Global Insurance Accelerator welcomes 2018 cohort

The 2018 cohort of the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA), the world's first business accelerator focused on insurance technology (InsurTech) innovation, is the largest class to-date, representing four distinct countries and technologies which span all insurance lines of business in terms of applicability. Grinnell Mutual is an investor in the GIA, and also is heavily involved in mentorship there.

The 100-day program kicks off on Jan. 16. During the program, the GIA provides cohort members hands-on business support from program mentors, exposure to insurance company professionals, industry influencers, and potential additional investors, as well as opportunities for extensive networking and education. 

The 2018 GIA cohort includes companies that have built innovative products and business models incorporating artificial intelligence (AI), gamification, continuous underwriting, portals, apps, IoT/connected world devices, and much more.

Cohort teams for 2018: 

Byeo (Chihuahua, Mexico): An online tool for collecting relevant life insurance information in a secure, social environment.

HomeClub (Tempe, Ariz.): A mobile verification app which validates the installation of smart-home products.

InsuredMine (Dallas, Texas): A cloud-based insurance management application for coverages, payment reminders, document storage, and analytics to help insureds make informed choices.

Insurmi (Phoenix, Ariz.): An AI-driven, life insurance app which helps consumers easily calculate coverage needs and compare quotes from the nation's top insurers.

JAUNTIN' (Toronto, Ontario): An on-demand insurance platform allowing insurers to distribute micro-insurance via smartphones and optimize data collection to improve risk and pricing.

Lvlfi (London, U.K.): A company which gamifies exercise to help incentivize healthy lifestyles and lower risks of diabetes/cardiovascular disease/cancer.

ProtectRisk (Washington, D.C.): A marketplace and social network designed to connect and sell insurance products, and improve collaboration between insurance retailers and wholesalers.

RiskPossible (Miami, Fla.): A continuous underwriting engine allowing insurers to continuously underwrite in-force policy portfolios and react to any relevant changes in individual risks.

“The companies the GIA typically brings in to the program may be early stage, but the technologies they are working with and the applications they are developing for the industry get more interesting and mature each year,” said Brian Hemesath, managing director of the GIA. "This is going to be an awesome year." 

GIA cohort members receive $40,000 in funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Each startup also receives subsidized housing for the duration of the program, which is one block from the accelerator's office. Most importantly, the GIA's mentor-driven program provides cohort members with direct connections to invaluable firsthand knowledge of the industry and insights from true industry experts. The GIA's fourth cohort concludes with the startups pitching live at the Global Insurance Symposium at the end of April. 

Based in Des Moines, the GIA is backed by insurance company investors from across Iowa and the U.S., including Allstate, American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, Delta Dental of Iowa, EMC Insurance, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance of Iowa, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, IMT Insurance Company, Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, Markel Corporation, Principal Financial Group, SFM, Voya Financial and W.R. Berkley Corporation. 

For information on becoming an investor in the GIA, or on applying for the 2019 GIA program, please visit

Launched in 2015, the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) fosters innovation in and for the insurance industry via a mentor-driven, 100-day program. GIA supports an annual cohort by providing each graduate company $40K of seed money in exchange for six percent equity. During the program, cohort members get insurance-specific mentoring via 1:1 meetings with industry executives, as well as basic business infrastructure assistance, coaching on garnering investments, and product-specific insights into strategies for increasing applicability to and feasibility for the insurance industry. The GIA extended network includes insurance company investors, startups and mentors from across the global business and insurance communities. For more details please visit