InsurTech New York – December 2019 – War Stories Working with InsurTech Startups


Tony Lew  0:04  

And this is our third event and continue to go and see some familiar faces, which is just awesome to do a focus on education. We wanted to create a community or space event space where people from user tech startups, areas, brokers to solution providers, investors all come together and connect each other and looks like there’s a lot of demands on the game. Again, I’m happy you can actually update that.


So we have a really sexy speakers. Really interesting insights, exciting announcement announcements as also be sharing little bit announcements before I hand it off. few pounds. first few words from our sponsors, where our sponsors we wouldn’t be able to post these events. So the scientists are saying them and we have a huge a huge part in nature. So firstly average This is a law firm global topic and offer specifically for entrepreneurs have to size, the current costs and pilot process, some great strides in this space. Honestly, what is your fascination with enterprise API users and their customers and I live on virtual pain And finally God is a oversmart wishes salad in time. =All day every speaker will roll at it.


Okay so some important dates for these events. So our next this is a partnership event we are hosting a price tag and I saw the price on a Mac.


So, looking at that, December all these are rz brown Holly national your neighbors have made it and recorded here. Okay, I see me 20% everyone i’m not saying this out, you know they don’t sponsor me content and so definitely it is free Yes. And they will see networking events and keep in mind meshes and our partner is so nice yeah a few days and then finally, Marsh Nikes our way sir morning So the first one is surely surtex expand into Europe. This is it happened.


They are actually a slow reader by 20 insurance carriers carrier. So if you’re really looking to expand your babies by December 30 Next is rainmaking is a meeting is a parent company of course is your partne and this is your probably the best and he has this program larger employer Corporation. You want to actually do some social good and you want to create some kind of business for me and then you know five and and they actually hope you feel that you’re interested in this.


And finally, we actually will say competition. And so the deadline for this so just want to share for more details of our March 19. Congress and a stock competition. So this is the super I’m super excited what this is a fancy but really inspiring seven panels. A strong self Daniels and feminist, ketosis six times six hours. And obviously a lot of networking, we’re going to use the asset networking and we’ll actually have


then I was asked our competition to pitch to investors and


startup grocery shops


and then grow stage startups for for customers to be joined by potential customers here. So hopefully, that gets you excited about your show. And we will be announcing all this soon. So


how many events that I talk a lot today right


So, you know, utilize some email, the emails and all the information links to the books Monday morning. And so we don’t have to like, obviously people


just wanting to


your fence, please join the waitlist. There’s nobody meatless and then voila, he wants to go anyway, let’s make sure we can get saucy and their sorrow.


Alright, so that’s it in terms of announcements. So, now let’s get to the panel.


So I first want to, you know, introduce my co founder, Mr. Chris, he has


that he or four years program director for ACA and has been working for.


So I handed off to David before you. There’s an app that we use to ask questions. So if you go to slide o calm, enter x 459. You any questions, you have the panel, the moderator will, you know, we’ll get that.


Right. So


David Gritz  8:34  

all right. Thanks, Tony. I really appreciate the opportunity to welcome our panelists, all three panelists.


And what


we’re really fortunate today to have these three analysts.


Now pushing through the digitization process for underwriting and claims. Dawn in the middle, I was fortunate enough to be at their bootcamp event for Assad is advising from San Francisco. And they do just an incredible job of bringing together carriers and marketers and connecting them up with the right startups and Don Kelly when she makes the errors that if they want to work with us, our Exactly. And last, but certainly not least, is all in


all work and I have known each other for probably five years. One of the first venture tanks I work with their technology for them, and almost a dozen startups. He’s helped them through the technology process and to help them get their first line. So we’ll be going through a series of questions. So I will start off the panel. So I know a lot of you guys may not fully understand the difference. Between Yossi eyelet and for commercialization. So I welcome to start us off and share a little bit of background.


Dawn Leblanc  11:11  

Sure. So a lot of times when you’re working with a carrier and they’re sort of trying to look at your technology and tool usually there’s many, many people who need to sort of alcohol kick the tires on that tool, and part of kicking that tires is just sort of bringing it enjoy many, many people in the organization for those of you who work at carriers and I did for three years. There are so many people in the organization that need to take a look at it and ask different questions. We try to get it so that everyone could possibly ask the question is in the room because that in and of itself, take multiple weeks and or months because I yeah, I want you to go visit this person so they can ask you a question. I want you to go It is person so they can ask you the question. So getting as many people involved first, so they can actually see the tool itself and kick the tires is a great idea, right? Which is really sort of just showcasing what you have, then when you get into proof of concept, they can be formed in a lot of different ways, right, actually prove that either your tool works on the insurance data, or it works within their system, or integrates the way it should integrate, right? And with that, our advice always is to try and build that in steps. And so you start with something and say, okay, what’s the most important piece of this? What are we really looking to prove? Because what sometimes happens is, you might prove one thing, and then they’ll come back and say, you up, doesn’t really do this, and can also do this, and you end up in this little circle for a really long time and really never get to your whole project and So what we advise is that proof of concepts are broken out into small stepping stones and keep that interest going and keep proving that actually works.


