teams for 2021 cohort

The Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) has announced the seven startups that will make up its 2021 cohort.

The cohort will launch on January 19 with the seven InsurTech companies virtually joining the accelerator’s annual 100-day program. 

“With the 2020 experience and the continued support of our insurer investors and industry mentors, we moved forward with confidence in making the tough decision to begin the 2021 program virtually,” said Nicole Gunderson, managing director of the GIA in an announcement. “The startups selected as part of our 2021 cohort have solutions for all lines of business which, with time, dollars, and development, will help make the small commercial segment more accessible, allow insurers to launch pet insurance programs easily, transform the insurance purchasing experience, enable a faster response to catastrophic losses, and much, much more. I’m honored for the opportunity to work together. Seven startups in year seven has a nice ring to it!” 

The members of the 2021 GIA cohort are:

Anodz (Miami, FL)

A B2B (SaaS) enterprise intelligence platform designed to measure, manage, and improve workforce and business performance through predictive and actionable insights.

Jayde (Austin, TX)

A solution offering comprehensive, subscription-based products for small business owners that eases the decision-making related to selecting and maintaining the right coverage.

Rainwalk (Columbia, SC)

An API-driven, turnkey platform which enables property and casualty (P&C) insurers to white-label and offer pet insurance coverage to further monetize existing customers and maintain a consistent customer experience.

Reeske (Boston, MA)

A digital life insurance shopping platform which is transforming the insurance purchasing experience and helping redefine the customer relationship with insurance.

Sola (Atlanta, GA)

A data-driven supplemental insurance plan which covers immediate out-of-pocket expenses for homeowners following losses from natural disasters, such as tornadoes.

Solar Insure (Costa Mesa, CA)

A provider of extended warranty and protection plans for homeowners who install residential solar energy systems in order to protect and accelerate consumer investment in the solar industry and the world’s transition to renewable energy solutions.

Vaartani (Madrid, Spain)

An artificial intelligence (AI) risk management solution which enables insurers to distribute, underwrite, and manage exposures unique to e-commerce sellers on marketplaces, such as Amazon and Shopify.

The selected companies will participate in virtual 1:1 meetings with the GIA’s mentor base of insurance professionals, sessions with InsurTech founders and GIA alums, and benefit from investor introductions. Backed by 12 prominent insurer investors, the GIA will conclude the 2021 program with final presentations as part of a “demo day,” either virtually or in-person as travel and health guidelines allow, during the Global Insurance Symposium. 

Global Insurance Accelerator announces seven teams for 2021 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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