First week at the Lloyd’s Lab was a blast — such a unique opportunity for the entire Otonomi team. We are so thrilled to grow our insurance network, accelerate our go-to-market, and learn from Lloyd’s expertise.
I am first to travel to the Uk, but our engineers and sales team will follow suit soon!
Day 1: Getting situated in the Lloyd’s building.
Mon, Apr 25, 2022. The alarm buzzes at 7.15am. Disoriented, I stumble upon my tennis bag and land in the bathroom zombie-like for a revigorating shower. Short stride to Bond St Central Line station followed by a tube-ride to Bank St stop. I circle around “The City” a couple of times to find my way across, manage to get my temporary pass and the building reception, and make it to the Lab at 8.17am. First on the floor, actually, Lloyd’s Lab Director Ed Gaze is already on site, we quickly shake hands, trade a couple of small talks, and I pick a random station on the floor.
After a quick pow-wow with the program team, they send us with Phil our appointed tour guide. With over 40-year vintage at Lloyd’s of London, he’s the perfect guy to share the formal history of the organization but also quirky anecdotes.
Thank God, I managed to locate a Starbucks, as a proud American, I order my first Latte of my London trip, walk a couple of blocks and run into our good friend Steve, a valued Reinsurance broker partner.
Long day: 8am-5pm straight. For our last programming sessions, the LL (Lloyd’s Lab) team ask us to improvise a 90" pitch in front of the entire cohort + a number of mentors. I get nervous for a hot second, and go “well I did it a zillion times, why do I care?!”. The mini-pitch session done, some applause later, the co-program admin L-Marks’ one and only Lizzie Parker takes us out for our first group outing in the Gherkin building, literally 2 blocks away. I run into a fellow parametric insurance insurtech founder, with whom I happen to have common acquaintances across the channel! Zip. Zap. I am back at the Airbnb.
Day 2: Lloyd’s isn’t a corporation, or is it?
More of those intro sessions with stakeholders in the Lloyd’s organization, board members, advisors, consultants… but really no employees? As we find out Lloyd’s isn’t a corporation. But it kind of is. Very British of them if you’d ask me!
The Lab itself depicts a uber-clean look, utterly London-like, very balanced color scheme, almost clinical, but certainly 100% pro. Premises look fantastic and certainly emulate a vibrant feel for innovation.
Quite the stream of PowerPoint presentations for half a day, interrupted by quick and boring “Pret A Manger” lunch, the day dashes by, I am already onto the night shift with my NY team — my “real” job starts now!
Day 3: Finding my marks.
I am getting into the groove of this new place. My cohort founders are certainly nice, fun, and smart — some of them will only be around for a week or 2, while others — like me — will soldier in the Mecca of insurance in search of solutions to our unanswered questions.
At the heart of the Lloyd’s building, the incubator is a glimpse of futuristic presence in an industrial-fronting facility. Almost like a stationary shuttle hovering over District 9.
The Lab’s programming goes full-steam with insightful stakeholders presentations and introductions to the intriguing Lloyd’s ecosystem.
Wednesday ends on a high note, with InsTech London's “All Sorts: An Evening of Insurtech Treats” innovation event.
I finally meet both Matthew Grant and Henry Gale in person for the first time, after 2 years of zoom interaction — great crowd, insightful speakers, and fantastic event organizers!
Day 4: Crossing the Channel.
I decide last minute to visit my family in Paris and fly over to CDG first thing in the A.M., and work remote the rest of the afternoon.
Wow, quite the eventful week! Can’t wait for what comes next for Otonomi…
… Stay tuned for more updates in May!
As always, stay safe, best.