Techstars and MetLife have signed a partnership agreement to run a mentorship-driven accelerator in Cary, North Carolina, to help InsurTech founders do more faster. The MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars, will run in Q3 2018 with applications opening on January 8th, 2018. I’m excited to announce that I will be the managing director of the program.
The MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars, will focus on innovating in the insurance industry – an industry of massive size and reach with global insurance premiums of $4.5 trillion in 2015. The 10 InsurTech startups selected for this program will gain deep connections with MetLife, $120,000 in funding, and engagement with our extensive mentor network.
What makes InsurTech so exciting is the wide reach and breadth of what it encompasses. We are interested in any business that touches the world of insurance. Some of our specific interests include health and wellness (as it pertains to financial and lifestyle), the gig and sharing economy, benefits marketplaces, and rethinking underwriting. We’re positive that we will meet great entrepreneurs who are working on themes not listed here, and we welcome those conversations.
I am looking forward to working with the brightest minds in InsurTech through this new accelerator. Here are some of the top reasons I’m so excited about this program:
MetLife is a powerhouse as a Fortune 42 company and one of the world’s leading financial services companies with operations in over 40 countries. In 2015, MetLife was named the World’s Most Admired Life Insurance Company by Fortune Magazine and AM Best recently recognized MetLife for its transformation. MetLife’s leadership has continued to invest in innovation over the years and already has a successful track record of partnering with startups.
MetLife is a limited partner in over a dozen of Silicon Valley’s top venture funds and recently announced a $100m co-investment fund to make strategic investments in top entrepreneurs. In Cary, North Carolina, MetLife has built a Global Technology Campus with 1,500 technologists recruited from around the world.
I’ve been incredibly impressed by MetLife’s commitment to innovation and couldn’t have asked for a better partner for this accelerator. The startups accepted into our program will gain unprecedented direct access and mentoring from MetLife’s global senior leaders and have the opportunity to pursue pilots and partnerships at an accelerated pace.
Raleigh-Durham is the fourth fastest growing region in America according to Forbes. There are about 64 new people moving to the greater Raleigh area every single day and there is no shortage of top rankings that this area has received, including being ranked a top 10 best city to live in. Raleigh-Durham is also a top five region in terms of generating the best VC returns, ahead of cities like NYC and Boston. And it’s no surprise that Forbes ranks Raleigh as the #2 most educated city in the country; it’s home to Research Triangle Park composed of tier-one research universities Duke University, NC State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Raleigh was also recently named the fourth best city for fostering entrepreneurial growth. Our accelerator program will be located in MetLife’s Global Technology Campus in Cary – right in the center of all this action.
Since its inception in 2007, Techstars has worked with the world’s top entrepreneurs. In 2015, Techstars companies represented 5% of all Series A deals. The Techstars’ portfolio overall has a strong track record – 90% of Techstars companies have exited or are in active operations. Techstars has a global network of 10,000+ deeply engaged mentors, investors, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. Finally, Techstars Ventures supports a portion of the Techstars portfolio with follow-on funding at seed, Series A, and beyond. There are a number of Insurtech startups in the Techstars portfolio already, including DataRobot, Muzzley, Cuvva, Pillar, and more. We’re excited about expanding our Insurtech focus through this new partnership with MetLife and looking forward to working with top Insurtech entrepreneurs.
In conclusion, this program will be awesome. Sign up for updates on webinars, news on the application process, and where you can meet me as I tour the world looking for the world’s leading InsurTech startups to join Techstars!