Securian Financial and Allianz Life Ventures have teamed up to support “fintech” startups in a new three-month accelerator program.
The two local firms are collaborating with Gener8tor, a national startup accelerator that invests in high-growth companies, to fund OnRamp Insurance Accelerator. The three partners are expecting to run the accelerator program in the Twin Cities for the next three years.
Accelerators match participants with mentors and introduce them to investors and other entrepreneurs who can help them develop their technologies. The OnRamp program each year will accept five startups in the financial services and insurance technology fields.
“We are very excited to bring some of the brightest minds in [insurance technology] to the Twin Cities through this new collaboration,” said Chris Hilger, president and CEO of St. Paul-based Securian, said in a statement. “We are in the midst of a complete digital and technical transformation at Securian Financial, and our investment in the accelerator will give us further opportunities to collaborate with and learn from entrepreneurs developing the next generation of technology that will reshape our industry.”
Walter White, president and chief executive of Golden Valley-based Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America, said the accelerator partners “have a common vision of the potential of new technologies, and a commitment to finding new, innovative and efficient ways to serve our contract and policyholders both today and for years to come.”
Fintech, or financial technology, has been one of the hottest areas of technology investing the last several years. According to a published report during the summer from global professional services firm KPMG International, global investment in fintech companies in the first half of 2018 was $57.8 billion in 875 deals, up from $38.1 billion invested in fintech globally in all of 2017. Even discounting for two massive fintech deals in early 2018, the space still saw increasing investment over 2017.
The OnRamp Insurance Accelerator is accepting applications from startups at onrampinsuranceaccelerator.com/apply. Each company accepted into the program will receive $100,000, office space and access to Gener8tor’s network.
Deadline for applications is April 28, 2019, and the inaugural program is expected to start June 6. Office space for startup companies in the program will be announced later.
The OnRamp Insurance Generator is an offshoot of an annual OnRamp Insurance Conference that Gener8tor started in 2016 to bring together insurance industry companies, investors and startups. As a result of the new partnership that annual conference will be set in the Twin Cities for the next three years. The next OnRamp Insurance Conference will be on April 11 at Target Center in Minneapolis.
The Wisconsin-based Gener8tor has collaborated with other local organizations on accelerator programs for startup companies in other industries. In April, Boston Scientific, the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota partnered with Gener8tor on a medical-technology accelerator program involving six companies.
The fintech accelerator joins a number of other local startup generator programs in the Twin Cities, including Techstars, a retail-focused accelerator housed at Target’s headquarters. Eden Prairie-based Sprosty Network, created by former Best Buy executives, launched a later-stage retail accelerator program called RetailXelerator in 2016.