David Gritz  13:12  

So yeah, I’ve got a really good intro to you guys for Google concept of weeks ago and I were talking about well as a proof of concept even necessary, and you’re thinking about how your relationship with the carrier, how do you create the stages like I was talking about, really ensure that you’re setting yourself up for success? So I open that question, the whole package manager, I think, if you could comment on from your perspective, what are some of the things that you do is


Olek Shestakov  13:55  

almost opposite opinions. This is our first game is is of the culture of being 15 minutes half an hour an hour late as a technology PSE is not about the estimate analogy. It’s about understanding


the people who use it on everyday basis


can the process can you


see, it’s almost about


how this whole process will look from outside. Let me give you an example.


This insurance company and


options the first three months


and second option was Hold On three, three months.


The second option is looks want you to see me for a second See why. So


my thought is, is there something wrong this


is a disease, especially when you can deal with real users is just starting is probably the best that going into insurance organization. And the reason is this will help me understand the culture of insurance company. They will one little bit more about you. And then we also use established company and you have a couple thousand comments on the event. How


Unknown Speaker  15:55  

do I share?


Dawn Leblanc  15:57  

Sure, you said


Olek Shestakov  15:58  

a couple of things one was


Unknown Speaker  15:59  

are good is necessary


Olek Shestakov  16:00  

and then how to make them successful.


Dawn Leblanc  16:03  

400% specifically, what we do is automate the data ingestion process using machine learning. So


Zander Steele  16:10  

carriers get tons and tons of documents that we


do something with them.


Typically, that’s done manually.


And what’s interesting about that problem is, promises have been made over the years that there’s technology that can do this, like trust us believe it. But it’s long, short, exciting for us.


Because people have been burned before on this, they didn’t promise something. And it hasn’t been doing that said that we actually call them something different. And hackers actually call them TV. These are technical


validation events. And I think it’s important to tell you why we do that.


We very much look


Dawn Leblanc  16:44  

at it as a validation not as a as a concept. And so there’s a lot of stuff we try to do up front for example, we try to get business and technical language is this kind of actually do what you need. Do we have to visit Stakeholders behind this, and how we ironed out what the success criteria actually look like,


Zander Steele  17:05  

almost to the point


Unknown Speaker  17:06  

of, hey, if we check these seven boxes, is there a path


Zander Steele  17:10  

towards doing business together?


Dawn Leblanc  17:12  

I mean, if you, if you frame it that way to your customer, you can say, Hey, we don’t want to waste your time,


Unknown Speaker  17:17  



Dawn Leblanc  17:18  

don’t have a start time. Let’s do all this upfront work to make sure that we’re marching down the right path. And not doing a PFC too early, but rather doing a TV at the right time to validate everything that you’ve


Unknown Speaker  17:31  



David Gritz  17:33  

said. I really like the idea of the so what is it for a moment into some of the challenges and pitfalls and take a little bit to some of those success criteria? So I’ll start with Don. I’ll be curious, from your perspective, working with startups in the previous three batches, what have been some of the success criteria? What


are some of your partners


Unknown Speaker  18:00  

So, from a carrier perspective, I think a lot is defining what your processes within your organization and some habits better defined than others. Some startups through the same process they put vendors through or the same process, they put consultants through. And when that happens, it really slows down that entire process because most startups are at that same point don’t have the same materials to answer those questions, those kinds of things. So one thing that we’ve found that works really well is to make sure that it’s clearly defined what that process is to actually even enter into the organization for anything so that’s the we call it the do not pass go if you don’t have this, it’s do not pass go. So it could be things like cyber or anything else that says you know, this is do not pass go because the worst thing that can happen is you at a really interested person in the carrier Then all of a sudden, it’s like, whoops, you don’t have this and you’re restarting all over again. No, that’s not not a good practice to go through as well. And then I think, you know, to echo on a point that was mentioned earlier is that it’s really around making sure you define what the success is and what the outcome is. Sometimes people get so invested in their own technology, it becomes Well, let me show you how great this is, instead of asking the question of the carrier, or the insured, what is a positive outcome look like for you? And what might that be? And how can I show that with this project? And I think if you do that, it seems a whole lot. And I know everyone worked really, really hard on their, on their company and really, really hard on them technology, but you have to turn it around a little bit and ask that question. And I think when you do that you get a lot better result.


David Gritz  20:00  

Focus on TV. I know it’s important that you find a job so you don’t run into problems but me curious. from some of your perspective, what are the common pitfalls that you have with the European carriers going through GPR which is tough for a lot of people have many


Olek Shestakov  20:24  

people’s lives. So the number four and number five,


so the first name selecting VC objectives,


startups and technology companies. They all sound the right objectives and magic in the beginning will be practically impossible to change the course of the AC manager. It shouldn’t be easy. He’s a manager he’s a good explain


why really important


Before is, is eg remember the size of the PC slot, the same group of people want to be executed the DC and you have the word was applying to the right is a team was really interested in the results. Is it small? Is it


just about the line size or


and certainly for the PC communication. It’s also really important to set the right communication process in the beginning of milestones. What was that jack is a pitch meeting and if they don’t see he’ll set it off in the beginning he will be able to change the processes motion See some example from my boss the




meetings like the product as a product or service we have absolutely zero the end user


because each group will have their different culture likely that they see was very successful for us alarm.


