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Hartford, CT: The Gateway to the US for Insurtech and Fintech

There is a reason why Hartford, CT is known as the ‘Insurance Capital of the World’. Connecticut’s capital city is a dynamic hub for insurance and financial services (IFS) and innovation, including advancements in fintech and insurtech.

With close to $15billion output, more than 42,000 jobs, and a 4.86 location quotient, the region is powered by ambition, innovation, and human ingenuity. Connecticut’s IFS industry employs more than 100,000 people and the Hartford region ranks first in the United States for insurance employment per capita.

Accessibility

Doing business in the Hartford region provides access to local, domestic, and foreign leaders in many industries. Not only is Connecticut known for its prestigious IFS conglomerate, Hartford is also home to five Fortune 600 Companies and nine Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies.

The Hartford region is easily accessible to many parts of the United States—and beyond, reinforcing the ‘gateway’ concept. The neighbouring cities of Boston and New York City are a two-hour drive or commute via public transportation. In a 2020 Area Development Site Selection Consultants survey, Hartford was ranked third for highway accessibility, seventh for proximity to suppliers, and eighth for proximity to major markets.

In November 2021, Digital Currency Group relocated its headquarters from New York City to Stamford, CT. When choosing a location, CEO Barry Silber explained how Connecticut’s “proximity to major metropolitan areas combined with its infrastructure, talent, business-friendly environment, and world-class facilities to house our rapidly growing organisation made it an easy choice.”

In terms of access to major markets, the Hartford region is also within an eight-hour drive to 85 per cent of the Canadian population and 24 per cent of the US population. And, $5.6trillion of combined GDP is within an eight-hour drive. For additional convenience, Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport offers direct flights to London’s Heathrow Airport.

Breakthrough innovation

From startups to longstanding insurance titans, the Hartford region is focused on breakthrough innovation and creating digital solutions for the IFS sector. In 2020, Bloomberg ranked Connecticut fourth in its State Innovation Index. Business Facilities Magazine included Hartford as a Top 10 US destination for fintech companies in August 2021 and, with regard to access to fintech leaders, Business Facilities 2021 State Rankings Report ranked Hartford tenth.

“The Hartford market continues to build on its reputation as a leader of insurtech excellence,” says Alchemy Crew co-founder, chief executive officer and managing partner Sabine VanderLinden. “As a past creator of the Hartford Insurtech Hub, I’ve seen that there is a firm foundation in Hartford to grow more and more insurance ingenuity and talent.”

That growth continues to escalate. Since 2015, insurtech ventures have raised more than $53billion in investment funding with one-third of that funding raised in 2021.

Hartford is also globally recognised for its cutting-edge insurtech ecosystem, drawing attention from all over the world.

“The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) acknowledges the IFS industries as economic drivers of innovation. Our partnership with Connecticut Insurance & Financial Services and Hartford enables fast-track digital solutions to be assessed, advised, and implemented in the insurance capital and serves as a gateway to the US insurance market,” emphasises Joy Kinnear, Trade and Investment Officer, UK DIT.

Businesses looking to launch or relocate to the region are immersed in a welcoming business environment. According to CNBC’s Americas Top States for Business 2021, Connecticut ranked within the top 10 states for business friendliness.

Resourceful and resilient

Connecticut is well known for its educated, enterprising, and innovative workforce.

“Connecticut has the highest number of actuaries in the country,” notes Susan Winkler, Vice President, MetroHarford Alliance, and Executive Director of Connecticut Insurance & Financial Services. “Our colleges, universities, and even high schools have adopted formal programs to meet the industry’s needs.”

Affordable and advantageous

In addition to Digital Currency Group, companies from outside the state have seen Connecticut as a viable option to locate for the enhanced quality of life, access to skilled talent, and lower cost of business and taxes.

A JLL Q3 2021 Office Insights Report ranked Hartford #1 for office lease rates with a $21.15 CBD Class A lease rate. For example, in the Hartford region, a 20,000 square foot Class A office user can save over $700,000 per year in combined lease costs and state/local taxes over Boston and over $1,000,0000 annually when compared to New York City.

With the trend toward remote and hybrid workplaces, it’s also significant to highlight that in 2021, Best Places ranked Hartford/West Hartford/East Hartford third best cities for teleworking.

Building the future

The Hartford region is a thriving gateway to opportunity. Vibrant, innovative, and affordable, it provides access to insurance and technology giants, a skilled workforce, and cutting-edge fintech and insurtech.

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