It’s possible that it’s just the nature of tech entrepreneurs to identify problems and come up with creative solutions. The Indianapolis tech community, however, seems to me to have more than it’s fair share of startups and scale-ups that have taken seemingly mundane and complex business functions, (one founder even called his company “boring”), and turned them into thriving, exciting enterprises.
Whether it’s healthcare policy or medical records, sales agreements or business contracts, legal documents, HR procedures, mobile device management, or building a better trash can — yes, trash cans — this community has a knack for bringing innovation to industries and everyday business activities that desperately need it.
Case in point, myCOI. I got a crash course in certificates of insurance and risk management recently when I interviewed CEO Kristen Nunery. Her fast-growing scale-up provides the construction, property management and other industries an easy-to-use, cloud-based platform for tracking and managing their 3rd party insurance certificates, which helps them avoid costly claims and lawsuits.
Beyond organizing and maintaining alone all of the critical insurance documents, these businesses also need to verify that the insurance coverage is compliant and if not, resolve any issues. Since most companies’ core business is not insurance, they simply don’t understand the ins and outs of insurance policy — contracts get signed without paying close attention to the insurance detail — and that’s where myCOI alleviates those pain points and shields its customers from financial losses resulting from non-compliance.
It all started when Nunery returned to Indianapolis from college out west and started her own business buying and renovating houses. Property flipping suited her. She liked being her own boss and running her own business, but the particularly worrisome pain point of dealing with contractors and their insurance liabilities sparked an idea for a new business that launched her into tech entrepreneurship and founding myCOI.
Kristen NuneryFounder & CEO
“There were a few competitors already in the market, but we didn’t feel they were really solving the problem. The disruptive idea we had was to treat it as a risk management function instead of just as an administrative function like everyone else, and then drive technology into that approach wherever we could to bring a true solution forward.”
The approach worked well and catapulted myCOI to a position as the leader and disruptor in the wide-open market of insurance tracking and management. The company has experienced steady growth over its eight years of operation, employing 43 people as of September this year and attracting large, well-known brands as customers including Meyer Najem, Alston Construction, and JE Dunn construction contractors; Hines and Barrett & Stokely property management; Cushman & Wakefield commercial real estate brokers; as well as Papa Murphy’s Take N’ Bake Pizza, Pacers Sports & Entertainment and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
It was at a joint press conference in May with Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, and officials from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) that Nunery announced myCOI will invest $765,000 in new headquarters and create up to 185 new jobs by 2021. The IEDC offered myCOI nearly $1.8 million in conditional tax credits and training grants based on the job creation plans.
Backed by local angel investors, the Indiana Angel Network Fund and Elevate Ventures, myCOI has already hired 14 new employees in sales, software development and insurance service positions since the expansion announcement. Nunery said the new technical hires are helping the company to drive even more automation into its products through artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“What we’re doing with our product roadmap and the things our tech team is doing with automation is exciting because we’re inventing in things for our market that no one else is offering and we’re putting even more distance between ourselves and competitors in terms of solving the problems that have these huge financial risks attached to them,” Nunery said.
“myCOI has a strong vision for the future in a wide-open market with unlimited opportunities for growth and we’re looking for talented people to join our team in all areas to help us stay on top and keep disrupting and bringing the best solutions to market that tame this complex and frustrating, but critical business function.”