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GIA seeking new Program Manager

Global Insurance Accelerator

The Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) announced recently that is searching for the GIA’s next Program Manager.

The announcement follows the GIA’s hiring of Dan Israel as the next managing director of the insurtech accelerator in May. 

“Over the past six years, Megan Brandt has been an instrumental part of making the GIA the premier mentor-based InsurTech accelerator,” said Israel in a blog post announing the search. “She has cultivated relationships with carriers, founders, academics, and others to build a world-class roster of mentors available to our cohort companies.  But beyond the mentor program, Megan has also provided the GIA with an amazing advocate, spokesperson, and partner. After six years of dedication to this program, we’re excited for Megan as she takes the next steps in her career.  We’re looking for the next leader who can continue to grow the GIA’s 100-day accelerator program as well as build on the success of the mentor program.”

Interviews will begin in early July with an anticipated start date of early August. 

“For six years, I’ve had the pleasure and honor of working with 46 GIA portfolio companies, dozens of InsurTech Week/Days companies, and hundreds of spectacular mentors,” said Brandt.  “The GIA is about to enter into the 9th year of operating and has put its roots down as the premiere early-stage program for insurtech founders. We’ve hired our new Managing Director, Dan, and now it is time to build out the team who can take the program from what it is today to what the industry needs it to be.”

The Program Manager job description can be found on the GIA website, along with details of how to apply. For more information visit 

GIA seeking new Program Manager | 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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