Prior to ITC, six brokerages from across the country announced BrokerTech Ventures (BTV), the first broker-led incubator and venture group geared specifically for broker-focused technology startups. The program, launched in Des Moines, Iowa, plans to deliver mentorship opportunities, education, funding and an accelerator curriculum.
“We felt like there was a group of people that were yearning for the insights,” said Dan Keough, Holmes Murphy chairman and CEO, during a conversation about BrokerTech Ventures during ITC.
BrokerTech Ventures is led by Holmes Murphy, along with M3 Insurance, PayneWest, ABD, Conner Strong & Buckelew and Assurance. Susan Hatten, Sr. Manager of Corporate Community Engagement at Holmes Murphy will serve as Interim Executive Director until the full hire. Additionally, Brian Hemesath, former managing director of the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) will provide guidance and expertise to the program and fund.
In describing the impetus behind the venture, Keough said there had been ongoing conversations among different agencies discussing the possibility of starting a “broker-led, broker-funded, broker guided accelerator that would be geared toward a small group of agencies that want to lean in and be proactive about embracing technology, embracing entrpreneurs, and bringing them into our industry. Coupled with the depth of expertise that we have, how do we marry those two things together?”
“The idea behind the alignment of BrokerTech Ventures as both an accelerator and an investment vehicle is that we, and our agency partners, have an opportunity to shape a product or solution alongside the startup,” said co-founder and M3 Insurance president and CEO Mike Victorson in a statement about BrokerTech Ventures. “We intend on being active participants in the insurance technology space and offering a testing ground to benefit our customers.”
Startups can apply for a spot in the first BrokerTech Ventures program in late October 2019. The fund will launch in February 2020.
This venture signals a movement from the commercial brokerage space to not just implement technology-based solutions, but to shift to the driver’s seat to develop solutions specific to broker needs.
For more of our conversation with Keough and other BrokerTech Ventures partners, be on the lookout for an exclusive interview in an upcoming issue of Leader’s Edge.