Ignite aims to offer an environment for innovation and growth for startup brokers, says chief executive

BrokerFest 2023: Ignite’s aim to address the lack of females in UK broking and insurtech has garnered interest with its latest in-house accelerator having already received a dozen enquiries following its launch.

The Ignition accelerator launched in January 2023 and aims to fund an equal 50/50 split of male and female founders.

Speaking during an insurtech stream session at BrokerFest 2023 last week (23 February 2023), Toby MacLachlan, chief executive of policy administration at Ignite, told delegates: “We launched Ignition to help support new business.

”We’re targeting 50/50 female [to] male founders with this because that is something that we do in our recruitment policy and something we wanted to extend to this specific accelerator programme.”

He noted that only 5% of UK directors in UK insurance broking are female.

“There’s an enormous pool of talent that is not reaching its potential and that is something that we want to encourage with the programme,” he added.

“We feel it’s a good home for this as the company has been on a similar journey itself.”

The accelerator will help startup brokers with capacity, funding, advice, partnerships and regulation.

Entrepreneur lifeline 

Ignite was founded in 2011 and initially aimed to be a broker before it pivoted the business to become a software house.

It now has 55 staff and its broker partners include Scratch and Patch, Yoga Insure, Zoomcover and Wrapper Insure.

The firm also aims to offer a lifeline to entrepreneurial individuals sitting in large corporates looking for a way to branch out.

MacLachlan noted that out of 100 brokers the firm listed in 2010, two thirds (64) out of those have now been consolidated.

MacLachlan continued: “This is quite a number. What that means is that there are a lot of people who set up business and grew them that then got swallowed up.

“There’s not the environment for innovation or speed of growth so we wanted to offer a place that those people could come to.”

MacLachlan was featured in an insurtech stream session entitled – Ignition: Accelerating innovation in insurance broking chaired by Insurance Times technology editor Clare Ruel.