The Colliers Proptech Accelerator Powered by Techstars program planned for this year has been moved to 2021 for health and safety reasons related to COVID-19.
The accelerator program was launched in 2018. It’s designed to help early-stage property technology (proptech) companies refine business plans and gain global real estate perspective through the opportunity to learn from more than 150 industry mentors.
Colliers International vice-president of strategic investments Zach Michaud told RENX the postponement decision was made to safeguard the health of participants, mentors and staff; facilitate in-person interactions it believes are key to the program; and ensure the highest investor engagement.
“We were seeing strong demand for the 2020 program and anticipated building further upon the previous two years,” said Michaud. “We had not made any decisions on acceptances prior to our decision to move the program, as our assessment process begins in mid-May.
“We will use the remainder of the year to grow our sourcing channels, enhance our thought leadership impact and our ability to scale our companies through pilots and partnerships, and build program infrastructure that’ll propel the program to another level in 2021.
“We will also continue to support our 19 program alumni across multiple fronts.”
Colliers has invested in 19 proptech companies
Michaud said Colliers has invested “many millions” of dollars in pilots and partnerships of 19 proptech companies. Together with Techstars, it has provided them with access to more than 1,000 Colliers professionals, clients and technology investors.
COVID-19 has accelerated the commercial real estate industry’s transition to digital solutions, which makes innovative proptech companies even more important for the current state and future of the business, according to Michaud.
“It has shown us that having robust remote working strategies in place to ensure businesses can continue moving forward is absolutely critical.
“As a result of this crisis, there will be more incredible proptech innovation coming and it will continue to play a big role in how we deliver value to clients around the world.”
Proptech solutions from accelerator program
The real estate professional services and investment management company has identified seven immediate solutions from the proptech accelerator classes that can help its brokers and clients navigate the COVID-19 world.
“Their areas of focus include contract review, data-driven property insights, workplace occupancy analytics, flexible workspace, virtual space touring and debt management and placement,” said Michaud.
“They are all engaged with various Colliers teams across the globe, and we are helping them find additional opportunities in more markets.”
The seven companies are:
* ADEx provides contract audits to clients, paying close attention to pandemic, force majeure and material adverse change language to help them reduce their liabilities.
* A Retail Space allows landlords and tenants to quickly access foot traffic information for any address in their city, including walk-by timings, demographics and competitors, among other data sets.
* Basking’s workplace occupancy analytics platform is an artificial intelligence and WiFi-based technology that provides real-time occupancy monitoring to ensure employees in an office are maintaining safe distances. It also optimizes cleaning services according to real utilization.
* BOOQED has thousands of listings across Asia. It can help companies find alternate offices if teams need to be separated for health reasons or to secure a workspace for staff as an alternative to working from home.
* FastOffice helps brokers virtually recreate an office walk-through experience for occupiers. Tenants can review and edit floor plan layouts, as well as seat configuration options, in real time.
* Finneo enables brokers to engage with more than 200 lenders in Canada to help clients shore up additional liquidity, get mortgage deferrals and solicit all types of debt proposals.
* RealAR has developed a suite of digital marketing tools to help marketers and brokers in Australia support occupiers and prospective purchasers. Its solutions include 3D walk-throughs of properties and drag-and-drop office furniture capabilities.
Michaud said Colliers will continue to invest millions of dollars in the accelerator program as it positions itself for 2021 and beyond.
“We know that COVID-19 will pass and, when that time comes, we will add to our growing portfolio of forward-thinking companies and continue to shape enterprising solutions for the future of our industry.”
Colliers and Techstars
Colliers employs more than 15,000 in 68 countries. Its 2019 corporate revenues were more than $3 billion, with $33 billion of assets under management in its investment management segment.
Techstars is a global platform for investment and innovation that connects company founders with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders and corporations to help them grow.
Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs; Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships; and Techstars Communities.
The accelerator portfolio includes more than 2,100 companies with a market cap of more than $26 billion.