Commercial insurance holding company W. R. Berkley has announced a partnership with the Global Insurance Accelerator as a potential investor to startups participating in the accelerator's annual program.

W. R. Berkley joins fellow carriers EMC Insurance, Grinnell Mutual and IMT Insurance Company, among others, on GIA’s Board of Directors. Additionally, Continental Western Group, one of W.R. Berkley’s 50 operating units worldwide, will contribute as program mentors, according to the companies.

“There are many accelerators in which we could have chosen to participate,” said W. Robert Berkley, president and CEO of the Greenwich, Conn.-based company. “We recognize the insurance-specificity the GIA offers, and we are looking forward to contributing expertise from Berkley to the startups and entrepreneurs participating in the program going forward, and to those who are already part of the GIA network.”

GIA’s yearly 100-day program, held in Iowa, invites insurtech startups to learn from a slew of companiese providing business coaching and knowledge of insurance operations. Each April, insurtechs pitch carriers onstage in hopes of securing investments and partnerships with carriers. In return, insurers have the opportunity to acquire a financial stake in insurtechs and influence new products for a better business fit.

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