Interview with Moritz Finkelnburg: “Young start-ups must be supported” | GIR19

by | Mar 14, 2019 | Blogposts | 0 comments

On 19 and 20 March 2019, the Global InsurTech Roadshow (GIR19) will take place in Frankfurt (Germany). The GIR is an international InsurTech conference specifically aimed at early stage startups between seeding and pre-A. Our Startup Community Manager Nia Escobar will also be attend the event. Moritz Finkelnburg is the founder and chairman of the Global InsurTech Roadshow and also is the InsurTech Advisor at TechQuartier. In this interview, he talks to us about what makes GIR special, the development of the InsurTech scene, and the success factors for startups and corporates when it comes to joint projects.
After the success in 2018, the GIR will take place for the second time this year. How did the idea of organizing a conference specifically for Early stage InsurTechs stroke you?
It was born during an uninhibited “green sauce dinner” with George Kesselman from InsurTech Asia in Singapore and Simon Schneider from Maschmeyer on our university campus in Frankfurt. George thought about going on a European tour with 15 Asian startups and Simon looked at the sunny campus and just said “that’s the place”. And then the idea was born…
What is so special about the GIR compared to other industry events?
We are much smaller (a good 250 participants) and non-commercial. This familiar atmosphere and the university lecture hall or cafeteria as an event location create an incredible ambience for networking and exchange. Our early stage approach and the involvement of experts and startups from a selected host country (2018 Singapore, 2019 Israel) make GIR a unique event.
So the focus is clearly on the young InsurTech startups. Why do you think they should be promoted more?
Those who demand creativity and disruption must also be interested in many small and lively start-ups. If we want new ideas and digital approaches, it’s not about the heavy tankers of the old economy, but about founders who push and develop a crazy idea against all odds. And we must continue to support this.
How is the InsurTech scene currently developing from your perspective? What are you observing?
The innovative centers are certainly the Valley, as well as China and Israel – all with slightly different focal points. But Germany is not doing bad at all, I think. I find particularly exciting the numerous enabler approaches along the value chain of traditional insurers. Be it digital image evaluations in the claims area, self-ID procedures or payment variants – everything is in motion. And the life, commercial and industrial segments have not yet got off to a really digital start. Also noteworthy is the health sector, where a great deal is happening.
What practical tips do you have for young start-ups in the InsurTech sector?
Get insurance expertise right from the start. In this way, many mistakes can be avoided and the accuracy of the business models is increased. And take a close look at your decks: Often far too technical and without a clear message or vision. Even contact numbers are sometimes missing. You only have 1-2 minutes before an investor or manager makes an internal decision: in or out… Use this chance well!
What would you like to give companies in the insurance industry on their way with regard to cooperation or promotion of young start-ups?
Working with InsurTechs offers several advantages: know-how gain for your own business model, image gain through positioning as a “digitally active insurer” and – last but not least – the chance to win new employees or train your own employees there. Get involved in this “new world”.
What does GIR19 specifically offer to strengthen the connection between Corporates & InsurTechs?
We try to link insurers and start-ups very closely and permanently. All participating insurers receive precise profiles of InsurTechs from us and are connected to them. The startups themselves have expressed numerous requests for talks with the approx. 30 participating insurers and our “Meeting Area” is probably the most frequently used room at the conference. And of course our friendly cooperation partners – like InsurLab Germany – are also very helpful in bringing both groups together.
GIR19 will take place on 19 and 20 March 2019 in Frankfurt. Would you like to register and take the opportunity to get to know exciting young InsurTechs? Then register under this link.
For our members we have a special benefit: You get single tickets for 400€ instead of 750€ per ticket as well as company tickets (4 pcs.) for 1200€ instead of 2000€.
Send us an email to and we will send you the discount code directly. Have fun!