After attending last Thursday night’s Insurtech Boston IV, it is clear that the “Insurtech” community here in Massachusetts is only growing.
The latest installment saw over 300 insurance professionals turn out for for the meet and greet, panel discussion, and startup presentations.
This time around, Insurtech Boston IV took over the entire District Hall innovation space in Boston’s Seaport District to accommodate the growing number of attendees. This was double the amount of space rented for Insurtech III in June.
As for who attended the event this time around, an eclectic group of attendees representing all the stakeholders in insurance and Insurtech community took part: entrepreneurs, software engineers, venture capitalists, startup employees, vendors, lawyers, insurance company employees; and several C-level officers of insurance carriers.
While Agency Checklists could not meet everyone, we did have the opportunity to meet a broad spectrum of the attendees. One of the noticeable changes at this event was the appearance of more independent agents and “innovation” officers from traditional insurers.
Overall, of course, the majority of the attendees were individuals involved in various Insurtech startups.
High-tech Networking before presentations
The event’s networking session provided an open bar and hors d’oeuvres. But, fitting with the focus of the event, co-founders, Mike Albert and Allan Egbert, offered attendees a high-tech networking option using the smartphone app, Brella. Once the Brella app was downloaded and the Insurtech IV’s event code added, attendees could input their interests into the app. In return, Brella then “reviewed” those interests to produce thirty or forty attendees you might wish to meet after reading their 140-character elevator pitch. A touch to the screen invited them to a speed-dating type meeting to exchange cards and interests—overall a pretty effective and neat tool to use during networking meetings like these.
A panel on protecting intellectual property and creating recurring value in startups
The formal part of the evening’s events started with the Insurance Insiders Panel. Attorney Heidi Lawson, CPCU, co-chair of the Insurance, Reinsurance, Investigations & Risk Management practice at the law firm of Mintz Levin, spoke first as the main sponsor of the event. After Ms. Lawson, Marc Maselli, a managing director at Morgan Partners, an investment banking boutique focusing its services on the middle-market insurance and capital markets technology segments spoke, followed by James Bowen, founder of Energetic Insurance, an Insurtech startup with a novel, data-driven approach to develop new risk management products to unlock exponential growth in the commercial and industrial solar photovoltaics market.
The panel covered a lot of ground from how Insurtech startups need to put together a team of advisors that know the insurance industry to protecting data and recurring revenue.
Three startups stories on what it takes to make a go of your idea
The panel was followed by presentations from three local startups. Each startup gave attendees their insights into how they actually got their startups up and running as well as what pitfalls they have encountered along the way. The local companies that spoke were:
- Apliant: Founded in 2015, by insurance, technology, and marketing professionals to improve local insurance agency distribution. Apliant has made its mission to deliver a solution, helping them find and retain more clients through a simplified workflow.
- FilingMate: A startup focused on becoming the TurboTax of insurance companies. Regulatory filings in each of the 50 states is a major compliance problem for insurance carriers. FilingMate seeks to provide a comprehensive workflow solution to allow insurers to cut costs and automate large portions of the process
- Veruna: A startup launched in 2016, that has already won several insurance industry awards. Veruna offers independent insurance agencies a cloud-based agency management system using the flexibility of the Salesforce platform.
Looking to hear what other attendees had to say about last week’s event? Be sure to read Curt Stevenson, Chief Digital Officer at Duck Creek Technologies’ blog post: Insurtech Boston 2017 – Bigger, Better, and More Insightful Every Year.
Agency Checklists will advise its readers when Boston Insurtech V is scheduled.