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The content is primarily meant to be helpful to busy entrpreneurs in the tech community as it pertains to insurance.

 

 

 

Insurance and PEOs: Playing Nice Together

Let’s start by making sure everyone knows what a PEO does. In short, a PEO is an outsourcing firm providing multiple services to small businesses. Most PEO relationships are contingent upon becoming the employer of record.

“Common Insurance Requirements in A Commercial Lease (And What You Can Negotiate)”

Funding typically triggers another insurance inflection point in the startup journey: signing a commercial lease. A common insurance request from startups is to make sure current insurance coverage will meet the landlord’s requirements in a lease. This month’s blog shares common insurance requests by landlords and a few insurance tips.

SXSW on Limited Time: The Premier SXSW Events to Attend for Busy Founders

This year my wife had a baby two weeks before SXSW, so I had to be extremely focused on where I spent my time this SXSW. Though I like grabbing beers with the masses during the Startup Crawl, very little business gets done. So that was the first event to go to for me.

Electric Scooters: Liability Concerns for Startup Owners and Their Employees

Scooters are everywhere in urban areas all across the nation, and it does not look like they are going anywhere in Austin anytime soon. This month we discuss personal and business liability involved with riding an electric scooter.  Then we answer the more important question of how insurance will respond. As a bonus we also share a few key safety tips.

 

Back to the Grind: Pressure, Stress, Anxiety and Depression in the Tech Community

A recent Forbes article discusses why depression increases during the holidays and can be summed up in three words: stress, family and expectations. The holidays are over, new year resolutions have been made and everyone is back to the grind. In talking with several startup tech founders in the tech community, the expectations and stress sound like a year-round issue. 

Insurance Nerd Alert!!! – Inspiration from Mr. Incredible and Reuben Feffer

Since it is December and many of you will be watching movies over the holiday break, I thought it might be fun to comment on two of my favorite characters related to insurance in the movies. In this month’s blog, find out why I like Reuben Feffer from Along Came Polly and Bob Parr from The Incredibles. 

The Office ‘Non-Denominational Holiday Mixer'

There is a reason why Saturday Night Live (SNL)The Office, and Office Christmas Party poke fun at office ‘Non-denominational Holiday Mixers.’  Feel free to watch any of these videos at your own risk to see what I mean. It is the corporate world’s attempt to be inclusive while employees cut loose in celebration for various reasons. Because each company’s culture is unique, there is no right way to do this.  In this month’s blog, we give a few tips for the startup community to keep everyone safe and reduce risk. 

 

Is Your Startup As Secure As You Think It Is?

For the record, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) was not created in resistance to Skynet, the ‘Synthetic Intelligent Machine Network’ despite the title of this blog. The National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched the initiative in October of 2004 in an effort to help Americans be more secure online. In this month’s blog, we focus our attention on cyber trends in business and offer a few tips from Connor’ to keep data safe. 

How to Choose Wisely When It Comes to Accelerators and VCs

Raising funds seems like the Holy Grail of the startup community. Spend time around an accelerator or co-working space in ATX, and you will overhear someone talking about raising money. For many first-time founders, this will be one of the biggest frustrations since most VCs typically don’t invest in first-time founders. In this month’s blog, we share some tips to increase your probability of finding the right accelerator program and VC partners. 

What Happens to Your Insurance Program If You Don’t IPO?

Though many tech entrepreneurs dream of taking a company public, the reality is very few companies (particularly in Austin) go public. Recently, in Austin we had Sailpoint go public and Phunware do a merger into a publicly traded company (count it) but that’s about it. Anand Sanwal, co-founder and CEO of CB Insights, puts it bluntly in a CNN Tech article , “less than 1% — will go public.” 

Key Person Life: Your VC Wants Key Person Life Insurance on You and Why It's Not 'Weird'

Often times, Key Person Life is a requirement from institutional investment firms as part of their investment in a company. There was a similar scenario in the movie Along Came Polly if you have seen it.  Some startup CEOs often wonder why this could be required.  In this month’s blog, we explain why they want VCs to have it and a few nuances with underwriting. 

Jeremy Broomfield - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10235542

D&O: Why Underwriters Care about Your Financial Runway?

For startups, an underwriter asking for financial statements can seem invasive when searching for D&O (Directors & Officers) Insurance. So why do they ask? I talked to a few of my favorite underwriters to learn more about why the financial health of any startup is the #1 driver for a carrier to offer D&O terms and how it will affect your premium. Read on to learn why asset size, funding, revenue and profitability can account for 80-90% of your premium rating. 

Employment Practices Tips for Tech Startups

In general, this is one of the heavier topics we will cover, but I felt it was necessary given the recent headlines involving Travis Kalanick of Uber, Dave McClure of 500 Startups and Justin Caldbeck of Binary Capital. The mainstream news outlets are in no shortage of stories highlighting the sexual harassment situation in Silicon Valley.

Is Your Tech Company a Tech Company to an Underwriter?

What is a liger? Napoleon from the 2004 movie Napoleon Dynamite says, ‘It’s pretty much my favorite animal. It’s like a lion and a tiger mixed… bred for its skills in magic.’ You will have to read through the end to see how this ties into the conversation…  

Too Busy 'Crushing It' to Run That Contract by Legal…

The single most important goal of any sales team is to generate revenue. This is often referred to in The Valley as ‘Crushing It’. So, in case you wanted to see a ‘bro-like’ exaggeration of what I’m talking about, click on the link above.

Lumen Insurance Technologies - Startup Growth Phases

5 Insurance Inflection Points for Startups

Your goals may include raising a significant amount of money, disrupting your industry, and/or becoming the next unicorn in the industry. If that is the case,  you will have a series of insurance inflection points to discuss with your insurance broker which includes D&O.

Do I Need D&O Before or After I Raise Money for My Tech Startup?

Start-up founders are generally calculated risk takers. So, why would a founder purchase D&O insurance before funding vs after?  There is no right or wrong answer but two common scenarios are outlined below.

Do You Really Want Just The ‘Bare Minimum’ Coverage for Your Startup?

 I love the 1999 movie, Office Space, so I hope you can appreciate the simplicity of Stan’s message. The pressure of entrepreneurs to build a world class team, execute on a strategy and fund-raise are huge! Why on earth should you be concerned with cyber liability or errors & omissions insurance? Especially since you are probably not paying yourself and might even have a concrete date you won’t be able to make payroll?