Lessons Learned: Week 14

As our startups return home, and the program comes to a close, it’s time to reflect over the last 14 weeks.

A few like-minded people get together and magic happens: The idea of Hartford InsurTech Hub was the result of a few innovative people realizing that Hartford was a great place to bring new ideas and technologies to insurers. The concentration of insurers and surrounding support is unparalleled to any other location. One of the most common pieces of feedback from the startups, as they pack up their desks, is: “the connections made here would have taken me over 18 months or more on my own”. Each startup has valued the time, insight and coaching from each insurer, mentor and community member who has partaken in the accelerator process. A sincere THANK YOU to all of the individuals involved, especially our partners’ Travelers, The Hartford, Cigna, Aetna, USAA, White Mountains, Capgemini, Clyde & Co, and CT Next for the hours of support and time you have put into this program. We concluded two extremely successful years, and we expect more to come thanks to the unwavering support from our partners, mentors and community members.

The acceleration model that was designed by Startupbootcamp has continued to provide great outcomes. Gathering ten like-minded startups into an intense business outcome-focused program naturally creates camaraderie between the founders. The personal and professional connections made will continue for many years via encouraging messages, touch bases and (of course) social media shoutouts! Make sure to not only follow our social media but all ten startups, to stay updated on how every company is learning and evolving.

Energy is Contagious: We enjoyed the energy of the program, which came through in many ways.

University students think insurance is cool! Through the internship program, we successfully connected university students to the insurtech ecosystem. Between the InsurTech Venturing course offered at UCONN/UHart, interning with the startups and, for some, continuing to work for the startups after the program, we are seeing new energy involved. Many thanks to Ken Goldstein, Mike Kalen and Tim Folta who taught the courses, to Sabine Vanderlinden who co-edited the InsurTech Book which was used as a textbook and Michelle Cote who spearheaded the internship program. It’s great to see the upcoming college graduates interested in insurance and creating ways to keep the insurtech industry changing.

We loved the mix of students in the cohort! They constantly brought enthusiasm, new ideas and a knack for all things social media to each startup! Curious to hear the thoughts of our students? Check out our Youtube video to hear their thoughts on their class, and on interning. One of our students was even the sole face of a startup after Demo Day. Go Tae Park! 

Goodwin College students visited our hub and made some great connections after learning about InsurTech Trends. Thanks to Kate Bolduc and Frank Sentner for helping spread the importance of insurtech to students.

Hartford InsurTech Hub is supported by over 3,000 community connections. The people who show interest in our activities and thought leadership is diverse in background and in location.  We are always looking to bring new thoughts leadership and ideas to the community. Our monthly events with lively engagement and new connections are valuable to everyone. It is amazing to watch people who may even work for the same company in Hartford meet each other for the first time at an event with startups from Amsterdam. Reaching to new groups this year included actuaries, cybersecurity experts, blockchain regulators, and technicians.  If you have an area of interest you would like us to focus on, please let us know! We are always looking for new ideas and topics. Coming up is our Hiring in Innovation Event on 5/15 (follow here to register) and we also have our event in June, which is a Fireside Chat lead by Innovation Leader Scott Kirschner so make sure to register today!

The energy at our Demo Day was exciting and if you happened to miss it, please take a look at our livestream from the day. To quote a few of the attendees:

“It was a great and exciting event,  walked away with a really good feeling. The presentations were outstanding.”
“I was thoroughly impressed with the presentations on Friday and more impressed with the fact that it was taking place here in Hartford.  It was inspirational as to what this city can do going forward.”
“Was totally worth a day trip with 8 hours of total drive time from Central New Jersey”

Connecticut is a great place to live and work: When the startups arrived in Hartford in January, they were all a bit uncertain and hesitant to enjoy their time in Hartford in the middle of winter. Startups traveled from all around the world, sacrificed time with their family (and in some cases, warm weather) to participate in the Hartford Insurtech Hub’s accelerator program. Looking back on their favorite activities, and restaurants, there were quite a few community favorites that they experienced since relocating to Hartford.

Favorite Restaurants: Freshii, El Pollo Guapo, Bears Smokehouse, Blind Pig Pizza
Favorite Bars: Hanging Hills Brewery, City Steam, Trumbull Kitchen, Republic at the Linden
Favorite Activities: Real Art Ways Creative Cocktail, Pine & Iron Axe Throwing, NCAA Tournament, Ping Pong at Upward Hartford

Surround yourself with great people: This all started when the partners identified the areas we should focus on, and the focused didn’t let up even after the startups that arrived. The co-founders and everyone else involved were all wonderful people. Thanks to every single startup who came to Hartford, trusted the program, adapted based on feedback and were wonderful to be around.  

Our program includes many professional trainers who we are grateful for their connection to the companies.  But, Hartford InsurTech Hub is also surrounded by great mentors, community members and partner coaches who provide insight and training to really help the startups succeed.  We send a BIG thanks to all who volunteered their time, knowledge and expertise.  

Of course, none of this would be possible without the great support of the Startupbootcamp team, many thanks to Rob, Leland, Alea, and Arek.

See you soon!

As everyone is moving on to new and more exciting things we say congratulations! You all have a bright future ahead of you. This includes our Scouting Intern Rainer, the startups who are all headed home and the interns who are wrapping up their assignments. We will see some of you very soon in Austin at Dig-In 2019, (If you have not yet registered to go, feel free to use our discount code HIH100) and to everyone else stay tuned! We’ve got some exciting things in store for the future of Insurtech right here in Hartford.