Caribou is a founding partner of QED Investors and saw the potential of tech innovation in the financial sector. But in looking for conferences to attend he saw a gap in the ecosystem that needed to be filled. The conference was designed around his needs and a desire to connect entrepreneurs with investors looking for cutting edge ideas to help propel their business ahead of the curve in the digital age. The conference exploded beyond Caribou’s expectations, drawing in 1500 attendees. He is currently reading through survey responses about the conference to see what needs were met and what can be included for the conference next year. Caribou’s ultimate goal of helping support the insurance technology ecosystem was clearly met, and he has seen tremendous growth in the seed stage companies he was in touch with leading up to the event. The conference encouraged conversations about the sector among people in the industry that rarely, if ever meet, and discussing the varied perspectives led to fantastic, and fun conversation. Caribou is looking forward to the future of the conference and finding ways to keep the groundswell momentum it created while adding value to all who attended, and the industry at large.
Caribou finds that insurance tech is in a period reminiscent of where banking was a few years ago with lending. The internet completely transformed how they did business especially with the advent of bill pay and and how they originated customers. The internet alone wasn’t enough to transform the insurance industry. However, the internet coupled with smart phones is a clear force that has awakened and is starting to impact the industry full force.
When asked what they were most blown away by, most attendees said that the Chinese insurance company Zhong An stole the spotlight. Aside from insights to the international market, Zhong An discussed doing billions of micro policies, all online, which was a real wakeup call for everyone in the room.
Caribou noticed that the customer experience engineer role is being elevated in the space. Several talks focused on incorporating behavioral economic principles into system design. This is especially pertinent in the mobile space, where system, design and functionality need to be slick, streamlined, and easy for the customer to use.
No startup innovation can take place without fantastic entrepreneurs at the foundation. Caribou was excited to see the opportunity for many great seed stage companies to connect with insurers and carriers at the conference and start their journey to becoming Series A and beyond.