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Plug and Play launches new insurance innovation platform

In partnership with Founding Partner Munich Re, Sompo Insurance, and USAA, Plug and Play is launching their newest program, Plug and Play Insurance.

This Innovation Platform is comprised of a network of industry leading reinsurers, insurance companies, brokers, and automakers built around a 12-week Silicon Valley based startup accelerator.

Plug and Play’s model brings together a roundtable of complementary partners to guide the direction of the program and help decide which startups are accepted. Twice per year, participating corporate partners gather to determine the scope of the current round, and this will then be used to source 850-1000 startup applications looking to innovate in the insurance industry.

"The US insurance market is extremely complex. Through Plug and Play Insurance, startups targeting this space can gain guidance and insights from experienced industry players, while established insurers get access to innovative technology solutions that can help them remain relevant and competitive. There is enormous value for both sides in partnering," said Tony Kuczinski, President and CEO, Munich Reinsurance America, Inc.

There is increased need for innovation in the insurance space, especially with the new opportunities that have emerged as the result of disruptive business models, large amounts of data, new technology, and more channels for engaging users. Plug and Play is facilitating this process by creating a platform to connect insurance corporations to innovative startup companies.

"USAA has always innovated in service of our members," said Jon-Michael Kowall, USAA’s innovation lead for home and auto insurance.

"Today’s changing trends, including the growing sharing economy, make a commitment to innovation critical for all insurers. Plug and Play’s innovation platform could lead to the next great ideas that allow the industry to lead the way into the future."

The US insurance industry alone produces more than $1 trillion of revenue a year and remains sturdy amid the fiscal downturns. But where there is room for growth, there is room for opportunity. At Plug and Play, we believe that we can take this established industry into a new space. It’s a modern and exciting frontier.

Plug and Play has successfully launched Innovation Platforms in Brand & Retail, Financial Technology & Security, Connected Health, Internet of Things, Media, Travel & Hospitality, and New Materials & Packaging, and will look to replicate the success of their model in the Insurance industry.

Startups considered for acceptance will be innovating in areas including disruptive business models, user centricity and experience, product innovation, advanced analytics, and distribution.

"We are pleased to announce the Plug and Play partnership with MunichRe, Sompo, and USAA with plans to leverage their deep industry knowledge and expertise to advise our investment strategy in the Insurance space," said Plug and Play CEO and Founder, Saeed Amidi. "With their guidance, we will look to invest $25,000 to $500,000 in up to 30 Insur-Tech focused startups from around the world."

The Insurance Innovation Platform is a 12-week program designed for early and growth-stage startups.

Through tailored deal flow, themed workshops, and face-to-face interaction, Plug and Play Insurance enables corporations to engage with startups that may complement their respective suite of offerings or create new potential revenue streams.

Startups accepted into the program receive funding from Plug and Play Ventures, weekly mentor sessions with industry thought leaders, and opportunities for potential pilot projects, all culminating at the Plug and Play quarterly demo day, EXPO. Dedicated startups will additionally get access to resources of the Founding Anchor Partner, Munich Re.

"We feel the time is ripe to focus our early stage investment strategy in the insurance space," said Candace Widdoes, Co-Founder and Head of Plug and Play’s Corporate Programs. "There are many technology gaps that can be filled by our startup community and with our robust corporate network, we will make connections and create value for all involved."

The Plug and Play Insurance application will open at the launch event on May 26th. The launch event will feature 10 startups (seed to series B) in the industry and will bring together over 50 corporations and investors involved in the space.