ACORD, the insurance industry's global data standards and services association, is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA), a global business accelerator focused on developing and growing innovative insurance-centric startups.

The partnership brings the first of this year’s ACORD Insurance Innovation Challenge (AIIC) semi-final events to the Global Insurance Symposium at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines on April 26.

"The Global Insurance Accelerator is doing work that can be appreciated across the insurance industry," said Bill Hartnett, head of innovation for ACORD and AIIC executive sponsor.

"The AIIC was designed to bring new ideas to the table via an equal footing platform. A partnership with the GIA and co-locating one of our semi-final events at the Global Insurance Symposium benefits everyone interested in innovation in the insurance industry."

"ACORD and the GIA share the goal of discovering and promoting entrepreneurial talent building solutions for the insurance industry," said Brian Hemesath, managing director of the GIA and emcee of the Global Insurance Symposium.

"The AIIC program is an excellent opportunity for early-stage companies to gain exposure to insurance companies and the broader insurance ecosystem. This partnership is a tremendous opportunity for us to leverage their efforts and vice versa."

In 2015, the AIIC brought in more than 100 submissions which were narrowed to a semi-final field of 12 innovators who pitched live during the ACORD2015 event last November.

This year, individuals and companies submitting for the AIIC Des Moines semi-final event will pitch in front of a panel of judges comprised of insurance company professionals, analysts, entrepreneurs and thought leaders, as well as attendees to the Global Insurance Symposium who will have complimentary access to the event.

All AIIC qualifying pitches will have the opportunity to get feedback prior to the event, answer questions from the judges, and be graded on impact, ingenuity, applicability to the insurance industry, and quality of the presentation.

ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development) is a global, nonprofit organization serving the insurance and related industries. ACORD facilitates the development of open consensus data standards and standard forms, and works with its members and partner organizations to drive implementation of those standards.