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Globally Diverse Class Joins GIA in 2017

Staff Writer | January 13, 2017

The Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) announces its signature 100-day, mentor-driven program will kick off in Des Moines on Jan. 17, with a cohort comprised of six globally diverse startups.

While in Iowa, cohort members will have an important opportunity to become immersed in the technology and insurance-rich environment where more than 60 insurance companies are headquartered. The GIA, a business accelerator identifying, developing and growing innovative insurance-centric startups, provides hands-on business support from program mentors and exposure to insurance professionals, industry influencers and potential investors.

The 2017 GIA cohort members include companies with business models built around emerging technologies, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain, which are the foundation of new solutions for insurance companies, distribution channel partners, and more.

  • Find Bob (Toronto, Ontario): A growth, transition and succession planning tool for financial advisors and insurance agents, utilizing machine learning and elements of gamification for asset protection.
  • InsuranceMenu (Boston): A data-driven platform geared toward local insurance agents, creating process efficiencies while bringing insurers closer to the customer.
  • MotionsCloud (Munich, Germany): Mobile and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for insurers that streamline and automate claims processes to provide a better customer experience and settle claims faster.
  • RE-Sure (Detroit): A blockchain-enabled, app-driven, smart insurance product designed for the on-demand economy.
  • Sentrys (Belgrade, Serbia): A data-protection platform providing data security for consumers, vehicle manufacturers, and insurance companies.
  • ViewSpection (Tucson): A platform providing a transparent, collaborative method for agents and policyholders, as well as underwriting, claims and loss control departments, to share information and maximize service while preventing fraud.   

“The geographic diversity of this class shows good ideas have no borders or boundaries,” says Brian Hemesath, managing director of the GIA. “The insurtech ecosystem continues to grow and bring great ideas forward for the benefit of the insurance industry and consumers. Having a front-row seat to all of this has been fantastic for our investors and mentors.”

Each cohort member receives $40,000 in funding from the GIA for a six percent ownership stake in their venture. In addition to the funding, the GIA provides a significant housing subsidy to assist with relocation to Des Moines for the duration of the program. These financial considerations are important, but not the determining factor which drives companies such as these to partner with the GIA.

The primary value for companies participating in the cohort is access to the GIA’s mentor network, which provides invaluable firsthand knowledge of the industry through targeted networking and education focused on finding a product-market fit for the insurance industry. The GIA’s third cohort concludes with presentations onstage during the Global Insurance Symposium at the end of April.

Based in Des Moines, the GIA is backed by insurance company investors from across Iowa and the U.S., including American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company, Delta Dental of Iowa, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance of Iowa, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, IMT Insurance Company, Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, Principal Financial, EMC Insurance Companies and Markel Corporation.

“With more than 60 insurance companies and hundreds of mentors located in Des Moines, it's the perfect place for the GIA to help launch these startup companies on their future success,” says Jeff Russell, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa and current GIA board chair. 


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