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InsureTech & RegTech Venture Creation Weekend, Nov 2017

Back to Past VCWs

insuretech regtech

This Venture Creation Weekend (VCW) was for students, postdocs, professional and researchers working on emerging technologies and innovations in InsureTech and RegTech who were interested in learning how to translate their ideas into ventures as part of a startup team.

Why an InsureTech & RegTech Venture Creation Weekend?

Insurance has been around for over 300 years since the modern concept of insurance began in the coffee shops of London. Over the years insurance has evolved with deeper understanding of the risks, improved pricing techniques, the move away from brokers for personal lines and the emergence of price comparison websites. Given new technology capabilities, the question is what's next for insurance? How does it evolve it to meet the customer and businesses of today's needs?

The Entrepreneurship Centre worked in partnership with Direct Line Group and the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge to offer aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators the chance to explore opportunities, ideas and applications in a range of technologies such as:

  • General and commercial insurance distribution - InsureTech for customers and businesses 
  • New insurance products/doing insurance differently
  • Underwriting
  • Pricing 
  • Risk analysis 
  • Claims
  • Fraud detection 
  • Customer servicing 
  • Data analysis 
  • Case management tools
  • IoT Devices for insurance
  • AI for insurance
  • BlockChain application for insurance

Why attend a InsureTech & RegTech VCW?

It's a chance to create, test and validate your insurance or regulatory technology venture idea or application for the financial sector with industry experts. You can get inspiration from your peers and mentors, learn the basics of building a business and how to collaborate with others in a team environment. Some of you can go 'founder-dating', i.e. use the weekend to match up with one or more co-founders for your business. All participants will work together in teams on customer development, business models, pitching practice and building product prototypes (where appropriate). The most popular ideas are pitched to a panel of judges formed of industry leaders and investors who can provide expert feedback and analysis. At the end of the VCW, you will have developed your entrepreneurial skills, kick-started your venture, enjoyed the buzz of exploring and creating ideas; and potentially be ready to launch your business together with a talented team.

In addition, one or more of the participating teams will be invited for an interview to join our Accelerate Cambridge incubator programme delivered by the CJBS Entrepreneurship Centre. Please note that successful application is dependent on whether the team meets the selection criteria.

What is the VCW like?

Watch our video including views and comments from participants of the DisruptEd VCW - Exploring Emerging Technology for Education, March 2017.

I was inspired to believe in myself and to believe that if I follow my passion, I can really contribute.
Helene Fox, PhD candidate and member of venture team, EndoTraps, Biotech VCW, March 2015

When is it?

The InsureTech & RegTech took place on 17-19 November 2017 at Cambridge Judge Business School. There was a special closing dinner following the final pitches to celebrate the achievements of the weekend.

in partnership with

Direct Line logo
Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance logo

with support from

Barclays logo

Contact us

Tel: +44 (0)1223 760959

The Insurer and the InsureTech – a happy marriage?

Tracey Smith, FinTech and InsureTech Lead at Direct Line Group, blogs on the relationship between insurers and InsureTech.

Read Tracey's blog post

Emerging opportunities in RegTech

Read the blog by Kieran Garvey, Head of Regulation & Policy at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.

Read Kieran's blog post

Friday 17 November 2017

17:30-18:00 Registration at Cambridge Judge Business School Foyer, CJBS
18:00-19:00 Buffet Dinner & Networking Royal Cambridge Hotel
19:05-19:10 Welcome & introduction, Hanadi Jabado, EC LT1
19:10-19:20 Welcome from Partners, Kieran Garvey, CCAF LT1
19:20-20:00 Half-Baked session LT1
20:00-20:30 Pitch your idea LT1
20:30-20:45 Vote for your favourite ideas LT1
20:45-21:00 Team building LT1
21:00-23:00 Teams work on their ideas Break out rooms

Saturday 18 November 2017

08:30-09:00 Arrival and refreshments; Sign up for mentoring sessions Common Room, CJBS
09:00-09:45 Business Model Canvas presentation, Hanadi Jabado LT3
09:45-11:00 Teams work on their ideas Break out spaces
11:00-11:30 Tea / Coffee break and Sign up for mentoring sessions Foyer, CJBS
11:30-13:00 Teams work on their ideas Break out spaces
13:00-13:40 Sandwich Lunch Common Room, CJBS
13:40-14:00 Teams check-in, report progress and call for help Common Room, CJBS
14:00-15:30 Mentoring 4th/6th floor pods
15:30-16:00 Tea / Coffee break Common Room, CJBS
16:00-18:00 Mentoring 4th/6th floor pods
18:15-19:15 Beer and Pizza Common Room, CJBS
19:15-19:45 Teams check-in, report progress and call for help Foyer, CJBS
19:45-23:00 Teams work on their ideas Break out spaces

