On March 19 and 20, 2019, Frankfurt will host the Global InsurTech Roadshow (GIR19) an international InsurTech conference specifically for early-stage startups between seeding and pre-A. Our Startup Community Manager Nia Escobar will also be there. Moritz Finkelnburg is Founder & Chairman of the Global InsurTech Roadshow as well as InsurTech Advisor at TechQuartier. In this interview, he talks to us about the added value of the conference, the development of the InsurTech scene and success factors for startups and corporates when it comes to joint projects.
After the success in 2018, the GIR took place for the second time this year. How did you come up with the idea of organizing a conference specifically for earlystage InsurTechs?
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 was thinking about doing a European tour with 15 Asian startups and Simon looked at the sunny campus and just said "that's the place". And the idea was born...
What is 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 refectory as venue create an incredible ambience for networking and exchange. Our early-stager approach as well as the involvement of experts and startups from a selected host country (Singapore in 2018 and Israel this year) make GIR a unique event.
So the focus is clearly on young InsurTech startups. Why do you think these in particular should be promoted more strongly?
Anyone who demands creativity and disruption must also be interested in many small and lively startups. If we want new ideas and digital approaches, we can't get them from the heavy tankers of the old economy, but only from founders who push ahead and develop a crazy idea against all odds. And we must all 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 somewhat different focuses. But Germany is not doing badly at all, in my opinion. I find the numerous approaches of the enablers along the value chain of the traditional insurers particularly exciting. Whether it's digital image analysis in the claims area, self-ID processes or payment options - everything is on the move. And the life, commercial, and industrial segments have not yet really taken off digitally. The health sector is also remarkable, with a lot going on.
What practical tips do you have for young startups in the InsurTech sector?
Get insurance expertise right from the start. This will help you avoid many mistakes and increase the accuracy of your business models. And take a close look at your decks: Often way too technical and without a clear message or vision. Even contact numbers are sometimes missing. You have only 1-2 minutes before an investor or manager decides inside: Up or out... Use this chance well!
What advice would you like to give to companies in the insurance industry regarding the collaboration or promotion of young startups?
Cooperation 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 gain new employees or have your own employees trained there. Get involved in this "new world".
What offers the GIR19 concretely, to strengthen the connection between corporates & InsurTechs?
We try to connect insurers and startups very closely and permanently. All participating insurers receive precise profiles of the InsurTechs from us and are connected with them. The startups themselves have expressed numerous requests to talk to the 30 or so participating insurers, and our "Meeting Area" is probably the most used room at the conference. And of course our friendly cooperation partners - like InsurLab Germany - are also very helpful in bringing both groups together.

The GIR19 will take place on March 19 and 20, 2019 in Frankfurt. You still want to register and take the chance to meet exciting young InsurTechs? Then register under this link.
For our Members we have another special benefit: You will receive Single tickets for 400€ instead of 750€ per ticket as well as Company ticket (4 pcs.) for 1200€ instead of 2000€.
Send us a mail to events@insurlab-germany.com and we will send you the discount code directly. Have fun!