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Most Globally Diverse Cohort Class to Date Joins GIA in 2017

The third year of the Global Insurance Accelerator's 100-day program packs wider breadth of innovative ideas into Des Moines.

DES MOINES, Iowa, Jan. 10, 2017 - The Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) is pleased to announce its signature 100-day, mentor-driven program will kick off in Des Moines on January 17, 2017 with a cohort comprised of six globally diverse startups.

While in Des Moines, cohort members will have an important opportunity to become immersed in the technology and insurance-rich environment where more than 60 insurance companies are headquartered. The GIA, a business accelerator identifying, developing and growing innovative insurance-centric startups, provides hands-on business support from program mentors and exposure to insurance professionals, industry influencers and potential investors.

The 2017 GIA cohort members include companies with business models built around emerging technologies, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain - which are the foundation of new solutions for insurance companies, distribution channel partners, and more.

"The geographic diversity of this class shows good ideas have no borders or boundaries," said Brian Hemesath, managing director of the GIA. "The insurtech ecosystem continues to grow and bring great ideas forward for the benefit of the insurance industry and consumers. Having a front-row seat to all of this has been fantastic for our investors and mentors."

Each cohort member receives $40,000 in funding from the GIA for a six percent ownership stake in their venture. In addition to the funding, the GIA provides a significant housing subsidy to assist with relocation to Des Moines for the duration of the program. These financial considerations are important, but not the determining factor which drives companies such as these to partner with the GIA.

The primary value for companies participating in the cohort is access to the GIA's mentor network, which provides invaluable firsthand knowledge of the industry through targeted networking and education focused on finding a product-market fit for the insurance industry. The GIA's third cohort concludes with presentations onstage during the Global Insurance Symposium at the end of April.

Based in Des Moines, the GIA is backed by insurance company investors from across Iowa and the U.S., including American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company, Delta Dental of Iowa, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance of Iowa, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, IMT Insurance Company, Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, Principal Financial, EMC Insurance Companies and Markel Corporation.

"With more than 60 insurance companies and hundreds of mentors located in Des Moines, it's the perfect place for the GIA to help launch these startup companies on their future success," said Jeff Russell, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa and current GIA board chair.

For information on the GIA, please visit


Created in 2014 as an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the Global Insurance Accelerator is the world's first startup accelerator focused on the global insurance industry. The mentor-driven program is backed by major carriers, and its mentors consist of current and former industry leaders and executives. To learn more about the GIA, visit

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