CleanTechies Podcast

#113 Incubating Climate Risk / Insurance Solutions as Traditional Insurers Pull Back w/ Stephen Brittain (Insurtech Gateway)

July 26, 2023 Silas Mรคhner - ClimateTech & ESG Headhunter Season 1 Episode 113
CleanTechies Podcast
#113 Incubating Climate Risk / Insurance Solutions as Traditional Insurers Pull Back w/ Stephen Brittain (Insurtech Gateway)
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In this episode, Silas Mahner (@silasmahner) speaks w/ Stephen Brittain from Insurtech Gateway (@Ideas_Gateway). They are incubating Impact Risk Mitigation and Insurance Companies / Products. On the back end, they invest and connect these companies with partners in the insurance space and other VCs.

Today's conversation is a bit high-level but has many great insights.

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Topics:
**2:29 Intro
**7:05 What Insurtech Gateway is (this is the section that will be swapped with the second recording)
**12:26 How insurance works and what they are doing differently
**19:13 How they identify the right CO's
**27:21 How to determine which areas to work on
**32:20 The process of finding founders and taking them through the incubation process
**43:46 FloodFlash
**53:13 Preventing ahead of issues
**54:42 Smoothing out the price issues
**1:01:04 What milestones need to be hit to really go onto Series A
**1:06:49 How insurance factories are partnering with these startups
**1:10:55 Who he wants to meet

Links:
**Stephen on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenbrittain/
**Insurtech Gateway: https://www.insurtechgateway.com/
**Check out our Sponsor, NextWave Partners: https://www.next-wavepartners.com/
**Follow CleanTechies on LinkedIn:
**HMU on Twitter: @silasmahner

Other episodes you might enjoy:
**Most Recent Episode: How to not be Another Failed Green Plastics Chemistry Company, Refugee shelters, & Selling to Producers, not Brands w/ Alex Blum (Applied Bioplastics)
**Similar Topic: The Future of Clean Energy, Materials/Mfg, & the Circular Economy with Author, Peter Leyden
**Something Totally Different: #29 - Gridware | Improving Grid/Transmission Infrastructure wit

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Silas Mahner:

Hello and welcome back to the Clean Techies podcast, where we interview climate tech founders and VCs to discuss all things building and investing to solve the biggest challenge of our generation climate change. Today we have a slightly different conversation. We are joined by Stephen Brittan from Insuretech Gateway and, despite the name, it's not an insurance company. What they are is an incubator for companies helping solve risk issues. So think of new category insurance startups or products, ie you see a new way to solve flood risk from climate change. You could go to InsureTech Gateway to help you incubate that business. On the back end, they also write venture investments at the seed or series A level, sometimes pre-seed as well, and have strong partnerships with other venture investors as well as insurance providers to help achieve the outcome as desired through partnership. As a heads up, this conversation is a lot higher level in nature for the majority of it, but towards the end we hit on some more specific topics. So if that's what you're looking for maybe some more advice for you building a company like this you might skip ahead towards that, but without any further delay, enjoy the episode. All right, welcome to the show, Stephen. How you doing today?

Stephen Brittain:

Very good, Silas. Thank you very much for inviting me.

Silas Mahner:

Yeah, super glad to have you. Where exactly are you calling in from?

Stephen Brittain:

Exactly In the post lockdown working from home sense. I'm sitting in a room at the north side of my house in West Sussex, horsham, England, united Kingdom, europe.

Silas Mahner:

Very nice. How is the weather over there? I always give people crap for the weather in the UK.

Stephen Brittain:

It would be deserved today. I have to say it's pretty desperate. It's because it's Wimbledon week and we're coming close to the finals. It's the women's finals today. Therefore, the weather will change about four times today, and I'm in the middle of a what looks like a typhoon coming through.

Silas Mahner:

It'll be sunny in 10 minutes sunny in 10 minutes. Yeah, I can't say the same. In New York it's a pretty nice day. It's a bit warm, it's the summer, but it's okay, I won't complain.

Stephen Brittain:

I don't think there being inside for this.

Silas Mahner:

I appreciate it Very good. Well, I guess let's just jump into things here. Give us a bit of a background on yourself and kind of you know what you're doing today and kind of the backstory of how you got there, and then we'll open things up a bit more.

Stephen Brittain:

Got it. Okay, that's a big question. I'll just go. Then you stop me when you've had enough. So my name is Stephen Britton and I've been in innovation for the last 30 years. My journey from being a sort of academic engineer, mechanical engineer, to becoming an industrial designer and that you know, the timings of that are sort of in the 90s when we were all concerned about making technology accessible. So this is the same time that climate, climate innovators were talking about wind turbines and we were there, were you know, this was engine. This was a period of engineers finding engineering solutions and my role as designer was to try and make that stuff safe and attractive and put features that people would understand it. I think the kind of later start innovation journey started to become very centered around customer service as as and I found myself working more in projects where we were really so solely focused on customer adoption, getting people to do things. Why, why weren't people adopt this new technology? How do we make and things like apps arrive so that we could address them directly. We could help people navigate choices. We could make it very easy for them to do things that were otherwise very complicated. So there's a lot of education in the designer's job, a lot of needs to make sure people understood the trade offs and the decisions they were making. And I know that in the climate space that started I mean, at that point in my career I wasn't specifically working climate, but I was finding myself surrounded by designers who were tackling the tasks of making people aware of the energy they were consuming and the kind of apps and storytelling to make people take control of their own take control of their own consumption. And I think, more recently, the my innovation experience has been in the area of data and sensors, where we started to see the, the new opportunity, the primary opportunities in digital, which aren't just about the internet and selling things and educating but to really get unique data sets. And that has really uncovered for me my current phase of of work, which is in trying to find ways of reducing impact, and over this conversation I'll explain more about how we're doing it. But so I think I've really understood that, that some of the things that I was hoping to do back in the 80s and 90s like to get people to adopt solar, solar systems or heat pumps, because this stuff's been around a long time has now been around people feeling enabled to do so and that we now have the data. We I know where I am, I know what. I know what power is on my, what sun is hitting my roof as I have already expressed today, not a great deal. There's quite a little wind. Maybe I can do something with that that I can put in my particular address and I could and I can join something, I can participate, that I've got customer service models around me and apps that will give me the behaviors of where I could do it and how I could adopt it and what I can do. So I'm now starting to see that the last 30 years hasn't been wasted. It joins up. It joins up now that the innovators talk it. So, as I think we've got the big tools to to to, you know, to move the needle when it comes to, you know, real climate change and us taking action, that we've got the education tools and that we've got the, the sensors and the data to deal with quite specific problems, what to help people find their unique thing that they can do. So that would be a kind of holistic view of somebody who's had this much experience trying to make change happen. And where am I today? Well, I am. I've also been learning how to you know what's the best way to run a business in the middle of this space, because being an innovator is hard. It's a it can be a lonely place for a lot of people listening to this podcast.

