August 28, 2017
Reporter's Notebook

InsurTech Hackathon aims to breed new startup

PHOTO | HBJ File
PHOTO | HBJ File
InsurTech Hartford founder Stacey Brown says Hartford is an ideal place to grow insurance tech startups.

Aspiring entrepreneurs with technology ideas that could help the insurance industry are invited to vie for a $5,000 first prize next month during a hackathon weekend at Upward Hartford, featuring top regional developers, designers, coaches, entrepreneurs, mentors and judges from Boston, New York City and Silicon Valley.

InsurTech Hackathon Weekend will span 48 hours Sept. 8-10 at Upward Hartford, the new coworking, networking and incubator space spanning two floors of the Stilts Building downtown. Even those without technology ideas, who may have other talents, connections or knowledge that could advance an idea for the sector, can participate.

The hackathon's goal is to start with an idea on Friday night and leave Sunday with a solid startup company and numerous network contacts, according to an announcement from Upward Hartford and InsurTech Hartford. The latter is a new organization seeking to grow the startup community around insurance technology using technology to improve or change how the insurance industry operates or to create new products.

"We are encouraging entrepreneur-minded people to grab this opportunity and use this event as a platform to present and develop their insurance-related business ideas and build the best next big thing with the help of the top qualified mentors in the industry," said Stacey Brown, InsurTech Hartford founder and IT veteran in Hartford's insurance industry.

The Travelers Cos. is sponsoring the $5,000 prize for the winning team, which can present its idea to insurance companies and investors during Connecticut Innovation Week in October. XL Catlin is offering a $3,000 prize for second place.

Other Hackathon supporters include the state Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Innovations, UConn School of Business, University of Hartford, Trinity College and the Hilton Hartford.

Hackathon admission is $100 per person, $50 for students, which includes six meals. For information, call 860-785-2716 or visit https://www.hartfordhack.com.

– John Stearns

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