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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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May 1 • Key Man

Death of a Co-Founder: The Importance of Key Man Life Insurance

Key Man Life Insurance can be touchy subject for most startup founders.  Most of the time it’s a “just-don’t-think-about-it” situation, and the only time the idea even comes up is when it appears on the Series A term sheet.  Entertaining the thought of losing a co-founder is one of the last things any entrepreneur wants to

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April 22 • Health & Benefits

Announcing Disability and Ancillary Benefits Coverage

  Founder Shield is happy to announce that we now offer a full suite of Disability and Ancillary Benefits insurance!  Here’s the high-level overview on both: Disability Insurance Disability insurance is usually required for all companies with employees.  It’s just like Workers Comp insurance…you need it!  Disability insurance covers your employees when they are unable

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April 10 • Thought Leadership

Startups + Weed + ? = Profit

  It’s no secret that marijuana is going mainstream in America.  The size of the illegal drug market in the US is estimated at anywhere between $200 and $700 billion.  The legal marijuana trade has already cracked into that number with an estimated market of $1.43 Billion in 2013 and projections hitting $2.34 billion in

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March 20 • Cyber Liability

Beware! WordPress Security Issues Discovered

  In a somewhat ironic twist, popular cybersecurity blog Krebs on Security recently suffered a cyber attack.  The site, just like ours and at least 60 million others out there, is built on WordPress, and the attack illuminated some troubling WordPress security issues.  So what exactly happened and how can you prevent this from happening

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March 14 • Risk Management

How a Startup Insurance Policy is Born

  At Founder Shield, we pride ourselves on getting our clients in front of underwriters immediately.  But as we present our clients to underwriters for quoting, we get a lot of questions about what’s going on under the hood.  To clear the air, here’s a quick and basic overview of the process and to tools

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February 28 • EPLIRisk Management

EPLI Risk Exposure Checklist for Startups

  Last week we posted about the importance of Employment Practices Liability Insurance (“EPLI”) for rapidly growing startup companies.  If you read that post, it should be pretty clear why there’s so much risk exposure related to employment practices.  I wanted to follow up that post with a quick EPLI risk exposure checklist for startups.  Here’s

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February 21 • EPLI

Does EPLI Insurance Matter for Startups?

  We place a lot of D&O coverage for our clients because it can be vital to startups for several reasons.  D&O Insurance is only one piece of the overall Management Liability puzzle.  The other big piece is Employment Practices Liability Insurance (“EPLI”).  This post will answer two important questions: what is EPLI insurance, and

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cyber security
February 14 • Cyber Liability

Why Startups Should Care About the New US Cybersecurity Framework

  With potentially 70 million effected by the recent Target data breach, the US government thinks it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room for the tech world: Cybersecurity protocol.

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February 7 • Worker's Compensation

A Founder’s Guide to Workers Compensation Insurance

[note: this post originally appeared on WeWork’s fullstart blog; you can view the original post here.]  Worker’s compensation insurance is one thing that founders seem to stress about quite a bit. We answer tons of questions about WC every day.  So here we go…a startup founder’s brief guide to workers compensation insurance.

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February 6 • General Liability

How to Read an Insurance Quote

When we give our clients quotes, most of the time they have questions for us.  Usually the same questions pop up over and over again.  I’m hoping that this post will serve as a valuable resource for our future clients (or anyone else out there staring at a quote and scratching their head).  So let’s

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January 31 • Specialty

What is Inland Marine Insurance?

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January 24 • Cyber LiabilityDirectors & OfficersThought Leadership

Target’s Cyber and D&O Insurance Might Save Them Serious Cash

  We can’t resist talking about this Target Data breach incident.  It has become a major talking point in tech community and the news that keeps surfacing makes for a great little case study.  So in the latest bit of news to surface:

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January 17 • Key Man

We created a new Key Man insurance product…and it’s awesome.

Key man insurance for startups doesn’t really exist in the life insurance markets.  There are a few reasons for this and I’ll explain the big ones.

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January 9 • Cyber LiabilityGeneral Liability

Snapchat gets hacked, basically says “NBD, you guys”

  Only weeks after Snapchat made the headlights for spurning a $3+ billion buyout offer, the company is back in the limelight in a less-than-ideal fashion.

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December 31 • Cyber Liability

UPDATE: Target’s Data Breach and the need for Cyber Liability Insurance

  Recently we wrote about the data breach that occurred at Target’s point-of-sale systems in stores across America.  The breach lead to the theft of roughly 40 million credit card numbers, names, and CSV codes.  Here’s what’s been happening since the announcement:

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December 20 • Cyber Liability

Target: the Latest Data Breach Victim

  Since we rarely go more than a couple weeks without a data breach post, it seems we’re a bit overdue.  It looks like we can get back on track thanks to Target’s point-of-sale systems and their security weaknesses. If you were out braving the angry mobs this black Friday and you happened to “storm

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December 13 • Cyber LiabilityRisk Management

A Brief Look at User Authentication Techniques

  Almost every client we work with stores or uses some sort of Personal Identifiable Information (“PII”).  This probably reflects our apparent desire to have seamless/uber equivalents for literally every possible purchase of goods and services.  In any case, there’s a lot of personal data floating around the interwebs these days.  That should make security

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December 3 • Cyber LiabilityGeneral Liability

What Startups Need to Know About Business Interruption Insurance

What is it? At a very high level, business interruption insurance (“BII”) protects the insured when business operations are interrupted (no, really?!).   Typically this coverage is paired with others, including General Liability and Cyber Liability.

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BioLite HomeStove
November 27 • Thought Leadership

Startups that Give Us More to be Thankful For

  With Thanksgiving upon us, it seems appropriate to do a post about some of the startups out there that are giving people more to be thankful for.  So here’s a small cross section of those companies:

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November 21 • Risk Management

One Trade Agreement Startups Should Know About

  Venturebeat originally posted about this earlier this week and we thought it was an important one to be aware of. Unbeknownst to most, a new trade agreement between the Trans Pacific Parternship (the “TPP”) has been in development for almost a year now.  The TPP consists of the United States, Mexico and a handful

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November 19 • Key Man

Startups: Don’t Overlook Key Man Insurance

  We usually talk about key man insurance with our clients in the wake of a freshly closed round of institutional funding.  Investors typically make their portfolio companies get key man insurance to protect their own cash.  They realize that at most startups, the team is the company.  It takes a truly phenomenal team to guide

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November 12 • Directors & OfficersThought Leadership

Snapchat: Proof that Startups Need D&O Insurance

  One of the major products we provide for our clients is Directors and Officers Insurance.  Admittedly 90% of our D&O clients sought us out because their investors required them to get coverage.  Don’t be mistaken, though…startups need D&O insurance regardless of the investor situation.

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