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Farm Bureau to Invest in AI Technology to Support Agents through LEAP’s PROTO InsurTech Program

Farm Bureau Seeks to Transform Customer Experience with New Chatbot Technology 

LANSING, Mich. – The future has arrived at Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan in the form of chatbot technology that learns from and adapts to customer cues. Supportomate is the high-tech startup from Israel behind this innovative artificial intelligence (AI) driven chatbot and one of the first graduates of LEAP’s PROTO Accelerator InsurTech program.

For Farm Bureau, Supportomate is an avenue to support agents in a way that will transform the customer experience—one of the key motivating factors behind the organization’s founding investment in LEAP’s PROTO InsurTech program which connected them with Supportomate. Supportomate was selected as one of three international high-tech startups to join the first PROTO Accelerator InsurTech program cohort in April 2019.

“Farm Bureau Insurance is pleased to work with Supportomate, a PROTO company specializing in technology that will allow us to further enhance service to our agents and insured,” said Don Simon, CEO of Farm Bureau Insurance.

Farm Bureau is investing in a pilot of Supportomate’s chatbot slated to begin in September with a select number of agencies. Ron Shalit, founder of Supportomate is excited to get underway with the pilot and the product he’s designed, which holds human-like conversations capable of completing any insurance transaction including sales, bill-pay, claims processing, underwriting, credentialing and more.

“Having data from live pilots is everything for a startup. With this opportunity we can truly demonstrate the benefits our technology has for both the call centers and the agents.” 

In the Lansing region alone, the insurance industry adds more than $30 billion in annual revenue to the local economy, with employment growing at a rate 10 times the national average. PROTO InsurTech is an innovative business accelerator and equity investment fund led by LEAP, working to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in the insurance industry and across the state. The program’s central goal is to help Michigan insurance companies innovate to increase efficiencies, decrease costs and add an overall value to the insurance service chain. Another focus of the program is to permanently attract high-tech startups like Supportomate to the region for future job creation and investment.

“These pilots are the exact reason why started the PROTO Insurtech program. We are bringing cutting edge technology from all over the world right to doorsteps of our local insurance corporations.”

In its first year, PROTO InsurTech, supported by Farm Bureau, Delta Dental and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), is expected to achieve remarkable success with 100 percent of the startups entering into proof of concept (POC) agreements. Supportomate is the first POC announcement. Carriers from across the state are invited to invest in PROTO InsurTech. In addition, the application for startups interested in being considered for the next PROTO InsurTech cohort beginning in January 2020 is currently open.

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About LEAP
The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all--working every day to grow, retain and attract business.

About PROTO Accelerator
PROTO Accelerator is a startup accelerator that provides physical product and insurtech startups with financing and a wide range of programming helping them bring their ideas to market. PROTO Accelerator is a subsidiary of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) based in Lansing, Michigan, in the historic REO Town neighborhood.

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