This year, the Global InsurTech Roadshow takes place in Leipzig – but how did it all start? We talked with first hour initiator Dr. Moritz Finkelnburg about the innovative event, the cooperation with the New Players Network and the common future.
Dr. Moritz Finkelnburg is the founder and chairman behind the Global InsurTech Roadshow (GIR). Born and raised in Berlin, the lawyer spend his whole working life in the management of leading insurance companies before he started to build the Insurance Practice of the Goethe Business School in Frankfurt as its academic director in 2016. Since April 2019, Moritz Finkelnburg is the chairman of the Badische Gemeinde Versicherung in Karlsruhe. The highlight of his time in the academic field was the GIR, which started in 2018 at the Goethe University Frankfurt with several international insurtechs, insurers and investors in a unique family-like setting. In May 2020, the GIR is taking place in Leipzig as part of a new cooperation with us, the New Players Network of the Versicherungsforen Leipzig. The aim of the event is to connect insurers with international start-ups and innovative, technology-driven players as well as to initiate cooperation beyond national borders.
Dear Moritz, you are the founder of the Global InsurTech Roadshow, a unique event of its kind. What is the vision behind this roadshow, which is not a roadshow at all?
Originally, we wanted to conduct very small, still completely unknown insurtechs to Frankfurt. From pre-seeding to pre-A, all international. The established insurtechs find their ways and their investors. But especially the youngsters and crazy ones, the lone fighters and garage founders do not have any platforms – but sensational ideas, which then get lost on the way.
Within the last two years, you were able to inspire participants and supporters alike. What is special about this event compared to other start-up conferences?
Looking at all the young founders we knowingly chose a simple, university-alike setting. The motto: „pitches in the lecture hall“. We cover all costs on site of the pitching start-ups we chose, this is how we also support them a little. We offer close contacts to the press and organize a special press evening. Furthermore, the presence of participating investors and insurers (32 in 2019) allows for a great platform and networking basis. The Goethe InsurTech-Award is always a highlight and was awarded by the EIOPA president Gabriel Bernardino last year. Besides that, we always choose a certain guest country or region on which we pay special attention. So far we looked at Singapore in 2018 and Israel in 2019, whose start-up delegation was even accompanied by its chief supervisor.
This year, the event is continued together with us, the New Players Network. What lead to this decision?
I am very proud of this great development with Leipzig. Since I started working as a chairman for the BGV, the Badische Gemeindeversicherung last year, it was clear that I could no longer continue the GIR in its present form. Although the BGV is very open for digitalism, part of several digital developments and will still be closely connected to the GIR in the future, we found that this exciting event needs its own power and innovative spirit. I have known the Versicherungsforen Leipzig for a very long time, am friends with the CEO of the LF Gruppe Markus Rosenbaum and followed its digital development – especially through the foundation of the New Players Network (NPN) – with great interest and enthusiasm. I can not imagine a better follow-up and driver like the young team of the NPN. I am absolutely sure that GIR will be even more professional in the future.
And where is the common journey (with the NPN) supposed to go?
The last two years, the guest countries were Singapore and Israel. 2020 we are focusing on the Baltic States and the Central East Europe Region. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania etc. have dedicated themselves to change: Numerous research institutions and a a diverse academic system with a founder-friendly surrounding provide the perfect basis for digital innovations. Reason enough to put these future leading economic regions in the core of our „new“ Global InsurTech Roadshow this year. Meanwhile, the GIR is still supposed to be a place for young international founders and an opportunity for insurers, investors, journalists and many more to connect and network in an intimate and family-like setting.
How is the insurtech scene currently developing from your perspective? What are you observing?
In the European area, a certain break or consolidation can be observed. The first wave of innovations is over. Enablers are trying to establish their solutions with insurers, while among digital distributors and risk carriers a few top dogs are gaining ground, others are slowly losing ground. Reason enough to look out for different, innovative and unusual solutions from rather unknown regions.
What exactly does the GIR 2020 offer to strengthen the connection between corporates and insurtechs?
Core of the event now and back then is the thought of networking: We bring start-ups, insurers and leaders of the industry together through diverse interactive formats. The entrepreneurs are presented on our channels in the run-up to the event and the participants get precise profiles of the event and thereby the opportunity to specifically address founders. On stage, the start-ups will not only pitch their business model ideas, but also present concrete use cases to initiate following cooperation more quickly. Also, we use the expertise of our founders to realize interesting discussion panels, thus enabling an intensive exchange with the participants over both days of the event. We see ourselves as a platform that connects the relevant players and provides the basis for future leading cooperation.
We thank Moritz for the interesting background interview and are looking
forward to the GIR on 26-27 May in Leipzig!
Get more information about this year’s GIR on https://newplayersnetwork.jetzt/gir
Here you can find the original interview in German. The interview was translated by the editorial team of the New Players Network.