We are doing a series of Q&A features around Austin-based companies that are launching their company or their product at SXSW 2014. If you’d like to be featured as well, please use the Submit News button. Today’s feature is with Matt Foran, CEO of EvoSure.
Q: Explain what you do in a way that my mom can understand?
We allow players in the commercial insurance industry to deliver better results by making the right connections. Currently, this market is broken – 60% of interactions between brokers and insurers fail, costing the industry an estimated $16 billion every year. Unlike many other large markets, commercial insurance does not have a marketplace technology that enables efficient transactions. EvoSure connects the right product, to the right broker, to the right client, meaning better customer options, more wins for insurance carriers and brokers, and overall improved efficiency.
Q: Who are the hard working geniuses behind the company?
Our existing and future customers. It is rare in the industry to ask the end users what they truly need to be more successful. Most efforts to improve this space assume a need to fix the industry or the users. Commercial insurance is incredibly complex. Our team appreciates our users and understand that what they want is what we will deliver. The genius is understanding how to deliver value to users while considering the complexities of big data, user experience, and many other challenges. We have the absolute smartest people building a product while constantly taking direction from the folks who will be more successful as a result of its use.
Q: What is the “secret sauce” that will make you shine above the competitors?
The secret to our special sauce is that every user interaction within our network is required to deliver value to the user. EvoSure combines deep domain expertise, a radical fixation on user experience, and a focus on enabling users with the absolute right data. This is rare in the insurance industry. There are no shortage of companies who have tried to crack this nut. The hundreds of millions of wasted dollars can be broken into two categories: The first are proprietary solutions in which one of the big players in the space spends tens of millions of dollars creating a platform that nobody wants to use. Why? Because they charge everyone incredible sums of money to use the system, there is almost no thought to user experience, and the solution only represents a sliver of the overall network opportunity. The second are large data companies that focus on the insurance space. Several have built massive applications that involved multi-million dollar system integrations and required years to implement, only to find they have saddled the end users with so much minutiae that no one adopts the technology.
Q: Our first breakthrough came when:
There were a number of breakthroughs leading up to our official production launch, most related to user design and interaction. The most memorable occurred shortly after our third iteration of user design. During a demonstration with potential users (from a Fortune 500 company), the group of about 15 users actually began clapping. After that demonstration, we were immediately walking into a meeting with the COO and no matter how hard we tried, we could not wipe the huge grins off of our faces. Not only was it awesome, but it completely validated our effort.
Q: The best advice we’ve received so far has been:
From one of our advisors: “Make it simple for a user to get immediate value. A maximum of 3 clicks to more revenue.”