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Global Insurance Accelerator Names Interim Managing Director

September 3, 2014

The Global Insurance Accelerator has announced the appointment of an interim managing director. Tej Dhawan, a well-known, experienced entrepreneur and startup advocate, will act in the role of Managing Director for the Global Insurance Accelerator through the end of 2014.

The role of Interim Managing Director is crucial to the Global Insurance Accelerator in two ways. First, it is critical to get all of the operational details finalized so that the accelerator is ready for the inaugural class in February of 2015. Second, this will allow the board of directors of the Global Insurance Accelerator to conduct a thorough search for the best possible permanent leader of the accelerator. In completing these and many other duties, Dhawan is well suited to succeed in this role. His background as an entrepreneur, helping grow his company from a one person startup to the national market leader, his experience and connections through Startup Iowa and Startup America, and his work as a startup mentor and advocate gives Dhawan the necessary skills to effectively bring the accelerator on line.

The Global Insurance Accelerator is backed by seven local insurance companies: Principal Financial Group, Delta Dental of Iowa, American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, The IMT Group, and Farm Bureau Financial Services. The Greater Des Moines Partnership is continuing to seek additional companies to create a consortium of insurance companies to support the program in Iowa.

“Tej brings a unique perspective to the Accelerator based on his own entrepreneurial experiences,” said Jeff Russell, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa, one of the investors in the Global Insurance Accelerator. “We are fortunate to have a local resource such as Tej to begin this important foundational work as we prepare for the 2015 launch.”

“I am looking forward to working with the Global Insurance Accelerator,” said Dhawan. “This is a unique business model in the startup community that demonstrates cooperation among the insurance industry.”

The Global Insurance Accelerator is an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Please contact Mike Colwell, mcolwell@DSMpartnership.com or (515) 286-4950, for more information. Media inquiries should be directed to Susan Ramsey at (515) 286-4954 or sramsey@DSMpartnership.com.

About the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA)

Launched in 2015, the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) fosters innovation in and for the insurance industry via a mentor-driven, 100-day program. GIA supports an annual cohort by providing each graduate company $40K of seed money in exchange for six percent equity. During the program, cohort members get insurance-specific mentoring via 1:1 meetings with industry executives, as well as basic business infrastructure assistance, coaching on garnering investments, and product-specific insights into strategies for increasing applicability to and feasibility for the insurance industry. The GIA extended network includes insurance company investors, startups and mentors from across the global business and insurance communities. For more details please visit globalinsuranceaccelerator.com.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,100 Regional Business Members and more than 320 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.