The Iowa-based Global Insurance Accelerator will nearly double its seed funding for insurtechs accepted into the program in 2020.
Nicole Gunderson, managing director for the GIA, said the increase is a way for the GIA, which held its first class or cohort in 2015, to stay competitive with other accelerator programs. “The funding and perks provided for startups at that time was more than equivalent to other accelerators in the industry, but like any startup, we’ve learned a lot in our first five years and need to continue to evolve and scale,” she said, citing increased competition in the accelerator landscape.
The GIA will increase its seed investment from $40,000 to $75,000 in return for a 5 percent equity stake. This change helps to cover housing in full, and the program will continue to have meetings with more than 75 insurance industry mentors. There’s also office space, relevant educational sessions, exposure at industry conferences and the opportunity to present at the Global Insurance Symposium with 600-plus insurance industry professionals in attendance.
The GIA also provides alumni companies with ongoing support after they complete the program, and it recently assisted 18 alumni companies that participated in InsureTech Connect, the industry’s largest networking event, which concluded in Las Vegas on Sept. 25.
Since the launch of the GIA, 36 startups accepted into the accelerator’s annual, 100-day program have received $40,000 each in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent common equity. In addition, in the last three years, housing at the Staybridge Suites, just blocks away from the GIA offices, has been covered for at least one representative from each company. The GIA bills its accelerator program as creating value by providing extensive interaction with insurance company executives and professionals who serve as mentors through the support of 13 insurance company investors.
The 13 insurer investor members of the GIA board include representatives from Allstate, American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co., Delta Dental of Iowa, EMC Insurance, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Farmers Mutual Hail, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co., Global Atlantic Financial Group, IMT Insurance Co., Markel Corp., Mutual of Omaha, Principal Financial and SFM.
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