03 Oct LEAP’s PROTO Accelerator InsurTech Program Gears up for New Cohort Following Successful First Year
2020 Program Application Open for Startups Seeking Investment, Mentorship and Insurance Industry Connections
LANSING, Mich. – On the heels of highly successful first year, the Lansing Economic Area Partnership’s (LEAP) PROTO Accelerator InsurTech program has opened its 2020 application process.
Earlier this year, LEAP’s PROTO Accelerator InsurTech Program, welcomed three new international high-tech startups to Lansing, where they set up shop in LEAP’s REO Town office looking to transform the Michigan Insurance Industry through technology innovation. At the close of the three-month PROTO InsurTech program, all three startups were on the way toward POC agreements with local insurers.
“PROTO InsurTech has been THE key to getting Supportomate from 0 to 1. As soon as the program started, PROTO did absolutely everything in order to put the startups in front of the local insurance carriers,” said Ron Shalit, founder of Supportomate. “They didn’t just make efforts – they got results. In the wake of the program, Supportomate was able to sign a paid pilot with a carrier.”
PROTO InsurTech is an innovative business accelerator and equity investment fund led, managed and programmed by LEAP, with a focus on increasing Michigan’s ability to attract high-tech, out-of-state companies, producing cutting-edge technologies, while deepening the state’s business startup toolbox.
“PROTO has evolved rapidly into one of the key accelerators for any insurtech to participate in,” said Alex Devoto, CEO of LVLFi. “Lansing is home to multiple multibillion dollar insurers and the PROTO program gives you high level access to them. We were introduced at the C-suite level to these insurers and were able to pitch our solutions to key decision makers.”
PROTO Accelerator’s 2020 InsurTech program continues to be supported by the MEDC and founding investors Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan and Delta Dental of Michigan, along with new investment from AF Group who has decided to enhance its innovation program by investing in PROTO’s InsurTech program.
Through a competitive application process, each startup accepted into the 2020 PROTO InsurTech program will receive up to $60,000 in exchange for a small equity stake in the company. During the program, the cohort will establish a home base in the Lansing region, with the optimum end result being the creation of a subsidiary, licensing possibilities, acquisition or other activities that enhance the competitiveness of Lansing region investor insurance companies, and ideally permanently bring new high-tech companies to Michigan.
“I was one of the lucky few companies selected to participate in the initial cohort of the PROTO InsurTech program. I would highly recommend making an application for this program if you’re in this space,” said Declan Trumble, CEO of Kudoshealth.
Companies and entrepreneurs can submit applications to the 2020 PROTO Accelerator InsurTech program now through Nov. 28, 2019. Selected startups will be announced in January 2020 with an anticipated program start date of April 2020.
“PROTO InsurTech has been designed to inspire and stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in the insurance industry and across the state,” said Tony Willis, President of PROTO Accelerator. “Through PROTO InsurTech, our goal is to position Michigan insurance companies on a path toward continued growth, creating and retaining great paying and diverse jobs for all Michigan citizens, and to invite new talent from across the globe to join us as part of the Lansing region’s growing tech community.”
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.