Silas Mahner:

Hey there, quick break to remind any founders or VCs listening. If you are looking for deal flow, seeking to raise funding, looking for partners to help service your needs, or perhaps you're looking for corporate investment partners, feel free to reach out to us through our Slack channel, which can be found in the description. Because we meet a lot of people in this space, we set aside time each week to make introductions to the various people that we encounter. This is something we do free of charge in order to help these incredible companies solving climate change to scale.

Stephen Brittain:

It can be a frustrating place because there are a thousand ideas that never happened for the one that does. So I, you know, put a lot of that experience together and looked around for people like me who had a lot to bring but were looking for what. What could we do today? Seven years ago, I started a business in the UK with two founders, two co-founders, called the insure tech gateway. I'll spell it for you later, but the insure tech gateway is an incubator, an incubator for tech and climate founders to help mitigate risk, to mitigate the risks that stop a lot of the new technologies being adopted by customer adopted by lenders and banks, so that we could really start to make some progress in achieving our impact goals. Whether you're in all aspects of the climate space We've been during that seven years. We've launched 30 companies. We've got live pilots in 97 countries, many in the US, covering things from flood typhoons to electric you know battery supply chains through to cows getting cows getting overheated in the Indian, in Indian farms, all where founders have come to mitigate risk and we've helped them. And at the tail end of our business is a network of insurers and VCs who help those businesses scale, including our own fund.

Silas Mahner:

I just want to make sure I kind of try to understand this and repackage it back to you so I've got this correctly. So, broadly speaking, a lot of the issue for adoption of new technology in a lot of cases is is trust right? And I think I was going to make a comment earlier, but I wanted to let you finish was I come from a place I think I talked about this when we had our intro call before but I come from a place in the country, in the US, where people don't really they're exactly the people you talk about, right, they're like ah, you know, evs, they're crap, they're like I can't get far with them. And in a lot of times there's all these ideas of what things are and what they aren't, and it's usually just a misunderstanding, it's a lack of understanding what they really are. You know, I always use my parents as an example of somebody who they drive usually about 50 miles or, sorry, about a round trip of 100 miles, usually give or take many times a week, right, and they pay for gas because of that, right, and they could just have an electric vehicle, right, and I try to, you know, talk to my dad about these things and explain. Hey, you know you say that this is just bad because you're kind of like anti the left ideas or whatever right Around climate, but this is practical for you, right? This makes more sense, right, and so, anyways, that's interesting perspective, but essentially, try to repackage. What you guys are doing is finding the risks, finding the barriers to entry for people with various things right, specifically climate is one of them, but other things and finding ways to incubate businesses that are getting rid of that business. Essentially, is that correct? That's right.

Stephen Brittain:

It's entirely right and one of the outcomes of that. So, yes, sorry, thank you. You framed it really nicely and so I think there is a point where, so effectively, you have a series of products that come out of the end of this so that and they're quite typically things like SAS tools or there might be more behavioral change apps, and in many cases they need to be regulated or work with regulated customers. So that's the hard bit, is the hard bit to understand when you're on the outside, so that if people can do the things that you just said, that they can mitigate and they can work out where risk is and they've got some data sets that make you go, they recognise as a risk problem, and they've probably got some data or a way of reducing the risk then it's likely, within an environment like ours, that they could design a product that would either be a direct mismitigation tool, a SAS for an education play, or it could be bundled as a really low-cost insurance product.

Silas Mahner:

Hey, there are you building a climate tech business and looking for very specialised talent? Consider reaching out to our sponsors, next Wave Partners. Next Wave are experts in talent acquisition, recruitment and retention across the climate tech, renewables and ESG spaces globally. So if your team is growing or you're looking to make a career change yourself, feel free to reach out to Next Wave at next-wavepartnerscom, or reach out to one of their consultants directly via their LinkedIn page.

Stephen Brittain:

That's a local insurance product, so you go on.

Silas Mahner:

Yeah, there's one thing I just want to get for people. I think this is usually this is a very smart person's kind of problem. I struggle with this sometimes to understand this, but could you talk a little bit about maybe how again, very, very simple terms, by the way, because if I can't understand it, I don't know. Maybe most people won't understand. It is how do insurance companies work? Right, they decide to take on risk because they understand the problem probably well. They know, hey, from our actuaries. We understand that this is actually what we're going to have the risk and here's how much we have to have insured, etc. How can you do that for these new problems, things like climate risk? Right? How are you able to find that information that insurance companies don't already have? Is it because they're in a different industry? They're mostly basing their information off of legacy data rather than forecasting. Can you help us understand how it, broadly speaking, works to decide okay, here is a risk and we know more than the average person on how it's going to work or how to mitigate it, so we can take on that risk and insure it, for example? Does this question make sense Totally?

Stephen Brittain:

no, I totally get it. I think the easiest way to explain it to you is that the insurance, what are the insurance industry does, what's an insurance business job versus what's this new opportunity now that we're all super digital and technical? Because I think it's, and in that is really a story about agility and pace and the stuff we're finding that by saying the insurance industry already we're talking about a machine level, a factory, and factories don't tend to pick up new niches and new things quickly. Factories do what factories do best. They make a few things global. So an insurance factory will offer you your home policies and your car policies and all the things that we've used to for generations, and inside that is a bit that you know. The how does insurance work? Question is that let's take a regular car. You've got a car and you've got car insurance. I mean something super easy for everybody to understand. Insurance works by getting a lot of you onto one pool of capital. So we'll find a million people like you, silas, and we'll put you all into one pool with a likelihood that maybe only five of you, let's say 500 of you, will have a claim in the next year. So it's just a quantity. It works, you know. Great, it's a power door to make insurance work. But the rules of insurance, how do you win? If you're an insurer, you know the quantum. The quantitative side of insurance is by picking slightly better drivers than everybody else, by pricing those drivers slightly better than everybody else. That's what the factory does and some and a lot of setting conditions for drivers a little smarter than everybody else. So it's in the percentage points, the basis points, that industry works because it's massive, a $2 trillion industry, that it really its intelligence. The insurance level is at that end. So it's saying Silas, I will. I mean in this country we're a lot more. In my state it's a lot more compressed. So we have lots of questions like is your car parked on the road? Have you got an alarm? Have you got the because? Have you got a street lamp over your car? And if so, the risk pricing radically changes and you have to shop around to find someone that's willing to let you have car insurance and the prices are just up and down. Up and down because their business is to play around with the, with the small things there, because they know that the their survival is based on in having only 500 people out of that a million and not having suddenly half of them claim, because that's what the business, so they mitigate by asking lots of questions that make it hard for people like you and I to get all the options in front of us, if we were 18, we wouldn't get protection for most people. If we're 85, we wouldn't get protection for most people. If we drive a 10 liter truck with, you know, with a rocket on the back, we won't get All things we'd love to do and love to be. We can't do very easily. So the insurance market has worked by sort of sniffing out good risk and they have got 50 years of historical evidence that tells them they're exactly right and they should tweak that and tweak this. So those are the rules. You know you've got a factory approach and you've got a couple of things that they slide around. But generally they're doing very similar things and just trying to get a tiny thing around each other. And when things go wrong they just put the prices up. You know, naturally they put the price up. They don't have to compete. You know they just say we're all going to agree that we're going to set the prices high. So it's always wins when the market gets tricky. So from that basic skeleton I hope I've given you enough.

