Global Insurance Accelerator Announces 2018 Cohort

Among the technologies areas exemplified by the companies in the 2018 GIA cohort are AI, gamification, continuous underwriting, portals, apps, IoT/connected world devices.

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The Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA; Des Moines, Iowa) has introduced the 2018 cohort of InsurTech startups, which it describes as the largest class to-date, representing four countries and technologies whose application spans all insurance lines of business.

The 100-day, mentor-driven program kicks off on January 16, and will give this year’s startup teams an important opportunity to become immersed in the technology and insurance-rich environment in Iowa generally and Des Moines in particular, the GIA reports. During the program, the GIA provides cohort members hands-on business support from program mentors, exposure to insurance company professionals, industry influencers and potential additional investors, as well as opportunities for extensive networking and education.

Brian Hemesath, Managing Director, Global Insurance Accelerator.

Among the technologies areas exemplified by the companies in the 2018 GIA cohort are artificial intelligence (AI), gamification, continuous underwriting, portals, apps, and IoT/connected world devices. Cohort teams for 2018 include:

Byeo (Chihuahua, Mexico): An online tool for collecting relevant life insurance information in a secure, social environment.

HomeClub (Tempe, AZ): A mobile verification app which validates the installation of smart-home products.

InsuredMine (Dallas, TX): A cloud-based insurance management application for coverages, payment reminders, document storage, and analytics to help insureds make informed choices.

Insurmi (Phoenix, AZ): An AI-driven, life insurance app which helps consumers easily calculate coverage needs and compare quotes from the nation’s top insurers.

Jauntin’ (Toronto, Ontario): An on-demand insurance platform allowing insurers to distribute micro-insurance via smartphones and optimize data collection to improve risk and pricing.

Lvlfi (London, UK): A company which gamifies exercise to help incentivize healthy lifestyles and lower risks of diabetes/cardiovascular disease/cancer.

ProtectRisk (Washington, DC): A marketplace and social network designed to connect and sell insurance products, and improve collaboration between insurance retailers and wholesalers.

RiskPossible (Miami, FL): A continuous underwriting engine allowing insurers to continuously underwrite in-force policy portfolios and react to any relevant changes in individual risks.

“The companies the GIA typically brings in to the program may be early stage, but the technologies they are working with and the applications they are developing for the industry get more interesting and mature each year,” said Brian Hemesath, managing director of the GIA. “This is going to be an awesome year.”

The GIA cohort members receive $40,000 in funding in exchange for six percent equity. Each startup also receives subsidized housing for the duration of the program, which is one block from the accelerator’s office. Most importantly, the GIA’s mentor-driven program provides cohort members with direct connections to invaluable firsthand knowledge of the industry and insights from true industry experts. The GIA’s fourth cohort concludes with the startups pitching live onstage at the Global Insurance Symposium at the end of April.

The GIA is backed by insurance company investors from across Iowa and the U.S., including Allstate, American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, Delta Dental of Iowa, EMC Insurance, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance of Iowa, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, IMT Insurance Company, Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, Markel Corporation, Principal Financial Group, SFM, and W.R. Berkley Corporation.

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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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