Sunday 19 November 2017

08:30-09:00 Arrival and breakfast refreshments Common Room, CJBS
09:00-09:30 How to pitch your idea, Hanadi Jabado LT3
09:30-10:00 Teams work on their ideas / prepare for mentoring Break out spaces
10:00-11:00 Mentoring 4th/6th floor pods
11:00-11:30 Tea / Coffee available Common room
11:30-13:00 Mentoring 4th/6th floor pods
13:00-14:00 Sandwich Lunch Common room
14:00-16:00 Teams finalise presentations Break out spaces
15:30-16:00 Tea / Coffee available Common room
16:00-16:15 All presentations should be submitted and uploaded on PC LT3
16:15-16:45 Global Fintech Trends, Susanne Chishti LT3
16:45-18:30 Final Presentations LT3
18:30-18:45 Break and Judging  
18:45-19:00 Winners announced and Awards presented LT3
19:00-19:10 Closure LT3
19:10-21:00 Closing Dinner Royal Cambridge Hotel
Ian Beaton

Ian Beaton

CEO of Ark Syndicate Management

Ian Beaton is the Chief Executive Officer of Ark Syndicate Management. Ian has more than 11 years' experience in the P&C industry. Ian served as a Head of Insurance for Aspen Insurance Holdings from 2004 to 2007 and as its Head of Corporate Development from 2003 to January 2005.

Ark is a Bermudian headquartered (re)insurance business with a trading platform at Lloyd's of London. It writes $500m of revenue a year and in 2013, Ian led a management buyout of the business from its original private equity investors, led by Aquiline, a New York-based PE fund.

Prior to joining Aspen Insurance Holdings in April 2003, Ian served as Associate Principal and Co-leader of European Property and Casualty insurance practice of McKinsey & Company, which he joined in 1993. He also previously served as a Non Executive Director at Xchanging Claims Services, from 2010-2013.

Susanne Chishti

Susanne Chishti

CEO & Founder of @FINTECHCircle @FTC_Institute
Chairman of @FTCInnovate
Co-Founder of @TheFINTECHBook

CEO of FINTECH Circle, Europe's first angel network focused on FinTech opportunities and the FINTECH Tours, Chairman of FINTECH Circle Innovate and Co-Editor of "The FINTECH Book" — the first crowd-sourced book on FinTech globally. Recognised in the European Digital Financial Services 'Power 50' 2015, an independent ranking of the most influential people in digital financial services in Europe. Selected as top 15 FinTech UK Twitter influencers and as "City Innovator - Inspirational Woman 2016".

Susanne is an entrepreneur and investor with strong FinTech expertise. Mentor, judge and coach at FinTech events and competitions such as SWIFT Innotribe, Cambridge Judge Business School Accelerator, Fintech Startup Bootcamp and Barclays Techstars Accelerators. More than 14 years' experience across Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley and Accenture in London and Hong Kong.

Penny James

Penny James

Chief Financial Officer-designate, Direct Line Group

Penny James joined the Board as an Executive Director in November 2017 and is Chief Financial Officer-designate.

Penny has extensive financial services experience, having been Group Chief Risk Officer and Executive Director at Prudential, where she was responsible for leading risk oversight globally. Before this she was Director of Group Finance at Prudential. She had previously been Group Chief Financial Officer at Omega Insurance Holdings Limited and CFO, UK General Insurance, at Zurich Financial Services.

Penny was a Non-Executive Director of Admiral Group from January 2015 to September 2017. She is an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

James Baston-Pitt

James Baston-Pitt

Head of KYC, Onfido

James Baston-Pitt is Head of KYC (Know Your Customer) and responsible for growing the business within the regulated space. Onfido offers next generation ID verification, KYC and AML services, helping businesses verify that their customers are who they claim to be, without the need to meet them face-to-face.

Prior to joining Onfido, James led sales at Redgate Software, among other startups, and has a strong background in entrepreneurial technology. James is active in promoting the harmonisation of identity verification in the interests of financial inclusion. To this end, James has spoken at FCA roundtables and attended APPG and No.10 events to discuss this topic.