David Gritz  22:40  

That’s a really great checklist. I wish I had the opportunity to write notes on that one hope you guys all recorded. So on some of the threads of that, and from Sander which is people are an essential process and I mentioned earlier that you try and Get all the right people in the room. And he curious, from your perspective, who are the best champions with insurance companies and technical folks is that the business unit leaders? Is it the innovation people who have you found is best to champion for you.


Dawn Leblanc  23:16  

And the students, I think, there’s probably three main things that we look for. First is someone who directly feels the pain of the problem we’re solving


David Gritz  23:26  

a need to be motivated to get something done, they need to feel that pain


Dawn Leblanc  23:30  

directly. The second is they need to have significant influence.


Olek Shestakov  23:34  



Dawn Leblanc  23:36  

a huge part of the selling that’s daddy’s actually done the I closed doors, it’s


Zander Steele  23:40  

not done, you know, with the vendor. And


Dawn Leblanc  23:44  

then the third which is related to somebody who we feel strongly can sell effectively on our behalf. So


Zander Steele  23:48  

someone who is persuasive and influential, and has an important probably has been with the organization for a while.


Dawn Leblanc  23:57  

I think for us and happy


science that usually ends Somewhere on the operations side, so we’re dealing with document processing and data processing, sort of fundamental to the insurance business.


And that’s oftentimes those operations folks are throwing that out and really kind of feeling


Zander Steele  24:14  

that pain day in and day out.


Unknown Speaker  24:17  

The people that are doing


Dawn Leblanc  24:18  

today and dealing with the the bad things that happen is downstream or people get sensor the wrong information or all of this.


David Gritz  24:30  

So I want to shift to mastering the mercury process and agian as a start up, that you’ve had a successful PLC or pilot. And now you’re wondering, what do I need to do to take it to the next step? And how do I get commercial contract, which is really the golden currency for everyone. So why don’t we start with dawn and I know you’ve had a few startups that have been through your batch and a number of them are really far along I know, areas analytics has some pretty substantial traction in Asia. And I’d be curious, from your perspective, what do you kind of see as the key items to go from verse to full commercial?


Zander Steeler 25:15  

Yeah, so, um, it’s a really good question, because it’s sometimes that kind of fall off the cliff area. Has anyone ever been in there where it’s like the radio silence like nothing happened? You’re like, Oh, really great to see and nothing. Right. And so the transition is a really key point, right? And so setting up the objectives to say if this is successful, what does the commercialization actually look like? And what needs to happen to kind of get there and making sure it doesn’t fall off of that cliff. And a lot of times, like lucky in our accelerator that I get to play both sides and that I get to talk The insurers and the startups. But a lot of times it isn’t that they’re not interested, it’s that they’re really, really busy. And there’s a whole list of other things that they’re working on our whole list of other startups that they’re working on. That’s a good thing. But also there’s another piece where they’re really not interested and don’t like saying, No, we advise our carriers that the worst thing you can do is not say no, because of circle fun. So if you are a carrier, and you’re not interested, just be honest, you know, just tell them, Hey, we can do this right now. But if you’re a startup also understand, try to understand why it’s a no, right? Because that’s a learning of how to do it better next time to kind of move forward through that. The last thing I’m going to say when you actually get to that commercialization, there’s a whole heck of a lot of legal work and ensures have a lot of lawyers usually procurement process, into a contract. And I’ve sat down with many startups who go, oh my god, this doesn’t make any sense to me. Because I worked in a carrier. I know sometimes they actually by mistake, give them the wrong type of contract, not on purpose with the business person didn’t tell the procurement person that this was the kind of deal that was happening. So they could send the wrong contract. So the startups looking at like, this doesn’t make any sense to me. And they’re afraid to go back and I’m like, No, no, they actually gave you the wrong contract, you need to go back. So don’t be afraid that that process always isn’t sort of perfect. And sometimes there’s some mistakes there as well.


David Gritz  27:40  

So I wanted to remind you guys that we want to get your questions as well. So if you see on the screen, slider calm, if you go to it on your phone and type in the code, which is x five, nine, you can type it in so when we roll into this last question, will have questions in audience. So last question I want to ask is for Bullock and Zander, and I’m kind of sorry to hit at some of the challenges that might happen in legal but I think if you’re a startup, what do you do to make sure internally, you’re ready for compliance and procurement processes about to happen? What kinds of things can you do to set up both internally and with maybe external partners like professional service providers and I’ll give


Olek Shestakov  28:46  

what is surely the




is here on this little tab


if some issues Turns out to be like, Yeah, a little bit busy this year is going to happen this year.


The doors closed.


This year is


a discussion. See, there’s several factors to be successful.


This is CS.


First of all, is a communication team. And I work This means that the founders and everybody will have a booth Why?


They are eager to answer you. Those are really, really important. The


second is security. It’s important to sign a contract you probably want to have your security policy and security certification and all of your documents


lights and sirens it all together. occasion. How this is


disaster recovery processes. The song is released in six months he began writing innovation was right.


And the lastly my good


process and


I work with a


lawyer who


is in documents


ask him to be the business gas cylinder. Document 30 pages on this I can be 50 comments highlights as he basically vitiating was a karaoke or slow down you is some


of the company


does not like for you to be the issue of this. It was Like a this happened that happened in Manhattan, the company was $5,000. So our innovation was find the right legal team, which will inform you of real business risks, or


business reasons.


