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Lloyd’s may take equity in tech lab participants: Vandendael

Lloyd’s will contemplate investing in the technology start-ups it nurtures via its new sandbox, said chief commercial officer Vincent Vandendael.

Speaking to this publication after the appointment of L Marks and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as advisers to the new Lloyd’s Lab, Vandendael said the Corporation expects to admit two cohorts to the lab a year.

Each cohort will comprise eight to 10 entities, which will be selected by a steering committee from a shortlist compiled by L Marks.

Companies will stay in the lab for eight to 10 weeks, at which point Lloyd’s hopes they will have devised a so-called minimum viable product (MVP).

“It will be fast track but also fast fail,” said Vandendael.

“This is our digital contribution to position London as a – or maybe the – leading centre for innovation.”

Once the technology has been developed into an MVP, the founders may look to form a company and seek funding.   

If that happens the proposition will be presented to a committee, with the market and Lloyd’s itself given the opportunity to invest in the business to bring the product closer to commercialisation.

The Lloyd’s Lab aims to launch in September following the selection of the first cohort.

Lloyd’s Lab participants will work on the fourth floor of One Lime Street, and in a demonstration room nearer the main underwriting hub.

L Marks is a start-up specialist and early-stage investor which has created more than 30 innovation labs across industries ranging from car making to energy.

BCG’s contribution will be to work with the Lloyd’s Market Association and managing agents to understand the challenges they face and what technology could help overcome them.

Lloyd’s head of innovation is Trevor Maynard, who is a member of the InsurTech board on the fintech delivery panel at public-private initiative Tech City UK.

Lloyd’s will provide further detail on how to join the lab on its website at www.lloyds/com/LloydsLab.

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