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Marketscout's Entrepreneurial Insurance Symposium in Dallas


Business Insurance has become the exclusive media partner and a sponsor of MarketScout's Entre-preneurial Insurance Symposium.

The annual symposium, which was launched six years ago, is designed to “put a focus on innovation and entrepreneurialism in the insurance sector, which is an area that has been lacking in the industry,” said Richard Kerr, CEO of the Dallas-based electronic insurance exchange. “We're pushing folks to come up with new, innovative ways to facilitate distribution, underwriting or processing functions within the insurance industry.”

“Although Business Insurance was an early supporter of the Entrepreneurial Insurance Symposium, our development of new targeted content channels, including the Brokers & Insurers channel, means a stronger relationship with the symposium and its audience of innovators makes sense,” said Paul Winston, associate publisher of Business Insurance.

One of the features of the 2012 symposium, which will take place Sept. 11-12 in Dallas, is a “shark tank” in which entrepreneurs seeking recognition for their insurance innovations apply for an opportunity to make a presentation of their concept before a panel of judges and symposium attendees, said Mr. Kerr.

The mission of the program, launched at last year's symposium, is “to foster the creation of new products, distribution channels and underwriting modules.” The top eight or nine submissions enter the shark tank, in which they have about eight minutes to make their presentations and then field questions from the judges for a few minutes, said Mr. Kerr.

Based on scores and audience input, the best ideas in underwriting, distribution and technology are named. Information on the 2011 award winners can be found at

“It's a lot of fun and very educational,” Mr. Kerr said. He noted that the group is accepting submissions now for the 2012 event. “The more, the better,” he said.

Mr. Kerr said the symposium's audience consists largely of insurance company executives or agency owners.

“They're looking for success models,” he said. Speakers at the event “tell us stories about themselves—why they were successful, what they did right, what they did wrong, and what they would do differently,” said Mr. Kerr. There's “nothing better than listening to someone who's been bloodied and bruised and been in the trenches. You can learn from those who do, not those who teach.”

He said the two-day session has been approved by the National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research as a full annual update for dues-paid CIC and CRM designation holders. In addition, most states have approved 12 to 16 hours of continuing education credit for attending the symposium, although some approvals are pending.