Startup accelerator Techstars introduced that it’s launching a brand new program for insurtech startups in partnership with life insurance coverage big MetLife. Applications open at the moment for this system — referred to as the MetLife Digital Accelerator — which will probably be primarily based out of Cary, North Carolina.

VentureBeat’s Heartland Tech channel invitations you to affix us and different senior enterprise leaders at BLUEPRINT in Reno on March 5-7. Learn broaden jobs to Middle America, decrease prices and increase income. Click right here to request an invitation and be part of the dialog. 

The MetLife Digital Accelerator is now the 38th accelerator managed by Techstars, which is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. This can be the primary program geared towards insurtech startups. According to CB Insights, 173 insurtech startups raised $1.69 billion in 2016, with 59 p.c of offers going to U.S. startups. Many of probably the most extremely valued insurtech startups — like Oscar and Lemonade (which not too long ago raised $120 million from SoftBank) — are positioned on the coasts.

But there are additionally quite a few fast-growing insurtech startups within the Midwest, most notably in Chicago. The metropolis is house to Clearcover, a startup that makes use of synthetic intelligence to make automotive insurance coverage suggestions, and residential insurance coverage quotes supplier Kin. Clearcover and Kin raised $11.5 million and $4 million rounds respectively this yr, based on Crunchbase.

“Insurance is an enormous trade that’s nonetheless dominated by legacy processes, and we predict it’s ripe for disruption,” Mee-Jung Jang, managing director of the MetLife Digital Accelerator, advised VentureBeat in a telephone interview. According to Jang, MetLife and Techstars will probably be focusing on 4 several types of startups within the insurtech area: these seeking to rethink conventional underwriting processes, the advantages market, the gig financial system, and well being and wellness because it pertains to funds.

The partnership with Techstars represents certainly one of quite a few ways in which 150-year-old MetLife is seeking to startups to assist it keep progressive. According to Jang, MetLife can be a restricted accomplice in over a dozen Silicon Valley enterprise funds and not too long ago unveiled a $100 million co-investment fund. MetLife and Techstars selected Cary because the headquarters for his or her joint accelerator program to present entrepreneurs entry to MetLife’s 1,500-person expertise campus, which is positioned within the metropolis.

Techstars will choose 10 startups for this system, and it’ll start someday within the third quarter of 2018.

This article sources data from VentureBeat