Lessons Learned: Week 1

Last week we welcomed 11 startups to Hartford and kicked off our 2020
Hartford InsurTech Hub Program! 

A warm welcome: The generosity of many small business owners in Connecticut helped create our ‘Welcome to Connecticut’ gift bags. Our startups were surprised and grateful to receive such a welcoming gift. Thank you to our partners and local businesses who contributed: Travelers, The Hartford, Capgemini, Locke Lord, Launc[H], insurbot, Grant Thornton, AON, EY, Blue State Coffee, El Pollo Guapo, V’s Trattoria, Syncsort, Get It Toasted!, Artichoke Pizza, and Hartford Chamber of Commerce.

Team bonding: Arek led the group in team bonding activities. As we navigated the challenges, we learned more about each other and ourselves! Communication was a major challenge, and theme, as we had to figure out different ways to communicate without speaking, or being able to see each other! Much like entrepreneurship, one must learn to navigate challenges with creativity. 

 Deep Dives: We used our first week to prepare our startups to be partner ready, and we’re proud to say that our startups have prepared, and then prepared more. In one-on-one deep dive sessions, we helped each startup identify strengths and weaknesses. 

Mentor Matching: On Tuesday evening our startups met the many wonderful mentors who have volunteered to work with them! After mentor introductions, the startups gave their first impromptu pitches of the program. We have one more mentor event this week. If you are a mentor (or would like to become one) be sure to sign up at: bit.ly/HIH_MM2-27

 

Cigna Partner Presentation: Last Thursday Cigna was visiting the new space to meet with our startups! This was a productive and informative meeting. Here is what some of our entrepreneurs had to say: “It was impressive to see the different avenues Cigna is exploring to leverage innovation in order to address the challenges of our times. Collaborating with them means tapping into a centuries old network and improving the lives of millions. We hope to get the chance to do just that!” – Bénédict von Mérey, Allganize

 

“I was happy to learn that huge companies like Cigna truly do go out of their way for their customers, they care deeply about the products and features they implement (both for their members and their communities) in a very meaningful way. ” – Allison Martin, UDoTest 

“It was great to meet the Cigna team and reconnect with Danny who we met on Selection Day. We shared common goals and look forward to forming a partnership with them to use iPill to reduce opioid addiction in their current and future members.” – Sherie Hsieh, iPill Dispenser 

We appreciate your continuous support and partnership, Cigna.

Fresh talent can help all businesses: To finish up the week, we introduced our startups to their interns. The group of students from UConn and the University of Hartford are energetic and ready to hit the ground running. The students will be interning with their teams for the next few months.  They each come from varying backgrounds and levels of experience – some are MBA students and others are undergrads. We’re excited to see the fresh look these incoming interns have on some brilliant ideas. 

 

What’s Next: This week we are looking forward to our Open House on the 28th. We are excited to showcase our new space on 160 Trumbull St, Hartford and welcome the community to meet our 2020 Cohort! If you are in the Hartford area this Friday, come stop by anytime between noon and 6 pm to tour our new space, meet the startups, enjoy drinks and small bites. 

We are so grateful for our wonderful cohort and excited to see what this week brings! The countdown to Demo Day begins….