Growth Prompts AVIAA and Assure Point to Move from the Cove @ UCI Applied Innovation

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September 19, 2018 By Jackie Connor

Cove tenants AVIAA and Assure Point, AVIAA’s sister startup, are relocating to a 3,600-square-foot office space in Irvine’s Park Place. After approximately one year of housing their operations at the Cove @ UCI Applied Innovation, both startup companies are increasing staff and plan to scale larger operations.

AVIAA, a global group purchasing organization for general aviation, recently closed a $3 million seed funding round. Within a year, the AVIAA team of five employees more than tripled in size to 18 total employees and will work alongside Assure Point, an insurance technology platform startup that uses rapid iteration to test new niche insurance opportunities to determine the most needed markets.

“Working out of the Cove has been great because it’s so convenient in a lot of ways,” said Gillian Hayes, UCI Professor of Informatics, AVIAA CEO. “Everything just works and I can still maintain my research presence on campus. A lot of my employees are attending the talks and the networking events, too.”

Hayes specifically chose the new Irvine space to sustain connections and recruitment within the Orange County talent pool as well as retain her presence at UCI. Once working and leading both AVIAA and Assure Point, Hayes recruited UCI alumnus Aaron Soto to lead Assure Point as chief architect, to maintain her focus on AVIAA.

“AVIAA’s aviation insurance has been a really good test case for Assure Point, and it’s good to see that the platform allows for rapid iteration that was the original vision,” said Hayes. “I think they’re on a very good trajectory. They’re still in the early stages.”

Considered an incubator for niche insurance markets, Assure Point utilizes insurance expertise and customer-centric processes to develop next generation insurance products that aim to be at least 20 percent cheaper than other insurance available in the market today.

“By accessing the customer directly instead of through the aging paradigm of broker relationships…we can create lower cost insurance products based on transparency and intelligence in a way that today’s insurance market is demanding,” said Soto.

Assure Point will continue to expand staff to find and build niche insurance companies as well as develop new computational models to underwrite risk for underserved groups in need of insurance.

Soto and team will work alongside AVIAA and serve as AVIAA’s insurance technology platform.

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