Innovator of the Week
CEO & Founder of ValChoice
Please provide your 30-second pitch about your company.
The ValChoice service enables consumers to know, for the first time, which insurance companies are good and offer the best value – as measured by price, protection and service quality — and which companies will likely not protect them when they need it the most. Knowing this information before an accident occurs could save consumers their homes, retirement savings, lost wages and more. ValChoice offers this service from our website, with free reports for every consumer in America. See this video link for a quick overview.
Who or what was your best resource for starting your company?
The motivation that came from being hit by a car and not being able to get insurance companies to pay my medical bills was a great motivator. I realized that when three out of three insurance companies involved refused to pay, there was a problem in the industry that needed to be addressed. Being hit by a car gave me the determination needed to tackle this challenging problem, working 7 days a week for more than two years in order to prevent others from suffering the same problem.
The resources available to startups here in New Hampshire have been a blessing for ValChoice. The Social Venture Innovation Challenge (SVIC) sponsored by UNH is a great program. It gave us some much-needed visibility; introductions to key people in the New Hampshire startup community, and of course a cash prize. Through the SVIC we met Alpha Loft, another great resource for startups, and were introduced to the New Hampshire High Tech Council (NHHTC). We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to present to the NHHTC Entrepreneurs Forum in February.
What was your biggest obstacle in starting your company and how did you overcome it?
The biggest obstacle was finding the right software talent necessary to build a high-performance, scalable solution. The analysis is complicated, which makes creating an elegant solution even more important.
What’s the best advice you have received?
Recruit advisors that are experts in areas important to the company’s development. As a startup company it’s not possible to have expertise in every aspect of a business. However, to succeed, it’s critical to make every decision right. The best way to increase the odds of making every decision correctly is to recruit advisors that have expertise in areas that complement your own.
What about the NH lifestyle appeals to you?
We moved here from Silicon Valley for three reasons; the schools, the outdoor lifestyle and family. The bonus we’ve found in New Hampshire is how genuine the people are. It’s a great place to live.
What does the future look like for your company?
Until now, we’ve been in a product development mode. Recently, we won the Social Venture Innovation Challenge for New Hampshire. Now we’re moving into a business development phase. This is an exciting phase as we work to achieve our goal of giving a free report to every consumer of insurance in America. There’s never been an analysis of insurance products before so people have been blindly spending money, hoping it would protect them when needed. Finally, people can know before something goes wrong how good the insurance they have is, and if they are paying too much for the protection it provides.
See why Forbes calls ValChoice the ‘Carfax for Insurance’.
Read the full article: Can Technology Disrupt the Consumer Insurance Market?
Connect with ValChoice on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!
Connect with Dan Karr on LinkedIn!