(Image credit: Dollar Photo Club.)
Allstate Insurance (Northbrook, Ill.) has recommitted to a Corporate-Startup Challenge from The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC, Chicago), which matches large corporations with startups and emerging technology firms across Illinois. During this iteration—Allstate first participated in the Challenge in 2013—the carrier’s participation will be specifically geared to claims. Allstate reports that it is interested in connecting with aspiring companies that can solve challenges and streamline efficiencies related to all aspects of the claims process, including an interest in digital customer experience, data analytics, and sensor/Internet of Things technologies.
The ITSC will match entrepreneurs to corporate partners during the next five months, according to Allstate. Corporate partners identify innovation areas for potential collaboration and review selected startups curated by the ISTC through a network of more than 55 referral partners statewide that includes universities, incubators/accelerators, and associations/non-profits. That stage will culminate in private demo day showcases where corporations connect with promising entrepreneurs.
As a participant in the Challenge, Allstate will host selected companies, provide feedback on their pitches and, ultimately, could engage the startups in future business endeavors, according to an Allstate statement.
The insurer participated in an the first round of the Corporate-Startup Challenge in the summer of 2013, as a result of which 22 companies were referred to Allstate’s portfolio and 13 were selected to present for further evaluation. Six companies were later identified for additional diligence and one became an approved Allstate preferred vendor.
“As a pilot member of the Corporate-Startup Challenge, Allstate recognized the opportunity Illinois entrepreneurs provide,” comments Shawn Broadfield, VP, Claims, Allstate. “We are always thinking about new ways to deliver on our promise to our customers and the Corporate Startup Challenge is a great way to do that by connecting with promising entrepreneurs in our home state.”
ISTC president and CEO Mark Harris characterizes the purpose of the Corporate-Startup Challenge as about connecting entrepreneurs and innovators across the state with large corporations for mutual benefit—providing startups with vital access and partnership opportunities, while helping corporations innovate and stay competitive. ISTC President and CEO Mark Harris said. “We are thrilled to be working again with Allstate to help cultivate meaningful matches with the state’s thriving entrepreneurial community as the company continues to advance innovative solutions for its customers,” he comments.