Global Insurance Accelerator Welcomes 2017 Cohort Class of Innovators

The GIA has announced that its next 100-day, mentor-driven program will begin on Jan. 17 in Des Moines with participating startups from Canada, Germany and Serbia, as well as U.S.-based innovators.

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With the announcement of its latest cohort class, the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA; Des Moines) is living up to its name. The GIA has announced that its next 100-day, mentor-driven program will begin on Jan. 17 in Des Moines with participating startups from Canada, Germany and Serbia, as well as U.S.-based innovators.

Brian Hemesath, Managing Director, GIA.

Brian Hemesath, Managing Director, GIA.

“The geographic diversity of this class shows good ideas have no borders or boundaries,” comments Brian Hemesath, managing director, 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.”

The GIA reports that 2017 GIA cohort members include companies with business models built around emerging technologies, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain:

  • 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, Mass.): A dynamic, 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 which streamline and automate claims processes to provide a better customer experience and settle claims faster.
  • RE-Sure (Detroit, Mich.): 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, Ariz.): 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 GIA gives each cohort member $40,000 in funding for a six percent ownership stake in the venture. In addition to the funding, the GIA provides what it characterizes as a significant housing subsidy to assist with relocation to Des Moines for the duration of the program.

Jeff Russell, president and CEO, Delta Dental.

Jeff Russell, president and CEO, Delta Dental.

As important as these financial considerations may be, the greatest value to participant companies 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, according to a GIA statement. The GIA’s third cohort will conclude 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,” comments Jeff Russell, president and CEO, Delta Dental of Iowa and current GIA board chair.

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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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