Startup accelerator Plug and Play is launching an insurance-specific program in partnership with MunichRe, Sompo Insurance and USAA.
The new initiative, Plug and Play Insurance, is made up of a network of insurers, brokers and automakers built around a 12-week startup accelerator program. Twice a year, a roundtable will assess up to 1,000 applications from startups looking to innovate in the industry and decide which ones are accepted.
"The US insurance market is extremely complex. Through Plug and Play Insurance, startups targeting this space can gain guidance and insights from experienced industry players, while established insurers get access to innovative technology solutions that can help them remain relevant and competitive,” said Tony Kuczinski, president and CEO of Munich Reinsurance America, in a statement. “There is enormous value for both sides in partnering."
Once accepted, startups will have access to themed workshops and face-to-face interaction with insurance companies looking to expand revenue streams or find newcomers whose tech best complements their suite of offerings. Additionally, startups will receive funding from Plug and Play Ventures, weekly mentor sessions with industry leaders, and opportunities for potential pilot projects.
"USAA has always innovated in service of our members," said Jon-Michael Kowall, USAA's innovation lead for home and auto insurance. "Today's changing trends, including the growing sharing economy, make a commitment to innovation critical for all insurers. Plug and Play's innovation platform could lead to the next great ideas that allow the industry to lead the way into the future.”
The Plug and Play Insurance application will open at its launch event on May 26th, featuring 10 startups in the industry and 50 corporations and investors. Applicants considered for acceptance will be innovating in areas such as disruptive business models, user centricity and experience, product innovation, advanced analytics, and distribution, according to Plug and Play.
"We are pleased to announce the Plug and Play partnership with MunichRe, Sompo, and USAA with plans to leverage their deep industry knowledge and expertise to advise our investment strategy in the Insurance space," said Saeed Amidi, CEO and founder of Plug and Play. "With their guidance, we will look to invest $25,000 to $500,000 in up to 30 Insur-Tech focused startups from around the world."
Prior to its insurance venture, Plug and Play launched innovation platforms in brand & retail, financial technology & security, connected health, travel & hospitality and the Internet of Things.
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