Dogpatch Labs and InsurTech Ireland to run insurtech pre-accelerator

5 Nov 2021

Image: © 88studio/

The pre-accelerator aims to tackle challenges the insurtech industry is currently facing by offering eight start-ups access to expert mentors.

Entrepreneurship hub Dogpatch Labs and InsurTech Ireland have joined forces to launch a new pre-accelerator to find insurtech start-ups that are tackling insurance problems in new, innovative ways.

The two organisations have been collaborating since around 2019. They announced today (5 November) that eight start-ups have been selected for the pre-accelerator programme. These businesses were part of a group of 50 insurtech competitors hoping to win one of the eight spots.

The programme will enable the participating start-ups access to insurance industry leaders to develop their ideas, with fireside chats and mentoring from some of the country’s top insurtech experts.

Ireland has a vibrant insurtech industry already. It hosts 11 of the world’s top 15 insurers, including global players MetLife, Zurich, Aon, Axa, Hannover Re, Aviva and Allianz.

The programme’s participants will take part in a virtual showcase day on 23 November, which will be broadcasted to investors, VIPs, potential customers and the general public from IT Carlow. The IT is a facilitator of insurance innovation both regionally and nationally.

The eight start-ups chosen to take part in the pre-accelerator programme are ApplyOn, CyberPie, Equine MediRecord, Gatepost, Itus Secure Technologies, nSurely, Penny FS Technologies and UPackage.

“The level of interest we’ve had in this programme shows what a healthy insurtech ecosystem we have here in Ireland,” said Dave Power, director of innovation at Dogpatch Labs. “With insurance increasingly in the spotlight due to factors including Covid-19 and climate change, the programme creates opportunities for start-ups and corporates to collaborate to create win-wins.

“We believe Ireland has the potential to become the home of the European insurtech industry, and this programme is just the beginning,” Power added.

Gerard de Vere, founder of InsurTech Ireland said that technology is completely changing the insurance industry. “This country has the expertise, the talent and the mentor access to run a world-class insurtech accelerator in the future. With 15,000 employees in the Irish insurance industry alone, the entrepreneurial potential within the ecosystem is very exciting.”

The pre-accelerator programme is being supported by funding from Arclabs’ Fund 1 GP. The investors in Arclabs Fund 1 are Enterprise Ireland, Suir Valley Ventures, Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund, South East BIC, Centrica Innovations, and the local authorities of Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford.

According to Gary Leyden of ArcLabs, the “programme is about finding the next generation of Irish insurtech companies that can scale internationally”.

Leydon was recently appointed CEO of insurtech non-profit, which is backed by 12 founder members, including AA Ireland, AXA, ALD Re, Allianz, Greenlight Re, Insurance Ireland, Irish Life, Laya Healthcare, New Ireland Assurance, Unum, SCOR and William Fry.

Leydon previously worked as commercial director for the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC) and ran its launchpad accelerator.

Don’t miss out on the knowledge you need to succeed. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of need-to-know sci-tech news.

Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.