Alexander Carter-Silk

Alexander Carter-Silk

Partner, Brown Rudnick

Alexander Carter-Silk resolves complex commercial disputes, negotiates and advises on closure of complex commercial agreements as trusted advisor including: joint ventures, licensing and franchising, transaction and disputes featuring innovative and disruptive technology, multi-jurisdiction intellectual property rights and complex relationships.

Alex is acknowledged by his clients as an accomplished strategist, an original thinker, who develops solutions and strategies for completing the most complex transactions, protecting reputations and resolving complex disputes. He creates innovative business models and structures transactions and rights in ways which harness the beneficial behavioural motivations of the participants and discourage "defection".

Alex is listed by Chambers and Partners as a "leading individual" in the field of Intellectual Property Rights, and noted by Chambers and Partners as being very creative and for his "depth of experience and the quality of his advice".

Rebecca Clapham

Rebecca Clapham

Head of Product Development & Strategic Delivery for the Household Products, Direct Line Group

Rebecca Clapham is Head of Product Development & Strategic Delivery for the Household Products at Direct Line Group. She leads a team of five and pulls together people from across a large insurance business to deliver change in the product space.

Her responsibilities include ensuring Direct Lines Household products meet regulatory standards, the products deliver value to customers and developing new products to meet emerging customer needs.

Rebecca has 10 years' experience in the industry. Areas of specialism include understanding how a business makes money and having an eye for opportunities that can really take off! She excels in taking an idea right through to a tangible product.

Her main passion is doing the right thing for our customers and having integrity.

Kieran Garvey

Kieran Garvey

Policy Programme Manager, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

Kieran is the co-author of nine alternative finance industry reports covering market activity globally, as well as more specifically within regulation in East Africa and UK sustainable energy. He is leading the Cambridge-World Bank 2017-2019 Regulator & Policymaker Surveys in addition to a research programme to develop a technology solution to more efficiently conduct regulatory reviews of different FinTech business models in developing and emerging countries.

Kieran previously worked at the UK Crowdfunding Association, as a UK parliamentary crowdfunding advisor and has aided a large number of companies to secure finance via equity crowdfunding. He also helped establish a microfinance social enterprise in Northern Vietnam, inspired by Kiva. Kieran holds an MSc from Imperial College London and a BSc from the London School of Economics.

Sarah Greasley

Sarah Greasley

CTO, Direct Line Group

Sarah is Chief Technology Officer at Direct Line Group, where she is responsible for strategy, architecture and innovation; working across the group to drive and support the innovative use of technology and the design of next generation platforms. Her current interests include the ethics of machine learning and artificial intelligence, as well as disruptive technologies such as blockchain.

She has a wealth of experience in technology innovation, and has engaged extensively in the FinTech area over the past five years, particularly in mentoring and judging hackathons, as well as initiatives to encourage women into technology. Sarah was previously an IBM Distinguished Engineer, with a particular focus on designing large scale complex platforms and driving innovation in financial services.

Paul Huston

Paul Huston

Head of Product, ComplyAdvantage

Paul is Head of Product at ComplyAdvantage, a FinTech50 startup based in London which uses machine learning to provide next generation screening and monitoring technology to help clients comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations. Paul previously worked at JPMorgan and BlackRock.


Rhys Jones

Director of Application Development & Maintenance, Direct Line Group

Damian Kimmelman

Damian Kimmelman

CEO & Founder, DueDil

Damian is co-founder & CEO of DueDil. In 2014, he was named "International Entrepreneur of the Year" by former UK Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable and Tech City News, and was included in the London Evening Standard.

Matt Kuppers

Matt Kuppers

Founder & CEO, Startup Manufactory

The London-based consultancy provides startup consulting, capacity building and economic development. Matt Kuppers also teaches entrepreneurship at the London School of Economics (LSE Start-Up Academy) and acts as an Independent Expert at the European Commission where he advises on the Horizon 2020 - Research and Innovation Framework Programme. Matt has been working in the startup industry since 2008 where he worked in venture capital, co-founded businesses, provided startup consulting, taught entrepreneurship, spoke globally, and advised governmental organisations. His clients comprise governmental organisations, top-tier educational educations, Embassy organisations, and multiple HNWIs. 

