December 1, 2017

11 global startups picked for new Hartford InsurTech accelerator

John Stearns
John Stearns
Vijay Dheap, chief technology officer for RozieAI, and Sudha Meghan, CEO, who are from Raleigh, N.C.
John Stearns
Anurag Shah, CEO and co-founder of India-based Aureus Analytics.

Eleven startups from around the world were selected Thursday for a new insurance technology (InsurTech) accelerator in Hartford designed to attract new talent and technology to the city and help grow the businesses while also benefiting area insurance companies that can exploit the startups' technology.

Startups selected for the Hartford InsurTech Hub accelerator program operated by London-based Startupbootcamp are: Aureus Analytics, Boundlss, Hindsait, Pentation Analytics, RozieAI, SecureHome, StaTwig, Ubios, ViewSpection, Yaxa and Truedime.

The startups hail from the U.S., India, Australia and Canada, and their technology leverages artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and predictive analytics, among other things, to help insurers improve customer relationship management, prevent losses and bolster cybersecurity.

The three-month accelerator program, housed in the Upward Hartford coworking/incubator space downtown in the Stilts Building at 20 Church St., will start Jan. 8 and will provide the startups with support, resources and industry and investor connections. They will work alongside area insurers to pilot and refine their technology.

"We started in India and now we want to come to the U.S. market and that is why we are here, to use this as our hub to grow the U.S. presence that we are envisioning as our future," Anurag Shah, CEO and co-founder of India-based Aureus Analytics, said Thursday after making his pitch to insurers, but before learning of his company's selection.

Aureus is a real-time analytics platform used by insurance carriers or their representatives to improve customer retention, he said.

Before learning of his company's selection for the accelerator, Raleigh, N.C.-based Vijay Dheap, chief technology officer for RozieAI, praised the two-day selection process.

"It's been grueling, but amazing," Dheap said. "I think there was an undercurrent of significant positivity and for startups, it's all about unbridled optimism and what they do is they infuse that and propel us forward even more."

RozieAI is an artificial intelligence technology that its CEO, Sudha Meghan, also of Raleigh, referred to as "building AI with empathy."

Rozie enables insurance providers to build a relationship with customers, which helps insurers know more about their customer and build proactive offerings, she said.

Dheap described it as helping insurers deliver a consistent experience with individualized care. To do that, insurers need to engage with their customers wherever they are, he said.

"Rozie is the bridge, Rozie is a personal concierge for the user and almost an executive assistant for the insurance company and it bridges those two personas together," he said.

Asked what being selected for the accelerator would mean, Meghan said it would provide an "incredible opportunity" to partner with leaders in the insurance and health industries, "an intersection that we would bring expertise to and it would also be an opportunity to connect with the community here on future InsurTech projects."

The 11 startups selected for the incubator were chosen from 23 finalists who, over two days, pitched their technology to accelerator partners from the local insurance industry and met with with panels of mentors made up of experts in marketing, sales and investment and industry experts from insurance, finance and technology.

The roughly 20 judges who selected the winners represented accelerator partners Cigna, Travelers, USAA, The Hartford, White Mountains Insurance Group, CTNext, Eos Venture Partners and four Startupbootcamp members.

The other selected startups include:

  • Boundlss, from Australia, has developed an analytics platform that analyzes data from wearable devices and apps to provide performance insights based on artificial intelligence.
  • Hindsait, from the United States, applies artificial intelligence to large healthcare datasets to help payers and providers improve patient health.
  • Pentation Analytics, from India, provides analytics applications for the insurers.
  • SecureHome, from the United States, leverages an enterprise grade intrusion detection system, behavior analytics, and machine learning to guard against smart home threats.
  • StaTwig, from Singapore, provides real-time, tamper-proof, end-to-end tracking that identifies problems and inefficiencies in a supply chain.
  • Truedime, from the United States, is a person-to-person health insurance platform for international students.
  • Ubios, from Canada, uses big data, Internet of Things and motion detection technology to help landlords prevent water damage, save energy, and save on insurance.
  • ViewSpection, from the United States, provides a loss control platform that provides inspections and connections to the insurance carrier directly from the policyholder.
  • Yaxa, from the United States, focuses on building behavioral models by learning the user's own access patterns continuously, and comparing them in real-time.
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