Insurtech Founder’s Live Demo Experience

In June, the Insurtech Gateway team and our extended family descended on Amsterdam, along with 1300 other insurtech advocates, to attend the biggest insurance festival in Europe. Digital Insurance Agenda, is the ‘must see’ event for the European insurtech community.

I spoke to one of our portfolio company co-founders, David Janczewski (Digital Asset Services) to find out how it felt to demo his product live on stage.

How did you feel standing backstage?

A little nervous but also a little excited. I was more concerned about following an exact script and decided about 2 minutes before I went on stage to ditch it anyway and speak more from the heart.

And did those feelings shift the moment you stepped out into the spotlight?

Once I’d decided to ditch the script I felt relaxed and to be honest it is great to know that everyone in the audience is there to listen to what you have to say.

The audience was huge – 1300 people. Is that the biggest audience you have ever addressed? And does size make much difference to how you present?

Not quite, I’ve presented on the main stage at Consensus in the US which is typically 2-3,000 strong plus that was livestreamed to many thousands more, something I didn’t know at the time, thankfully! I personally prefer smaller audiences as it is always good to interact and get real feedback.

The time slots at DIA are just 8 minutes. It seems like a big ask for founders to create a well-rounded story in this time-frame. How did you tackle this challenge?

I certainly like to talk so 8 minutes seemed like a super short time. Luckily we have a great team at DAS who all have public speaking experience so they helped a lot in framing and tightening the message.

And were you nervous to demo live?

Not at all, we rolled a canned demo so we could speed up the experience and keep the audience interested. I’m sure they would have been really bored waiting for me to fill in my password otherwise!

Do you have any top tips to share with fellow founders?

Not really, I’m as much as an amateur as anyone else at this. For me personally, the most important thing was to be myself. Once I tossed out the script I was much more at ease and hopefully the audience could tell I was being authentic.

How did you feel when you stepped off the stage?

Ready to hit the bar! But then I think you reminded me I should head for our stand to speak with interested audience members.

What happened in the hours following your presentation, and did you get the reaction you were hoping for?

A few interesting conversations but I guess I would have welcomed a few more!

What’s next for you and DAS in the public arena?

DAS has just taken part in a UK Government Insurtech trade mission in September rounded out by a visit to Insurtech Connect in Las Vegas. We’ll also be at Money 2020, also in Las Vegas at the end of October.

Check out David’s 8 minute demo in the video below and their Coincover product here.

You can find out more about how the Gateway supports insurtech founders.


If you have founded a pre-seed or seed insurtech and are looking for support and funding – or maybe you just have an idea that you would like to chat through – we have the experience and the tools to help you get to market faster. Check out our incubator and venture fund or get in touch.