Shafer discusses the significance of TPG being a part of BrokerTech Ventures.
“BTV works with those at the forefront of technology to innovate within the insurance industry,” says Jake Shafer. “If TPG isn’t a part of that innovation, we run the risk of not having a voice in those new directions and emerging tech-enabled solution providers.”
Founded in 2019, BrokerTech Ventures (BTV) is a consortium of firms that came together to provide a venue for the best minds in insurance and technology to collaborate and bring to market leading-edge ideas and solutions. BTV’s significant market reach through its members creates an environment where great ideas and products can be refined and promoted while producers find capital and expand distribution.
As a BTV member since 2021, TPG is an intermediary between brokers, clients, and carriers to help find tech-enabled solutions to business problems, all working toward systems excellence and customer efficiency. The main innovations are within four categories: 1) brokerage operations; 2) customer experience (CX) tools; 3) streamlining the process between the customer, broker, and carrier; and 4) better risk management.
“Technology-driven innovation within our industry can benefit all stakeholders, including most importantly the client,” says Shafer. “We need to be mindful of how tech-enabled solutions can improve our customers’ experience with the broker and carrier markets. This can be done through direct client-facing solutions or indirectly through tools that improve our operations, allowing us to spend more time addressing strategic issues our clients face by improving the overall customer experience. If satisfied clients and systems excellence are priorities, then investment in innovation is essential.”
The BrokerTech Ventures Accelerator
Via a ground-breaking incubator program for a selection of insurtech startups, BTV invests in their research and testing, provides access to veteran industry mentors, and helps scale the technology to market through broker distribution channels. Additionally, BTV provides opportunity for seed funding, distribution, stakeholder engagement, and access to additional capital.
This highly competitive, one-year accelerator program has already resulted in new companies developing fantastic innovations that have advanced the insurance industry – from employee benefits solutions to inventive marketing tactics to new P&C strategies. Along with Shafer, several TPGers from across divisions (employee benefits, commercial lines, sales and marketing, executive leadership, operations, etc.), regularly help promote and participate in the BTV accelerator program.
“With BTV, sharing and collaboration is the key,” says Shafer. “The insurance industry has lagged behind other sectors, such as banking, in innovation. We’re set to change that.”
Takeaways from TPG’s Collaboration with BTV
The takeaways of our involvement with this ground-breaking organization are influential and broad, according to Shafer:
Speed & Agility: “The magnitude of change in the marketplace is massive. Rules and solutions are being set. TPG needs to be a part of that change and, in fact, help influence it. We are training to become faster and nimbler in a changing industry, along with other BTV members.”
Rivalry & Challenge: “BTV creates competitive advantage – we are at the forefront of creating new tools for more efficient business operations.”
Knowledge & Progress: “Not only are we sharing our own expertise (such as on the health and benefits side of the industry), but we are learning what other agencies and brokers are working on through the ongoing collaboration of members. We are all pushing each other forward.”
Inspiration & Fun: “It is energizing and exciting to work with entrepreneurs who pivot and adapt as they learn. It’s really a lot of fun to engage with these people and see how adaptable they are to market and customer needs.”
There are also challenges, Shafer says. “We have been on a crawl/walk/run trajectory, and at those early stages it’s difficult to measure the actual efficiency gains. In some instances, it is probably a drain on resources. But a better way to view it is that every investment has a cost. That initial investment is painful, but at the end, new skills and capabilities will be developed in our team, ones that are essential to remain competitive in our industry.”
For more information about BTV, the accelerator program, and more, visit brokertechventures.com.