David Gritz  31:20  

Did you want to add to that? Sure.


Unknown Speaker  31:24  

For chairman’s, it’s a fun


Zander Steele  31:25  

topic. There’s a few things that you can do to be successful here. I think the first is just don’t be afraid of them. In fact, I often like to ask early,




Who should we be working with on your sourcing team or procurement team? One thing to hear it really does like is being left out of discussions. And if you’re not careful, your potential buyers are your champions. They’re executive sponsors


might think, oh, we’ll just involve them like,


we need them later. Well, that’s a good way to shop to an upset procurement person and there’s actually nothing harder to negotiate with


an author rather than just saying Should we be working with and let’s get them involved early? Let’s like, you know, get the paperwork started here the


Unknown Speaker  32:05  



Zander Steele  32:07  

I think the second is the second


is just really into, you know, how startups need to think about the way they’re involved with the carrier service, very small organization has a lot of terms in contracts everyone was mentioning that are crucial for carriers that you may not even notice as a startup. And so it’s good to be clear with their legal team up front, like, Hey, what are the things that are non negotiable for you in here, let’s just get that out of the way. So we don’t sort of try to, you know, go back and forth unnecessarily.


And I think the third and this is sort of specific to to hyper science but we’ve created a way to to deploy our product


behind our customers firewall. So


in infrastructure that a controller maintain, which means cases can ease the burden of the info security for the portion of compliance and ease a lot of that risk mitigation and many times can eliminate large portions of contract. We are not taking carriers data


in any case. And so that’s been helpful for


us to offer our solution.


Olek Shestakov  33:27  

Economically small companies, sometimes it is possible just to have a




Builders insurance company as a members insisted that 6060 days 30 days cycle cycle cycle and then I just decided the last eight guys


with the company we use probably want to


smoke how many cheers Want to ask, please help.


David Gritz  34:05  

That’s a really good percent Come over here. I think sometimes it’s important to realize there’s humans in the process. So we have time for roughly three questions. So I’m going to do a round robin, one question for each of the panelists, but definitely some of the questions I saw and they’re good for the second panel. So we’ll have David Bradford pick up on some of those. So the first question, I think is probably good for Ollie but feel free to type in Sander on this one. And that question was about timeboxing. How long should PLC last and you set limitations on that?


Olek Shestakov  34:42  

It’s really good fashion, but there is no one answer. Insurance companies, companies in the same space of the same size. There’s no Congress which has similar features. process we have two accounts up Because several weeks and then I’m going forward. And I was excited. Really any girl story started as he was us, and he ended up and it won’t initiate the contract for like 8am an awesome awesome, awesome, awesome. Awesome was working with them in two years


on the money everyone’s still


David Gritz  35:28  

Excellent. So next question is for Xander. And this is about pricing for voc. So how do you set the pricing and how do you ensure that that pricing is suitable for the carriers


Zander Steele  35:40  

and this is an interesting one, I think




that goes on in the business of selling PCs. And so when you sit down and think about it, like is $10,000 $50,000


or whatever you’re thinking of charging for


this thing actually useful to me as a


Unknown Speaker  35:56  

as a startup company,


Zander Steele  35:58  

especially if you’re in software’s a service where the only thing anybody


Unknown Speaker  36:02  

cares about its annual recurring revenue. Because these are typically not


Zander Steele  36:07  

something that we’ve done pretty well. It’s start upfront by saying, hey, the RPS is


paid. And we kind of set that expectation.


And then, many times they’ll say, well, we don’t have funding for PCs. And so then I think that gives us an opportunity to make some asks and say, okay, maybe we can make an exception. This time, we will do our PFC free of charge. Here are all the things


that I need from your product. I


think it goes back to the checklist I was talking about earlier, which is, you know, business and executive sponsors, success criteria outline, we sort of met with the


team on site, face to


face, this is what good looks like. So, I guess in summary, I would always be with that review, you know, do in fact charge for PCs, but I will reserve the right to grant exceptions when necessary. If you feel like it’s important to get a few more things out of here.


Getting discussed.


David Gritz  37:02  

Right. So last question is for on since you had brought up the legal perspective, the question is, how do you get the right legal found? And I know Darren from eversheds is going to be on our second panel. So maybe have some more thoughts on that. But I know you work with a lot of startups through that process. So curious, what should be in house what should be to affirm and how do you balance that?


Dawn Leblanc  37:27  

So um, how we do it in our accelerator, we actually have a lot of lawyers who come in to give some pro bono time to the startups and part of that is your comfort level with a lawyer themselves, right. So do you have a rapport with that lawyer? Do you trust what they say? Kind of what is their experience and I sorry, sort of one law firm that works for everyone. You have to really be comfortable with that and ask questions on how they’ve worked with startups before. How do they address the situation? Those kinds of things. We do a couple of events which are like mock term sheet, negotiation events and a couple other things to kind of showcase different legal firms expertise and


what they work


David Gritz  38:18  

  1. So the panelists have any additional comments that they want to add or ought to leave with audience


Olek Shestakov  38:31  

is not easy. So I’d like to wish everybody the best.


