Four of the industry’s most-promising seed stage startups — an international mix of insurtech solutions — are expected to be the beneficiaries of Kansas City’s extensive insurance expertise, explained Nathan Kurtz, announcing the second cohort of the LaunchKC-backed bcp tech InsurTech accelerator.
“We are very insurance focused,” said Kurtz, COO of Brush Creek Partners (bcp). “And there’s a long history of insurance in Kansas City from the carrier side, from the agency side. It’s a huge strength of our community.”
“To quote Peter Drucker, ‘The purpose of a business is to create a customer,’” he continued during an in-person announcement event Wednesday at Boulevard Brewery. “So we want to help this year’s cohort get in front of as many customers as possible. This is a very niche focus, but who else can actually help them figure out ‘Am I actually solving a problem that my customers need help with?’”
The 60-day accelerator began Monday in Kansas City (a change from the inaugural 2020 cohort, which saw six companies participate in the program virtually), and is expected to culminate Nov. 10 with an in-person demo day in downtown KC. Companies from both cohorts are anticipated to participate in the event.
“Our whole purpose [with the accelerator] is to align founders with mentors from the community, sponsors who can help make connections, and others who can help these founders to say, ‘Hey, we’re on the right track’ or ‘We’re going to pivot a little bit.’ Whatever it takes to get to the next stage,” Kurtz told the crowd.
The four companies include:
- MotionsCloud (Lex Tan), Germany — Helps insurance carriers, brokers and agencies to streamline and automate the inspection process, powered by computer vision and augmented reality technologies; helps companies to cut inspection time and costs by 75 percent. Recently closed a $2 million round.
- Insurmi (Sonny Patel), Phoenix, Arizona — Creator of Violet, an AI chatbot that helps insurance providers, carriers, agencies and brokers automate sales claims and customer service. Raising a seed round this fall.
- Relay Platform (Anne Hasenstab), Portland, Oregon — SaaS-based submission, quote and proposal management system, with highly customized solutions for clients up to complex risk. Closed a seed round led by Drive Capital in Columbus in April.
- JAUNTIN’ (David Robinson), Toronto, Canada — Enables on-demand and embedded insurance, allowing carriers and brokers to intercept customers during the purchase path of third party platforms and websites — think niche markets like special event insurance dealing with venues and weddings. Currently raising a round.
Check out a brief photo gallery from Wednesday’s announcement event, then keep reading.
The bcp program is the first of four accelerators expected to welcome cohorts in partnership with LaunchKC over the next year.
“Kansas City is entrepreneurial at its core,” Tommy Wilson, who oversees business attraction for LaunchKC, told Startland News previously. “Without the public and private commitment we’ve seen over the years to programs like this, we wouldn’t be nearly as competitive as we are on a national scale.”
Founded as a grants competition nearly seven years ago, LaunchKC formally announced in fall 2020 a restructuring of its programming as an accelerator platform under the leadership of Keystone Labs — an outgrowth of the Keystone innovation district effort championed by Kevin McGinnis.
Click here to learn more about the evolution of LaunchKC and its impact in Kansas City.
Since 2019, LaunchKC — a joint initiative of the Downtown Council and the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri — has aided the launch of two other accelerator programs.
The Launch Health accelerator with Nueterra Capital hosted its first cohort in the fall of 2019. Black & Veatch’s IgniteX COVID-19 Response Accelerator followed in spring 2020 after debuting a CleanTech focused accelerator in spring 2019.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.