New 8,700 square-foot ‘met.X’ tech incubator in Research Triangle to host 2nd class of the MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars®
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#innovation–MetLife today announced its second class of nine companies selected to participate in the MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars®. Based in the newly built met.X incubator on MetLife’s Global Technology Campus in Cary, North Carolina, the accelerator connects startups with MetLife leaders and Techstars mentors for an intensive 13-week program focused on fast-tracking technologies with the potential to transform the insurance industry.
“When we bring in these startups, our goal is to spot the possibilities in every disruption,” said MetLife Chief Digital Officer Greg Baxter. “If a solution can improve our customer experience and tackle real business challenges or opportunities, we then look to supersize it. The result is a positive collision of industrial scale and innovation speed. And for a company like MetLife, scale matters, as it’s a key differentiator for us.”
On Oct. 10, 2019, the startups will formally present their ideas to MetLife and other potential investors during a ‘Demo Day’ event. The 2019 class members were chosen based on their potential to deliver solutions that center on: Customers, such as solutions for those in the gig or sharing economies; Products, such as new approaches to deliver employee benefits or experiences that will support the financial, emotional or physical health of customers; and Process, such as new ways to underwrite and manage risk or accelerate integration across industry partners.
The nine startups and what they hope to deliver are:
- BlockClaim (London, UK): Empowers insurers to settle claims in as little as 24 hours by providing data driven insights.
- Bonbouton (New York, NY): Is a smart insole that detects foot ulcers, a common cause of diabetes-related amputations.
- The Difference (New York): Provides on-demand therapy via phone or smart speaker.
- Lazarus (Cambridge, MA): Uses historical patient health data and machine learning to help predict the early onset of cancer.
- Omni Fund (San Francisco, CA): Uses smart contracts to create autonomous insurances that run with nearly zero overhead.
- Slighter (Dover, DE): Is a smart cigarette lighter that tracks smoking habits and trains users to reduce gradually until they quit.
- Slope Software (Atlanta, GA): Helps actuaries build and analyze complex financial models in a fraction of the time using only a web browser.
- Smiletronix (Barcelona, Spain): Completes a dental health scan anytime, anywhere in under a minute with their personal handheld device.
- Zogo Finance (Durham, NC): Pays kids to learn personal finance by partnering with financial institutions.
Visit MetLife’s YouTube channel to learn more about the program and watch a “Day in the Life” video with 2018 participants, a full list of which can be found here. MetLife is now pursuing pilots with eight of the 10 companies from 2018, with six tests already in flight.
The accelerator program – which holds open applications each January – is part of MetLife’s digital transformation that combines artificial intelligence, robotics and automation, and advanced data analytics with:
- Relationships with 18 venture capital firms, partnerships with leading technology companies, and collaborations with universities such as Carnegie Mellon, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the MIT Media Lab.
- Investment of up to $100 million through MetLife Digital Ventures to accelerate partnerships with strategically aligned startup companies.
- MetLife’s ‘Ignition’ program, an annual one-day innovation hunt in which 15 to 20 tech startups ‘speed date’ more than 200 MetLife business leaders.
- LumenLab, MetLife’s Singapore-based business incubator that focuses on innovation in wellness, wealth and retirement.
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,700 companies with a market cap of $22 Billion. www.techstars.com
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