Around the end of last year, we at Adapt Ready were excited to be selected as one among Top 10 startups for Startupbootcamp InsurTech 2017, a global insurance accelerator working alongside a large portfolio of leading insurance players to foster disruptive and collaborative insurance innovation from early stage startups.
We are half-way through the accelerator, and I wanted to take this time to reflect on how far along we have come in just the last few weeks. It has been educational, exhilarating, exhausting, and yes, even fun – despite 80-hour work weeks.
Educational, because we at Adapt Ready are “new” to the insurance industry in general. Or were, before the start of the program anyway. Not anymore. Thanks to laser-focused training aimed at upstarts, the program prepared us well in our journey to become an InsurTech company – and at the perfect time, too. According to a report from KPMG, 2017 will see InsurTech make its mark.
The program even has an Actuary-in-Residence to understand processes and workflows within the industry, bounce off ideas, and get a deeper look into an established industry. Did you know that property insurance can be traced back to the Great Fire of London, back in 1666?
Exhilarating, when you sit next to people who are eventual users of your product – and they take the time to guide you and help you refine the product based on their needs. This close interaction with our users has helped Adapt Ready immensely in understanding the customer journey and design/build features that users want. And because we are able to iterate designs quickly with our lean approach, we are able to get feedback faster and improve.
It’s one thing to come up with an innovative idea and build a product around it, but there is so much needed around it to make it a viable, successful business – especially in the insurance industry: knowing how to navigate the inherent complexities, understanding the pitfalls and roadblocks, intertwined relationships, all of which are critical to develop partnerships, a product that users will love, and an effective sales/marketing strategy.
The support provided by Startupbootcamp mentors and partners – both in the insurance industry and the periphery – is unparalleled: not only do they give their time but also the resources to help us succeed, and almost on a daily basis.
Exhausting, where over 80-hour work-weeks is the norm. With workshops covering everything from legal and design thinking to PR and branding, and a special emphasis on pitching and crafting the startup story. All of this while we are actively engaging 4 large insurers and in discussion with 6 more — while also fundraising to close our seed round. And if we run into any challenges, the Startupbootcamp team is always so resourceful, whether it is making the right connections or giving us the extra push we need in meeting a deadline, or practice and feedback for pitching our product demo to an investor.
Fun, thanks to the other startups in the cohort and the Startupbootcamp team. We may not have succeeded in “Escaping the Room“, but you can be rest assured we are back in the office bright and early the next morning.
March 8 is International Women’s Day. We pride in being a woman-founded and woman-led startup (and incidentally, the only female CEO in the 2017 InsurTech cohort), and strive to making gender equality a reality.