Silas Mahner:

Yeah, that's good. I like that then. So with that as a baseline, kind of let's project forward into what you guys are doing with newer you know newer risks or unfamiliar risks to these factory approaches, how are you looking at it? Because I think I have an idea of where you're going to go, but I want to just kind of go from here forward.

Stephen Brittain:

Well, good, I'm sure you could finish the sentence, but I'm building definitely on the. So there's a mitigation piece which is like all the things we could use to design out risk, and these are also. I'm now looking at more niche problems like why are people not adopting solar panels? That could be that could be one we could look at. Or it could be why people not adopting carbon credits or electric vehicles and their batteries? What's the risk going on in batteries? We can get underneath that from a big, you know, historical data set that we'd have to work on. You know we haven't got 60 years of data and somebody, in fact some of these batteries have only been invented today. So that requires, instead of historical modeling as a kind of call, the, the, the actuary that you mentioned earlier. The prime scientist in the middle is the actuary and we all, you know, sits in the throne at the middle of an insurance company, in an insure tech. You've got predictive models. You've got, you know, rapid analytics of what's happening today. It's got to be dynamic, because today we know more than we knew yesterday and so culturally it's quite different, and when they two come together, the best we can do is to say look, and we're sorry we can't give you 20 years or 10 years, but we can give you. We've got three years coming together quite nicely so far, you know, and this is looking quite good in the small sample, so you guys can relax a bit that we're not about to take on a ridiculous risk.

Silas Mahner:

Hey, there are you building a climate tech business and looking for very specialized talent? Consider reaching out to our sponsors, Next Wave Partners. Next Wave are experts in talent acquisition, recruitment and retention across the climate tech, renewables and ESG spaces globally. So if your team is growing or you're looking to make a career change yourself, feel free to reach out to Next Wave at next-wavepartnerscom or reach out to one of their consultants directly via their LinkedIn page. So when it comes to you know, looking at the mitigation items, right, you talk about in the case of the insurance factories, right, we'll just call them that they are looking at, just choosing the right risk, right? So I want to understand, when you guys talk about incubating these businesses, I'm assuming it has to do more with maybe more mechanical things or actual solutions to these problems. So can we talk about some of the way you do that? Right? Are you looking for a technology that can mitigate the actual risk, or is it behavioral? How does that work Like? How do you determine what companies to incubate and to work on?

Stephen Brittain:

I mean, this is a thesis which is evolving around brilliant founders, so I'll give you a couple of flavors of things that are coming through, which I hope, and I'll try to make them more transferable so that your listeners may connect with some of the problems they're solving. I'll give you some examples from the portfolio, because I think that might be the best way to share with you how some of these ideas are coming through and they might be transferable for your listeners. One of the businesses we're currently working with is called Ibiza, and Ibiza have just launched a product which is who are protecting the dairy farmers in India from extreme heat, from excessive heat? So we have a situation where you have a fragmented, small-hold farmer. So there are a million farmers all looking after between three and 50 cows, three and 100 cows as a group. It gets to 45 degrees and the milk gets spoiled. This doesn't sound like. I thought this sounded like a novel problem when it was first explained to me that an entire livelihood, an entire community whose livelihood is based on the milk from cows, from the sacred cows. They're not eating the cow, they're using them for milk, and the amount of milk wasted in one day in India was the same amount of milk that we consume in a whole year in the United Kingdom. And I was like, oh, I see this little niche that I realized was. So what are we talking about in terms of impact? It's like, well, if they can't get the, you know they don't have any savings. And this is a anti-mouth culture as of income and local communities, and it's completely focused in certain rural communities. If this goes on for a month, you know, this is almost becomes a migration problem Because this is a sole income and I think, okay, this is enormous. And so we have a business called Ibiza who worked out how to distribute efficiently to those farmers. They found people along the intermediary. So they said to us we think there's a product, we think the risk is rare enough that there's extreme heat, that we can do a number of things. We can say, look, we will give you an insurance product if it goes over 40 degrees and we're gonna give you a lot of guidance to do what you can do between 37 and 40 degrees, because that's manageable. You can manage that, you and the people around you, the NGOs around you and the things happening, the shelters that we could build, the understanding of when to put the cows out and where to find, you know, a shadow, when we can find it that we can manage the herd more efficiently and that we've got. And then we get, we found an insurer who will sit behind that and say that in the event that it does go to this, we will deploy capital via the various channels that will give money at the point of need to get these farmers out of trouble. That will effectively pay for that community to survive. And then not insuring the cow, so the whole bunch of hacks in here. So the insurer understands how to ensure the cow, like to ensure the underwrite sorry, mixing the word underwrite and ensure that, how to ensure the cow, like it's used to insuring the cow. This case it's ensuring the yield. It's a totally intangible thing. How do we know what amount of milk's come out of this cow? I mean, you know Chicago, you know. Or I'm in Bangalore and I'm insuring a cow in, you know, in deepest India. How do I know what the yield is? I can count cows. Maybe I can't even count cows. You have to create, you know. You've got to think of a way in which you can count the milk, yield an asset, and then find a group of insurers on the other side who would be willing to back the extreme event and then start thinking about using the ecosystem, the community in the middle, to manage and mitigate the risk. So that business, which is called Ibiza, which has got six people working for it, is currently protecting 250,000 small farmers and those farmers. You know, this is just step one and we've invested in them, we've helped them build out that model. We've given them all the support in terms of meeting insurers and, frankly, just told them to carry on most of the time, just say you're on the right track, keep going. Because they're really smart and they needed people to say you know you're in the right place, keep going. They've had grants and sponsorship from the European Space Agency, from various impact funds that have wanted to see them, you know, prove this model out and were so excited about the big number. You mean, 250,000 small-hauled farmers could become a thousand times that scale with a model like this. So we've got a scalable model here. So, you know, when we look down back from that and you say, what is that? So where's the insurance? I thought we were going to help these farmers with insuring their tractors, because we really want to help small-haul farmers. It's like, yeah, we're going to stop migration, now these guys are going to. You know, we're going to really nip this in the bud where it's important, and this time next year they'll be asking to get a loan from the local bank because they're more stable, and they'll go. Maybe I'm going to get that solar panel irrigation system and maybe I'm going to earn my you know, now that the shock has been taken out of my system, now I'm in a place to actually do something.

Silas Mahner:

Yeah, you'll have the. I think this is something I forget where I've heard this, but it's the mentality can change, right? When you're not going from, when you can get out of survival mode, essentially, you can then go to investing mode right into the future and finding other ways to improve their livelihood and also their operation as well. Right, and that's kind of where the magic starts to happen, right? Yes, exactly.

