I can’t stress this enough. It is, in fact, the single most important piece of advice I give to startups. Don’t be a problem looking for a solution, be a great solution to a real, important problem! A lot of work and research and humility goes into following this advice correctly. Startups need to be willing to test their idea and their product in cold blood, knowing that they will have to drop or rework it if their assumptions were incorrect. They will need to listen to all feedback, not just that which they like. They will also need to be level-headed enough to know the difference between not letting naysayers get them down, and understanding that they are walking the wrong path. In PropTech, they will also have to gain a deep knowledge of real estate, and oftentimes this will require deferring to the experts.
In this installment of the #StartupLife series, we will look at 10 startups that are very confident they have pinpointed an excellent problem to solve. Do you agree with them? Lorenzo Tejada-Orrell, Co-Founder at Manchester-based property search provided Big Property Data: We strongly believe that property information should be at the forefront of any buying or selling decisions. We find it crazy that people complete HPI checks prior to purchasing a car, complete a credit check prior to obtaining a credit card, yet complete absolutely no due-diligence on potentially one of the biggest purchases of their life, being a new house. By providing simplified property due-diligence prior to place an offer, will allow consumers to make smarter, more informed decisions before buying or selling a property.
Carol Tannon, Founder of Irish digital town hall PLACEengage: Using immersive technologies (mainly AR), PLACEengage allows people to “experience” proposed property developments before they are built – this informs and engages local residents and businesses in a meaningful way so they are much less likely to lodge a blanket objection to the entire development.
Hannu Kaki, Founder of Realx.pro, a Helsinki-based closed Capital Markets real estate sales platform: Selling commercial real estate takes 3 to 24 months in average. That’s really slow and how mainstream market still operates, is very low user-experience for every stakeholder. The shorter the sales cycle is the more liquid and more interesting the market becomes for investors.
Gavriel Merkado, Founder of London-based REalyse, which provides Big Data analytics for residential real estate development and investment: REalyse is transforming residential real estate by making it faster and more efficient for property professionals to determine where, when and what to build. At the moment, companies spend a large amount of time trying to aggregate, process and display relevant market information to make decisions on what to do. We automate the time-intensive part of that process, allowing these companies to reach more accurate decisions, faster. It’s important as it greatly improves efficiency for those companies and ultimately leads to better outcomes for the housing market in general.
Sally Holdway, CoFounder of legal tech platform Teal Legal and inventor of the Home Owner’s Passport: Any improvement in the conveyancing process is worth investing some time on. The average time between offer and completion is 19 weeks, with a fall out rate of one third. It’s regularly cited as the most stressful life experience after death and divorce. Bearing in mind all of the data and tech tools at our disposal this is just not acceptable.
Justin Shee, Founder of London-based the Kohab, a new intergenerational co-living company bringing older people and young adults together under one roof to live in mutual support: Age segregation and loneliness. There is a loneliness epidemic underway in the Western world which is being felt by everyone, be they young and old. At the same time, we are seeing increased age segregation in society with fewer natural opportunities for people to form meaningful relationships across the generations. The Kohab’s intergenerational living model solves both of these issues in one.
Alexander Suma, Founder of Eindhover-based IBIS Power and inventor of PowerNEST, a wind and solar energy integrated roof addition for high rise buildings: Solar panels are great for dwelling houses, but they only work for buildings up to 3 levels. When buildings are higher, their roof space is too small to apply enough solar area and solar facades are not pretty, have low efficiency and are too expensive. PowerNEST generates 6 times more energy with a simple roof addition where we are currently the only solution to create net zero energy high rise buildings. We can provide all the energy for buildings up to 14 levels (in NL), or 10 stories in San Francisco or New York!
James Dearsley, Co-Founder of Belfast-based PropTech community-driven marketplace Unissu: The real estate industry is at the start of digital transformation, a process which nearly every industry has already gone through or is midway through already. It is a notably inefficient industry (the productivity in construction is notoriously bad, increasing just 1% in the last 50years for example). The sector is looking at ways it can digitize and become more efficient. As such it needs a place to search and find solutions that are relevant to their particular needs – even if they do not know what they are yet. Unissu gives them the opportunity to find solutions or simply browse those that impact their job roles. This way Unissu can help digital transformation for any real estate business.
Karolina Mosiadz, COO at Helsinki-based Mapple, an intelligence location software for cities and real estate: We are helping real estate companies and cities better understand the area they developing based on actual data. Using our platform they can easily apply insights on people, infrastructure, and ease of access to assess the current situation and predict the impact of their developments. At the moment, even though the worldwide spend on geospatial software is $9B the organizations manage to capture less than 30% of the value from that data. Imagine the uncaptured potential that can be used to make our cities more liveable.
Sijur Uksen, Founder at Stavanger-based business data capture and processing platform SmartPlants: Buildings account for one-third of global CO2 emissions, and 40% of the global energy usage. The world cannot sustain current emissions and usage rates, so we had to do something. We are now cutting up to 40% in energy and CO2 emissions from the buildings we work with!
- Originally posted on Forbes