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Carl Niedbala - Founder Shield

Carl Niedbala


Before Founder Shield, Carl spent the first years of his career in roles across the venture ecosystem. From venture due diligence at Originate Ventures to growth hacking and modeling for portfolio companies at Dreamit Ventures to M&A negotiations at Pepper Hamilton, he’s seen how companies succeed (and fail) from all angles. When Carl met Benji, he was instantly energized by the possibility of rethinking the way the insurance industry worked through technology, best in class customer service, and cutting-edge marketing and branding. When he’s not dreaming about insurance, he’s probably out in the Rockaways surfing — winter, summer, rain, or shine.

Authored articles

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April 13 • Health & Benefits

Humans, AI, and the Future of Health Insurance

Via our FS Health VP of Sales, Will Treichler, and originally posted on LinkedIn here. At the end of the day, yes, I agree with Choon Yan (@battlechoon) that the role of the insurance agents of all stripes will be dramatically changed by IoT device-fed AI that assesses and accurately prices risk in real-time.  With transparent

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March 10 • Risk Management

Understanding Insurance Costs as Your Company Grows

“What the f*@k is up with my insurance premiums?!” We’ve seen our fair share of companies go from their “friends and family” round of financing up through their Series A, B, C, and D rounds. As the years (or mere months!) go by, more investors and employees are onboarded, revenues grow and the battle to scale layers in

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February 10 • Risk Management

FS + 99Designs Starter Kit

We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with 99designs on the small business starter kit: a go-to source for all of the tools younger companies need to ramp up accelerate growth. Beyond an insurance 101 lesson from Founder Shield, the kit includes many other tips and tricks for anything from getting funding, building a brand, hiring to create

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January 29 • Health & Benefits

3 Signs it’s Time to Leave Your PEO Insurance Provider

The Benefits of a PEO Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) are great when a company is just getting off the ground.  At an early stage they deliver two major benefits: Simplify HR administration with many built-in services Reduce the cost of health insurance However, at a certain point, it makes sense to switch because there are

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January 19 • Guest Post

Using Debt Financing as a Bridge Into Your Next Round

This is a guest post from Meredith Wood, Head of Content and Editor in Chief at Fundera. If your company relies primarily on equity financing to fuel growth, chances are you haven’t considered debt financing as an option. After all, if you are used to or considering going through the traditional Seed to Series A to

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January 7 • Directors & OfficersGeneral Liability

Lumosity’s $2M Fine & the Risk of “Fake It ‘Til You Make It”

How Lumosity got in trouble Lumosity, the San Francisco-based company offering brain-training tools, came under fire from the FTC this week for the deceptive advertising allegations.  Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Jessica Rich said the following: “Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory

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December 17 • EPLIHNOA

2015 Employment Lawsuits: Where are Startups at Risk?

2015 employment practices lawsuit data is in: which states are at the highest risk? Every company encounters a hiring situation in which things don’t play out quite as planned.  A candidate is overly demanding or misaligned with the hiring team, an employee didn’t perform as expected or wasn’t a cultural fit…the list can go on forever.  Unfortunately,

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December 10 • Directors & OfficersErrors & OmissionsRisk Management

The Importance of Tail Insurance Coverage for Startups

A tail insurance policy is one of the most important risk mitigation tools for a startup approaching an exit. The mission for every founder is pretty much the same: get some traction, get funded, scale rapidly, and hit an exit opportunity.  While the occasional unicorn might be fortunate enough to IPO, most startups go the

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December 5 • General LiabilityRisk Management

4 Key Things to Look for On Your Business Insurance Quotes

  It would be extremely surprising if you didn’t have some questions when looking at your first business insurance quotes.  They’re extremely detailed and certainly not the easiest document to digest.  Here’s a quick overview of the major items you should be looking at on your quote. [Note: this article is mainly pertaining to errors

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June 25 • Cyber LiabilityErrors & OmissionsGeneral LiabilityRisk Management

Getting Business Insurance for On-Demand Startups

Update: We’ve released a new whitepaper examining the Sharing Economy industry. We dive into the insurance landscape, legal climate and how to approach risk management for companies in this sector. You can download the report here!   The on-demand economy is ever-growing and we work with new startups in the space on a daily basis.

