Program accepting applications from startups; will provide resources to help insurance-focused technology startups grow
Hartford, Conn., Sept. 25, 2017 – Startupbootcamp today announced the launch of its new InsurTech Accelerator in Hartford, designed specifically to rapidly scale insurance-focused technology startups. The InsurTech Accelerator, which is now accepting applications, has been established to attract new talent and technology to Hartford, one of the world’s leading insurance centers, and will provide entrepreneurs with the support, resources, and industry and investor connections they need to help grow their business.
Founding local partners of the InsurTech Accelerator are Cigna, The Hartford, Travelers, and CTNext. Additional corporate partners include USAA and White Mountains. The InsurTech Accelerator is part of Hartford InsurTech Hub, an initiative that was conceived of by a diverse set of executives from Hartford-area insurance carriers and other related firms, City of Hartford staff, and several other community stakeholders. Opportunities to help spur more InsurTech innovation activity in the region were identified by this group, and action against these goals was catalyzed by investment from CTNext: Connecticut’s Innovation Ecosystem.
Each year, 10 to 12 startups will be accepted into the three-month intensive accelerator program in Hartford, and will receive an initial cash grant of $25,000, co-working space for each startup team, and access to Startupbootcamp’s global network of mentors and investors. To be eligible for the program, entrepreneurs must have a working prototype and have secured startup funding from other sources ranging from $150,000 to $500,000.
“Startupbootcamp is a global brand name in innovation and entrepreneurship, and their decision to launch their first InsurTech accelerator in North America here in Hartford is really significant for our City and for the State of Connecticut,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. “Today’s announcement is the direct result of the strong partnership we’ve been building between our insurance companies, our educational institutions, and the City of Hartford. Working hand in hand with the private sector, our goal is to make Hartford the capital of insurance innovation, and the launch of this InsurTech accelerator is a big part of that strategy. Our focus on InsurTech is just one part of a broader effort to make Hartford a center of innovation, not only in the insurance sector, but also in advanced manufacturing and healthcare – areas where the Greater Hartford region has tremendous strength. I’m grateful to all of the partners who came together to make today’s announcement possible.”
The program will reach beyond Connecticut and leverage Startupbootcamp’s global network, including resources in New York City and Miami, where Startupbootcamp FinTech and Digital Health programs reside. Entrepreneurs participating in the InsurTech Accelerator will also benefit from the experience that Startupbootcamp has gained through its globally-respected InsurTech Accelerator in London.
Sabine VanderLinden, CEO, Startupbootcamp InsurTech, said: “I am thrilled to support a unique initiative in Hartford that brings together ecosystem development, startup acceleration and corporate engagement. We are fortunate to be working with some of the most renowned insurance brands in the United States to continue building entrepreneurial talents within the insurance and technology space. During the past two years, we have seen increased and speedier engagements between fast-moving insurers and those startups that have propositions clearly aligned to corporate entities’ needs. Our goal is to reflect on our learning, select international ventures that can foster an innovation spirit within the City of Hartford’s new InsurTech hub and build a spirit of collaboration and the entrepreneurial community in a City that has so many insurers gathered in one place.”
Applications are now open for the InsurTech Accelerator, startups are encouraged to apply here.
For more information about Hartford InsurTech Hub and the accelerator program, visit: www.hartfordinsurtechhub.com.
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Notes to editors
Please see below quotes from the participating companies:
“New technologies and applications are creating significant opportunities for the insurance industry,” said Brian MacLean, President and Chief Operating Officer of Travelers. “We’re focused on innovation, advancing our digital agenda and making investments in technology, products, people and partnerships. The InsurTech Accelerator is one of those investments, and we’re proud to be a part of the city’s initiative to support economic growth and help attract new talent and businesses to the area.”
“Cigna is investing in the InsurTech Accelerator to connect us with local technology start-ups and entrepreneurs who can help us drive innovation that advances our mission for improving the health, well-being and sense of security for our more than 95 million customer relationships around the globe,” said Cigna Executive Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer Dr. Mark Boxer. “To put a new turn on an old phrase, we’re innovating locally to serve our customers globally.”
Devi Mohanty, vice president of Strategy and Innovation for The Hartford said: “As an insurer based in Hartford for more than 200 years, we are pleased to be part of the team bringing this innovation to Greater Hartford. Technology continues to change the way insurers engage with customers and underwrite and price risk. The InsurTech Accelerator will enable us to embrace the new technologies and continue to advance our industry.”
“This is exactly the type of public-private partnership we wanted to catalyze through our Innovation Places program,” said Glendowlyn Thames, Executive Director of CTNext. “We are thrilled to see the East Hartford/Hartford Innovation Place Initiative, one of the winning communities, so quickly leverage the program’s resources and work in partnership with the private sector to ultimately create new jobs, grow tax revenue and establish itself as a next-generation hub of innovation within the insurance industry.”
“USAA is always looking for opportunities to work with innovative companies, entrepreneurs and organizations. Our goal is to learn, test and implement new products so we can better serve our members,” said Jon-Michael Kowall, assistance vice president of innovation, USAA. “We are excited to see what can come out of this relationship and what types of problems we can solve for our members.”
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About Hartford InsurTech Hub
The InsurTech Accelerator, powered by Startupbootcamp, is the first component of Hartford InsurTech Hub, an initiative established in 2017 by Hartford insurance companies, the City of Hartford, and CTNext. Focused on addressing the need for attracting new technologies and talent in insurance and technology into the City of Hartford and the local ecosystem, the program partners include Cigna, The Hartford, Travelers, CTNext, USAA and White Mountains. It will stretch its reach to other cities in Connecticut to create a thriving spirit of collaboration and innovation between our partners, entrepreneurs and investors, while leveraging Startupbootcamp’s global network of capabilities and a structured delivery approach. For more information, visit: https://hartfordinsurtechhub.com/
About Startupbootcamp InsurTech
Launched in 2015, Startupbootcamp InsurTech is the leading Insurance accelerator that focuses on identifying globally-located disruptive and collaborative insurance and technology innovations, and the only program of its kind to attract a wide variety of industry support from multiple international players. Based in London, Startupbootcamp InsurTech is part of Startupbootcamp, the award-winning global network of industry-focused accelerator programs. With 20+ programs in Europe, Asia, North & South America, MENA & Africa, selected startups gain access to the most relevant mentors, partners and investors in their industry. For more information visit: http://www.startupbootcamp.org