The rise in technological innovation in the last 10 years has meant that financial services industries have had to adapt in order to maintain a strong position in the emerging digital economy. It’s no secret that the insurance industry has taken longer than most to adjust, however it has not simply grown in the shadow of its financial neighbours. Insurance now has a major part to play in the future direction of the economy, as the surge in insurance technology (InsurTech) has allowed the industry to keep pace with rapidly evolving consumer demands. In 2017 alone, InsurTech investment reached $2.3 billion, a 36% increase over 2016 (Willis Tower Watson Q4 report). Insurers that are open to adapting their business models and adopting new technologies have the potential to greatly increase revenue and drive down costs and operational inefficiencies whilst those who do not embrace innovation risk losing significant ground on competitors.
Hartford InsurTech Hub was launched by Startupbootcamp in September 2017, after two highly successful years of the Startupbootcamp InsurTech London program, with the objective of building a robust environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in Hartford, Connecticut, and ultimately transforming the city into the U.S. capital of InsurTech. Eos partnered with Hartford InsurTech Hub, soon after the Hub’s launch, having worked closely with the Startupbootcamp InsurTech London program.
Hartford established itself as the leading centre for insurance in the U.S. at the beginning of the 20th Century, when the city was home to numerous insurance companies, such as Aetna and Travelers. International expansion of several of the city’s insurance companies put Hartford on the map as the world’s insurance capital. However, economic struggles caused several of the major insurers to leave, and the city lost its global insurance status. Nonetheless, insurance is still a major industry in Hartford, and the city is a key player in national insurance activity. With the industry’s recent grasp of modern technology, the City of Hartford has been given an opportunity to re-establish itself as global leader, not in insurance, but rather in InsurTech.
Hartford is pushing to transform itself into a focal point of insurance innovation and rival the likes of San Francisco and New York City as centres of entrepreneurship and business growth.
The state of Connecticut boasts one of the highest densities of college graduates in the U.S., and is home to one of the world’s most distinguished colleges: Yale University. As a result, Hartford has on its doorstep an abundance of forward-thinking entrepreneurs, and crucially for startups, young talent willing to take low salaries in risky business models. This source of tech talent, combined with the city’s insurance history, and its close proximity to both Boston and New York City, gives Hartford the perfect foundation to transform itself into a centre of insurance innovation.
Hartford InsurTech Hub is at the core of this transformation. It’s inaugural three month acceleration program kicked-off on February 5th 2018, with 10 talented InsurTech startups from across the globe gathering in Hartford to scale-up their businesses. Other organizations recognized the program’s potential and have joined as partners to provide mentorship and support for the startups. The partners include: Cigna, The Hartford, Travelers, CTNext, USAA, White Mountains, Crawford & Company, and Clyde & Co. The outbreak of InsurTech activity in Hartford will inevitably strengthen the insurance industry network and attract tech companies to the city, hopefully spurring a knock-on effect and creating a new wave of growth for insurers and the local economy.
Eos Venture Partners announced its partnership with Hartford InsurTech Hub in October 2017, following an already successful partnership with Startupbootcamp InsurTech London. By extending its existing relationship and funding commitment with Startupbootcamp to their new program in the US, Eos will make up to $1m of capital available for participants in the program. The Eos Partners are mentors to the program, assisting the cohort to refine their value propositions.
Demo Day, taking place on April 18th 2018 at The Belding Theatre, Hartford, will be a celebration of all Hartford InsurTech Hub startups’ hard work, drive and persistence over the course of the three month program. Startups will have the opportunity to showcase their ventures to major investors, insurers, and experts in InsurTech, and of course, Eos will be there. The event’s keynote speakers will be Jay Weintraub and Caribou Honig, Co-Founders of InsureTech Connect, the world’s largest event focused on insurance innovation and disruption. Eos subscribers are invited, so make sure to register on the event’s registration page.
About Eos Venture Partners
Eos Venture Partners is a global independent Strategic Venture Capital Fund focused exclusively on InsurTech, investing in early and growth stage technology businesses that accelerate innovation and transformation across the insurance industry and value chain. Eos focuses exclusively on InsurTech and was founded in 2016 to bridge the “digital chasm” between InsurTech start-ups and traditional (re)insurance companies. Investors in the Eos fund, EVP I, are typically from the insurance sector, forming a close strategic relationship with the Eos team to capture both strategic and financial value from the innovation and technology change in the insurance industry. See more at: www.eosventurepartners.com
About Hartford InsurTech Hub
The InsurTech Accelerator, powered by Startupbootcamp, is the first component of Hartford InsurTech Hub, an initiative established in 2017 by Hartford insurance companies, the City of Hartford, and CTNext. Focused on addressing the need for attracting new technologies and talent in insurance and technology into the City of Hartford and the local ecosystem, the program partners include Cigna, The Hartford, Travelers, CTNext, USAA, White Mountains, Crawford & Company and Clyde & Co. It will stretch its reach to other cities in Connecticut to create a thriving spirit of collaboration and innovation between our partners, entrepreneurs and investors, while leveraging Startupbootcamp’s global network of capabilities and a structured delivery approach. For more information, visit: http://hartfordinsurtechhub.com/
Hartford InsurTech Hub is part of Startupbootcamp, the award-winning global network of industry-focused accelerator programs, and home of Startupbootcamp InsurTech London. With 20+ programs in Europe, Asia, North & South America, MENA & Africa, selected startups gain access to the most relevant mentors, partners and investors in their industry. For more information visit: http://www.startupbootcamp.org