In the news again, Startupbootcamp, a European accelerator, today announced the launch of the Startupbootcamp Insurance accelerator program. Based in London, the program invites global startups from across different areas within insurance, including retail insurance, corporate risk management, re-insurance, back-office efficiency and new risk models, to apply to take part in the three-month accelerator.
“Startupbootcamp prides itself on the development of early stage companies, connecting them with the relevant communities in order to thrive, and the Insurance accelerator program is no different. The insurance industry is calling out for innovation and there are hundreds of startups out there waiting to be discovered, and we want to nurture that untapped talent!” exclaimed Nektarios Liolios, co-founder of Startupbootcamp Insurance. “There is a clear and ever-growing need to harness startup innovation and join it up with the developed insurance sector. With the help of our partners, we can create the only industry-wide initiative that looks to develop the digital innovation set to transform the insurance industry.”
Innovation in the insurance sector remains under-serviced, but insurance executives are starting to think about transformation of the industry. A recent report conducted by Accenture found that 59% of insurance executives expect their competitors to make strategic acquisitions of digital insurance startups over the next three years, in order to better position themselves in a changing marketplace. The Startupbootcamp Insurance accelerator program will enable insurance executives to become more aware of the opportunities to work with entrepreneurs.
“We have a lot of positive experience from working with startups and accelerators,” commented Bastian Biswurm, head of strategy at ERGO Insurance Group. “Therefore, we are delighted to be a part of the first pure insurance accelerator. We can add value through our insights when it comes to cooperation between startups and established insurance companies.”
The program will also provide startups with the opportunity to work together with Startupbootcamp partners, influential players in the insurance industry, such as Allianz, Unipol Group, ERGO, Admiral and Momentum (of MMI Holdings), as well as leading financial services industry experts Lloyds Banking Group and Route 66 Ventures. Through this collaboration, startups can better adjust their business model. The Insurance program will be led by Startupbootcamp Chairman Carsten Kølbek; Startupbootcamp Insurance co-founder Nektarios Liolios, and Startupbootcamp Insurance managing director Liz Lumley.
“We look forward to working with Startupbootcamp to fuel enthusiasm for innovating insurance. Cooperation with fintech entrepreneurs will contribute to transforming our industry to better meet changing customer needs and expectations,” said , fintech investor at Allianz Digital Corporate Ventures. “We look to the agility and creativity of startups to support our broader ambition of strengthening Allianz through innovation.”
Startupbootcamp Insurance will provide funding, mentorship, office space and access to a network of industry partners, investors and venture capital firms for up to 10 selected global insurance startups. Based in London, each successful team will also receive €15,000 ‘beer and pizza’ money and office space for at least three months at Startupbootcamp’s London home, the Rainmaking Loft.
“We are glad that Startupbootcamp, with its capabilities and brand, has launched an insurance accelerator program,” said Renzo G. Avesani, CRO of Unipol Group. “For Unipol Group this is a significant chance to further develop its open innovation framework. Moreover, at a time when Digital, Big Data and the IoT are expected to transform insurance, it is crucial that startups and corporates have a platform to share ideas, experiment and develop business opportunities.”
To kick off, startups from all over the world are invited to apply to present their ideas to the Startupbootcamp Insurance team at a series of Fast Track days between August and November 2015. These are being held globally in locations including London, Berlin, Zurich, Cape Town, Tel Aviv, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong. The 10 successful applicants will then enter a three month accelerator program beginning in January 2016.
Momentum UK CEO Ferdi van Heerden commented, “Momentum’s set goal is to enhance the financial wellness of consumers, their communities and their businesses in the markets where it operates – which include the UK. We see a big shift in the way in which consumers and corporates in the UK and other similar markets want to engage with financial providers to meet their insurance, savings and investment needs. At Momentum we believe it is vital to embrace this change now and look to use the latest technology and innovative solutions to help consumers meet their needs in a way that they want.”
The program invites insurance coders to take part in an insurance hackathon, taking place in September – a 48-hour event for interested startups to meet the program’s partners and generate digital, disruptive solutions for insurance. There will also be an Insurance Lounge giving 5 later-stage startups the chance to meet with the program’s partners for 1-2-1 sessions to discuss how to move their products forwards.
“The UK insurance industry has seen an extraordinary amount of change in recent years which will rightly force it to fundamentally rethink the way it evolves and engages with customers. It is very clear following the introduction of reforms like automatic enrolment and pensions freedom that fresh thinking will be required. As a leading provider of general insurance, retirement and protection products, Lloyds Banking Group is delighted to partner this pioneering initiative,” commented Toby Strauss, Group Director Insurance for Lloyds Banking Group.