Des Moines, IA – January 30, 2020 – As Des Moines, Iowa, is thrust into the spotlight in anticipation of the upcoming caucuses, BrokerTech Ventures (BTV), the industry’s first broker-led investor group and accelerator program, is bringing 20 insurtech startups to Iowa and drawing attention to the prominence of the state’s insurance ecosystem.
“Iowa is the political epicenter of the U.S. right now,” said Joseph D’Souza, founder and CEO of Canada-based startup ProNavigator. “While politics can be polarizing, what’s happening here with BTV is a testament to the possibilities that can come when the insurance industry and technologists come together to drive growth and help brokerages operate more efficiently. We think Des Moines will continue to be a go-to hub of insurance and innovation.
“BTV’s top 20 selected broker-centric, early-stage startups, along with BTV’s nine super-regional owners and partners, will take part in the Accelerator’s “Selection Series Days” at Holmes Murphy’s headquarters February 4-6.
The startups cover an expansive amount of technology needs that serve the property and casualty (P&C), employee benefits, and clinical solutions spaces, and include:
- Agentero, Oakland, CA
- Briza, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Broker Buddha, New York, NY
- Careignition, LLC, Chicago, IL
- ChalkBites, Inc., Davenport, IA
- CogniSure, Warrenville, IL
- ConsumerOptix, Dayton, OH
- Equal Health, Detroit, MI
- Goldfinch Health, Austin, TX
- HazardHub, San Diego, CA
- InsuranceMenu, Canton, MA
- Kwema, St. Louis, MO, and Mexico City, Mexico
- Loss Run Pro, LLC, Missoula, MT
- MakuSafe Corp., West Des Moines, IA
- OnRisk, Princeton, NJ
- ProNavigator, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
- Serious Social Media, Inc., Des Moines, IA
- Talage, Inc., Reno, NV
- TRUSTLAYER, INC., San Francisco, CA
- Wunderite, Inc, Boston, MA
“We are excited to bring the innovation and entrepreneurial expertise ABD has garnered in Silicon Valley to our BrokerTech Ventures involvement and to help these startups along,” said Brian M. Hetherington, ABD Insurance and Financial Services chairman and BTV co-owner. “The ability to draw exceptional expertise for this recasting of the insurance industry is a fantastic opportunity. We have seen many insurtech companies launch without understanding the regulatory and distribution complexities of the insurance business. We believe that our oversight will help go-to-market strategies have higher success rates, which will benefit the whole industry.”
When the Selection Series is complete, BTV will select the top firms to take part in the first BTV Accelerator cohort. In addition to access to BTV partners and distribution platforms, each of the selected startups will receive $50,000 in the form of a convertible note.
“The BTV team has assembled a fantastic group of companies to mentor and support insurtech companies like us,” said Gabe Glynn, founder and CEO of Iowa-based MakuSafe. “As we navigate the challenges of scaling our company in 2020, we know that, should we be selected to participate, BTV would give us a significant advantage through connections and mentorship.”
Collectively, BTV’s owners and partners make up more than $1 billion in annual distribution, with the organization in due process of building out the next layer of agency distribution which will equate to another in $1 billion in collective distribution.
“Through the co-mingling of like-minded, quality super-regional brokerage firms, this is potentially the first formalized approach of creating a distribution channel involving competitors,” said John Jackovin, executive director of the BTV Accelerator. “These firms have not only invested in the future of broker-centric startups, but they believe they can be better together than competitive alone.”
All media are invited to attend the BTV Selection Series Days Happy Hour on February 4 from 5-7 p.m. CT at Holmes Murphy’s headquarters in Waukee, Iowa. Debi Durham, Iowa Economic Development Authority director, will speak at 5:30 p.m. CT. Additionally, media are invited to interview BTV owners, partners, or startups at the Selection Series Interviews event on Feb. 5 at Holmes Murphy between 8-4:30 p.m. CT. Please reach out to Jennifer Overhulse at (859) 803.6597 or firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in attending one or both events.