Chad Nitschke

Chad Nitschke

Co-Founder & CEO at Bunker
MBA, Opus College of Business

Alumni Bio

Chad Nitschke is an entrepreneur and active UST MBA alumni.  With 15+ years of industry experience, Chad capitalizes on is risk management and leadership skills as CEO of Bunker, an innovative business insurance solution provider.  Chad has experience in the Twins Cities market with St. Paul Companies and Travelers, where large business challenges informed his approach to providing agile solutions for individuals and small businesses. 

Chad’s academic and professional emphasis positions him well to seek and respond to market trends in the insurance industry.  Situated now in San Francisco and leading Bunker, Chad shares with us his perspective on innovation in the insurance industry and future focus for professionals.

Chad, thanks for joining me today. I very much enjoyed reading about your business start-up. Could you tell me more of your professional history and what led you to the work you are doing today? What issues, trends and opportunities did you see that cultivated your thinking?

I’ve spent the past 15 years in the traditional insurance industry.  It provided me a great set of experiences in continuously changing industry.  I was able to move into several leadership opportunities in a relatively short amount of time, build relationships with industry experts, and personally live in some great places – Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Madison, and even Dublin Ireland! 

Despite these opportunities, I observed the insurance industry lagging when it comes to innovation.  Posing a significant opportunity, the $5 trillion global insurance industry has been largely unchanged for decades.  In addition, I found it very difficult to drive innovation from the inside, as a traditional incumbent.  I wanted to be on the leading edge of driving that change, and knew the best place to do that would be building a new venture from the ground up.

Your business endeavors have addressed the changing marketplace and the challenges that face independent workers, small businesses and organizations. Could you elaborate on the business problem or gaps you are addressing and share your vision and what is driving your approach with Bunker?

In many cases, insurance products today are built for traditional main street businesses, not independent workers or modern small businesses.  This type of customer needs and wants a different experience to obtain insurance, and in many cases even a different insurance product.  We’re working with leading insurance carriers to build those new and innovative products that meet those unique needs.  We’re also redefining the process for small businesses and independent contractors to obtain insurance, delivering the exact policy at the moment it’s needed. 

There are 40M+ independent workers in the US and that number is expected to be 80M by the year 2020.  Those are all micro-small businesses that have unique needs, yet it’s been underserved by the insurance industry.  We’re changing that.

As a business owner, how do you look at risk management? How does managing risk intersect with your company’s strategy and decision making?

One of the focus areas for Bunker is to help large companies (i.e. Fortune 2000) make better decisions around how they set insurance requirements and track compliance for suppliers and independent contractors.  It’s a growing pain point, often times we see companies that have one set of insurance requirements regardless of contract size or scope of the relationship.  We use our proprietary data set to help companies correlate the setting of those insurance requirements to actual risk.

What would be your advice to young professionals interested in risk management and many interrelated fields? Where are you seeing opportunities?

It’s an exciting time, the next generation of risk management is data driven and objective.  Everything is measurable, and companies are starting to leverage that in very interesting and innovative ways.  A good example of this is Pillar.Tech.   They are helping construction companies manage risk through connected devices and predictive analytics.  My advice would be to get involved.  A couple great resources to track new and innovative insurtech or risk management solutions would be angel.co or coverager.com.  We’re on the cusp of dramatic change, and ten years from now the insurance and risk management industry will look dramatically different.