Alex Frommeyer ’10,’11

Class of 2010 and 2011
Co-founder, Beam Benefits

Alex Frommeyer’s path to becoming an engineer was always clear. His path to becoming an entrepreneur helping small businesses thrive was less obvious.

“As a kid, I was fascinated by construction and loved building treehouses in my backyard,” Frommeyer ’10, ’11 said. “When I had built nine treehouses, my parents realized they had an engineer on their hands and they explained to me what a civil engineer was, sparking my interest further.”

When it came time to look at colleges, the Northern Kentucky native looked at several regional schools with distinguished engineering programs. He landed at UofL’s J.B. Speed School of Engineering after an impactful tour of campus with a Cardinal Ambassador student tour guide.

“My student ambassador tour of UofL got me so excited that I became a Cardinal Ambassador myself,” Frommeyer said. The Cardinal Ambassador program allows students from majors across campus to become official UofL tour guides and showcase what the Cardinal student experience is like.

“An engineer as a student ambassador was rare because the prototypical engineer isn’t interested in public tours and public speaking,” Frommeyer said. “But I was authentically interested in both worlds.”

His experience as a Cardinal Ambassador not only helped Frommeyer increase his student involvement and build relationships with people across campus, but also provided him with skills that would help shape his career.

“I became an RA (resident assistant), a senator for Speed School and served in the judicial branch of student government,” Frommeyer said. “Through all these experiences I learned hard skills like persuasive and public speaking that became handy in my career as an entrepreneur. I spread my wings in any corner I could find, which led me to starting a company as I was wrapping up undergrad.”

That business is Beam Benefits. Founded by Frommeyer and two of his Speed School classmates, Dan Dykes ’10, ’11 and Alex Curry ’10, ’10, Beam Benefits is now an 11-year-old company based in Columbus, Ohio with around 250 employees.

“We’re a private, venture-capital-backed business and we provide digitally native employee benefits products for small and medium sized businesses all over the US,” Frommeyer said.

The company offers dental insurance and a variety of other insurance products like vision, life, disability and supplemental health coverage. Those insurance products are distributed as employee benefits for small businesses and their employees in 45 states around the U.S.

Frommeyer and his business partners used their Speed School experiences and connections to help their Beam Benefits take flight.

“We were 20 years old and had no experience other than co-ops through Speed School, but we said ‘yes’ to everything people asked for to keep gaining experience,” Frommeyer said. “We got connected to local dental equipment manufacturer Whip Mix through the Speed School, gained knowledge about the dental industry and found it fascinating with lots of problems to solve, which made us want to build our own dental insurance company.”

Frommeyer said small businesses are an underserved customer when it comes to benefits, which are expensive and difficult for such companies to afford.

“We entered the market to build a digital version of these benefits products that would be run more efficiently and effectively so we could offer better coverage to more small businesses and help them be able to afford that coverage over the long term,” Frommeyer said.

Enterprises that might not have been able to afford dental insurance for their employees before, now can through Beam Benefits.

“The impact we are having is helping small businesses attract and retain talent and helping employees get the coverage they need to live successful and productive lives,” Frommeyer said. “Our effort as a business is to engage small businesses and small business owners to be successful in whatever their business does. That helps create really vibrant communities and local economies, which in turn allows more and more small businesses to thrive in their communities.”

“We’re proud to be a contributor to the health of the American small business.”