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January 23, 2018

S3E10: Brian Hemesath Shares the 2018 GIA Cohort

8 insurtech companies with innovative products and business models.

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Returning to the Denim Rivet studio is Brian Hemesath, managing director of the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA). Brian introduces you to the GIA’s 2018 cohort, just announced this month. These eight companies have built innovative products and business models incorporating artificial intelligence, gamification, portals, apps, IoT devices, and much more.

If Brian had to use one word to describe the 2018 cohort, it would be “expanded.” Now in it’s fourth year, the GIA had an incredible applicant pool and felt comfortable expanding the number of participants from six to eight. Orientation kicked off on January 16 in downtown Des Moines. Teams got the lay of the land and learned about the 165 mentors and other resources they’ll have access to during their stay.

The 2018 GIA Cohort Rundown


Borne out of Mexico and Texas, Byeo has an app that’s consumer-focused on end-of-life planning. This includes stored documentation and communication channels with the carrier all in one stored app.


This startup out of Tempe, Arizona, is all about smart devices. Its cloud service allows customers to register their smart home devices in a central hub where insurers can quickly and easily see what’s installed and operating correctly. Since carriers are looking to offer discounts to users for these devices, they have to know what’s connected and working properly.


Another team out of Phoenix, Arizona, has a consumer app and webstore focused on making shopping for life insurance much, much simpler. How? With the use of AI-guided user experiences and customized online tools.


Out of Dallas, InsuredMine’s consumer app stores information on all the different policies a consumer has. The app has payment reminders, document storage, and can ease renewal pains as well.


JAUNTIN’ is is based out of Toronto, and was awarded second place at Web Summit in 2017. Its app is all about the micro insurance space, so Brian is especially eager to see how a past cohort team, Re-Sure, and JAUNTIN’ align and can help each other.


Hailing from London, this startup combines gamification, exercise, and wellness to get you up and out of your seat. They have experience in the gaming market, and they are setting out to make an app that does more than tell you to just get up out of your chair and stretch your legs. The gamification aspect will give users a sense of reward for being active through the game, and will also be reflected in the real world.


A marketplace and social network platform, ProtectRisk from the D.C. area connects retail insurance brokers and wholesale insurance brokers, specifically on high risk, specialty commercial ENS lines.


RiskPossible from Miami is working on a product that will do continuous underwriting. As soon as risk is underwritten, of course the next day the risk has changed in either small or big ways. RiskPossible’s engine sets out to track those changes. The idea came in originally as property and casualty solution, but carriers on the life side could also interested.

Future of the GIA

Brian thinks the tech accelerator aspect is a perfect fit for the GIA’s goals, and he doesn’t see the GIA ditching it anytime soon. However, Brian is seeking out new opportunities to foster innovation. Without showing too much of his hand, he thinks some of these opportunities can come from working more closely with regulators.


Global Insurance Accelerator

Global Insurance Accelerator 2018 Cohort

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