It’s a challenging time for many insurtech entrepreneurs. Though the sector has expanded exponentially in recent years, indicating that it is possible to scale a neat idea into a successful insurtech business, access to funding and mentorship has never been harder to come by. That’s why incubator programmes prove so useful to those who can get accepted, providing connections to investors and helping founders to hone their idea and their pitch.
With this in mind, we count down the Top 10 insurtech incubator and accelerator programmes out there right now.
10. XL Innovate
In 2015, three years before its acquisition by insurance giant AXA, XL Group launched its first venture capital initiative called XL Innovate. The group aimed to invest in companies with a focus on developing new capabilities in the insurance sector, and creating partnerships outside the traditional underwriting space to enable uninsured risks to be underwritten. The new vehicle provided not only investment, but advice and guidance too, usually taking an equity position in the companies it invested in.
9. Lloyd’s Lab
Lloyd’s Lab connects insurtech founders with one of the largest and oldest insurance markets in the world, Lloyd’s of London. The accelerator programme, therefore, boasts an unparalleled reputation within insurance circles and helps founders to grow their book of contacts. Lloyd’s Lab helps startups grow from innovation through to traction and market success. It comes with a coworking space in London, access to experienced insurance professionals, and a highly focused environment for nurturing participating startups.
InsurLab Germany connects insurance companies, startups and research institutions in an effort to drive collaboration and innovation within Germany’s fast-growing insurtech sector. Indeed, Europe’s largest economy has much to boast about from an insurtech point of view, including an addressable market of more than 80m people and success stories like wefox, Getsafe, Clark, and Hepster. What’s more, the country’s insurtech scene is diverse with no one city dominating the landscape too much – although Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt-am-Main are obvious destinations.
The Hartford InsurTech Accelerator is part of an initiative convened by the city of Hartford, Connecticut designed to nurture a prosperous insurtech community. The scheme boasts partners including HSB, Travelers Insurance and Nassau and puts on several events a year, including pitches, innovation challenges, networking evenings, and keynote addresses. Despite its relatively diminutive stature (indeed, the population is about 120,000), the city of Hartford is actually fairly well-known within insurtech circles, as it hosts the annual InsurTech Hartford Symposium.
Since 2015, MetLife’s LumenLab has been helping insurtech founders and entrepreneurs to grow out their business concept, which could, after all, become the next revolutionary idea in the insurtech sector. Perks for participants include a 7,800-square-foot workspace as well as a business incubator with access to dedicated innovation experts. LumenLab was established to develop disruptive new business models in the areas of wellness, wealth, and retirement that could then translate into a competitive advantage for MetLife.
5. InsurTech NY
It’s no wone – according to industry database Crunchbase. InsurTech NY aims to capitalise on the Big Apple’s flourishing insurtech success by connecting participants with valuable partners, mentors, and investors. It has previously worked with some of the biggest insurance carriers and brokers in the US, providing a pathway for alumni like Goose Insurance, Relay, Insurmi, and Steadily.
As its name suggests, Munich Re Digital Partners is a subsidiary of the European reinsurance giant Munich Re. It works alongside insurtech entrepreneurs to help them bring innovative new ideas and businesses to market, all backed up by Munich Re’s pedigree and expertise. Unlike other accelerators, which are billed as a fixed-term programme, Munich Re Digital Partners presents itself as a longer-term business partnership – and it has already helped to incubate the likes of Next Insurance and Simply Business.
Startupbootcamp InsurTech works with promising early-stage insurtech startups to help them grow and generate value both for their businesses and for the broader insurance ecosystem. As such, it is one of several incubator and accelerator programmes under the ‘Startupbootcamp’ brand. Each year, the London-based scheme selects 10 of the most promising insurtech startups from around the world to work with, giving participants access to programme partners, mentors and a host of past alumni – as well as free office space for three months!
The Global Insurance Accelerator works with early-stage insurtech startups to build disruptive products and technologies designed for use in the insurance industry. The programme is powered by an ecosystem of leading investors and sponsors, including insurance companies, higher education institutions, and economic development initiatives
For nearly a decade, the Global Insurance Accelerator has been making initial investments, providing deep insight and connecting founders to their future customers to fast track their idea into a successful startup. Unlike most programmes on this list – which our based in internationally recognised insurance hubs like London, New York, Singapore or Zurich – the programme is based in Des Moines, Iowa, which it calls the insurance capital of the US.
Plug and Play Tech Centre’s insurance accelerator is one of the best known in the industry, intent on turbocharging insurtech innovation and modernising what it describes as an “ancient” industry reliant on legacy systems and technologies. Plug and Play works with some of the largest insurers – including Zurich, State Farm, Nationwide and Aon – to foster exciting insurtech solutions in the fields of P&C, Life and Health, and General Insurance. The programme runs four separate accelerator schemes based in major regional insurance hubs – Munich, Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing – and has helped to nurture well-known insurtech brands including Tilt, Mulberri, Tapoly and Bdeo.
Plug and Play Insurtech boasts a network of 500+ leading corporations – 50% of them in the US or Latin America, 20% in Europe, and the rest in Asia. The programme can also draw on hundreds of venture capital firms that it has connections with, as well as universities, government agencies, and more than 50,000 startups.