Stephen Brittain:

And I'm very conscious in the world of climate and climate innovation that when I say, when they say I'm going to save a million farmers, it just sounds like Yip-Yia, it just sounds incredible. And I have to remember that I'm just the. You know, we're the boring guys just trying to get the first base. We're just trying to get the first base, which is achievable and it requires some really good smarts brought from a few industries and just say, look, this is. You know, we want to do that too, but I think we've just found a way to make some quick progress, to deploy investment in a way that's going to, you know, get people on the first run and that, you know, now we're getting here, let's start bringing some lending investors into that program. You know the next phase for them is to say, right now we're here, let's do some more, let's get some more impact. You know, investment in. Alongside this first step, there's some lending investors in, why? Because now we can start to really build this community. So I really think that's a really good idea. So I recognize we're at the bottom-run of the ladder of some very big, some big programmatic change.

Silas Mahner:

Mm-hmm, one thing I'm curious about is how do you determine which problems to solve, or how do you identify which problems to solve, because there's probably a lot of, I'm assuming, in the world of data now there's a lot of things that aren't being tracked, or there's data that's being wasted, but how do you actually go and decide, okay, of all the problems that we are aware of, at least here's the ones we want to work on finding a solution for, or perhaps even further than that thinking, how do we identify the problems that we're not even aware of yet? Like, can you walk us through a little bit of that? I'm always curious for people to have an understanding of how to identify an area to work on, because there's only so much time in a day. You talked about there being a thousand ideas for every idea that's actually pursued, and I'm assuming there's a trade-off here in time, so can you talk about that?

Stephen Brittain:

It's an excellent question and it's one of my. I didn't prime this, but thank you for so. Thank you for asking, silas, you're on the money with that question because I think so much of this discussion is a strategic one of what's the most important thing to do, and I have and I spent a lot of my time pretending to be a strategist and I think that one lesson I've learned is that you just need a few. Sorry, the approach I've learned I can't preach wisdom at everybody. The approach that I've settled on is one where somebody arrives in your life and they've identified a problem to be solved, that they have got a simple first step as how to solve it and from that point on, you just got to help. Let them have their showcase and show that they're right, because there's plenty of people out there with bigger strategies and things to solve that we just need to connect with. So I let other people have that big strategic conversation. If I'm honest with you, silas, I think if I can look back on our work over the last six years and work I've done previously and say that I think I'm feeling a lot more confident of the role of startup founders to solve some of those big strategic problems. So maybe a question I would pose back is amongst the big strategic questions, which ones could start up solve? Because I think something could be solved by government, something can be solved by big corporations and some of them could be solved by three brothers and a mate and a bit of time to work it out. And I think the ones that require this is where small groups can solve stuff. If I'm not going too far offbeat with your question, are ones where there is a clear, a clear new value exchange, a clear sorry, a clear also to have made to have productized a very difficult problem. I've only given you one example of a dozen I could have used, but they successfully productize an enormous problem, which is small-haul farmers are in a lot of trouble and they're incredibly vulnerable to heat risk and all sorts of other risks as well, and they're out in the mails stones, but they successfully productize something so that large-scale strategic thinkers could say it's in my strategy to keep the small-hauled farmer protected. Why? Because they're part of my food supply chain. I must protect my food supply chain. And I say well, I've got a couple of startup founders who have developed new products that I think could be scaled in your organization to solve your food supply chain issue. So I try to meet that big strategic conversation in the middle and I'm here, but basically in this podcast, to try and meet people who could help me but those two marketplaces together in the marketplace.

Silas Mahner:

Yeah, I think there's a couple of things you touched on and one comment I want to make too, which is I think a lot of people tend to just see insurance as like how man it's evil, it's causing all these problems, because in the end the insurance company always wins. But I want to go back to the example you talked about of if these farmers can, with a very small premium, de-risk what could be a massive cost to them. It can afford them the opportunity to go from survival mode to investing mode. I think that that's something that people need to really be aware of. Yes, perhaps there are examples where insurance isn't necessary and you can just kind of self-insure by investing that same amount of money into a mitigation strategy, but in a circumstance like this, I think it's important to point that out. The second thing I wanted to read kind of double back on what you mentioned, which is the point around a simple first step to solve a problem. I think this is extremely important. It's really hard in the hardware space. In software it's maybe easier to build an MVP and identify if people are interested in something, but with hardware it's obviously important to find a simple way to begin, and I think that this is interesting. So I guess what I want to understand is, if we look at this instead of really an insurance company but so much of a rather an incubator, how, what does the process look like for founders and how do you, I guess, how do you go about attracting these? Are these usually businesses that are already running or have something going on? Is it an idea that you just kind of try to interview a lot of people and say, hey, what's your idea for solving some problem, and then you identify okay, this you know from our group of people. Looking at this, we think that this can be commercialized in a short period of time and can actually make an effect. What does that process look like? I want to understand, from the entire kind of beginning to end, of finding these people and then bringing them through the process, what is, what does that entail?

Stephen Brittain:

But you like your big open questions, don't you? By the way, can we put a pin in the hardware point, because I really would like to share a hardware example with you too. Yeah, certainly. The so how do we find founders? I mean the it's quite challenging and it's challenging for all of us to find good founders in this in the early stages. But I think the I'm six years with the gateway, the insure take gateway, and when we started it Rob Richard myself we thought we had to make a big noise. So I think we just we promoted ourselves within as a platform and we made it pretty clear that we were the only place you could really start in an industry that wasn't innovating. So we started so before we. So our first outreach marketing was actually to build a platform. That was just the ultimate toolkit for anybody trying to play in the risk space. So we spent our first year not waving our checkbook, but we spent the first year getting authorized and regulated ourselves, and this was a question I know you asked me last week about how does this brokerage thing play in? So we got to the UK authorization. Insurance authorizations are given by FCA, the financial contact authority, and we had, at six years ago, the first authorizations of our own, which effectively means if you had an interest, if you're a tech founder or a climate founder or a combination of the two, and you had an idea, like some that we've discussed already, that we had the wherewithal within one group of people to authorize you so you could go into market and test it, and we give you some small capital just to try it. And we had some insurers around us who would give you some capacity, some risk money, if required, to try an idea out. Let's go and ensure 50 small-haul farmers, because it sounds like this could really change their lives. Let's try it and see if it works. And the three of us could do that without having to go and ask anybody, which, in a sector-like insurance, was just a game changer. Because that is two years of conversations, of I've not seen enough data. You can imagine all the earlier part of our conversation. Where's your historic data? Show me this, show me this. Show me the cow data. Show me the milk data. We just know on the ground that it works on it, and I've been an NGO person, I've been helping dairy farmers for years and this is their problem. Can't we just try it? We were the group that could say yes. So I think partly it was that people who were trying to do this immediately saw that we'd created the gateway, hence the name gateway. This was a gateway for innovators to finally get into a regulated market and to get access to enormous resources like insurance capacity and insurance investment and impact investment. So I think that was the first step we did, and we made a lot of noises in non-insurance places like TechCrunch and the early. I mean, we didn't really know where the innovators hung out at the time. We just had to keep saying we're here and to see if people would refer us. So that was, you know, 2016, only 17. So you can imagine that it was a bit of a lonely year, as we were trying to be the coolest guys in insurance and I was never in insurance. I couldn't even answer the difficult questions. But then they started to come, and they started to come from the places on the periphery. So they came from risk modeling. So the next people that came in were like I've got a new rigged flood risk model and I've got a hardware problem which I want to come back to, a hardware solution to a risk problem. Can you help me get this launched? And that started to show that we were starting to define the boundaries of what we can do, and with that came more risk modeling innovators and more IoT and sensor-based innovators started to come because one just saw the other. So we have. All we have done since we started was, one create the platform to launch and then two, just select a small number of innovators and just make sure their things work. Five a year since we started, which is why we've only got 30 stories and 22 of them are still thriving, because we've just stuck on quality and that has given us a kind of network effect of founders. So I find that one of our founder that founder I just mentioned to you with Maria, with Akita, part of the IBSA project and the CAMHS has just been shortlisted for the MIT Solve Prize and as a result of that, I'm getting inbound from participants in the MIT Solve Program. Actually, the business I want to talk to you about, the flood program, got involved in FEMA and the flood relief in the US and we start to get inbound around hurricanes and earthquakes and other aspects of risk. So it's been a slow burn, which is a no, we're nice to hear the word burn in insurance. It sounds too risky, but it's been an organic growth journey of us just demonstrating by example some of the things that really worked when you put the passion of impact founders, and particularly climate founders, with the kind of mechanics of risk and the engineering of risk, with the kind of big industry of insurance and the venture capital that sits around it.