David Gritz  38:52  

Awesome, so we’re gonna jump into a 15 minute break so it is 710 now so as needed I just wanted to grab a water please come back at


Tony Lew  39:05  

10 minutes so


David Gritz  39:05  

please come back at 720 and we will start the second


Transcribed by



David Gritz  0:01  

Alright, so we’re back for down to. And from this time, we’re going to be looking at it from the opposite side from the carrier perspective. So I want to introduce our moderator, David Radford, you’re really fortunate to have him because he was one of the founders of one of the earliest decks. And that was started 20 years ago. And solid advising, they provide eight on planes to some of the largest insurance carriers and they have a database of very big claims over $10 million for almost everything that’s happened over time. So not only watch that, but he launched a publishing platform called front page news as over 500,000 people have been on a regular basis and a conference organization. So he’s really been tied into the insurance and ensure tech world for a long time. So really proud to have him as your moderator right. Negative. Good evening,


David Bradford  1:02  

I’m going to do something a little different. You have your question.


Question. I’m going to try and monitor questions as we go and work on that.


This is a district leader, my first go around


  1. And it was a very available insurance at the


Unknown Speaker  1:30  

time. So


David Bradford  1:31  

it’s a challenge to get investors understand what we’re doing. But the company was a success is 30 years later, still going strong?


And you know, after that,


besides, it’s really hard. And you know, this


is a real challenge to


bring up Isaac suppressions.


insurance industry, we’re talking about success factors. How to make this all work.


So rather than me read CDs I asked my panelists to sell so


Megan Protas  2:18  

Thank you, David. Hi, everyone. Nice to meet you. I’m Curtis and I’m a director on your corporate venture team.


Brian Gilman  2:26  

Everybody and Brian domon, a vice president of social marketing at Vonage.


Daren Moreira  2:31  

Hi everyone.


Victor Dan  2:39  

Thank you for having me. Very excited to be here Victor then I’m on one potential strategy teams focusing on individual life insurance and annuities, particularly


David Bradford  2:50  

with Thank you, panelists and rosov by


talking about how to go about selecting a lifestyle.


Want to start with you The path towards a strategic acquisition separately begins with the needs of


Unknown Speaker  3:09  

how ego


David Bradford  3:11  

identified those needs and is create some sort of,


Unknown Speaker  3:16  

of what you’re actually going to look for.


Unknown Speaker  3:20  

  1. So, for us, it really starts with our strategic planning process. And what we do there we are identifying the final problems at what we want to solve as an issue at scale. And then we try to separate them groups, right, you know, whether we want to enable our distribution where whether we want to accelerate our technology experiences. So once we have those, like a well defined, and it’s a critical stage in the process, when we try to match you know, problems events, with solutions that you know, come from the insurance Companies opinion companies. And that’s the critical part because as you can imagine, as you know, certainly the shortstack landscape, it’s really like drinking from a firehose, you know, there’s so many solutions out there. And for us, it’s important to move with speed. And to do that, too, it’s important to really be able to understand the solution that they should have companies providing, and really be able to understand sort of a match right between what we try to solve within our company, and they’re trying to do and oftentimes, for a large company, we’re not trying to solve problems and we’re looking for a modular solution. We’re looking for somebody who can help on this specific issue. And, you know, at the modular whole series of services or, you know, challenges that we have, it’s very hard to have some exalted event. So we you know, we try to No problems at the minute.


David Bradford  5:02  

So I’m saying


you know what you’re looking for starting


your first meeting, so what what is the


Unknown Speaker  5:22  



Unknown Speaker  5:25  

So, so, so this is gonna be, you know, this would be some homework done in advance to make sure that you know, there’s a solution that fits well with our needs. And, you know, it’s not to discourage anybody from any sort of setup to contact us but you know, we are life insurance, you know, financial wellness group insurance provider inside Let’s say, you know, auto insurance, auto insurance and at the top airy, so it’s important to kind of really, you know, start with you know, what is the solution and how it fits with what We trying to solve and you know, immediately afterwards need to understand really well. How How is that going to fit in with our strategy? I mean, for us if it becomes we know, with our strategy with our, as I mentioned earlier with the problem statements, and the bigger, you know, the star in articulate how their capability or technology, you know, enablement can address the specific need, in a way that’s asked of the conversation of typically, you know, our senior executives, as long as you have a lot of the lights. So, you know, they would give you know, what a 30 minute meeting and that’s really something important way to, you know, to crisply articulate, how is that solution, time to you know, the power that we need to solve, to understand the problems first, it’s important to be able to


David Bradford  7:02  

So then I did my research was handled


Unknown Speaker  7:07  



David Bradford  7:12  

very impressive history a $200 million investment.


busy. So I’m sure you are using


Unknown Speaker  7:37  

so in addition to putting capital to work in startups and venture capital funds, we also have a business development team, which I’m a member of. And we’re focused on sourcing and introducing strategically relevant technologies to our business units within New York Life. So imagine a large hundred and 75 year old insurance company we have our trends business human investment business. Technology, business, corporate business, etc. So that’s our total total addressable market, so to speak, which is interesting because it is limited meaning we only have 100 benefits one C, so on President so that network is is tight there, which is wonderful. But the exciting part is that the startup ecosystem is limitless. And we focus on identifying those companies that are relevant and have a future impact on your life.


