Top

Dallas accelerator alumna chosen as Managing Director for new Techstars initiative

In the world of startups, who you know is everything. The team here at Launch understands this so an important part of our mission is introducing you to some of the leaders in our global innovation community. We love the fact that Dallas is a hub for local innovation and a part of the inter-connected global community.

If you’re lucky, you got the chance to meet or you may remember, Mee-Jung Jang.

Holding both an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a law degree from Yale, Jang has done it all. She started her career off as an analyst then became an international writer and is now an entrepreneur. She is proof that the sky is the limit when it comes to pursuing your professional pursuits.

Photo courtesy of Mee-Jung Jang

Jang lived in Dallas for a few months in 2013 while going through the Dallas Accelerator Tech Wildcatters to scale her first company Voncierge, a digital wedding planning site.

While in the Dallas community, Jang grew her network with investors and mentors, which helped prepare her for a path as an investor and now her latest role.

Last December, this rockstar was chosen as the Managing Director of the new MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars.

“When I think back to all the mentorship and help that I received in my life, I think if you know you received great mentorship, then you realize how important it is,” said Jang.

For this new accelerator, Techstars is seeking 10 startups with an interest in innovating the InsurTech industry to participate in this 13-week program beginning in July of 2018.

“The insurance industry is so huge,” said Jang. “Global insurance premiums in 2015 were 4.5 trillion dollars. This massive industry is dominated by legacy processes. It’s so right for disruption, and that’s why we find it to be so exciting. We believe the InsurTech revolution has really only just begun.”

This mentorship-driven program will take place in the Raleigh-Durham area at the MetLife technology campus. In recent years, this area has been ranked the fourth fastest growing region in America, one of the top four best cities for fostering entrepreneurial growth as well one of the top five regions for generating venture capital returns.

“The Raleigh-Durham area is just an exciting place to be, and we’re excited about the strength of that ecosystem,” said Jang. “We think that’s important because entrepreneurs will find a lot of success there.”

Specific topic interests for this program include health and wellness, the gig and sharing economy, benefits marketplaces and retaining underwriting; however, other startups are encouraged to apply as well.

“The number one thing that we focus on is team,” said Jang. “We have six criteria, and the first three are team. That’s huge.”

Selected startups will gain exposure to over 100 different mentors. In the first month, chosen companies will undergo “mentor madness”, meeting with every mentor until they find three to five mentors to work with throughout the rest of the program.

“[Entrepreneurs] are the most innovative people trying to create solutions to some of the biggest problems and move the world forward,” said Jang. “In doing that, they are scarce of resources and have so many questions they need help with. Our goal at Techstars is to help.”

Why MetLife?

MetLife is a Fortune 50 insurance company with a presence in over 40 countries. MetLife recently built a global technology campus in Cary, North Carolina, where the accelerator will be hosted. MetLife has also shown a dedication to entrepreneurship by being a limited party in over a dozen of Silicon Valley’s top venture funds.

“[MetLife is] very committed to innovation, and it’s very exciting that they will bring global mentorship into this program and that we will have their global leadership involved,” said Jang.

When finding mentors, Jang has gathered over a quarter of the mentors from MetLife, including international employees like a CIO based in Australia.

What is Techstars?

Photo courtesy of Mee-Jung Jang

Techstars offers various three month accelerators for companies, offering mentorship and financial resources to help businesses scale and grow. Techstars is best known for its widespread network with over 300,000 alumni, 10,000 mentors and over 150 countries.

Applications for the MetLife Digital Accelerator will close on April 8 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Interested in the program? Apply here.

Editor at Launch DFW | SMU senior studying journalism, creative computing and computer science graduating in May '18 | Twitter: @jacquieeli | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jacquelynrelias