Silas Mahner:

Yeah, I think it's difficult Some of these things. It's very hard for founders to understand, sometimes the time. And then there's sometimes catalyst, catalytic moments in the growth of your business, and I think it's very, very easy to have the I don't know the specific word for it when people look back on history and they're like, oh, this is exactly how it played out, right, it was this clear, it was this and that. But it's not clear right In the time that you're doing it. You're often times wondering what is going on. Am I doing the right thing? Am I even doing the right thing, personally, right. And then there's times where where catalytic moments happen and things can really take off and it looks like an overnight success right, but it's definitely not.

Stephen Brittain:

There's a 10 years of sweat behind every other success Exactly. That means I've got another three years to go until I get one. Exactly yeah.

Silas Mahner:

And something you also mentioned very early on in the conversation I just want to re-highlight, which I think you know, maybe you want to comment on, but I just want to point out is that you had noted that it seems like now everything is coming together right In your kind of in your career and understanding that, oh, these things I did before they, you know, they didn't necessarily seem relevant to climate or whatnot, but that design experience now it all comes together right and I think that there's just maybe a point for founders to consider a little bit more on the personal side of as you're building your companies is just trust the process right. There's going to be a lot of things that suddenly come together and you you maybe feel like, ah man, this is my purpose. Maybe maybe your purpose was something different five years ago, but you now realize that some of the kind of precursors to what you're doing now really will kick into, kick into gear. I think people need to just trust the process a little bit more. It's hard to do, but I just wanted to highlight that.

Stephen Brittain:

I think I appreciate it. I think it's funny that there's a, there's a word, I um, while I was thinking how to explain it to you, there's one word that was just resonated through all of it, which is just adoption, and it's just recognizing that so much of the things we're trying to solve are actually just barriers to adoption. Um-hmm, engineering and chemistry and the science has been there for a long time. We've just got to get people to do more people to do it.

Silas Mahner:

Yeah, absolutely. I think that that's the biggest issue with a lot of these climate technologies is that people just are not familiar or they don't know. You know, there's too many barriers for them. I think there's been a lot of examples of people on the financing side being able to just remove the barrier to installing new technology right, which is the financing side. I think the solar industry is very, very well sorted in that space. Now for residential solar, you know, you don't usually, uh, now, have to pay any capex upfront. You just pay your, you pay your electricity bill and over time you'll you'll pay for your solar panels, or rather they'll pay for themselves. I think there's a lot of those things. I'm really keen on this. You had a point you wanted to bring up about hardware, but let's talk about that.

Stephen Brittain:

The um. I think there's something also that's happened in the middle here which is things like subscriptions. So what used to look like $10,000 for solar panels is now some price per month and that is a. You know that shifting. You know that's very clever financing engineering behind the scenes, because it it's still a $10,000 solar system, solar, you know, capturing system or conversion system, whatever. But we've just found a way to amortize this over time and to make it more palatable and easily to adopt by the customer. But that also means that somebody else is taking the risk. You know and in that is a risk mitigation story all over it the relationship between you know, the person who, who owns that solar panel that's on your neighbor's roof. It's only paying $100 a month for it Cause they don't own it. They've only paid $200 so far. It's still a $10,000 unit. It belongs to some loan, some loan house somewhere that's been managed by some kind of operator who is desperately trying to work out how to make this thing work and hopes that you don't default on your payments a risk problem that the the equipment doesn't go wrong, a warranty and risk problem and that the, the, the cost of capital, will stay sensible some kind of deep risk transfer problem in in in the in the financing space as well. So there is like places all the way along that chain to make a subscription model work. So I find myself talking to founders trying to. You know, if you start back at a customer, why is everybody doing it? Well, it just I just paid $100 a month now. That wasn't here 20 years ago. So I think there's something in that combination that that I'm I'm definitely going off on one, but anyway, I should come back to your hardware question, but I hope it. But I think that is probably a central theme for a lot of your other conversations of outside of me, which is we've got to make financing easier, we've got to access lending easier, we've got to do all these things. And I just wanted to show you where the little thin layer of risk transfer and insurance is. It's, it's everywhere. And that same guy that wants to give you the $100 a month solar panel also wants to come and check your house that you don't have. You know, wizard of Oz, north wind coming through because it's his risk, because he owns the flipping solar panels. Yeah, so he needs to know that he's not putting it in a place. He's going to lose it because it's his problem and not not the customers right now. Anyway, I coming back a step, but there we go. This is pervasive, and mitigating behavior is pervasive. So I pause because I want what I wanted to do with tell you a hardware story, because, because I love hardware and my former mechanical engineer, of course I'm going to move chairs out the way for somebody that comes in the door with a great sensor or a great IoT device. I can't help myself, but, but I just and I wish a few more of them would come. But so a group called flood flash. We met them really back in the beginning 2017. And flood flash are a number of new terms that I'm going to. You reminded me to make this very Fisher price If you use that expression in America, but the to make the language simple. But they are. They are a sensor that measures when an extreme flood happens. So I don't know where what it looks like outside your windows, silas, but if you were a small business, like a print shop or something, and you had a river, a river run through it or runs by, it sounds quite romantic now as a scene, but every so often, that thing raises two meters and just takes every tree and every. You know, every 70 years this there's a line on the wall at the local church and said this happened in 1906 and 1946 and 1985. And we, we were all terrified. It's going to happen this year or next year, because that's all we hear about. So in that, in that space, is a natural place to put a, to put a device. Because, back to the insurance factory, the insurance factory is terrified of flood risk because what could it do? I mean, what could it do if the two meters of water runs through a city? I mean that's billions and billions and 30, 40, 100 billion of loss going through a city. So what they can do and you know, the natural thing is to reject it. So look, we just can't possibly do this, we can't possibly cover this town, this state, these people for flood, because we haven't got, there's not enough money in the world. So we're going to have to work this through together. So what flood flash did and have done is they worked out a mixture of behavior and IOT and insurance. So the sensor is a moisture, let's say it's a trigger sensor that knows when that water rises. The flood flash product is in three pieces. It's a kind of a mitigation story, a sensor story and then an insurance story, and I'm going to walk through those three bits for you. So they, the sensor basically, is a trigger for when it gets wet. It says if I'm going to put it on the wall of this print shop next to a river and if it gets wet at 50 centimetres, I will pay you $200,000 instantly. And guess what? That is the exclusion from your flood insurance policy. That flood insurance policy says we're going to ensure you up to whatever one meter 50 centimeters, because anything under that is just too risky for us, because we know that there are so many floods in this area and historically, if this happens, we're wiped out. We can't afford to do it. The house loses. So in the middle you've got this device. Now think about the behavioral conversation that happens here. So if you're now the customer, you run the print shop, you look at this sensor and say, right, well, can I have it to go all the way up to two meters, because in 1936 it was a two meter flood. And you say, well, yeah, we could give you a price for this. So actually, do you know what I'm actually concerned about? The flood that happens every three weeks, which is about 10 centimeters off the ground. You say so. You've got a flood that happens every three weeks and it's 10 centimeters and you want me to protect you that. So you're going to pay me and every month I'm going to pay you back money because you've got a flood every two weeks. So you can see the absurdity of the conversation. Why the insurers moved away from the risk in the first place? Because people haven't taken it seriously. So the conversation around the center is actually look, here's a good place to put this. Let's make it 50 centimeters. Okay, take everything that's valuable and put it higher than 50 centimeters, because you know and I know that that's most likely to get flooded. So don't blame me and the insurer for saying I can't do it. Move it, lift your print machine. I mean, I used a big example, but this is often, like you know, electrical software, it systems. You know, lift it, so that someone walks around the place and says look, I know that if a flood comes, I just unplug the thing and we go off for six hours or two days and then, when the floods come, I plug it back in again and we're up and running and they go well. What's the cost of that? Well, I'm probably going to lose three days of business, so probably $100,000. Okay, so why don't we protect you for $100,000 if you go over 50 centimeters and you move? Everything, bang ensured Now. So that's a complex conversation about the owner of the risk, the print, the print shop, not just trying to dump it on the, on the and that example. The reason I went through those three steps and such a such an annoying Fisher price primary school teacher way is because that's totally transferable to so many other things we're looking at. Why aren't we going to invest in that offshore wind farm project $300 million? Well, what about the tidal waves? What about that? Well, let's go and have a look at that piece of land and you're going to put it in and let's work out what we can do about. Position is in the right place. Why don't we put it there instead, with as less likelihood of a tidal wave and offshore side current slip under the water or gust? It's the same conversation in mitigation. And then we put the mast in the solar farm in and then we see over time that we've got far less risk and we've mitigated it. So conversation about how I desire and we're in placing my assets that we start to make happen when we start to uniquely addressing sensors with targeted information and IOT devices.

Silas Mahner:

Yeah, I think it's just a super interesting. You know it's hard this is sometimes a difficult topic for me to figure out how to find value in the conversation but I think, just broadly speaking, we have we have people who talk about adaptation versus mitigation in the climate tech space, and I think that there is despite we don't like to talk about it this way, but there is a lot of adaptation that has to happen right and people realizing the reality of negative situations, of climate change happening and causing problems, and just figuring out ways to avoid it. I think it was. You know, I grew up in a place where there's never hurricanes. I grew up in Wisconsin. The only thing we have is extremely cold weather, which we got used to, and occasionally, very, very occasionally, we would have tornadoes and I would remember hearing every single year, twice a year at least, there'd be some kind of massive like destruction of property in Florida or something, or down in the south where the hurricanes come, and I was asked myself why would anybody live in Florida? Like I just do not understand why. Please just leave. I ended up the jokes on me, ended up living in Florida for two months, but I just never understood why people didn't change right, like why wouldn't they leave and just get rid of the problem? But I think it was around that time at some point when I was younger. I remember hearing about a company who was making the properties very. You know, it cost a little bit, but they're building properties that were very protected from these damages. Right, they could be, they could handle high winds, they could handle flooding, things like that and I just think it's important for us to remember that. Yes, life is going to have to change in a lot of ways and we have to just find out the. Maybe, if you want to be proactive and avoid the costs, look around you, look around at the problems other people have faced in the past 50 years and imagine some of those like crazy events that have happened. They're going to happen more frequently. So find out what were the, what were the actual damages, like you mentioned here, and find ways to avoid that or to prevent it, because, as I think the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, or something like that. I don't know the exact exact words, but something of that nature.

Stephen Brittain:

My grandmother would know the answer to that question, to that statement.

Silas Mahner:

Yeah, maybe it's, maybe it's an ounce of sweat is worth a gallon of blood or something. Like I said, that's a war term, but but anyways, the point being, we have to, we have to be aware of these things, and I think it's really interesting. My, my question is always, though how do you find those issues? Because usually people aren't going to think about these things until it's too late. You know, that's why a lot of people, especially in some countries, like in the US I think is an example A lot of people until recently have not really believed that climate change was too much of an issue because, like where I grew up, we just thought it was bad weather. Right, it was tornadoes and absolutely, you know, freezing, cold weather every year, and it's very sporadic. But now we're seeing constantly floods, fires, extreme, extreme weather conditions that are super out of the ordinary, and now people are realizing it. But how can people realize it beforehand and fix it beforehand? Do you guys have any any things that you're doing to try to help consumers identify these issues ahead of time and get it get ahead of the curve?

Stephen Brittain:

Well, I mean the flood flash example I gave you, I think, is a very, a very good example of this, and it's a space called parametrics, which is this where you have a trigger and people realize that they can do something to affect the trigger. So I think if your audience wanted to read more about this space and understand how it might apply to them, I think you'll find you can find a parametric insurance. I mean, there's two parts of your question where can we find all these founders and are there any examples in the portfolio? I've got three or four examples of parametric solutions that we've been trying to support, but I think if you're, your readers are trying, your listeners are trying to find something that they can do themselves. Look into, but into Google, any kind of major risk, and at the word parametric, earthquake, parametric, typhoon, parametric and in that you'll find teams of scientists, insurance companies, behavioral scientists trying to find ways of helping customers who have been rejected for some kind of risk group. I mean, generally, this comes from people who've been rejected. Where you live too dangerous, what you do is too dangerous and they have, and they have found mechanism like this so that they can then find an affordable way of being covered.