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May 29 • Cyber LiabilityGuest Post

Mary Meeker of KPCB Sounds the Cyber Security Alarm

With the release of her annual report this week, veteran internet analyst and Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker sounded the alarm on the state of cyber security. Meeker’s reports are essentially the bible to investors and entrepreneurs in the space.  The report contains valuable data on everything from mobile to emerging markets, but the slides on cyber security

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May 7 • General LiabilityProduct Liability

Top Reasons Your Startup needs Product Liability Insurance

Product liability insurance is an extremely important piece to the risk management puzzle, particularly for startups that sell a tangible product.  Usually included in a General Liability policy (though sometimes offered standalone), product liability insurance protects your company from lawsuits related to bodily injury or property damage caused by product defects. Whether you’re e-commerce or

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April 29 • Guest Post

Best HR Practices for Your Startup

This is a guest post from Amy Klimek, VP of HR at ZipRecruiter.com. Startups cannot run their businesses the way established companies can. Established companies leverage their name and stability to attract the best talent in the industry. Your startup does not have an established name or track record of stability, but you do have other principles

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April 23 • Risk Management

The Business Insurance Renewal Checklist (for Startups)

Business insurance renewals are usually uncharted territory for a young startup.  Typically, venture-backed startups experience significantly more change/growth year over year compared to your standard new business venture.  It’s important to understand how this affects your startup’s insurance coverage and how to ensure you’re properly protected.  Here’s the “checklist” of items to be aware of as your policies renew.

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April 9 • Cyber Liability

The 2013 Target Data Breach: Insurance Coverage Recap

Retail Giant Target was hit with a massive data breach incident during the holiday season of 2013.  We posted a few articles outlining the severity of the breach and speculating on how cyber insurance may be their lifeline.  Here’s a quick follow up on the claims the company has seen since the incident. VentureBeat recently reported that

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March 20 • Thought Leadership

Founder Shield’s SXSWi 2015 Recap

Now that the dust has settled from this year’s SXSW Interactive weekend in Austin and we’re back in the big Apple, we wanted to share some of the highlights of our weekend with you.  Founder Shield’s VP of Sales, Jeff Samuels, recaps what went down:

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March 10 • Thought Leadership

Top 7 Founder Shield FAQs About Getting Business Insurance

Insurance proposals are uncharted territory of most founders.  We’ve done a basic tutorial (or 2, or 3) to help people understand the insurance terms, but here’s a breakdown of the practical/procedural FAQs we see. 1. What am I actually getting for the price? All quotes presented will provide coverage for a policy period of one

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February 25 • Risk Management

Startup Risk Tips: Don’t Let Your Business Insurance Lapse

  Sometimes things don’t go quite as planned and your company ends up a bit more cash strapped than anticipated at year end.  The typical gut reaction is to pull the rip chord and cut any and all “extraneous” expenses.  Insurance is considered by some to be one of those expenses.  Here’s why you shouldn’t be quick

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February 19 • Thought Leadership

Founder Shield + NYVC Ops Kickoff: 2.26.2015!

  We’re excited to be kicking of the first of a series of meetups for the newly formed New York Venture Community Ops group!  As you might gather from the title, the group’s focus is on operations and examines the challenges startups face when scaling ops.  The events are also a great chance to network

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February 11 • Cyber Liability

4 Ways Cyber Insurance May Be Anthem’s Data Breach Lifeline

  For anyone that hasn’t heard, Anthem, one of the nation’s largest health insurance providers, suffered a data breach in which an estimated 80 Million customer and employee records containing personally identifiable information were compromised.

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January 30 • Cyber LiabilityDirectors & OfficersErrors & Omissions

Insurance for Fintech Companies

  Founder Shield 101: Insurance for Fintech Companies.   From financial products to payments to investing, fintech is a red hot.  The market is forecasted to grow to $6-8 billion by 2018 and Q1 2014 alone saw 1.7 billion invested across 167 deals. Risks As with any disruptive industry, there are several inherent risks that fintech

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January 27 • Guest PostIntellectual PropertyRisk Management

Don’t Wait: 7 Reasons to Find a Good Startup Lawyer Now

We’re all about teaming up with great startups on a mission to help the startup community excel.  Priori Legal is one of those awesome companies.  This guest post from proiri is important from an insurance perspective because many underwriters will ask for the legal work described below when quoting your insurance policy.  Without these documents, insurance can be more

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