MakuSafe Wins 2019 ACORD InsurTech Innovation Challenge

The SaaS data/analytics company faced off against Protosure and Risk book in the final, held this week in Boston at the annual ACORD Connect event.

(From left to right: Bill Pieroni, Gabriel Glynn and Tony Mattioli. Source: ACORD.)

ACORD, the global standards-setting body for the insurance industry, has named MakuSafe Corp. (West Des Moines) winner of the fifth annual ACORD InsurTech Innovation Challenge (AIIC) at ACORD Connect in Boston this week. The winner is a SaaS/data and analytics company which seeks to improve worker health, safety, and productivity while reducing worker compensation claims and mitigating workplace risks. The award was presented by Bill Pieroni, CEO, ACORD, and Tony Mattioli, ACORD Board Chair and CIO, Assured Partners, Inc.

Bijesh Jacob, SVP, Technology & Standards, ACORD.

As AIIC winner, MakuSafe will receive a $15,000 cash prize, as well as other benefits. In total, the 2019 Innovation Challenge awarded $75,000 worth of prizes to standout InsurTech startups.

“The ACORD InsurTech Innovation Challenge brings together an impressive group of innovators with a collective vision to improve the insurance industry,” comments Bijesh Jacob, SVP of Technology and Standards, ACORD Solutions Group. “These are the types of companies that will drive our industry into the future. ACORD is proud to play a role in enabling positive change that will benefit the industry worldwide.”

“We’re so grateful to be named the winner of the ACORD InsurTech Innovation Challenge this year,” commented Gabriel Glynn, co-founder and CEO, MakuSafe. “Our team has worked so hard for the last three years and this award is great recognition of their efforts. Because of help from organizations like ACORD, and the insurance industry partners we work with, we are able to make great strides in improving workplace safety and our mission to make sure that every worker makes it home at the end of the day.”

Brian Hemesath, host of the ACORD InsurTech Innovation Challenge Finals noted that the AIIC was the first competition of its kind, now in its fifth year. “Pitch competitions can be tricky and highly subjective, but ACORD takes a unique approach judging candidates in four categories: ingenuity, applicability, impact and quality of articulation. You hear the passion from these companies,” he said. “They are on an adventure and I hope they inspired the audience today at ACORD Connect.”

Brian Hemesath, host of the AIIC Finals

Three Regional Semifinals

The final followed regional semifinals in Chicago, London and New York, where contestants gave live pitches to a panel of judges who evaluated them on criteria of ingenuity, impact, applicability, and quality of articulation. Three finalists then advanced to the AIIC International Finals this week to compete for the top prize.

Judges for the final round of the AIIC included:
•       Joe Dainty, AGM, London Market Transformation at DXC Technology
•       Barbara Ingraham, Managing Director, Excess and Surplus at Verisk
•       Sudha Meghan, CEO at RozieAi (2018 AIIC winner)
•       James McElhiney, CTO at Corvus

The other finalists competing were:
•       Protosure, a New York-based no-coding SaaS eCommerce solution for any insurance product line, allowing users to rate, quote, issue on multiple sites simultaneously.
•       Riskbook, a London-based online platform where brokers can easily share their risks with a worldwide audience of underwriters, allowing brokers to have access to a large pool of capital for their clients and underwriters to take control of their deal flow and grow their premium income.

MākuSafe Raises Nearly $3 Million In Seed Round

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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