What an exciting week for InsurTech! Starting Tuesday, November 27thand continuing into Wednesday, November 28th, the Hartford InsurTech Hub hosted their Selection Days. Across these two days, 22 InsurTech startups were invited to showcase their companies to mentors, partners and students. At the end of Selection Days, the goal was to select 10 companies to join Startupbootcamp’s Accelerator Program.
Each day began with a round of introductions. Dawn LeBlanc, Managing Director at the Hartford InsurTech Hub, briefed attendees on the expectations for each day and the process they took to reach 22 invitees out of thousands of possibilities. Sabine Vanderlinden, CEO of Startupbootcamp, presented on topics surrounding the growing industry of InsurTech and its added value to the traditional insurance industry. Mayor of Hartford, Luke Bronin, was also in attendance to discuss the future of InsurTech in Hartford and the impact it will continue to make on the nations insurance capital. The day continued on with pitches from the 22 startups. Each startup was challenged to pitch their business models within 60 to 90 seconds. Attendees were introduced to InsurTech startups that had a focus on just about everything including artificial intelligence, blockchain, customer experience and claims processes. Following the pitches, each startup had the opportunity to receive feedback and discuss pathways to success with partners, mentors, and investors across the insurance, finance, and technology industries.
Insurance Market Summit
After the Selection Days came the Insurance Market Summit, held on Thursday, November 29that the Marriott Downtown Hartford. This day was filled with high energy and excitement from insurers, investors and partners from the surrounding area in Hartford, CT. Keynote speaker, Tom Wamberg, CEO of Wamberg Genomic Advisors, started the morning with a fascinating presentation on genomics and some of the innovative ways it is being used to identify genetically-prone diseases and cure terminal illnesses. This was especially of interest to the insurance companies in the room because a simple genetic screening can be used to drive premium costs and improve underwriting in health insurance. The rest of the day consisted of presentations and panel discussions focusing on the direction of the insurance industry and the incorporation of innovative technologies.
As the Summit came to a close, CEO of Startupbootcamp, Sabine Vanderlinden, shared exciting news. 10 new InsurTech startups were selected to join Startupbootcamp’s Accelerator Program starting in February. After the past two days of Selection Days, this brought enthusiasm to the insurance partners and investors in the audience. This was especially exciting for the University of Connecticut and University of Hartford students that are participating in CCEI’s InsurTech Fellows Program. In the spring, these Fellows will be working with these InsurTech startups throughout their involvement in the accelerator, inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.
UConn MBA Case Competition
The week ended with the UConn MBA Case Competition held at Upward Hartford. Every year, first-year UConn MBA students work in teams to analyze complex case studies surrounding emerging business challenges and present their solutions to a panel of judges. This years MBA Case Competition had a focus on InsurTech. Specifically, MBA students were asked to examine the anonymous profiles of 7 InsurTech startups and create a rating system that examines which company had the most effective business model, strategies and value propositions. Many of these anonymous companies were actually inspired by the same InsurTech startups that applied to the Startupbootcamp’s Accelerator Program in 2019. Only a day after the announcement of the 10 selected startups, it was interesting to see how the MBA students selected these startups in comparison to the ones that were selected one day prior. The day concluded with a winning team and runner up team, although all participating teams gave outstanding and informative presentations.