Hartford InsurTech Startup Finds Value in Community
Combined Ratio Solutions Co-Founders Michael Jones, Chief Executive Officer and Luke Magnan, Chief Operating Officer spoke with MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price about their experience launching an InsurTech startup and the importance of locating their business in Hartford.
NAN PRICE: Give us a little context about when and why you launched the company.
MIKE JONES: Luke and I had spent 20 years working in various facets of the insurance industry on the agency and carrier side. We had both segued into the technology side, where we met around 2012 when we were working on similar project at the same organization. As that company was getting acquired, we saw an opportunity for us to build our own company focusing on the insurance industry, which we had been part of our lives for so long.
Honestly, we thought we knew what we were going to focus on and we started down that path. As we started to expose our vision to the marketplace, we received positive feedback but we found there was another business problem that really needed solving, where there was a big gap in offerings. So, we pivoted pretty quickly. We’ve been working on that concept for the last couple of years. Then, in January of 2018, we formally started the company.
NAN: Why locate your business in Hartford?
MIKE: When we were deciding where we wanted to locate, we contemplated Boston, Worcester, and Hartford. As the non-Hartford resident, I’ve been impressed with the strong network community here. From a leadership perspective, I was impressed by the accessibility to have our voices Heard. We were able to meet with Mayor Bronin to discuss what our business would look like in Hartford. I don’t think we would have that experience if we went to Boston—and probably not in Worcester either.
NAN: Where do you see the benefits of becoming involved with the MetroHartford Alliance and the Hartford Chamber of Commerce?
MIKE: It’s given us insight into where to find the networks we should be tied into. Admittedly, we know these networks are accessible. But our involvement with the Alliance and the Hartford Chamber provides opportunities for introductions to people from all types of industries, not just insurance. It’s been a huge help for us to leverage those networks.
LUKE MAGNAN: With regard to the Hartford Chamber, at the end of the day, a rising tide lifts all boats. The more businesses that are successful in Hartford, the more talent comes in, the more young people come to live here. All of those things only help our proposition. So, being a member of the Chamber is an easy way to help contribute to that.