Silas Mahner:

Okay, interesting you mentioned something.

Stephen Brittain:

You triggered something in my head earlier because I'm conscious that I've given you a lot of examples in the adaptation space and that you know there's there's a if we could discuss maybe more mitigation ideas. It might be. It might be something we can apply more to the clean tech space. This might be interesting for you. I'll give it a go. Anyway, there's a there's an example of. We have a business we've been supporting any nine months now, called Chi predict Chi, like the TCH AI, and I'm fascinated in them because they're they're a group of commodity traders Energy, metals and they understand that they have been supporting the big banks and the big investors and lenders around commodity trading and predicting the various prices of emerging products too. So today they're helping small businesses. The reason they're in our portfolio is that they saw an opportunity to effectively design out inflation, to see if we could take out the shock and volatility of prices of critical materials for builders, energy, energy provision. And how does it? How does the CFO and a business plan for this, when this thing is fluctuating and the news and the and the markets are just in a in a dizzy spin? We're not entirely sure what we should do. Should I buy all my energy now? Should I wait till later? Should I buy my materials and store it? And that uncertainty is causing huge problems for business, certainly in the UK, and we're hearing about this as a world spread, worldwide problem. So the kind of inflationary protection and at the heart of that is, you know, price smoothing, the insurance. The role of insurance is to smooth out prices, which is to a effectively to ensure the worst price against the best price. So the reason I mentioned this is because aspects like solar energy are continually under being given. You know, all the renewable energy space have got two challenges. One is the, you know, the seasonality or the weather dependency of these energy sources means that volatility of supply is the only thing you hear. You know, when you say, why are you transitioning from oil and nuclear to renewables? Well, if only we could trust the regular supply in it, you know. And then the answer comes well, it's a storage problem, isn't it? It's a storage around. If we could just store it and we could have capacity, then we could have all this energy and it would be a, you know, a storage reservoir to the sky of the energy. And it would be all these, you know, lithium metals, and then you know whatever it's going to be, and then we've got the solution is, you know, then we can use all these renewables. But the same conversation continually comes back to the. You know we're trying to reduce the volatility of the supply to match the demand and insurance plays a role as a buffer. So I've seen this, that child predict solution. You know that of course this is going to be the kind of mechanism that's going to smooth out the volatility of solar panels, solar off grid energy creation and storage. Of course it's going to be the mechanism that's going to be applied and is being applied to carbon development projects. And you know the outcome of. You know, but when will the carbon storage be online again and will it fully retire at the end of its oh hang on? Is that? You know it's just full of risk. That means that the pricing of these new you know I'm jumping around too many examples. You see, the fundamental at play here is that we don't trust the supply of renewables, don't trust the supply of new carbon development. It's unproven, it's volatile, it's not quite there yet. It's not quite there yet. It's either not quite there yet or it's inconsistent in its supply. So we need two different types of mechanism. You need a short term buffer, overnight energy, versus which we can do mechanically, but we can also do with financial instruments. We need the long term buffer that says this renewable will come online by 2040. And I need you to commit to it. I need you to commit your funding, I need you to commit your, I need you to put your, I need you to underwrite this, I need you to commit your industrial transition plan to this. But but it might not be there yet. You know we're all hung up in this. It might not be there yet. Therefore, we can't massively commit. So, we're all in for the, for the, you know. So I'm on this podcast because I'm trying to give enough examples to say you know, if you're a risk model or a commodity model, or if you're in a new, realize that what you could do is be designing out for the utility, not just in today's markets but in the emerging markets you could be designing out the volatility of night and day, of energy and, of course, and the volatility of batteries and elasticity of batteries is all risk.

Silas Mahner:

And that makes a lot of sense. I think there's a couple I want to get closing towards the closing here and there's something I want to bring up which I think could be valuable you have a valuable perspective on, which is, since you're an incubator and you find these companies, you help them get going, you know, really get them up and running. If I understand correctly, you also try to help them, try to help them partner and get get funding once they're ready, right from other VCs and to continue continue running so with these businesses. I want to split it into two things Software and hardware. On the hardware side, what is usually the milestone that is needs to be achieved by these companies to then be very attractive to raise their seed or series a round from from your perspective, because it's very important for the entrepreneurs, I think, in this space to have a clear vision of what they're trying to achieve, because, at the end of the day, they're trying to change the world. But what can they? What are they trying to do in the short term? What's the sprint that they can work towards to get the funding they need to go to the next step?

Stephen Brittain:

Okay, another very open question. You did say we're drawing to a close, so I'm going to try and give you some more specific answers. I think the I think you've heard every generalist answer about a VC from a VC, about what they want to see, and you tend to find yourself in the space of you know the monthly run rates and that you've somehow demonstrated an MVP and that it works. I need to see more and I want, I need to, and I feel the responsibility to give the venture capital market more than that More granularity. I think that I mean, I'm our sweet spot, just to clarify, is picking up businesses at the seed stage, whether incubation or even the pre seed stage, working through them and getting the right metrics in place and milestones in place and I'm particularly mean milestones and I'm going to come back to that in a second and then presenting it to our own venture capital fund. But, by the way we tend to be, we often lead or we'll definitely, you know, come in and boost the, boost the fund to go into that series a and b space, but the kind of metrics. So I don't, I don't, I'm trying to differentiate it by software and hardware. So I'm that's why I paused, but let me do it my own way first. So I think a really backable business the ones that the VCs climb over to come and chase us at the end of our process is maybe the best. What makes 25 VCs bid for a startup that comes out the back of the gateway? There you go. Can I answer that question? That's a good question, that's a better question yeah, what makes 25 VCs bid for it, rather than we have to go around and shake a can or they do for six months? So they have. They've identified an addressable market and obvious, obvious that in the case of risk they have, they have understood how to engage that market in a way that they've managed to reduce, either identify or reduce the risk of that audience. They have a working prototype that delivers. That shows that when the customer I that example I showed you with the you know I discussed about the flood and the sample and how that work. They did put a sensor. It looked awful in the early stages this, you know, weather sensor and it was totally hackable and all the things that could go wrong with it that everybody worried about at the VC level. But did they get people to change their behavior? Did the people want it? Did it solve a real problem and could they target those customers and they're likely to be good customers? Did they find everybody in a floodplain who was obviously going to lose we were going to lose or did they find the rejected customers who are unfairly rejected and this whole thing made sense for business, as in, could the investor be happy? Would the customer be happy and will the insurer stick with this or have we stitched them up? When we've got those three things sorted, I know that we can get our founders, that we can get a VC to back it and I know that we can get an insurer to underwrite it and we can get the data the kind of global data owners which are often inside insurer two to provide the data to scale those businesses. So when that moment happens, there's a noise, a crack of three yes, you know, there's three yeses, and the thing just goes and it moves. Does it matter if it's software or hardware? It's the same questions, frankly, sadly, for hardware it takes a little longer to prove it generally and there's less people because a lot of people are afraid of hardware. I'm not afraid of hardware. I think hardware is sensors, is primary data. So I love, I love a bit of hardware generally. Yeah.

