BrokerTech Ventures Leadership Talks Tech and Commercial Insurance.
Earlier this year—remember those fun, carefree days?—we were in Iowa after being selected for the BrokerTech Ventures (BTV) Accelerator Program.
BTV is a collection of leading brokerages that wants to help innovators and investors build, "... the next generation of technology solutions for insurance agencies and brokerages."
We're thrilled to be a part of their Accelerator. During these unusual times, we also thought it made sense to connect with two of their leaders to get their take on the future of insurance and agencies.
We fired up Zoom and talked to Susan Hatten, Chief Operating Officer of BTV, and John Jackovin, Executive Director of the BTV Accelerator. A lot of ground was covered, from the goals of BTV to the steps that smart agencies are taking. Here are some highlights.
Tell us about the thinking behind BrokerTech Ventures.
"After a number of years spent watching the insurtech space, we noticed there were many accelerators and incubators focused on technology that was applicable to carriers, we saw a void in the marketplace when it came to applications for the broker channel. We set out to be the national convening arm for broker-centric innovation, with BTV owners and partners distributed across the country and a home office in Des Moines."
Why create the Accelerator program?
"Accelerators are obviously not new—there are thousands now. But we're focused on both sides of the equation—what do startups need and what do agencies need. A big thing startups need is feedback from people who are actually using their products, and we're really focused on providing that."
What about the impact of COVID-19?
"The agencies involved in BTV are independent, privately-held firms that are all very strong. They were excited about BTV when it launched last fall but they're even more excited now because they see a tremendous opportunity to take first-mover, first-to-market advantage. So while the current climate is certainly challenging, we're embracing the opportunity."
What do agencies need to do right now to succeed in the future?
"Implement a mentality that all companies are technology companies. You may not be developing software but you're using it—we all need to be tech-enabled companies so invest in applications that will push your agency forward."
"Understand that employees can be distributed. The last month or so has been a push to enable distributed workforces and this experience may change how we work forever."
"Focus on automation—the worst thing a company can say is we do it that way because that's the way we've always done it."
Tuesday, May 12, 2020