DARE TO DISRUPT
The W1 Forward Accelerator Program is designed for early-stage startups, helping to turn validated entrepreneurial ideas market- and investor-ready. The tailor-made 2-month program is targeted at cross-industry international startups that want to make an impact on the insurance business with their digital solutions. The accelerator includes workshops, one-on-one mentoring and coaching sessions to aid startups in becoming experts in insurance, and ready to build pilots with InsurTech corporate members.
Founded in 2015 and with three batches under our belt, we can offer access to a huge network of mentors, coaches, investors and allies both within the industry, in universities and with our startup alumni. But our true USP is the unparalleled access we provide startups to our fourteen insurance members. They range from international market leaders to local champions with a true interest in startup cooperation and partnership-building.
The W1 Forward InsurTech Accelerator is performed in cooperation with WERK1, ‘the most start-up-friendly place in Munich‘. WERK1 is a startup hub, funded by the Bavarian ministry for economic affairs, on a mission to unleash the great potential of the Munich startup ecosystem.
We’re looking for true disruptors, people who think big and outside the box, founders that come up with unexpected ideas. The program is open to both early and venture-backed technology startups with a vision to revolutionize the insurance industry and a validated concept or prototype (demonstrate early traction or provide data points) and be open to refining the concept.
InsurTech Hub Munich
Established insurance companies have realized their biggest competitors are no longer their industry peers, but rather the Tech Big 5 or Insurtech unicorns. Reliant on traditional and large structures they often have a hard time coping with these fast-moving new players. That’s where InsurTech Hub Munich (ITHM) enters the stage: Our mission is bringing insurers together with promising entrepreneurs, academia, government agencies and cross-industry partners.
ITHM hosts events, frequent networking opportunities, knowledge-sharing workshops or meetups, partners with internationally renowned events, like the DIA Conference – and most importantly, two different international accelerator programs, all to bring innovators and corporates in the insurtech world together. W1 Forward InsurTech Accelerator is designed to make early stage startups market- and investor-ready. Once startups have reached a later stage, InsurTech Europe powered by Plug&Play assists them in the scaling phase.
Our startup ecosystem is not based on dog-walking apps or the next hip smoothie startup: Being an InsurTech means participating in the enabling industry with a market size of €1,2bn just in Europe. Without insurance, self-driving cars won’t be allowed on the road. Without insurance cyber criminals would be able to bring down big companies within the glimpse of an eye. Without insurance the majority of people would basically be prevented from consulting a doctor, own or rent an apartment, ride a car or take financial care for their family and themselves.
The best ideas come from all backgrounds and industries – therefore we heavily urge startups to think big! We’re looking for true disruptors, people who think outside the box and come up with really unexpected ideas. We dare you to find a startup that doesn’t apply to the insurance market.
As a founding hub of the Federal Ministry’s Digital Hub Initiative, ITHM works closely with fifteen other hubs, each focused on their own vertical, aimed at putting Germany on the global digitization heatmap. Apart from its 12 insurance industry partners – ranging from international market leaders to local champions – ITHM cooperates closely with other firms with insurance interests like Roche and PwC, universities, government agencies as well as Silicon Valley innovation platform Plug & Play.
Meet the Team
Dr. Florian Mann
Executive Director ITHM / CEO Werk1
Director, Programs & Strategy
Community & Events Manager
Director, Partner Management
What you get from the program
Who we are looking for
If you are a smart, early-stage startup with a ready go-to-market concept / MVP and think we can make insurance companies and services more attractive, cheaper and more efficient, you´re the one for W1 Forward InsurTech Accelerator.
Do you have a great team, who supports you to make a scalable business out of your concept?
Do you have a willingness to work intensively and hard to achieve a stage where your startup reaches a market-fit and investment-readiness?
Are you willing to relocate to Munich for the duration of the program?
8 weeks of intensive program
8 weeks of intensive program
The program in numbers
Some of this year’s mentors
Investment Manager at Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures
Managing Director at Wefox
CEO FairFleet & Pepperfish
CEO DACH Innoleaps & SBC
CEO & Founder at Alyne
CEO at Deutsche Kautionskasse AG
Founder Munyx & Intertec
Dr. Tristan Behrens
Senior Data Scientist and AI Expert
Digital Innovation Manager at MAN Truck & Bus AG
Co-Founder at VISN and Senior Digital Innovation Manager at mantro
Insurance Specialist at BMW
Director Strategic Partnerships at TIMIFY