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Silicon Valley Insurance Accelerator launches insurtech innovation lab


March 30, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter


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Silicon Valley Insurance Accelerator (SVIA) announced on Thursday the launch of its InsurTech Innovation Lab, which can “fast track projects from simple proof of concepts to standing up complete solutions, products and even companies.”

The research, design and development centre is available to insurance companies, insurtech startups and established solution providers through SVIA’s membership program, which provides participants access to the lab and to SVIA’s knowledge, events, activities and innovation ecosystem, SVIA explained in a press release.

Besides fast tracking projects, SVIA’s services include concept development and validation, design, development, hosting and outsourced business processes. Lab projects are evaluated and managed by SVIA and undertaken by SVIA-certified partners. SVIA and partners will leverage their knowledge, best practices, connections and resources to assist members in reducing the time, cost, and risk of bringing high value insurtech-enabled solutions to market, the release said.

In addition to projects, the lab will also host “innovation bootcamps” throughout the year. These bootcamps are designed to bring new technologies and services providers together with companies interested in exploring and potentially piloting insurtech efforts for proof of concept, product development or solution development. Technology areas of focus will include artificial intelligence (AI), machine-to-machine, blockchain and robotics.

“The lab offers an outstanding opportunity for those companies interested in exploring insurtech to do so without the high risk, cost, time and skill commitment involved in establishing their own in-house insurtech lab,” said Mike Connor, CEO of SVIA, in the release. “With our founding partners offering participating members access to their outstanding resources and vast experience, the lab enables the insurance community to truly join forces to help our industry as a whole define and drive the next generation of insurance – the digital generation.”

Tony Villa, CEO of Insuresoft, which provides P&C carriers with a customizable policy administration system, added much of the work of the lab will be helping member companies individually and collectively harness emerging technology like Internet of Things, AI and blockchain to create “new, better products, business models and processes, as well as enabling industry infrastructure, helping them establish and maintain leadership roles in the digital industry that is forming.”

SVIA was founded in January 2016 as the industry’s “first open innovation accelerator and outpost.” Its events and activities bring insurance, insurtech and technology firms and investors together to discuss digital insurance opportunities and challenges and to build partnerships and a community with a shared insurtech interest.