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Startups: RGAx, a $10B Reinsurance Company, Wants to Meet You

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DePaul’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center

1 E. Jackson Boulevard

Chicago, IL 60604

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RGAx is looking to partner with startups to develop businesses that bring value to insurance companies, consumers, and distribution entities. Here is your chance to meet the Innovation Manager, Kelle Bub, along with Marck Friederich, Actuary, Data Solutions, and Donna Jermer, Vice President Distribution Lead, at one of the largest global life and health insurance reinsurance companies. Hear how they are innovating with startups and how you can bring your ideas to life.

RGAx's mission is to transform the insurance industry by creating tools, data, products, and digital platforms to scale and accelerate consumer-centric businesses in the insurance market.As the corporate innovation arm of the Reinsurance Group of America (RGA), RGAx works with a diverse community of partners to reimagine, rethink, and reinvent how life insurance is bought and sold in a digital world. Formed in 2015, RGAx is leading the transformation of the insurance industry by creating tools, data, products, and digital platforms to scale and accelerate consumer-centric businesses in the insurance market.

Brands+Startups has partnered with RGAx, FinTank, and our location host, DePaul's Coleman Center for Entrepreneurship to give you a first-hand look into the innovations impacting the insurance industry, the growing Chicago Fintech space, and a chance to network with fellow entrepreneurs in Fintech – right in downtown.

If you are in data analytics, big data, machine learning, AI, digital marketing, web development, web development, HCI or UX, or any emerging technologies – join us on 8/22 for an evening of lively discussion on the innovations that are transforming the insurance industry and how you and your startup can get involved!

Topics Covered

  • How to tell if you are prepared to do business with a reinsurer
  • Why do corporations want to do business with startups
  • What are the best ways to get a corporation’s attention
  • What happens after the pitch and work starts
  • The best and worst startup pitches

Refreshments and pizza provided. See you on the 22nd!

- The Brands+Startups Team

About Our Speakers

Kelle R. Bub, CPA, is Innovation Manager for RGAx, the wholly-owned subsidiary of and innovation accelerator for Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (RGA). RGAx was established to enable the rapid testing, commercializing and scaling of business opportunities in the life insurance market. Kelle is creating tools to evaluate, track and monitor new initiatives and pipeline projects, and developing supporting internal and external content. Kelle’s financial industry experience encompasses insurance and brokerage products as well as financial planning, analysis, accounting, and reporting. Her background includes roles with substantial responsibility at Edward Jones Investments, Boeing, and PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) - roles that encompassed product development, management of financial strategies, risk management, auditing, and compliance. She most recently led the insourcing of all accounting functions for the private tutoring company Varsity Tutors LLC, including building an in-house accounting team and implementing both an enterprise resource planning system and a treasury management platform. Her Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degrees are both from the University of Missouri – Columbia. Kelle is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and she holds a Series 7 (General Securities Representative) license. Active in the local community and in the insurance industry, she is a board member of Voyce St. Louis, an organization that provides ombudsman advocacy services to residents of long-term care facilities.


Mark A. Friederich is Actuary, Data Solutions, for RGAx, the wholly-owned subsidiary of and innovation accelerator for Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (RGA). Mark is responsible for several of RGAx’s data-driven business initiatives, providing leadership as well as data and analytic support. Mark has held several positions of actuarial responsibility within RGA. Most recently, he was Actuary/Executive Director of RGA Reinsurance Company, RGA’s principal operating subsidiary, responsible for several financial functions including leading and managing the valuation function for several RGA offices worldwide to support innovation while maintaining best governance practices. Mark received his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in mathematics and computer science from Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri. He is a Fellow, Society of Actuaries (FSA), a Member, AmericanAcademy of Actuaries (MAAA), and an Associate of the Life Management Institute (ALMI).


Donna Jermer is Vice President, Distribution Lead for RGAx, the wholly-owned innovation incubator subsidiary of Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (RGA). She is setting and building the strategic foundation for development and execution of RGAx’s innovative distribution initiatives, including the building of life distribution capabilities, agency services, and ongoing distribution operations. She joined RGAx in 2016 and is based in St. Louis. With more than 20 years of strategic marketing experience in multiple industries, from financial services and consumer goods to retail, Donna is a strong addition to the RGAx team. As both an in-house executive and an external consultant she has directed, managed and implemented numerous successful B2B and B2C strategies and campaigns for multiple distribution channels. Past employers and clients include: Western and Southern LifeInsurance Company; Protective Life Insurance Company; Forethought Financial Services; Fifth Third Bank; Luxottica Retail (LensCrafters, Sears and Target Brands); P&G Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company; and AmTrustFinancial. Donna’s Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree in business and marketing is from Bowling Green State University, in Bowling Green, Ohio, and her M.B.A. in social media marketing is from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is a past president of LOMA’s Life InsuranceCouncil and a frequent speaker at industry conferences.

About Us

Brands+Startups™ is a post-accelerator "finishing school" that helps startups learn how to pitch to multinational corporations. We offer this as part of our mission to foster economic development within the high-tech startup community in the Heartland of America. Brands+Startups is organized by Heartland Mobile, a Chicago-based non-profit. We are 100% run by volunteers.

About Our Partners

RGAx, formed in 2015, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (RGA) with a focus on building and accelerating transformational businesses in the life insurance industry. Working with a diverse community of partners, they develop businesses that bring value to insurance companies, consumers, and distribution entities. Its mission is to transform the industry by creating tools, data, products, and digital platforms to scale and accelerate consumer-centric businesses in the insurance market. To learn more, visit http://www.rgax.com/us/.

FinTank is Chicago's newest FinTech incubator and co-working space. Its mission is to provide a physical location for FinTech startups to convene and market their ideas. For investors, FinTank provides a central location to interact with promising new companies serving the financial sector. For members, they provide all the services, mentorships and attention needed to create a successful FinTech company. To learn more, visit https://fintank.org/.

About Our Host Sponsor

The DePaul University Coleman Entrepreneurship Center (CEC) serves as the entrepreneurial hub for DePaul students, faculty, alumni, as well as the broader Chicago community. They advise, inspire, and connect student entrepreneurs with many backgrounds and interests. Programs and events are designed for students throughout the university and many are open to alumni as well as the wider Chicago business community. The CEC is funded in part by The Coleman Foundation, a private independent grant-making organization. To learn more, visit http://colemanent.org/.

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DePaul’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center

1 E. Jackson Boulevard

Chicago, IL 60604

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