Silas Mahner:

That makes a lot of sense. I think that's really helpful. I know there could be maybe more said there, but I want to stop there. I think that's really helpful. Those three, those three points, and I know again we are running out of time. But there is one thing I do think would be very valuable to get your perspective on, because not many people could could have. This is given. You know I wanted to bring this up at some point in the show. Recently we have news of in the US of state farm halting homeowners at home home insurance applications in California and then farmers also farmers insurance getting out of Florida. And you know we have these big companies that they need to make money. They need to continue doing well and if they, if they don't understand something, they're going to do this right, they would continue to do it if they can make money. But they're really uncertain of the future. But with these new technologies you mentioned that you got into the space because there wasn't as much innovation happening as you had hoped for and now that you're working on these solutions to solve these problems and that these, these insurance companies, these, you know we'll call them insurance factories are facing, how are you seeing partnership with them, because I know I have a friend of mine who actually developed a technology to prevent hail damage from, you know, big box retailers, for example, and I know that the insurance companies were very interested in paying for this for their own customers or kind of helping pay for it to prevent these massive occasions of damage and stuff. So I'm just kind of curious what you've seen with these insurance factories partnering with these newer technologies once they're kind of figured out, to either buy them or integrate them into what they do to help them win as well.

Stephen Brittain:

So a very good question. Again, I'm pausing on that one. I think my way through the. I think two things that what's the natural relationship between these kind of mitigating startups and insurers? And I think that there has been a over the last five years, since we started the insure tech gateway, there have been a number of kind of insurer labs that have outreach to the tech community, and I'm sure that the US in fact I know that the US insurers have done similar things as I've seen in Europe, where they have created an outreach where tech founders can come and pitch and talk to insurers about their problems and their client challenges. I think that has been, I think that has had some successes and I think there's been some impatience because stuff isn't ready, it's not baked. So I think if you've got a fully baked idea and you've already tried and tested it, I think you can go into those kind of insurer driven labs and accelerator programs and you can effectively treat it like a, like an enterprise sales environment and you can present yourself to them. So I think in the market, if you look out, if you've got a solution, you can go to an insure tech conference and put yourself in the in that lineup and you see a number of startups coming who have, who are quite advanced, who have had to self-fund a lot, have found, have managed to find some, some probably family investment. They're quite well, although they're a group who have walked out of insurance companies, that they're well-funded people. So I think that group exists. I think there have been some bad stories about I mean generally there are a lot of ideas that aren't quite ready and aren't ready to be adopted by an insurer of that scale. And you can imagine that dynamic in anything where you've got a big industry player and then basically an inventor, you know, and having that, that void between the two. So I certainly was conscious of that void and my business partners and I, when we designed the gateway, that we would somehow close that gap a bit and say we know that we have to help turn what is effectively very inventive things into products that those guys know how to buy, they know how to adopt to them. Because I think that we were giving them things that you know, they sounded good and they were very enthusiastic and there were lots of show and tales and you know we, you know that startup tourism, that dangerous place where you're in a hundred accelerators and I'm sure your listeners have have exhausted themselves from going from one accelerator to the next. But to find a way to actually develop a product in a way that they know how to adopt is a very difficult challenge in itself. It's as hard as trying to solve for the customer.

Silas Mahner:

Mm-hmm. So yeah, that's helpful. I think I think it's very powerful. Something I've noticed that is something that a lot of people get wrong is that just it's so hard, when you're an outsider in a space trying to solve a problem, to get into the space. That's existing right, the kind of the incumbents, if you will. They have a way of doing things and unless you're somebody who comes from that space and who understands the problems and has that innovative mindset, you really it's really difficult if you don't know how they do things right. So you need to know how to package it, because not everybody wants the same packaging right. They're not all looking at things the same way. If you're a Silicon Valley tech bro, you're probably going to have to adjust how you work and sell towards insurance companies right. They're just very different animals. So I think that was really helpful insight there. I know there's probably a lot we could do, but let's kind of close off things here. What is your call to action for the audience? What are the things that you're looking for and where people can reach you?

Stephen Brittain:

Firstly, how you can reach me. Do you have show notes that they can find my address and email address and things? But our URL is insuretechgateway. Insuretech is spelled I insure, without any INSURtech gateway insuretechgatewaycom. But you'll find us in the show notes. And but who do I want to meet? You know, and why am I talking to your listeners? I would. There are a combination of people I'd like to meet. I'd really like to meet impact investors. I'd like to have a round the table conversation with you and see that we have a really credible and plausible set of metrics to put together for a venture capital raise together and that you should be up. You should see us as probably a really effective way of investing in impact and impact projects and I love that conversation and to understand more about how you could help scale what we're doing. From a founder perspective. I am continually looking for opportunities to engage with founder networks. I've just been speaking with the Stanford climate group. I'm speaking with Carbon 13, who are an accelerator, helping you remove a gigaton as an objective. You know, finding ways of engaging with those groups and seeing. I'm just very willing to help share some of the tools, share some of the opportunities if that's useful, so people can connect me there too. Or if you're a founder and this resonates some of these examples that we've discussed and you're ready to go, you need either some expert, you know an incubator, and this could be a late seed stage. We can still help you and we're willing to put our money behind our support, and I don't care if you're from the US, from Asia, from India. We have a very global view of this problem and we're looking for scalable solutions that we can make together.

Silas Mahner:

So if you're a founder, get in touch too Absolutely, and I'll certainly be sending people your way that fit the bill. But no, this has been great. I know we went over a bunch. I appreciate you taking the time to do this, but certainly excited to see what you guys continue to do. I think there's, as you know, again, there's a lot of issues in the world. Especially climate change is really a scary thing, but there's so many interesting things to be solved and it's a really really great time and kind of era of opportunity, if you will right. A lot of good things come out of it and it's really cool to see how all of the technological advancements in the past you know, 100 years or so that have been massive are coming together to really help people identify these, these areas of waste. Right, because in reality, almost every climate tech solution is just finding an area of waste, whether it's a cost center for all the damages caused by wildfires or something like that, or you know just things that people aren't even necessarily aware of because they're used to the cost, right, but finding those areas of waste and finding a way to mitigate that or get rid of it and put more money into people's pockets help investors make money and help make life a better place. So, very good, I appreciate you coming on and I'm looking forward to staying in touch. Thank you, silas.

Stephen Brittain:

I really enjoyed it.

InsureTech Gateway
Understanding Insurance and Mitigating Risks
Protecting Indian Dairy Farmers From Heat
Startup Founders Solving Strategic Problems
Climate Tech Financing and Risk Transfer
Adaptation and Mitigation in Climate Tech
Insurtech Startups and Partnerships With Insurance
Climate Change and Technological Advancements