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Matt was a PhD student at LSE after having spent three years in the social sciences. He also completed a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford plus trained at a military academy. 

Craig Polley

Craig Polley

Founding Partner, Lime Street Digital Partners LLP

Craig Polley is a founding Partner at LimeStreet Digital Partners, which focuses on venture building across the insurance enterprise. 

He can be spotted at many 'hackathon' events and has experienced first-hand the challenges for startups trying to collaborate with insurers and those trying to process applications for PRA/FCA regulatory approval. He has invested in a number of startups and conducts due-diligence in the InsureTech segment on behalf of interested investors.  

Having held executive and board roles in a leading risk services firm, Craig has juggled roles in complex international claims operations while developing and delivering transformative digital projects in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Letitia Seglah

Letitia Seglah

FinTech Consultant, Compliance, Regulation and Risk

Letitia is an independent consultant providing business management services to clients including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, HSBC, and BlackRock. Specialising in cross-country compliance and regulations, working with numerous regulators globally and across multiple jurisdictions. Assignments have included delivery and procurement of FinTech and RegTech vendor technology and in-house development of technology solutions, digital transformation and industry sandboxes. Active in devising and executing corporate innovation and scale-up programmes, strategic alliance initiatives for SMEs, RegTech, and FinTech firms. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Letitia spent her career in equity research and credit risk. Letitia studied towards an MSc Finance at the London School of Economics.

Tracey Smith

Tracey Smith

FinTech Lead, Direct Line Group

Tracey is the InsureTech lead at Direct Line, responsible for developing DLG's approach to InsureTech and executing. Working across all business areas, Tracey matches their strategy and priorities with the activities of the startups and looks for partnership and investment opportunities. She provides insight to the business on innovation in the insurance space and potential for market disruption. Prior to this role Tracey worked on DLG commercial business developing and delivering their strategy.

Tracey has also held strategic and operational roles at the insurance broker Aon and previously worked as a cross sector consultant specialising in alignment and delivery of strategy. She has a keen interest in alternative business and the future business landscape.

Outside of work she pretty much just plays rugby all the time in different formats from tag rugby through to 15s rugby union.

Jenny Trueman

Jenny Trueman

Head of Connected Home, Direct Line Group

As Head of Connected Home and Product Innovation for DLG Jenny is responsible for defining and delivering product innovation through the Connected Home strategy. 

With almost 20 years' experience of working in the insurance industry, most recently in insurance product development and trading performance management, Jenny brings an unrelenting focus on customer and how to deliver value in a relatively unknown area of opportunity. She has an eye on the future, monitoring consumer trends and market insights, analysing how these create opportunities for DLG. 

Working across all functions within the organisation and externally with technology partners Jenny is passionate about driving the strategic focus on the future of connected home technology in insurance.

David Wormley

David Wormley

Finance Executive, ComplyAdvantage

David manages the legal affairs of ComplyAdvantage, a London-headquartered RegTech startup building the next generation of anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance data and tools. Working with ComplyAdvantage's commercial and product teams, David's remit touches data protection, trade & sanctions law, financial crime regulation, and financial services outsourcing regulations. In previous roles, David has written AML policies, obtained regulatory approvals for financial businesses, and handled cross-border corporate and taxation matters.

Bryan Zheng Zhang

Bryan Zhang

Co-founder & Executive Director, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

Bryan is trained in economic geography and public policy. His research examines the accumulation and allocation of capital for start-ups and SMEs through alternative circuits of finance in a geographical and comparative context. Since 2013, Bryan has led and co-authored some of the most influential industry reports on the state of alternative finance both at national and international levels.

He has advised and collaborated with numerous institutions and organisations including the Financial Conduct Authority, the British Business Bank, the Department of International Development, the European Commission, the World Bank, Oxfam and Unilever. Bryan is also a Research Fellow in Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School and a Senior Fellow at the Financial Innovation Lab.

Hanadi Jabado

Executive Director, The Entrepreneurship Centre, Cambridge Judge Business School

Hanadi is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation. A serial entrepreneur herself, she has a strong understanding of the needs of early stage ventures and entrepreneurs. Since 2010 she has been an advisor to startups all over the globe in every conceivable sector. 

Hanadi sits on the advisory board of several startups at various stages of development and growth and is a director of Pitch@Palace CIC. 

In 2016 Hanadi's work to support entrepreneurs earned her recognition as one of the Maserati100.

