Interview with Co-Founder and CEO, Broker Buddha – Jason Keck

FTB News DeskApril 29, 202015 min
Jason Keck Co-Founder and CEO, Broker Buddha

Jason Keck is a Co-Founder and CEO of Broker Buddha. He is a technology entrepreneur with 20 years of experience. Expertise across digital & mobile technologies has come from his time as the Head of Business Development for Shazam, Head of Product Partnerships for Tumblr, from 2 of his own Digital Media start-ups, and from his Computer Science degree from Harvard. Now executing an analogue-to-digital conversion of the Insurance Industry through Broker Buddha

1. Tell us about your role in Broker Buddha?
I am a co-founder and CEO of the company.

2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
My background is in tech. Before launching Broker Buddha, my roles included serving as the Head of Product Partnerships at Tumblr and the Head of Business Development at Shazam Entertainment. When I was first approached about the CEO role at Broker Buddha, my first reaction was, “Insurance? I don’t know anything about insurance.” But I dove in because I quickly realized this was an industry that was way behind when it came to leveraging technology, so the opportunity to create true disruption was substantial. And that’s exciting.

3. How do you think technology is developing the Finance Sector?
In insurance, I would suggest slowly. This is a business built on relationships and even tradition, and change is not easily embraced. That said, the people working in it are interesting, intelligent, and thoughtful—once they see how technology can improve their business, they are eager to use it.Investments

4. How has the increased application of technology and software benefitted the insurance sector?
The biggest payoff is automation. This industry has no shortage of tedious, time-consuming tasks that rob agents of their time and prevent them from focusing on providing great customer service or growing their book of business. When software applications create efficiencies, agencies run more profitably and efficiently.

5. Can you explain how your platform empowers insurance brokers?
Our intuitive, online Smart Forms make the application and renewal process far less time-consuming for both agents and their clients. They replace things like attaching PDFs, scanning or faxing documents, or struggling to get a document signed. The email back-and-forth or the painful phone tag is replaced by a seamless process, freeing up brokers to spend more time building relationships and providing great service.

6. How does your platform help brokers in delivering enhanced customer experience?
Nobody looks forward to applying for or renewing their commercial insurance coverage. By replacing stacks of forms with a crisp, user-friendly interface, customers are far more positive about the process. Not only do we make information easier to provide, we eliminate redundancy—as much information as possible is pre-filled and unnecessary information fields are not shown. The whole process takes far less time than it did in the past—Broker Buddha users get applications and renewals done in 3.5 days. Many return information to their broker in just a few hours because it’s easy and not daunting.

7. What features of your platform makes it a best friend of commercial insurance brokers?
Automated reminders are huge—reminder emails get sent to clients and brokers are made aware that a renewal date is approaching. Our platform also has powerful upsell features, with built-in prompts that make it easy for clients to add new lines of coverage.

8. What advice would you like to give to the Startups?
It’s critical to get super clear in defining the customer you are serving and the problem you are solving. That matters more than anything else. Once you’re clear on that, focus. Get ONE thing right.

People will only remember you for one thing so make sure it’s significant, memorable and solves a real pain point.

One way to do this is to focus your messaging and clear, concise positioning statement. Once you nail that, deliver it on call, and get emotive, excited responses, then you know you’re on to something.

9. Which Startup technology has grabbed your attention?
Since our name is Broker Buddha, I’ve become more interested in some of the Buddhist principles. And I think in a world that can seem frenzied and chaotic, a lot more people are embracing meditation and practices like it. I’m impressed by how Calm has stood out in the crowded field of meditation—their app seems to have real traction.

10. How do you prepare for a Technology-centric world?
Probably the same way a lot of people do. I embrace anything that makes my life easier or more time-efficient, or connects me to people I care about. And I quickly discard the stuff that seems to be just a distraction.

11. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
I take hiring very seriously and try to make sure the people I bring on are a good fit. That doesn’t mean a bunch of people who are clones of each other—I want a mix that delivers fresh thinking and attacks problems from different perspectives. Whether it’s Customer Success, Sales or Product Development, our people are focused on delivering solutions that help our users. I’m confident in their abilities, and that frees me up to focus on growing our business and tackling overall strategy.
We focus on hiring people with similar values. We look for selfless, reliable, hungry go-getters, with a burning desire to do something great, awareness of their strengths and weaknesses and a willingness to learn and grow.

12. What are the major developments you are planning, in recent time?
We continue to add features that will help our users work even more efficiently. We’re automating as much of the work flow as possible, and introducing elements like triggered invites, prompts that lead to additional business, and email reminders that are tied to renewal dates. Every day, we’re working on features that will speed the application and renewal process.
Which book are you reading these days?
I’m a glutton for epic fantasy. It helps me disconnect at the end of the day. The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson is about as epic as it gets. I like to imagine things that are impossible and then follow heros to achieve them.

13. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, we won’t mind having a look at some of the pictures?

14. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?

FTB News Desk

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