Innovation in the insurance industry is lagging behind other sectors, but it’s quickly catching up, Chris Cheatham said.
“Billions of dollars are now being invested in insurtechs, or new insurance technology solutions,” said Cheatham, CEO and co-founder of RiskGenius. “I think will see a lot more machine learning used to plow through all of the data that insurance companies accumulate.”
This month, Cheatham was recognized by the growing insurtech industry at the annual Entrepreneurial Insurance Symposium, nabbing the title of Entrepreneur of the Year.
“Winning the award was validation that we have found a problem worth solving and that we are on the right path,” Cheatham said.
RiskGenius — previously known as ClaimKit — grew from an initial concept focused on improving insurance claim documentation to now an artificial intelligence platform for policy automation. The firm was recently named an under-the-radar startup by Startland News.
Organized by the Entrepreneur Insurance Alliance, the Dallas conference at which Cheatham was honored attracted more than 300 attendees — including C-level insurance executives, private equity firms, agents and brokers. Entrepreneur Insurance Alliance is an organization that provides such resources to insurance entrepreneurs as capital access, administrative services, software implementation and worldwide distribution.
After being recognized by the insurance alliance as one of the top five finalists, Cheatham went head-to-head with four other companies via a pitch competition at the symposium. Each finalist had 10 minutes to pitch their business to a panel of insurance executives.
Winning Entrepreneur of the Year has brought exposure to the firm, with seven interested potential RiskGenius clients reaching out to Cheatham immediately following the conference, he said.
“We are just really excited for the future,” Cheatham said. “We could not have gotten to where we are without our early customers and supporters.”
Following careers with surety companies and litigating insurance claims, RiskGenius was co-founded in 2012 by Cheatham and Doug Reiser, who set out to tackle the mountains of messy paperwork with collecting, organizing and delivering insurance claims.
In 2016, RiskGenius raised $2.78 million to accelerate the development of its tech. The company now has 10 full-time staff members.