BrokerTech Ventures to Hold Accelerator’s First Selection Series Days

BTV will select the top firms of 20 contenders to take part in the first BTV Accelerator cohort, each of which will receive $50,000.

(Iowa State Capitol, Des Moines. Image credit: Carol McKinney Highsmith.)

BrokerTech Ventures (BTV, Des Moines), the insurance industry’s first broker-led investor group and accelerator program, is bringing 20 InsurTech startups to Iowa’s capital for its first annual Accelerator Selection Series Days on Feb. 4-6. At the conclusion of the Selection Series, BTV will select the top firms to take part in the first BTV Accelerator cohort. 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.

Joseph D’Souza, founder and CEO of Canada-based startup ProNavigator.

“Iowa is the political epicenter of the U.S. right now,” comments Joseph D’Souza, founder and CEO of Canada-based startup ProNavigator. “While politics can be polarizing, what’s happening here with BTV is a testament to the possibilities that can come when the insurance industry and technologists come together to drive growth and help brokerages operate more efficiently. We think Des Moines will continue to be a go-to hub of insurance and innovation.”

BTV’s top 20 selected broker-centric, early-stage startups, along with BTV’s nine super-regional owners and partners, will take part in the Accelerator’s “Selection Series Days” at Holmes Murphy’s headquarters February 4-6.

The startups, which cover a range of technology needs that serve the property/casualty, employee benefits, and clinical solutions spaces, include the following:

  • 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., Des Moines, IA
  • Talage, Inc., Reno, NV
  • TRUSTLAYER, INC., San Francisco, CA
  • Wunderite, Inc, Boston, MA

Gabriel Glynn, CEO, MākuSafe.

“We are excited to bring the innovation and entrepreneurial expertise ABD has garnered in Silicon Valley to our BrokerTech Ventures involvement and to help these startups along,” comments Brian M. Hetherington, ABD Insurance and Financial Services (San Mateo, Calif.) chairman and BTV co-owner. “The ability to draw exceptional expertise for this recasting of the insurance industry is a fantastic opportunity. We have seen many InsurTech companies launch without understanding the regulatory and distribution complexities of the insurance business. We believe that our oversight will help go-to-market strategies have higher success rates, which will benefit the whole industry.”

“The BTV team has assembled a fantastic group of companies to mentor and support InsurTech companies like us,” comments Gabe Glynn, founder and CEO of West Des Moines, Iowa-based MakuSafe. “As we navigate the challenges of scaling our company in 2020, we know that, should we be selected to participate, BTV would give us a significant advantage through connections and mentorship.”

John Jackovin, Executive Director, BTV Accelerator.

Collectively, BTV’s owners and partners make up more than $1 billion in annual distribution, with the organization in due process of building out the next layer of agency distribution which will equate to another in $1 billion in collective distribution.

“Through the co-mingling of like-minded, quality super-regional brokerage firms, this is potentially the first formalized approach of creating a distribution channel involving competitors,” said John Jackovin, executive director of the BTV Accelerator. “These firms have not only invested in the future of broker-centric startups, but they believe they can be better together than competitive alone.”

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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