On evening of Thursday, June 29, 2017, the city of Hartford moved a little. The movement was felt by a diverse group of more than 100 people that night. People came from 12 states and more than 40 companies. The room was full of insurers, brokers, investors, entrepreneurs, accelerators, educators, students, interns, and service providers.
InsurTech was the topic of the night, and 2 great panels provided deep insights into 2 opposing perspectives - that of carriers and that of InsurTech companies.
The evening started with networking. As people arrived, they had the opportunity to grab some snacks (provided by local restaurant Dish) and beverage (including beer donated by Hartford's local brew pub City Steam).
The first panel was the executive panel. Panel members were:
Dave Condren (Chief Information Officer - Travelers Bond & Financial Products)
Dave Zell (Vice President Underwriting Program Manager - QBE)
Mike Byam (SVP & Chief Data Officer - The Hartford)
The panel moderator was Ellen Carney, principal analyst at Forrester. There was good discussion about the evolution of the insurance industry. One question that drew good discussion was regarding the AM Best winter survey that reported most insurers see insurtech as an opportunity, but also see insurtech companies as a threat. An interesting sound bite form the panel came from Paul Tyler, who said, "The future has arrived, it is just not evenly distributed, yet." The moderated panel was then turned over for Q&A with the audience. One of the more prolific questions was about the role education plays in the development of InsurTech.
After a brief break, the InsurTech company panel took the stage. The panel members were:
The InsurTech panel moderator was Mark Roth from 3C Results. Mark asked the InsurTech panel the same question about the AM Best winter survey. It was good to hear the perspective from the newcomers and service providers. The panelists were really happy to be there, coming from nearby New York and Boston. In fact, Vericred's CEO Micahel Levin came in off the red-eye from San Francisco and drove up from NYC just to be a part of it.
During the evening, we leanred about the newest and greatest innovation and shared work space in Hartford, Upward Hartford, and also heard updates about local InsurTech activity from Michelle Cote, Managing Director, Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at University of Connecticut, and InsurTech Hartford's Stacey Brown.