For founders developing transformational technologies in risk management and insurance.

The CDL-Wisconsin Risk Stream operates at the University of Wisconsin Madison, the leading university for risk management in the United States. This Stream brings together experienced entrepreneurs, investors, leading scientists, and insurance executives active in risk management. The Risk cohort focuses on emerging technologies related to identifying, assessing, preventing, mitigating, and transferring risk.

Ventures who are accepted to the program work with mentors to sharpen objectives, prioritize time and resources, and raise capital.

The startups attend five full-day objective-setting sessions between November and July. There are no fees to participate and CDL does not take any equity. CDL is a non-profit organization. Learn more about the CDL program here.


Who Should Apply?

Risk Stream’s mission is to transform society’s ability to manage risk. This mission includes a wide variety of subject matter; from how organizations identify, assess and manage risk, to the insurance value chain, and more. Ventures with innovative software applications, AI/ML (or any form of machine intelligence) and data solutions, intelligent process automation are only a few examples of technology that can help society transform its ability to manage risk, and ventures who should apply.

The Risk Stream is particularly suited to coachable, early-stage startups and research teams; however, startups at all levels of maturity will be considered.

Example Innovation Areas

  • AI/ML applications, especially intelligent workflow automation
  • Real-time geographic data combined with machine intelligence to guide decision making
  • Innovations that improve the risk management discipline, including new lines and insurance coverage (e.g. Cyber)
  • Proactive sensors, alerts, or wearables and IoT to improve safety and loss prevention
  • Real-time geographic data combined with machine intelligence to guide decision making
  • New sources and uses of data to drive improvement in decision making; including drone and satellite imagery
  • Core insurance software applications
  • Catastrophe modeling
  • New types of risk transfer or different distribution channels including new parties assuming risk

The list above is not exhaustive. Contact the CDL Risk team at to discuss the program and your venture.

Our Mentors

CDL mentors include accomplished entrepreneurs, experienced operators, active angel and venture investors, world-leading scientists, engineers, and economists. Mentors meet with Founders every eight weeks to help founders set objectives throughout the program’s nine-month duration.

Companies accepted to the CDL Risk Stream benefit from advice given by industry executives and academics who are world-leading experts on emerging thought leadership and technologies in the risk management field.

See all CDL Risk mentors ▶︎

CDL Risk Founding Corporate Partner – American Family Insurance

As a founding partner, American Family is helping identify and select startups and will provide mentors and other resources during the program. This support is part of the company’s ongoing partnership with UW-Madison, which includes The American Family Insurance Data Science Institute, the endowed chair of the Institute, and the American Family Insurance Distinguished Chair in Risk Management and Insurance.

For more information or to schedule an introduction meeting with the CDL team, email

“One of our mentors said there’s something here…and he and I basically invested 200 hours over the next two months. Just so we’re clear, it wasn’t 2-4 hours, it was 200 hours and he ended up investing and now we’ve had a many years-long relationship, but it all started at CDL from a 5-minute meeting.”

Chisel AI enables commercial insurance brokers and carriers to boost sales, reduce human errors, and increase customer satisfaction.

Ron Glozman

Founder & CEO, Chisel AI (CDL-Toronto Alum '17)

Applications are now open