Hartford insurtechs among 2019 VentureClash semifinalists

Nearly three dozen startups, including two based in downtown Hartford, have been selected as semifinalists for Connecticut Innovations’ (CI) $5 million VentureClash 2019 challenge, the quasi-public agency said.

CI on Monday announced that the first round of the global venture challenge, now in its fourth year, drew almost 300 applications from more than 20 countries. 

A total of 34 companies advanced to the semifinals, including Hartford’s Covr Financial Technologies, a digital life insurance software developer, and peer-to-peer insurance app Pineapple, which participates in Nassau Re’s newly minted incubator program. Both companies have headquarters on the fifth floor of Hartford’s iconic Boat Building.

Other startups named to the next round include New York-based sports technology company Physimax Technologies, biotech company Acorn Biolabs and cloud automation technology company MedStack, both based in Toronto, and Israeli energy-saving platform EcoPlant. The other startups can be found here.

VentureClash allows early stage digital health, insurance technology, fintech and internet-of-things companies to compete for opportunities to receive investments, grants, mentoring and other services.

Several area corporations support or provide prizes for VentureClash, including Stanley Black & Decker, AIG, Travelers Cos. and Webster Bank.

The finals event will be held Oct. 17 at the Yale University “West Campus” in Orange.

In 2018, nine startups were selected to the third annual cohort. An israeli developer of speech recognition technology, Voiceitt, won last year’s $1.5 million prize.