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FloodFlash and the Lloyd’s Lab: lessons from the 3rd cohort

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The end of 2019 marked the end of a whirlwind quarter for FloodFlash. It also marks the end of the third cohort of the Lloyd’s Lab. We caught up with FloodFlash co-founder Ian Bartholomew to discuss how the past 3 months have been and what the team have taken from their involvement with the Lab.

FloodFlash: It has been a long journey from the initial summer pitch right through to demo day in November. How would you summarise our time in the Lloyd’s Lab?

IB: We’ve always known that the lab was going to open doors for us, and in that sense it has been a very productive experience. The last few months have flown by. When things in the business are moving so fast it’s great having the Lab as a place we can go to work on our strategy outside the buzz of our office in Waterloo. As an MGA and a Lloyd’s coverholder, the relationship with our capacity providers is essential to the smooth running of our business. The Lab has helped develop those relationships and build new ones.

FF: You mention the lab space itself, what is it like working from the famous offices on Lime street?

IB: Just being in the lab is inspiring. The iconic Lloyd’s machine, the book, the Lutine Bell… it’s an awesome location for us to be able to bring partners, our broker connections, and the team. Together we are establishing parametric as one of the key categories of insurance for the future. It’s important that we innovate as part of the existing insurance infrastructure to do so successfully. The support from Lloyd’s and the lab setting contribute to the feeling that we’re making a meaningful impact on the wider industry from within its ranks.

FF: The glass lifts are also pretty special

IB: Yes! They’re great fun, very Willy Wonka.

The glass elevators and well dressed doormen at Lloyd’s never fail to make an impression. Photo by Boris Stefanik on Unsplash
FF: apart from the lifts, what else surprised you about the Lloyd’s Lab?

IB: We didn’t expect the sheer breadth of engagement across the market. Whilst we were aware of the influence that Lloyd’s have, it’s encouraging to see that the market is responding to initiatives like the lab. The diversity of support offered extended beyond the insurance conversations we were expecting, taking in everything from product design to marketing and pitching.

It was also surprising that they featured me in their video rather than Adam, the other FloodFlash co-founder, who normally hogs the limelight!

FloodFlashback: the Lloyd’s Lab interview with FloodFlash co-founder Ian Bartholomew.
FF: What advice would you give someone entering into the Lab next year?

IB: Ten weeks is a really short amount of time and our time in the Lab has felt really fleeting. To make the most of it, it’s massively important to plan ahead in terms of what you want to achieve in the time you have – but leave a little room for the other directions that the conversations take you.

FF: Any parting remarks as you “graduate”?

IB: To be honest, it doesn’t feel like we’re leaving or graduating in that sense. We will continue the relationships started in the Lab for many years to come. The whole experience has opened up a lot of opportunities for us. Now the follow-up work begins.