Corteva Agriscience innovationLEADER of the Year: BrokerTech Ventures

BrokerTech Ventures outlines its mission through five “Towers of Operation”: the BrokerTech Ventures Accelerator, early-stage investments, innovation, capital and media/communications. The company is the Business Record’s 2021 innovationLEADER Award recipient.

BrokerTech Ventures partners with 13 brokerage firms to serve startups designed to address specific needs of insurance agents and brokers. The team launched the inaugural five-week accelerator cohort virtually in 2020, graduating 12 international broker-centric startups. The accelerator offers more than $500,000 in seed funding, which is up to $50,000 each to accepted startups. In December, BrokerTech Ventures announced its first international partnership with Insurtech Israel, co-founding the Israeli InsurTech Accelerator in Tel Aviv using BrokerTech Venture’s program as a model.

BrokerTech Ventures is led by co-CEOs Dan Keough and Mike Victorson, chief operating officer Susan Hatten, executive director of the accelerator John Jackovin and executive sponsor Ellen Willadsen. Below, Hatten shares the organization’s approach to leadership.

What drives a successful leader?
We believe successful leaders are driven by a core purpose. They are elevated to lead with both heart and mind, and through a purpose-filled lens toward a greater good.

How do you define innovation as an organization?
We view innovation through Holmes Murphy and BrokerTech Ventures as an opportunity to intentionally cast a wide net in terms of diversity of thought, people and process, and to bring the unknowns into the knowns.

We also believe that innovation is only valuable if it is embraced and activated by the talent within Holmes Murphy and our BrokerTech Ventures partners. Thus, why we created our “Labs. By BTV” community, to celebrate the talent without our BTV companies who are activating innovation to propel our insurance industry forward in the name of innovation.

How do leaders effectively guide a team through times of uncertainty?
With authenticity, a listening ear and genuine compassion.

Where are the opportunities for growth in your industry?
We see the greatest opportunities for growth in the insurance industry through collaboration and the convening of ideas, innovation and talent. We subscribe to the “Infinite Game” mindset, where we believe that growth and perpetuating success can be achieved if we lean into collaboration and innovation, rather than the alternative — which is to be disrupted by it.

What is one lesson from your career that you would share with emerging leaders?
Lean in to your innate talents, skills and passions, rather than conforming to what you believe others aspire you to be.

Also, read in-flight magazines. You won’t believe the incredible tidbits of information you can capture as conversation starters in business and community.

Corteva Agriscience is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry – including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximizing productivity to enhance yield and profitability. With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. Corteva Agriscience became an independent public company on June 1, 2019, and was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. More information can be found at