SOURCE: Global Insurance Accelerator

Global Insurance Accelerator

October 18, 2017 11:15 ET

Global Insurance Accelerator Announces SFM Mutual Insurance as New Investor

SFM ramps up innovation efforts with involvement in the first accelerator focused solely on insurance

DES MOINES, IA--(Marketwired - October 18, 2017) - The Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA), the world's first business accelerator focused solely on innovation and technology for the insurance industry, is pleased to announce that SFM Mutual Insurance Company (SFM), a workers' compensation specialty provider, will join the GIA Board of Directors as part of support for the company's recent annual investment.

Founded in 1983, SFM is a leading provider of workers' compensation insurance in the U.S. Midwest. The company's mission and values reflect those of its member base with a concentration on integrity, high service standards, and innovation as a means of meeting and exceeding policyholder expectations.

"We see participation in the GIA as a fitting expression of our long-standing culture of innovation," said Bob Lund, president and chief executive officer of SFM. "Harnessing technology to better serve the needs of our customers is one of the ways we deliver long-term value, and the GIA presents a vital dialogue around that commitment."

The GIA's immersive program invites insurance technology (InsurTech) to Des Moines, Iowa, one of the nation's largest business centers for the modern insurance industry, for in-depth industry mentorship and business coaching, as well as exposure to insurer operations, focused line of business (LOB) insight, and access to potential additional investors. Each April, cohort companies graduate by pitching onstage in front of Global Insurance Symposium attendees.

"Our industry-leading, 95 percent policyholder retention rate is a key indicator of our commitment to delivering long-term positive results for our customers," said Mike Happe, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for SFM. "We look forward to offering our mentorship and encouragement to those seeking meaningful ways to embrace technology to make the world a better place."

The GIA has steadily added new investors throughout 2016 and 2017, and recently completed the most globally-diverse cohort to-date. SFM joins the GIA's existing investor group in offering program mentors, and looking forward to the annual InsurTech Week in Des Moines which will take place October 23-27, introducing an additional 15 InsurTech startups to the GIA network.

"SFM is joining the GIA at the perfect time," said Brian Hemesath, managing director for the GIA. "Not only are we looking forward to their participation in board discussions and leadership, but InsurTech Week offers an opportunity for their best people to engage with InsurTech startups in a 1:1 way almost immediately. This is a great way to launch our work together and to boost to their already thriving internal culture of innovation."

As a part of the GIA, insurer investors are often exposed to the newest industry-specific technology trends ahead of formal product launches, and, are therefore better positioned against modern competitors operating in the same markets. While the startups included in each of the GIA's annual cohorts are typically early-stage, those participating in InsurTech Week vary widely in stages of business and product development.

For information on becoming an investor in the GIA, or on applying for the 2018 GIA program, please visit

About the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA)
Launched in 2015, the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) fosters innovation in and for the insurance industry via a mentor-driven, 100-day program. GIA supports an annual cohort by providing each graduate company $40K of seed money in exchange for six percent equity. During the program, cohort members get insurance-specific mentoring via 1:1 meetings with industry executives, as well as basic business infrastructure assistance, coaching on garnering investments, and product-specific insights into strategies for increasing applicability to and feasibility for the insurance industry. The GIA extended network includes insurance company investors, startups and mentors from across the global business and insurance communities. For more details please visit

About SFM
SFM Mutual Insurance Company, headquartered in Bloomington, Minnesota, is a customer-owned mutual insurance company providing Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota employers with workers' compensation coverage. SFM offers workers' compensation insurance solutions for employers of all sizes, including injury prevention, claims and disability management, cost containment, legal assistance and third-party administration. For more information, visit

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