Three South African startups have graduated from global accelerator Startupbootcamp’s Insurtech programme, showcasing their honed products at a Demo Day held in London.
Disrupt Africa reported in December the three South African startups – Aerobotics, Emerge Analytics and NuvaLaw – were among 10 startups selected to join the Startupbootcamp Insurtech accelerator, beating off competition from 2,500 applicants from around the world.
Based in London, the accelerator focuses on disruptive and collaborative insurance innovation; and saw participants taken through a three month programme aimed at refining their solutions to address specific pain points and customer needs.
Throughout the programme startups worked with expert mentors, and had access to an extensive network of insurers, angel investors, and VCs, and other valuable resources.
The accelerator culminated in a Demo Day held yesterday, with startups pitching their honed products to a live audience, as well as over livestream.
Themed Synthesis: Shaping Intelligent Insurance, the Demo Day aimed to highlight how through collaboration and focused engagement, a bridge is being gradually built to connect two converging worlds by fusing the traditional and the new, incumbents and startups, through the support of digital technology and new ways of doing things.
“The startups have dug deep to define their Minimal Viable Product and refine their business propositions in order to best serve their customers and the insurance market,” said Sabine VanderLinden, managing director of Startupbootcamp InsurTech.
“They’ve met with our corporate partners on a weekly basis to adapt their offering to satisfy specific pain points. They’ve done countless amounts of customer validation where they’ve left the office to test their product with real customers. As we get close to Demo Day, we are listening to the startups rehearse their pitches and it’s been amazing to see the teams evolve each single week.”
The South African startups said they feel they have gained much from participating in the programme and accessing international networks, while also representing South Africa’s innovation talent on the global arena.
“Startupbootcamp InsurTech gave NuvaLaw a significant kickstart. Three months of working intensively on our company, and not just in our company has resulted in a much clearer vision and long-term strategy. More importantly, the networks we were exposed to have resulted in deals which catapult us into month 24 of our original business forecast,” said Willie Pienaar, chief executive officer (CEO) at NuvaLaw.
“The claims and dispute resolution solution we have co-created with international partners will mean we return to South Africa with a world first for the local market. South Africa has always been in the vanguard of insurance innovation. We see ourselves being an integral part of working with our local companies to reap the rewards of the ecosystem economy,” he said.
James Paterson, CEO of Aerobotics said: “It was a great privilege to be part of the Startupbootcamp InsurTech program, representing SA on a global playing field. The access to new business partners and the skilled team on hand at SBC have helped us rapidly enter a new market and expand internationally. We are excited to return to SA to continue our product roll out through Africa and the rest of the world. We return with the confidence that the tech scene in SA is thriving and very much competes on a global level.”