yia! welcomes Brian Glynn as head judge for 2021.
Brian is Senior Director, Business Development at Trov, a global leader in embedded insurance, powering the future of digital insurance distribution and emerging mobility. Trov is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area from where Brian leads business development for the US.
Brian is also an Advisor to Output Sports, a spin-out from University College Dublin, Ireland. Output Sports have developed proprietary technology that tests and tracks multiple components of athlete performance (power, mobility, strength, RSI, etc) with a single wearable motion sensor. From 2011-2017, Brian was VP of Trade Development for Invest Northern Ireland, the economic development agency for the government of Northern Ireland.
Brian moved to California from his hometown of Limerick, Ireland in 2009 to work with Enterprise Ireland’s Silicon Valley team and prior to this, he lived in Vancouver Canada, and Nantes, France, working as a manufacturing engineer with Airbus. Brian holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Limerick, Ireland, and is a former board member and secretary of The Irish Network Bay Area. An avid sportsman, Brian is a member of USA Track and Field, USA Triathlon, Northern California Golf Association and St.Josephs Hurling Club.
Q & A with Brian
1) Tell us about your current role and your pathway into it.
I joined the Trov team in 2017, and my pathway into this business development role is a little unusual. I started my career in mechanical engineering, spent some time with Airbus in France, and while I enjoyed the analytical engineering life, I realized I was more motivated in an environment with more personal interaction, so business development was a great fit. My technical background has been hugely beneficial, allowing me to bring a mix of science and art to my business development style. I crave variety and context switching, so working with a large portfolio of different companies in my previous economic development roles was ideal for me. This 'range' has really stood to be at Trov, where a wide and varied skillset has helped me tackle problems from autonomous vehicle insurance and on-demand coverage for personal electronics.
2) How do you think innovation can help you in your role?
Innovation has been key to my current role, it's what has allowed us to win global customers and partners like Waymo, Lloyds Banking Group, Groupe PSA, Hyundai, and Honda. Partners like this demand innovation; doing things a certain way just because that's how it's always been done would simply not cut it with these industry leaders. Innovating in a traditionally risk-averse, and heavily regulated sector like insurance has been especially challenging, but doing so has allowed us to build a reputation as a global leader in embedded insurance, and has helped us launch products never seen before in the industry.
3) Describe in three words what it’s like to work in your current role.
Exciting, varied, educational
4) Why do you think YiA is important to help create tomorrow’s innovators?
YiA is important to helping create tomorrow's innovators because innovation is more than just an idea, that's the easy part! YiA teaches participants the tools and skills to help turn that idea into something tangible, skills that can be used repeatedly in the future, regardless of the application.