PROTO InsurTech Initiative to Enhance Competitiveness of State’s Business Startup Programming Through Recruitment of High-tech International Companies
LANSING, Mich. – Three new international high-tech startups set up shop in LEAP’s REO Town office this morning with the aim of transforming the Michigan Insurance Industry through technology innovation. Together with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and area Insurance Industry leaders, Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) welcomed the first cohort of their new statewide initiative, PROTO InsurTech, to Lansing.
PROTO InsurTech is an innovative business accelerator and equity investment fund led by LEAP that will increase Michigan’s ability to attract high-tech, out-of-state companies, producing cutting-edge technologies, while deepening our state’s business startup toolbox. With the intent of inspiring and stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship in the insurance industry and across the state, PROTO InsurTech will help Michigan insurance companies continue to grow great paying and diverse jobs for all Michigan citizens.
After several months of a thorough worldwide recruitment and selection process, PROTO InsurTech announced and introduced to Michigan, its first cohort today--three international companies, showcasing the program’s role as an industry magnet for the world’s top startup companies. The three companies are Supportomate from Israel, LVLFi from Great Britain and Kudos Health from Ireland.
“PROTO InsurTech represents the kind of cutting edge, globally competitive economic development initiative that positions Michigan as a leader in high-tech industries and creates an environment of innovation to drive job growth in the state,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of the MEDC. “We welcome these three new cohort members to our state and look forward to continuing to partner with LEAP and our state’s insurance industry to build on this success in the future.”
The initiative is a statewide partnership between LEAP, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and initial founders Delta Dental and Farm Bureau. It allows cohort members the chance to participate in an intensive four-month program that provides access to critical business development resources for Michigan’s insurance industry.
The PROTO InsurTech program will provide this first cohort of companies with up to $60,000 each in exchange for a small equity stake in the company. During the program the cohort will be living, working, creating, eating and drinking in the Lansing region, with the optimum end result being the creation of a subsidiary, licensing possibilities, acquisition or other activities that enhance the competitiveness of our investor insurance companies, and to permanently bring new high-tech companies to Michigan.
“Insurance companies today are more like IT firms and must compete for the best ideas and global talent, so that this critical industry can continue to offer really good paying, diverse jobs to tens of thousands of Michigan residents—especially here in Lansing, our Great Lakes insurance hub,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “I invite every insurance company in the state to immediately invest and get involved, so we can build our insurance headquarters culture into the best in the world. I especially thank our founding partners Delta Dental and Farm Bureau, as well as the MEDC for providing seed money and Governor Whitmer, for her incredible leadership and expertise.”
“I’ve worked hard in my home country, Israel, to develop new technology that has the real potential to benefit insurance companies and their growth, but I still needed critical connections to the industry and equity investment to make my dream a reality,” said Ron Shalit CEO of Supportomate. “I’m excited about being here in Lansing, Michigan, and am looking forward to growing my company and contributing to insurance industry innovation here. Thank you to LEAP, Farm Bureau, Delta Dental and Governor Whitmer for this opportunity.”
The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all--working every day to grow, retain and attract business. Learn more about LEAP at www.purelansing.com.