PolicyGenius at Techweek Chicago 2016

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PolicyGenius at Techweek Chicago 2016

Here at PolicyGenius we have a lot of pretty faces to go around, so we try to make it to as many events as possible. Whether it’s about insurance, fintech, design, female entrepreneurship, or more, there’s a good chance you’ll see a member of the PolicyGenius family with a friendly smile and a funny story at an industry event.

Later this week we’ll be speaking at Techweek Chicago. Here’s a rundown of what it is, and why we’re excited to be there.

What is Techweek Chicago?

Techweek is a week-long event celebrating everything good about technology in – you guessed it – Chicago.

Techweek Chicago was founded 5 years ago and describes itself as "festival for entrepreneurs, tech visionaries and thought leaders to meet and enable the innovation ecosystem across the globe." And it’s well on its way: while Techweek Chicago was the first, Techweek itself has since expanded to New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Miami, Kansas City, Toronto, and Dallas, and even had a special event in Havana in 2015.

There are six "products" at Techweek which focus on different areas of tech and entrepreneurship. Fest is, as it sounds like, a festival, with challenges, Q&As;, hiring events, and more. Summit focuses on current events and disruptive trends, Launch is the self-described "world’s greatest startup competition," the Entrepreneur Expo highlights the big names that sponsor the Launch competition, Founders House has VIP invite-only talks with creators and leaders, and Awards is, of course, awards.

There’s a ton to do, and even a full week hardly seems long enough for all of the talks, products, and entrepreneurs that will be there.

This year Techweek Chicago is expecting a staggering 15,000 attendees ranging from entrepreneurs to VCs to tech enthusiasts, so we’ll be in good company.

Why PolicyGenius will be there

The best thing about being an insurtech startup? You get to go to all the hottest insurance and tech events. Don’t be jealous.

On June 23rd, our CMO and cofounder Francois de Lame is going to be speaking at a fireside chat at Techweek Chicago’s Summit. Titled "If you build it, they will come: Developing a digital audience for the insurance industry", Francois is going to be speaking about the hurdles that come along with moving a traditional industry online and into the 21st century.

There’s an old industry saying that insurance is sold, not bought. That’s bred a lot of distrust over the years because customers can feel like people and companies who are supposed to be looking out for them – providing a product that’s meant to protect their families – are just trying to sell whatever will give the highest commission.

At PolicyGenius, we’re doing something different. We want to give consumers the tools they need to make the right decision based on their individual financial and personal situations. That means education and decision support tools while they’re researching, unbiased advice when they’re making policy choices, and an easy-to-use flow when they’re ready to buy.

But how do you tell consumers that there’s an entirely new way of doing things that goes against the horror stories their parents and grandparents knew about insurance? And doing it all online, no less?

That’s what Francois is going to talk about. This isn’t just about reshaping the face of the insurance industry, though.

Like other tech startups we’re in a heavily regulated industry, and the speed of regulation doesn’t always exactly move at the speed of tech. How do you work in the system while simultaneously trying to modernize how things are done?

We think insurance is pretty great, but we realize other people might not agree with us. Insurance may not be sexy, but it is important. How do you engage an audience, especially online, where we’re competing with Snapchats and cat videos for their attention? We needed to find a way to draw customers into financial discussions and decisions.

Finally, we want to cover America’s $20 trillion insurance gap. That means reaching a traditionally-underserved market. How do we find these people and, more importantly, how do we reach them to let them know that buying insurance has never been easier?

Francois will talk about the tools, strategies, and unique challenges PolicyGenius faces not only as a tech startup, but as one who’s shaking up an entire industry.

If you’ll be in Chicago for Techweek, stop by the Summit to see Francois talk on June 23rd at 12:45pm.

Image: Matt B