Just a couple of months ago five finalists (see our earlier post) began their hard and very successful work at the W1 Forward InsurTech Accelerator. As you might remember, the W1 Forward InsurTech Accelerator is hosted at WERK1 and supported by insurance companies, namely Allianz, ARAG, Die Bayerische, Generali, HUK-Coburg, LV1871, Munich RE, Nürnberger, Swiss RE, VKB.
So no wonder the Technikum, just a few steps away from WERK1, was crowded by some illustrious guests from bavarian politics, top executives from the insurance industry and of course a lot of founders and startup people. More than 150 guests were welcomed at the first ‚W1 Forward InsurTech Demo Day‘ excited to see what the startups were about to present.
After a short and enjoyable speech highlighting the ’small wonder‘ of bringing together the supposedly old fashioned insurance industry with fast paced and agile startups, Franz Glatz welcomed Bavarian Minister of Economics Ilse Aigner and the co-initiators on the stage. She ran through a short, but pithy speech about Bavaria having the right, if not the best ecosystem for founders and startups.
This was followed by more speeches: First there were Dr. Robert Heene of VKB and Torsten Jeworrek of Munich Re. Who were involved in the very early days of the W1 Forward InsurTech Accelerator. Again it was about the culture clash between the slow moving insurance world and the vivid startup scene. However, as Dr. Heene pointed out, the industry is learning fast: It took just ten days from the first draft to the final proof of the W1 Forward InsurTech contract. They also enjoyed working with the startups in workshops and mentoring.
Finally, Bavarian State Secretary Franz Josef Pschierer shared his current mission of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs: Driving forward the digitization of society and economy by – among others – creating the best environment for startups. He stated our work and how initiatives such as W1 Forward Accelerators help creating those environments.
Eventually the stage was for the startups and with the first pitch the highlight of the evening started. We’ve noted down a short recap and quotes.
What they pitched: An insurance bot and an AI platform which allows the insurance industry to generate customized and instant offers based on image informations. Insurers can integrate Snapsures white label API into their front ends like customer apps, broker apps, marketplaces, interactive ad banners or sales campaigns.
Best quote on stage: ‚Insurances are complicated, incomprehensible, old-fashioned and unsexy. We want to change this with Snapsure!‘
What they pitched: A ‚Next Generation Underwriting‘ (NGUW) System which simplifes and improves the existing insurance underwriting processes. The innovative solution combines the power of machine learning algorithms and business rules. The aim of NGUW is to convert big data into automatic decisions.
Best quote on stage: ‚Finally, when you managed to get an Insurance, then we should call it a relationship. But i dare to say, that insurances don’t have relationships with their customers and vice versa.‚
What they pitched: A mobile and artificial intelligence claims solutions for non-life insurers and claims handling companies with the aim to reduce claim cycle time, claim expenses and and also to improve customer experience at the point of claim. A customer centric mobile AI solution to settle insurance claims that meet the customer expectations in the digital world.
Best quote on stage: ‚The point of claim is the point of pain!‚
What they pitched: A B2B SaaS solution called AdaEngine. A lightning fast real-time big data analysis and prediction tool. The AdaEngine turns insurance and financial analysts into data scientists by enabling them to build AI powered real-time modelling and simulation applications from Excel spreadsheets.
Best quote on stage: ‚Our future gives you the latest Big Data technologies and advanced AI and Machine Learning algorithms to make your prediction and forecasting easier and more fun and more timely.‘
What they pitched: Nect, a single, verifed digital ID for customers which will be globally usable across insurers, to securely log in, sign up, send or receive encrypted Data and also making one click insurance possible. But Nect also aims for other industries which shall lead to data transaction possibilities across industries, opening up ways for new business opportunities and innovative insurance products.
Best quote on stage: ‚I can say it in an other way: I can‘t remember all these shitty passwords. Do you know the most used menu point on customer care portals? Yes, it’s ‚I forgot my password!‘‘
So what is the conclusion? Well, all pitches were remarkably professional and everyone agreed that the five finalists are bound to be successful.
And how did the startups benefit besides coachings and support of the accelerator? During the Q&A session after the pitches all startups seemed to agree on one point: Without the W1 Forward InsurTech Accelerator they would never ever have gotten the deep industry contacts they acquired during the last few months. This alone seemed to be worth it.
Of course there was more than just speeches and pitches. Afterwards there was enough time for having a drink or two and of course for networking. Also each of the five finalists had a small booth where visitors could watch demos of the various solutions and have chat with the founders. At the end everyone experienced an interesting and valuable evening.