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Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"
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Jim Grace Presents "This Entrepreneur's story"

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Jim Grace shares the lessons learned while starting a company from scratch. From a degree in engineering to becoming the founder and CEO of InsureMyTrip, the leading online Travel Insurance website, …

Jim Grace shares the lessons learned while starting a company from scratch. From a degree in engineering to becoming the founder and CEO of InsureMyTrip, the leading online Travel Insurance website, Jim discusses the challenges and tactics to accomplishing success.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business
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  • 1. Jim Grace Presents: This Entrepreneur’s Story Learning from your mistakes and challenges @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com
  • 2. “If first you don’t succeed…” We’ve all heard the saying “try, try again.” Before we go any further let me just point out one fact. It is true. An entrepreneur knows and accepts the fact that not everything plays out the way you planned. That is, if you even had a plan to begin with. I’d like to share with you how my plan was diverted, and resulted in the leading aggregate travel insurance website in the United States. @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com
  • 3. “I’m an engineer…” I’m not a salesman. I’m not an underwriter. By degree, I am an engineer. I earned my engineering degree at Lafayette College. Though I had enough course credits to earn a degree in Computer Science, the program had not been established at the time. But, I am an engineer, and took that skill set to Grumman Corporation. I would use those skills to help design airplanes. @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com
  • 4. “I’m an engineer…” I worked with DARPANET. If you’re under 35, you may need to google that. That’s ok. It just shows how quickly technology changes. 1988 hi DARPANET RESEARCH DEPARTMENT @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com hello world?
  • 5. “I’m an engineer?” The Department of Defense consistently cut their spending levels from 1980-1990. Should I ride it out and wait and see, or take control? I knew this was going to be a crucial decision for my career path. @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com
  • 6. “I’m an Insurance Agent” Insurance is in my blood. My family has been involved in the industry for generations. But I had just invested in my education, and had gained experience at Grumman. How could I throw that to the side and start new? Then it all fell together in 1995, when the first airline ticket was sold online. @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com
  • 7. “I’m an Insurance Agent” I ‘m an Insurance agent. I ‘m an Engineer. I ‘m an Internet developer. I ‘m an Entrepreneur… and I could see the opportunity to sell travel insurance through a website. @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com
  • 8. “I’m in the basement, if any one needs to find me.” I launched my first website from my basement. Insure America. Only one problem. The company already existed. They were nice enough to send me a memo suggesting I rethink my company. I complied, and launched an online branch of my father’s agency. Sales began to funnel through the site, and laid the foundation for what would become InsureMyTrip. @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com
  • 9. “I’m making money, slowly.” Sales were developing through the online branch of the agency, and I wondered what could be done to produce them daily. It was in this timeframe that comparison sites for online travel shopping began to appear. Consumers wanted choices and they wanted to shop them in one location. I knew for this to work in the travel insurance space I would have to offer an unbiased storefront, transparent in its mission and informative in nature. I had built simple framework for my current site, I just needed to develop my relationships with providers. @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com
  • 10. “I’m Mission Control, and we are ready to launch.” June 1, 2000, 12:01am. The first comparison shopping site for travel insurance was launched. 6 minutes and 45 seconds later… I had my first sale. Helene from Waterville, ME $359.00 1 hour, 42 minutes and 6 seconds later… Angela from Walnut, CA @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com $674.00
  • 11. “…and in that moment, everything changed.” September 11 was a definitive moment in the United States. and was pivotal in changing the travel industry. There is an ever changing risk pool in our industry. Before then, products were stone-aged, with a handful of true benefits. My involvement and knowledge of travel insurance made InsureMyTrip a point of reference for the media. @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com
  • 12. “I'm an Influencer” Having known the industry, and being the first on the scene with an aggregate website, I became a valuable resource. People were looking for answers on how the industry would change after 9/11. I had established my self as an influencer. @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com
  • 13. “Lessons on my industry...” I’ve always felt that this business model is not to put providers into business, we are looking for leaders. The Golden Rule: no “me too” policies. Products need to offer legitimate protection and value to the consumer, and not just mirror what other providers are offering. Innovation is important... and knowing who you are and what you stand for is paramount. @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com
  • 14. “Lessons for other entrepreneurs...” Understand the market you are looking to penetrate. Know that it can change in the blink of an eye. Have passion. The minute you loose it is the minute you step into “just another job.” Use your talents. Just because you are educated in one area, doesn’t mean you cant translate that into other aspects of your life. Have fun. Keep an open mind, and learn from your own mistakes and challenges. Hire when it hurts. The more minds on an issue, the better. @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com
  • 15. “InsureMyTrip continues to grow.” As I mentioned, technology and market places are constantly changing. We all have to stay relevant, and ahead of the curve. InsureMyTrip is rebranding, with a new website, and a diverse product offering. Because, it is important to take your own advice… @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com
  • 16. “I’m a Speaker.” If you believe there is a benefit in having my participation at your upcoming conference or meeting, please reach out to me. I enjoy mentoring new companies, university students, and entrepreneurs who have great ideas but don’t know how to go about making those ideas a reality. I can be reached in a variety of ways. Twitter: @JimGrace3 LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimgrace Blog: JimGrace.com @JimGrace3 JimGrace.com

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