Shortly after the Plug & Play insurance startup accelerator announced its first cohort of more than 20 startup companies, the Global Insurance Accelerator, one of the first funding and mentoring programs for insurance technology startups, announced that it is growing.

Insurers EMC and Markel are joining the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) as investing companies, bringing the total number of insurers participating in the program that way to 10. Each company contributes $100,000 to help fund up to eight startups in a cohort.

"The new companies impact not only our operating budget -- how much money we can invest -- but also adds to our mentoring pool." says GIA managing director Brian Hemesath.

As more actors enter the space, Hemesath says that the rising profile of insurtech, and the corresponding attention from other organizations, is a good thing for the industry. Startups of different levels require different tactics anyway, he explains.

"You'll see that all [accelerators] serve different stages of companies," he says. "Our mentor model allows the startups to feel out lots of carriers and see how they work.

The GIA is currently accepting applications for its third cohort, which will be announced by the end of the year, Hemesath says. The accelerator program will run from January to April.

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