Sophia Bishell

Sophia Bishell

Marketing Assistant, The Entrepreneurship Centre, Cambridge Judge Business School

Following graduating from her degree in Drama at University in 2015, Sophia set up her own startup ‘musician booking agency’. She has since presented opportunities to small and large business ventures, and booked emerging talent and world-class musicians out to private and public events. Sophia is currently working in the Entrepreneurship Centre, and supports the team as Marketing Assistant. 

Thomas Christensen

Thomas Christensen

Academic Researcher, AlgoDynamix

Academically pursuing a degree in innovation and entrepreneurship at Copenhagen Business Academy, with a background in marketing, Thomas has been working with startups for the past couple of years, latest as an academic researcher at AlgoDynamix.

Thomas is passionate about venture creation, fascinated by human behaviours, and curious about exponential technologies. Currently in pursuit of entrepreneurial awesomeness in Cambridge, UK. He previously participated in the Venture Creation Weekend.

Inky Gibbens

Inky Gibbens

Founder, Tribalingual

Inky is the founder of Tribalingual, an online platform whose mission is to facilitate the preservation of intangible cultural heritage. Focusing initially on the preservation of endangered languages, they enable teachers from communities around the world to teach an international audience, thereby spreading and preserving culture and providing a salary and meaning to remote communities. Their work has been documented in Wired, The Times, Fast Company and The Smithsonian to name a few. 

Tribalingual is currently on the Accelerate programme at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Stephen Parkes

Stephen Parkes

Founder and CEO, Go Enrol

Stephen Parkes is the founder of Go Enrol, a company that aims to widen access to education across the world. Since its launch Go Enrol has helped people in 188 countries discover, apply to and enrol on courses. Stephen's experience spans over a decade working in education and private equity with time spent in the UK, China and other emerging economies in Asia.

Sayara Thompson

Sayara Thompson

Programme Manager, The Entrepreneurship Centre, Cambridge Judge Business School

Sayara manages a few programmes at the Entrepreneurship Centre, such as the Venture Creation Weekend, Ignite and the SME Growth Challenge Programme. She previously worked in Alumni Relations and for the MFin programme at Cambridge Judge Business School. With a background in IT and research she has experience in working in International organisations and the private sector. She is a great networker and is always keen to help people to connect.

Jamie McNaught

Jamie McNaught

CEO, Soliditi

Graduating with an honours degree in computing science from the University of Strathclyde, Jamie interned with and became an Analyst at Goldman Sachs, training in New York and based in the Equities Trading Technology Team in London.

More recently he has worked in embedded, mobile, private wealth management, fraud detection and Big Data analytics for firms and clients in the US, UK, South Africa and South Korea. Jamie has been a crypto enthusiast and user since late 2010, having mined, developed, hacked, argued and promoted it.

Jamie's most recent startup,, helps people buy and sell crypto currencies in the UK and is devloping blockchain technology to revolutionise international payments and foreign exchange. He is keenly interested in the current open banking and fintech revolution which will finally lower the cost and barriers of entry to financial systems both in the UK and across the globe.

Jamie works across a broad remit of technologies from Assembler and C to C++, Python, PHP and NodeJS.

Jeremy Sosabowski

Jeremy Sosabowski

CEO, AlgoDynamix

Dr Jeremy Sosabowski is CEO and Co-founder of AlgoDynamix, a risk analytics company providing hours or days advance warning of major directional market movements. Their products are used by investment banks and asset managers, including CTAs, hedge funds, family offices and other managed funds. Jeremy has over a decade of business and technology commercialisation experience. 

His previous roles include CTO at an instrumentation company (technology acquired) and data analyst within the online transaction space. His 'IP portfolio' includes several granted patents and more than 10 peer-reviewed publications. Jeremy has an undergraduate and two postgraduate degrees in engineering, including an Engineering PhD from the University of Cambridge (laser physics/quantum mechanics).

"The Insurer and the InsureTech – a happy marriage?", blog by Tracey Smith, FinTech and InsureTech Lead at Direct Line Group (DLG) (10 November 2017)

"Emerging opportunities in RegTech", blog by Kieran Garvey, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (18 October 2017)

"Insurtech: shifting Asia", UBS Report (4 September 2017)

"The coming revolution in insurance", The Economist (9 March 2017)

"Insurtech caught on the radar", Oliver Wyman report (2017)