W1Forward InsurTech Accelerator, led by WERK1, is based in Munich and provides a strong foundation for selected startups. The program is sponsored by twelve insurers and reinsurers: Allianz, ADAC, ARAG, die Bayerische, Generali, HUK-Coburg, LV1871, Munich RE, Nürnberger, Swiss Re, VKB and WWK. It is one of very few accelerators in Europe that offers a collective partnership with a range of global and regional players in the insurance industry.
“MotionsCloud had been through several insurtech accelerators across the globe. W1Forward is one of the best as it is backed by world & regional leading insurers and reinsurers that are open for innovation.” Lex Tan – CEO of MotionsCloud.
One benefit of the W1Forward accelerator is that it’s completely free for the selected insurtech start-ups. Though this doesn’t prevent the insurers here in Munich from being very open and willing to share their expertise.
Another benefit of the program is that it provides a full six months of access to the insurance partners, allowing ample time to arrange pilot programs and prepare for the launch of your startup MVP.
“We chose the Werk1 Insurtech Accelerator because having 12 insurance companies joining together shows that they are committed to openness and collaboration to meet the challenges of digitalization. This convinced us to join the program and work on this task with them.” Julian von Fischer – Co-Founder of Karlsson.
Tapoly chose to come on the W1 Forward program in Munich because we want to be part of the wider insurance ecosystem, and we are here mainly to meet insurers and build a strong network within the European community.
But what we love most about the experience is the people. The program’s coordinators, industry partners and fellow start-ups make us feel very welcome and we do feel that we are part of the family, even though we are not local.
“With our non-profit focus and wide range of insurance partners we’ve established a unique and valuable program for startups. A huge advantage is that most of our partners and community members are just a short step away from WERK1 and put a lot of time and effort into the program. It is a great chance for teams to validate their product and build strong relationships with potential partners.” Anastasia Stoycheva – Business Development Manager at WERK1.
Points to note
We have had a great experience being on the program so far, but if you do not already live locally then it’s not cheap to be in Munich. Also, although most of the participants on the program are happy to speak English, knowledge of German would come in handy and it would certainly help you to build good relationships with the more local partners and communities.
Overall we feel that we have got a lot of value from being here, but as with anything you get out what you put in. Some of the advice from the mentors on the program can be hard to hear if you are not prepared to take it seriously and change the direction of your business where necessary. Being on the program doesn’t ensure your success, but it can certainly steer you in the right direction and provide a lot of support. I would enthusiastically recommend W1Forward to any insurtech startup that wants to get ahead.