David Bradford  8:32  

from a legal perspective,


when a company acquires or invest in our joint venture with the startup, here, they’re buying the entrepreneurial spirit buying the vision of buying technical expertise, but


buying us




David Gritz  8:57  

you don’t want to


Unknown Speaker  9:00  

You have to


David Bradford  9:06  

find that balance between


Unknown Speaker  9:07  

between good and evil.


Daren Moreira  9:15  

Sure. So I think


what we’re doing these types of engagements is


important to keep in mind that the startup and Carrie are approaching it from their very different places. The startup is it their whole world their number one priority is to see the project around see successful carrier success is also important but you also need to remember that folks working on a side project projects that they’re working on their database enterprise business and it might be a multi billion dollar focus on so that really colors in between folks that said the carrier’s I’ve seen the most successful in the space, have a dedicated team, share it off, girls, you’re ready Dr. Mustang They’re ready to dedicate the time to go through the bumps and bruises that come with the startup experience. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that drafting contracts contract is only as helpful as it will be to seek damages. Right. For most startups, they don’t have a ton of assets. And so do you really want to put all your time to nailing down every single comma period in contract? Or do you want to balance that with good due diligence and ongoing compliance and integration with the business? So you know, what’s going on? You know, what you’re getting into, and you could avoid?


David Bradford  10:38  

There’s a there was a question from the last session that is pretty relevant to this panel. here


Unknown Speaker  10:48  

to ask you, a question had to do with


David Bradford  10:51  



national policy Without assessing the


early stage company well,


Unknown Speaker  11:06  

so a little different than you do it. So the traditional, more mature company, and you know, for us, it really starts with the with the strategy and how it fits with our strategy. And I’m sure as you as you all see recently, Rachel, is that a larger position over the summer, we bought a two and a half year old company called assurance IQ for about $2.4 billion. And, you know, find to apply the traditional valuation of claiming to a DCF, right, when a company that doesn’t have a lot of free cash flow doesn’t have a lot of value may not work. So he has really to, you know, understand first how this fits with, you know, your strategy, how their capabilities connect with, you know, you have to provide How together, you able to either address large market or do things that are fast. So that’s where it all starts. And then when it comes to, you know, the financials, we are trying to understand, you know, how this company evolves, when they become partners, right? How the customer funnel, for example, expense when they become part of the conversion rate of the shoppers and, you know, for example, try to purchase those solutions once they become a potential, whether or not you know, there’s one company that we work with that it’s a great concept by the need a brand to go with that. It’s all about trust, it’s all about the belief that somebody will be there for a beneficial 20 years or 30 years. So they need to put the family for example, they need to access the benefits. So being able to says those metrics first, before you go into the analogy, income statement of value is very important to kind of get a picture of the actual.


David Bradford  13:10  

Exactly, you bring up the assurance IQ do. So just stick with that for just the the feedback from the community was pretty positive. Your stock went up 3% the next day after the deal was announced. So yeah, this is always the first independent and I’m sure that you know, there was naysayers in there as well. How do you prepare for a deal with with with that kind of feedback when you’re dealing with the size of


this whole marketplace? So so


Unknown Speaker  13:54  

for branch I mean, if you look historically at the productions that we’ve done in the past, Rachel was the require of large mature companies that another insurance company would like to. And then we will leverage our financial strengths and our balance sheet to, you know, make the combination work well. I shouldn’t say, right there, we’re going to have to know about 120 people, Lt. Washington,


Unknown Speaker  14:23  

DC was about $10 billion.


Unknown Speaker  14:26  



Unknown Speaker  14:28  

it was a very fast growth story. So it’s not surprising that when people you know, look at Y Combinator potential, and $2.4 billion to acquire a two and a half year old company, it is actually you know, the second largest transaction space in the last couple years. It’s not surprising that people becuse said, Well, what, what made us believe that this is going to work, and again, it comes you know, with the way that They believe suddenly our number one strategic area, which is energy, one’s potential, it’s all about financial wellness and assurances that catalyst is going to help us accelerate that. And they’re doing that in a very unique way. First of all, you know, I’m sure you’ve seen that a growing number of individuals, you know, like to use the digital, you know, online medium to do research for life insurance or annuities, almost anything. What’s unique about that is that they also do that with the human element. So the end of the process, you realize that, you know, everyone, millennials and Gen Z’s, it was equal agent to have the purchase. It also address the market that we historically have not addressed, which is the mass market potential is equally mass affluent service provider. assurance looks at a mass market equal. So for us You know, what’s really important is that complimentary solution that they provided, as opposed to kind of the backlash on you know, the high price or Thank you.


David Bradford  16:13  





Unknown Speaker  16:27  

start with the past engage


Unknown Speaker  16:30  

in a positive note.


Unknown Speaker  16:32  

So an area that’s really exciting to me within your ventures is focusing on what we call tapio opportunities. So, startups that are solving a problem that’s existing, but has never been tackled with technology before. And an example that we are really proud of is an implementation of balls formerly known as Shinola genius, which is a company that helps employers provide their employees with student onboarding. programs. And I was laughing with the head of our team earlier today, but there hasn’t really been much innovation in space. And I think it was the 1980s with the 401k, which I guess it’s really not that innovative after all, but I’m really proud of our benefits team team an initiative to help to support our employee population.


