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State Senator

John Fonfara

Representing Hartford & Wethersfield

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Sen. Fonfara: Startupbootcamp Launches InsurTech Accelerator in Hartford

Program accepting applications from startups; will provide resources to help insurance-focused technology startups grow

innovation places

Senator John Fonfara (D-Hartford), who was instrumental in designing and passing a comprehensive law to help Connecticut embrace the innovation economy, joined Mayor Luke Bronin to announce a globally recognized business accelerator, Startupbootcamp, are launching an insurance technology accelerator in Hartford, in partnership with Travelers, The Hartford, and Cigna. The Hartford InsurTech Accelerator is designed specifically to rapidly scale insurance-focused technology startups. The program, which is now accepting applications, has been established to attract new talent and technology to Hartford, one of the world’s leading insurance centers, and will provide entrepreneurs with the support, resources, and industry and investor connections they need to help grow their business.

“The power to get things done is not in government; it’s with talent. Talent does not see boundaries, it does not see mill rates; it only sees opportunity. Talent goes where it sees those opportunities and it advances it,” Sen. Fonfara said. “The people in this room represent that talent. We have a lot of talent in this community, we have a lot of talent in this state, and this is about putting that talent together and having a force behind it so that we can compete anywhere. This is one step, I believe, in many that will not only return Hartford, but return the state of Connecticut to the glory that it deserves.”

Earlier this year Hartford and East Hartford won a CTNext Innovation Places grant to encourage entrepreneurship in three of our core industries—insurance, advanced manufacturing, and healthcare. Founding local partners of the InsurTech Accelerator are Cigna, The Hartford, Travelers, and CTNext. Additional corporate partners include USAA and White Mountains. The InsurTech Accelerator is part of Hartford InsurTech Hub, an initiative that was conceived of by a diverse set of executives from Hartford-area insurance carriers and other related firms, City of Hartford staff, and several other community stakeholders. Opportunities to help spur more InsurTech innovation activity in the region were identified by this group, and action against these goals was catalyzed by investment from CTNext: Connecticut’s Innovation Ecosystem.

Each year, 10 to 12 startups will be accepted into the three-month intensive accelerator program in Hartford, and will receive an initial cash grant of $25,000, co-working space for each startup team, and access to Startupbootcamp’s global network of mentors and investors. To be eligible for the program, entrepreneurs must have a working prototype and have secured startup funding from other sources ranging from $150,000 to $500,000.

“This is exactly the type of public-private partnership we wanted to catalyze through our Innovation Places program,” said Glendowlyn Thames, Executive Director of CTNext. “We are thrilled to see the East Hartford/Hartford Innovation Place Initiative, one of the winning communities, so quickly leverage the program’s resources and work in partnership with the private sector to ultimately create new jobs, grow tax revenue and establish itself as a next-generation hub of innovation within the insurance industry.”

“Startupbootcamp is a global brand name in innovation and entrepreneurship, and their decision to launch their first InsurTech accelerator in North America here in Hartford is really significant for our City and for the State of Connecticut,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. “Today’s announcement is the direct result of the strong partnership we’ve been building between our insurance companies, our educational institutions, and the City of Hartford. Working hand in hand with the private sector, our goal is to make Hartford the capital of insurance innovation, and the launch of this InsurTech accelerator is a big part of that strategy. Our focus on InsurTech is just one part of a broader effort to make Hartford a center of innovation, not only in the insurance sector, but also in advanced manufacturing and healthcare—areas where the Greater Hartford region has tremendous strength. I’m grateful to all of the partners who came together to make today’s announcement possible.”

Applications are now open for the InsurTech Accelerator, startups are encouraged to apply here.

About Hartford InsurTech Hub

The InsurTech Accelerator, powered by Startupbootcamp, is the first component of Hartford InsurTech Hub, an initiative established in 2017 by Hartford insurance companies, the City of Hartford, and CTNext. Focused on addressing the need for attracting new technologies and talent in insurance and technology into the City of Hartford and the local ecosystem, the program partners include Cigna, The Hartford, Travelers, CTNext, USAA and White Mountains. It will stretch its reach to other cities in Connecticut to create a thriving spirit of collaboration and innovation between our partners, entrepreneurs and investors, while leveraging Startupbootcamp’s global network of capabilities and a structured delivery approach. For more information, visit: http://hartfordinsurtechhub.com/

About Startupbootcamp InsurTech

Launched in 2015, Startupbootcamp InsurTech is the leading Insurance accelerator that focuses on identifying globally-located disruptive and collaborative insurance and technology innovations, and the only program of its kind to attract a wide variety of industry support from multiple international players. Based in London, Startupbootcamp InsurTech is part of Startupbootcamp, the award-winning global network of industry-focused accelerator programs. With 20+ programs in Europe, Asia, North & South America, MENA & Africa, selected startups gain access to the most relevant mentors, partners and investors in their industry. For more information visit: http://www.startupbootcamp.org

For more information about Hartford InsurTech Hub and the accelerator program, visit: www.hartfordinsurtechhub.com.

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