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Exponential Ventures, the innovation unit of JSE listed financial services group, MMI Holdings, partners with Europe’s leading accelerator programme to showcase South Africa’s entrepreneurial talent in the global market. By Staff Writer  

Exponential Ventures, the disruptive innovation unit of JSE listed company, MMI Holdings, has continued with its relentless pursuit of innovation by becoming an investor partner in the insurance incubator programme, Startupbootcamp InsurTech managed by Startupbootcamp a leading international startup accelerator.

Startupbootcamp InsurTech has announced that the FastTrack tour will be coming to Cape Town on 11 October and Johannesburg on 13 October 2016. FastTrack days (or pitch days) are sessions where startups are given an opportunity to present their insurance related business idea to the Startupbootcamp InsurTech team and industry experts.  One-on-one mentor sessions with local industry experts in the insurance, investment and entrepreneurship industries will then answer questions and provide advice on how to improve products, services, business models as well as pitching skills. After the FastTrack tour, Startupbootcamp InsurTech will select 10 startups to take part in a three-month intensive 2017 insurance acceleration programme in London.

Jaco Oosthuizen, CEO of Exponential Ventures, said: “We’re thrilled to be supporting an exciting accelerator programme like Startupbootcamp InsurTech for the second year. We got involved last year because we recognised the need to promote innovation in the insurance industry, and it’s something that we are passionate about.”

Last year almost 200 startups and individuals attended and presented their innovative insurance ideas; out of which 10 were selected for the programme. One South African startup made it to the top 23 startups.

This year Startupbootcamp InsurTech is looking for startups specialising in: virtual and augmented reality; Blockchain; artificial intelligence and machine learning; Internet of Things and wearables; drones and robotics; cyber security; data analysis and big data; life science and genome; MedTech and digital health; and customer experience.

Why should startups apply?

“Participating in the FastTrack tour means that startups are on the Startupbootcamp InsurTech watch list for life, giving them a greater chance of being selected for one of our global programmes,” said Sabine VanderLinden, MD, Startupbootcamp InsurTech.

“We encourage startups, at whatever stage of development, to apply to join us for the unprecedented opportunity to connect with Startupbootcamp InsurTech’s global community and access worldwide opportunities through Startupbootcamp. It is an exciting time for the insurance industry, not only in London, but also in South Africa, and we’re delighted to bring FastTrack to Cape Town and Johannesburg with Exponential Ventures.”

The benefits to successful FastTrack startups include joining the watch list, opportunity to be selected for the Startupbootcamp InsurTech accelerator programme as well as:

  • Extensive mentorship from 400+ entrepreneurs, investors, and partners
  • Access to top markets in London, Europe, Asia-Pacific
  • 3+ months free office space
  • €15K in cash per team
  • €450K+ in partner services
  • Invitation to Startupbootcamp global alumni network

For more information on the application process and FastTrack days, visit:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/startupbootcamp-insurtech-fasttrack-in-cape-town-tickets-26721125606  for Cape Town and https://www.eventbrite.com/e/startupbootcamp-insurtech-fasttrack-in-johannesburg-tickets-26721134633 for Johannesburg.

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