Beyond the Insurtech Buzz – Separating Hype from Impact


Last week, I attended InsurTech Rising U.S. in Boston.  

The event had some great speakers, including opening Keynotes from Zia Zaman, Chief Innovation Officer of Metlife Asia and Dan Preston, CEO of Metromile.  There were also a number of insightful panels from Insurance industry leaders from around the world and demos from startups that are both disrupting and enhancing the Insurance value chain.  

This week, rather than reporting on the conference itself, I have included the audio from one of the panels I moderated, entitled ‘Beyond the Buzz – Separating Hype from Impact’. 

This panel included Eric Emmons, Managing Director of MassMutual Ventures, Chris Behling, Head of Strategy, US Life and Health, at Swiss Re, and Max Chee, Head of Aquiline Technology Growth at Aquiline Capital Partners.

We discussed a wide array of subjects under this topic.  The panel was approximately 50 minutes and if you don’t have the time to listen to it all, I have included a timetable of the questions below.

Please click here to listen to the panel.

0:00-4:00 Intro to the stream
4:00-5:00 Intro to panel
5:15-11:30 There are a lot of nice shiny objects and new technologies out there.  How do you assess an Insurtech startup?
11:30-17:30 How do you identify that key customer or insurer pain point?  For startups, how do they quickly learn Insurance domain expertise?
17:40-22:40 What are some of the short-term trends that may fizzle out in the next 3-5 years and what are some of the short-term trends that may have a longer term impact?
22:45-28:40 What are some of the solutions that are not being talked about currently which may be impactful for the industry in the long term?
28:50-33:10 Audience question: How do you think about regulatory exposure when thinking of investing/partnering with Insurtech startups?
33:15-38:35 What are the high level due diligence criteria that startups need to go to get funding from a VC (for Eric and Max) and/or to partner with an incumbent (Chris)?
38:45-43:25 Audience Question: What’s the success story for D2C?
43:30-45:30 Audience Question: How important is the technology and how do you assess it?
45:30-47:10 Audience Question, What should startups be looking for in their VCs?
47:10-50:15 For Eric and Max: what is your favorite portfolio investment and why?  For Chris, what is your favorite partnership and why?

Stephen Goldstein is an experienced Insurance executive and Insurtech dealmaker with a core focus on growing revenue, launching go to market initiatives and advising industry leaders.

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