February 23, 2023
Cary, North Carolina – The pace of insurance technology is about to accelerate. 101 Weston Labs, a project of the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina (IIANC), is set to launch on Thursday, February 23 as a first-of-its-kind InsurTech accelerator focused on innovations for independent insurance agents.
“We are beyond excited about the impact this program will have on our agent community,” says Aubie Knight, CEO of IIANC.
The accelerator will support a cohort of technology companies innovating in areas like AI and data science, advancing their efforts with access to funding, agent product testers, advisors, and consulting from program stakeholders.
The inaugural group begins on June 12, 2023, and culminates on August 28, 2023, with an in-person and virtual Demo Day where participants pitch their products to an audience of investors, corporates, agents, and other stakeholders.
Companies from across the country can apply at 101WestonLabs.com when the application goes live on February 23.
Knight said that now is the time to make this push into InsurTech.
“We are at a point in our industry where capitalizing on tech is key to future success in the insurance marketplace.”
The accelerator will place heavy emphasis on linking participating companies to the independent insurance agency distribution channel. Additionally, there will be weekly workshops on business development delivered by industry subject matter experts, leadership seminars from former and current founders, and peer sessions exclusive to founders.
While targeted for national impact, the announcement also comes at a time of booming business growth in the project’s home region. Michelle O’Connor, IIANC Chair and President of O’Connor Insurance Associates in Charlotte, is excited about the state’s involvement and opportunity in InsurTech innovation, “North Carolina is becoming a hub for companies and startups and we expect that growth to continue. We want to ensure that independent agents have a seat at the table for all the innovation that will come.”
According to a report by WRAL’s TechWire, more new businesses were created in North Carolina in 2021 than ever before.
Apple set up shop in Raleigh-Durham in recent years and Meta is opening an office in Durham. Apple’s planned office will be an anchor in Research Triangle Park, one of the largest research parks in the United States that will eventually employ as many as 65,000 people. Meta is opening its location in downtown Durham, and “…plans to have around 100 engineers working from the new office in the American Tobacco Campus.”
The accelerator is looking to identify:
* InsurTechs with an interest or focus on the independent insurance agency channel
* InsurTechs with a minimum viable product (MVP)
* InsurTechs with Annual Recurring Revenue or pre-revenue companies that can demonstrate a path to a repeatable sales process
Agent and insurance carrier contacts that are interested in access to product testing, advising, research, and/or providing input are also wanted for involvement.
The name 101 Weston Labs was inspired in part by the geographic location of the IIANC and its forward-looking vision to empower its “…members to rise above the competition and reach their fullest potential.”
Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina (IIANC) empowers its members to rise above the competition by offering them the tools and resources to succeed in today’s insurance industry. IIANC is proud to serve as the unrelenting advocate and strategic business partner for nearly 1,000 Trusted Choice(r) independent insurance agency members across the state. IIANC member agencies represent more than one insurance company, and as a result, can offer clients a wider choice of auto, home, business, life, and health coverages while providing valuable guidance and advocacy. For more information, visit www.iianc.com.
101 Weston Labs is an InsurTech accelerator founded by IIANC to help develop technology advancements for the independent insurance agency community nationwide. The accelerator supports a cohort of technology companies innovating in areas like AI and data science, advancing their efforts with access to funding, agent product testers, advisors, and consulting from program stakeholders.
Thank you in advance for your time and interest!