Plug and Play Event: Innovators Interviews with Jason. T. Andrew & Jane Wang, CEO of Optimity

Week 2: Jane Wang, CEO and Co-Founder of Optimity

This is the second in a series of six interviews. Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with six insurtech innovators and get reflections on their journey in the insurtech ecosystem. What I like about these six is the breadth of perspective that they offer.

These interviews are an opportunity to sit at the feet of a group of trailblazers including a corporate venture fund, a founder who raised over $70M and then was acquired, a long-time industry veteran broker who is now building a startup, another seasoned C-level insurance executive who is now an analyst and brings other C-level insurance executives to Silicon Valley to learn about innovation.

If you join us along this six-part journey, you will gain tremendous insights into the challenges of raising money, integrating with an enterprise insurance carrier, what it’s like to get acquired and assimilate a startup into a larger organization, how corporate VCs think about investing and what it really takes to get your startup off the ground.

Today we hear from Jane Wang, CEO & Co-Founder of Optimity. Jane has an amazing personal story about why she started her company and what she is doing to improve the industry and people’s lives as well. Jane and I met early on, doing the conference tour when #insurtech was just getting started. I think you’ll enjoy this short interview.

Join us over the next 4 Thursdays to hear from:

Vinay Gidwaney, CTO & Co-Founder at Maxwell Health, who helped raise nearly $70M and got acquired by Sun Life.

Greg Yoder, Head of Business Development of Insurify, an industry veteran who retired from a very successful career in the brokerage industry only to restart as a tech pioneer.

Bharat Rajaram, Managing Director of Aflac Ventures. Just a couple years ago, Aflac, one of the largest and most well-known insurance carriers on the globe, started a $100M investment fund. Bharat has been leading the charge and has looked at hundreds of startups.

Robert McIsaac, EVP of Novarica. Robert has decades of experience as a CIO at insurance carriers. He now is an executive at an analyst firm that helps startups and carriers connect around digital transformation. He also leads a “Silicon Valley tour” where he brings 20-40 insurance CIOs to learn about innovation, and he has a wealth of insight around what is taking place in the insurtech ecosystem.

Until next time.

–Jason

Plug and Play Event: Innovators Interviews with Jason T. Andrew & Ali Safavi, Head of Venture Investments and Insurance, Plug and Play

Week 1: Ali Safavi, Head of Venture Investments and Insurance, Plug and Play

I recently had the opportunity to join the Employee Benefits Reimagined event at Plug & Play in their Sunnyvale headquarters. Today we begin the first of our six-part series of interviews with some key innovators. I am excited about all the interviews, and this one is the perfect way to kick off the series. We are big fans of Plug & Play and their team; they are investors in our B round and they have been a tremendous partner and have helped us make many valuable connections.

I had the chance to sit down with Ali Safavi, who is head of venture investments and insurance at Plug & Play and built their program from the ground up.

When we joined their second batch of Insurtech startups in early 2017, Plug & Play was just getting into the insurance space. Fast forward two years, and their footprint and influence in the Insurtech community has become substantive.

Ali is passionate, fun to be around and always thinking about how he can help make a meaningful connection. I hope you enjoy this brief 5-minute discussion as much as I did.

Join us over the next 5 weeks to hear more interviews with:

Vinay Gidwaney, CTO & Co-Founder at Maxwell Health, who helped raise nearly $70M and got acquired by Sun Life.

Jane Wang, CEO & Co-Founder of Optimity, who has an amazing personal story about why she started this company and is doing her part to improve the industry.

Greg Yoder, Head of Business Development of Insurify, an industry veteran who retired from a very successful career in the brokerage industry only to restart as a tech pioneer.

Bharat Rajaram, Managing Director of Aflac Ventures. Just a couple years ago, Aflac, one of the largest and most well-known insurance carriers on the globe, started a $100M investment fund. Bharat has been leading the charge and has looked at hundreds of startups.

Robert McIsaac, EVP of Novarica. Robert has decades of experience as a CIO at insurance carriers. He now is an executive at an analyst firm that helps startups and carriers connect around digital transformation. He also leads a “Silicon Valley tour” where he brings 20-40 insurance CIOs to learn about innovation, and has a wealth of insight around what is taking place in the insurtech ecosystem.

–Jason