Brokers get into the insurtech acceleration game

Seven brokerages have joined to launch BrokerTech Ventures, a combination insurtech funding and acceleration program focused on the needs of distributors.

The companies--Holmes Murphy, M3 Insurance, PayneWest Insurance, ABD Insurance & Financial Services, Conner Strong & Buckelew, and Assurance--are jointly developing:

  • An accelerator curriculum
  • A mentoring network
  • Seed funding for research and testing
  • A distribution platform to deploy the technologies.

Companies can apply beginning at the end of October 2019 with the first cohort launching in February of next year.

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“There was an opportunity for agents to do something in the [insurtech] space,” says Dan Keough, Holmes Murphy chairman and CEO. He explains that while insurtech was initially outwardly focused on disintermediating brokers and agents, now that the sector has matured, startups are seeing value in incorporating distributors into the digital value chain.

“The first round of anything is rugged entrepreneurialism for complete disruption,” Keough says. “That happened, the pendulum has swung back, and we’re there to meet them.”

Though Keough is based in Des Moines, and modeled much of the concept after that city’s Global Insurance Accelerator, he says there will be some differences. Companies won’t be required to relocate to Des Moines, he says, because of a shorter incubation program.

“The GIA has been a great success, and we think there’s plenty of room” for something a little different, he explains.

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