David Bradford  17:24  



Unknown Speaker  17:27  

nightmares and perhaps a bereavement.


Unknown Speaker  17:33  

So, a lot about this earlier, but before it starts startup, that you’re hiring a team that has


Unknown Speaker  17:41  

been able to support


Unknown Speaker  17:45  



Unknown Speaker  17:47  

legal, insurance, information security, and I throw in specifically on people and we will be advice to the hiring journey that can be quiet and also Notice your product


Unknown Speaker  18:03  

than working for a PSP and it has no idea what it is about your brand. And then on the insurance side, corporate insurance is so incredibly important large companies like airplay, so nothing is more frustrating, in addition to the legal side was not knowing about their own insurance coverage. So definitely spending time part of Scott can support you with that. And then one other final piece of advice and as much as it’s important for companies like yours like to understand the startup sales cycles, it’s equally as important for startups to understand the compensation cycle. So for us, the review process that needs to take place the checks and balances that we need to go through and then that final sign off process can be as long as you follow through so on the same page


David Bradford  18:58  

so right here, you’re Kind of a different perspective here. Vonage is usually at the best startups. A lot of work with startups


your customer


exactly how you are working with startups.


Unknown Speaker  19:20  

a square peg in a round hole.


Brian Gilman  19:23  

Really quickly Vonage is an enterprise communications company who provide communications contact center. But most importantly, we provide communications


David Bradford  19:30  

API, which is where we interact most with startups today.


Unknown Speaker  19:35  

I think where we sit well within this panel today is we’re kind of at the crossroads between build and buy for insurance do they want to go and build utilizing communication API’s to build next generation mobile or desktop applications one of the things that we do very well


David Bradford  19:51  

or video API’s we provide


Unknown Speaker  19:53  

our video API’s that that power three of the top 10 insurers with their remote visual inspection


Unknown Speaker  19:58  



Unknown Speaker  20:00  

We have verified API’s to get API so the question becomes for investors do I build or do I buy my not only do we sell directly to ensures we’re also


David Bradford  20:11  

powering a lot of


Unknown Speaker  20:13  

a lot of startups that are building next generation communications applications with our API’s whether that be voice video or SMS. So when we look at


Unknown Speaker  20:23  

the part of the communications that


Unknown Speaker  20:24  

you know the solutions that we have to deal with our and we’re working with startups is making sure that from an adoption and utilization of their solution is making sure that those are looking holistically at the communication staff between customer and provider because they’re going to be a teaser and again module I think, as someone brought up on the panel earlier with integrator integrator communication, integrator communication, dialogue between a customer and that provider whether it be voice escalating to video without the smss leading to voice They need a part of it, they don’t have a full understanding of that whole customer journey. They’re going to fall flat with any PLC or any commercialization on their problems.


David Bradford  21:11  

So this this, this transition now to a question


Unknown Speaker  21:15  

about transition,


David Bradford  21:20  

taking the concepts




Unknown Speaker  21:24  



David Bradford  21:25  

yourself a startup,


this product, through the orientation




Unknown Speaker  21:38  

What’s unique about heroclix ventures is that we lead with our strategic side. So again, not just putting capital more focused on bringing those startup enterprises to the business of enterprise and the whole process. We work incredibly closely with our business students. So she’s the example or head of benefits on implementing our Student Loan Repayment Program. And That includes not only just understanding the ecosystem, so understanding all the startups in this instance, that are focused on student loan payment, but helping them to understand the use case where the ROI opportunities, what are the success criteria that we want to focus on, and acting as our partner throughout the whole process from QC, Tim will mentation. And for us, what’s also unique is that we really believe in the world credit, so making sure that our business units are the ones that are getting the checkmark and the props for the hard work that they’ve done paraglide ventures to implement strategies for our team, but we’re working with them to understand how they can just benefit from that as well.


Unknown Speaker  22:50  

I think one of the important things that I think are great example earlier when you’re talking about pscs, converting them to commercialization, and one of the great It’s interesting where you start to see customers who have a three month a six month a three year PFC. A lot of that is


Unknown Speaker  23:06  

what we see are so groups


Unknown Speaker  23:08  

and you know they go when they go in with a PLC to achieve a certain goal a certain KPI and then once it once it’s implemented, they say, oh well can we and then oh well can we is always going to be an additional 369 months of additional work time. And as long as as long as the company the partner is always willing to entertain those scope groups and not get FERC implemented or commercialized. table stakes for years you’ll never see the light of day labor code at eight Alfa Romeo they’re always going to be a noise if you want to probably 60 PFC better within the organization will continue.


David Bradford  23:51  



important is executive sponsorship


is that you have the senior management committed to the process and


Unknown Speaker  24:03  

it’s critical. And I think one of the things having been in the communication space for so long and one of the one of the major faults of that today is that of yesteryear always does the technology


Unknown Speaker  24:15  



Unknown Speaker  24:17  

Nine out of 10 times today the technology ports, and so we have to get over that hurdle. And so what are you trying to accomplish? What is your end game? And what is the customer experience? It’s not adoption and utilization. So as an API business solution, partners and utilization of that solution, most solutions, say sit in the cloud and if your solution is not getting adopted or utilizing the other cloud provider that was in before you and so it’s it’s finding what that what that endgame is going to be in finding a champion for if you don’t have a champion who’s going to drive that because it is critical to their business. And when you look at me very, very selfish in the communication space, and you’re solving for new channel within an omni channel environment, I have to make sure that that solution is going to try a certain level of utilization. a certain level of customer satisfaction is going to drive higher NPS, not lower NPS, it’s gonna get rid of you know, it’s going to be first call resolution, the higher there has to be something that that executive wants to drive. That is the deficit for them. The major challenge once you identify that, and you’ve identified that executive because one easier and critical.


