Canadian Underwriter

InsurTech Growth Program launched in Canada

February 6, 2018   by Jason Contant

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Aviva Canada and tech scaleup company OneEleven have partnered to launch what they call the largest InsurTech Growth Program in Canada.

Ryan Spinner, head of digital and innovation at Aviva Canada, told Canadian Underwriter that insurtech is rising and its influence on the insurance industry is imminent. “In response to this, Aviva Canada and OneEleven partnered to launch an accelerator program for Canadian startups that require rapid development,” he said. “This program will not only accelerate their development and facilitate introductions to key players in their market, it’ll also provide opportunities for Canadian startups to stay in Canada and contribute to the massive startup ecosystem here.”

Through the program, Aviva Canada will act as a mentor to “innovative technology startups with a service or solution that can be applied to insurance,” the insurer said in a press release on Monday. The intensive four-month program is designed to help six insurtech startups de-risk their company, develop their product market fit and drive innovation in their respective industries, Spinner said.

To be eligible, companies must have raised at least $300,000 in capital or be revenue-generating, have at least one founder working on the venture full-time, and alignment with one or more of the following categories:

  • micro-insurance
  • disruptive distribution
  • warranty solution
  • data and analytics
  • new insurance products and propositions
  • finTech/AI
  • disruptive mobility
  • new marketing channels
  • product recommendation engines; and/or
  • real-time simulations.

Spinner said it’s still early days to tell if there is any interest in particular aspects of disruption.

As part of the program, the Canadian startups will get:

  • One-on-one mentoring sessions with Aviva executives;
  • Access to the OneEleven community through exclusive event invitations;
  • Educational sessions to support the following knowledge areas: access to customers, access to talent, and access to capital;
  • Monthly progress check-ins (includes one mid-term, in-person check-in);
  • Pitch feedback and ongoing advice from OneEleven community experts;
  • Final pitch to demonstrate progress; and
  • An opportunity to connect with the managing director of Aviva Ventures, the company’s corporate venture capital fund.

Since 2015, Aviva has been investing in startups through Aviva Ventures. The fund aims to invest $170 million over the next three to five years in disruptive startups and technologies.

Applications for the InsurTech Growth Program will close on March 4. The final pitch to Aviva Ventures is July 18.

In October 2017, Aviva Canada and OneEleven hosted what they called Canada’s “first ever” DisasterTech Hackathon. The point was to create technology solutions to help mitigate the impact of disasters on urban communities. Aviva Canada said at the time that floods, wildfires, earthquakes, winter storms and severe winds are five of Canada’s most common perils.