A company description for KAR Auction Services states that it offers “innovative, technology-driven remarketing solutions” to the global wholesale used-vehicle industry.
Now, the company’s Insurance Auto Auctions business is making an investment to take that innovation further.
In what the division is describing as “an insurance claims and remarketing industry first,” IAA is investing in an innovation hub at “1871,” which IAA states is the largest technology incubator in North America.
The 1871 site is located in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, and as part of that site, IAA Engine House will be “an ideation and development center,” IAA said. At that site, IAA employees will engage in collaboration with educators, investors, mentors, technologists, buyers and sellers.
“Our insurance and automotive remarketing customers require solutions that help them decrease cycle time, increase efficiency, make data-driven decisions and, above all, improve their economic returns,” IAA chief executive officer and president John Kett said in a news release.
“We are making strategic investments to help fuel more rapid progress in the industry," Kett continued. "Being in an environment where we can share ideas and collaborate with universities and startups that are advancing technology gives us the advantage to lead the innovation of our industry.
"We can work to enhance our current technologies, but more importantly, to develop the solutions of the future," he went on to say.
The location, 1871, consists of 140,000 square feet of collaboration space. More than 1,000 inventors, designers and creators and more than 500 startups call 1871 home. The space includes various industries, and representatives of those industries share advancements and findings.
A rotation schedule of up to 20 Insurance Auto Auctions employees at a time will help as many IAA employees as possible gain exposure to the culture and shared knowledge at 1871. Each year, IAA will have access to more than 350 mentors and 1,000 events and learning programs. Activities such as client meetings, ideation sessions and product development and launch gatherings will take place at Engine House.
“IAA Engine House at 1871 will help us to foster a culture of innovation, generate ideas and launch them to full-fledged products or solutions — all while exercising an entrepreneurial spirit,” Kett said.