The Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) has begun a search for a new managing director.

Brian Hemesath, the current managing director who has taken GIA from concept to a leadership role in InsurTech, will become alumni advocate and entrepreneur-in-residence, working in a support role for the GIA.

The Des Moines, Iowa-based GIA was the first InsurTech accelerator focused solely on innovation for the insurance industry. It was created in 2014 as an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Financially backed by insurance carriers, GIA held its first startup class, or cohort, in 2015.

“We are not necessarily looking for another Brian to step into the shoes of managing director, but motivated, dynamic individuals with startup technology experience would obviously be at the top of the GIA’s short list,” says Jeff Russell, president of Delta Dental of Iowa and board chair for the GIA.

The new hire and an ongoing role for Hemesath are part of a strategic plan designed to promote continuity for the GIA, its annual 100-day accelerator program, and the GIA’s alumni.

Effective immediately, the GIA is seeking a full-time managing director who will work with Hemesath for the 2019 cohort, taking full responsibility of the role after its conclusion. This person will work closely with the GIA’s existing program manager and board.

GIA plans to have interviews leading up to a hiring decision that will coincide with the selection process for the GIA’s fifth cohort taking place during the fourth quarter of 2018.

Although the start date for this position is January 2, 2019, the individual selected to fill this role must be prepared to assume this leadership position without supervision on June 1, 2019, after a transition/training period with the existing managing director still in place.

Hemesath, himself a former startup entrepreneur, oversaw four cohorts of startups and has grown the GIA portfolio of companies substantially. GIA provides each graduate company $40,000 of seed money in exchange for six percent equity.

“The time I’ve spent working with GIA cohort teams, helping them grow, expand skill sets and opportunities, and developing relationships has been extremely rewarding,” said Hemesath. “This is an exciting evolution as it will allow me to focus solely on the needs of the portfolio as well as pursue my other entrepreneurial activities outside of the GIA.”

*This story ran previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.