Unknown Speaker  25:33  

Definitely, there’s no validation without a good student sponsor. And again, as I mentioned before, we are five ventures is not only the implementation, we’re deferring the credit and the ownership and the longevity of that implementation to our businesses. So without that, again, you’re just stuck in his the hell over and over again. So Tara,


David Bradford  25:55  

let me ask you, I think especially


regulated industry, probably entrepreneurs and attitude the regulatory hurdles they have to overcome, there’s always gonna be compliance issues those legal issues are probably we’re not even fully contemplated by the


Unknown Speaker  26:23  



David Bradford  26:24  

company insurance carrier do that to kind of smooth away and make that process more more reliable easier for the service.


Unknown Speaker  26:34  

So first thing taking the time to find devote resources to


Unknown Speaker  26:42  

the pairs of seats are the most are the


Unknown Speaker  26:46  

people who have full time job not writing essays and tack on our day and try to help us start the launch. And what is happening is you know, Flowmaster for weeks and is


Unknown Speaker  26:58  

also take a look at what Your your standard


Unknown Speaker  27:02  

translate text based


Unknown Speaker  27:05  

contracts take over your contacts and word. What permissions are required by law?


Unknown Speaker  27:10  

What provisions are nice apps


Unknown Speaker  27:13  

and a community this early and often to the startup


Unknown Speaker  27:17  



David Bradford  27:20  

Guys, I’m for a few of the questions is


and they don’t ask you


started opportunity and the


the people side Why would you look at in terms of the team is your


Unknown Speaker  27:49  

team obviously is the core of the product and similar how we think about our agents are actually have an agent at the front of the room. Our agents, our products Not our life insurance. And I would argue that the team with startups that we’re engaging with the founders are equally if not more important than the actual product. So what are their backgrounds? What are their experience? How they had successful exits before? Do they understand the pain points that your business has had they work to solve that. So super important.


David Bradford  28:27  

Question. Look at the opposite side of


what we talked about earlier terms of how do you identify viable prospects and prospects? If you are a startup, and you want to understand why carriers are the best ones to approach later, how would you suggest they go understanding what your needs are? And


how would they go about approaching you?


Unknown Speaker  28:57  

Sure. So for us, it’s important to be alive. condemnation.


Unknown Speaker  29:02  

And, you know, landing in the nation doesn’t mean that Italy they have to have the same culture. We understand that just because somebody thinks was typically with us doesn’t mean that they have to work the same way as we do. The first step is to be aligned and to have the same purpose. Just to give back to the students example, if you just see the definitions, like the company’s mission statements, and you know, there were even before we start talking to them, they look and feel the same like both as insurance you know, we have a common mission to make individuals lives better tend to focus on financial loss. And that’s something that you know, existed even before we started the conversation and that’s something that was an almost an immediate chemistry between the two companies, I think, as the silo is to really find you know, the the carrier that shares a similar vision and a similar mission with you. Culture also matters But you know, in our case, there are a lot of things that we would like to change as a carrier is of the culture that we see as our community example, one thing that


Unknown Speaker  30:13  

assurances to strategy officer told me


Unknown Speaker  30:16  

when we talked about, you know how to make decisions. She said that, you know, time today, ideas differently than what we do and we like to measure at times and have meetings with a presentation four times.


Unknown Speaker  30:33  

What they do is a disaster. They would like to feel that they measure cut, measure, cut and doing some a fine music. So even though that’s employee the culture was exactly the same. There’s some disagreement like I will also in addition to the misalignment, right, five, what sort of culture as a carrier, one to aspire tools, and if your startup has the culture in terms of movie with Speed testing and learning,


Unknown Speaker  31:04  

approaching things differently. I think that’s something


Unknown Speaker  31:06  

that’s going to be very appealing


Unknown Speaker  31:08  

to carrier wanting to do.


David Bradford  31:13  

Great, thank you answer the questions will be running on time. So.


So panelists, thank you very much. It was great, great discussion. Thank you for your time.


Unknown Speaker  31:37  



David Gritz  31:39  

in the US and these


Unknown Speaker  31:42  

are wonderful


Unknown Speaker  31:43  

moderator. And


David Bradford  31:53  

thank you very much and we’ll see you guys


Unknown Speaker  32:01  

See you stop.


Transcribed by


About Nick Lamparelli

Nick Lamparelli is a 20+ year veteran of the insurance wars. He has a unique vantage point on the insurance industry. From selling home & auto insurance, helping companies with commercial insurance, to being an underwriter with an excess & surplus lines wholesaler to catastrophe modeling Nick has wide experience in the industry. Over past 10 years, Nick has been focused on the insurance analytics of natural catastrophes and big data. Nick serves as our Chief Evangelist.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.