10 startups attend first Colliers Proptech Accelerator

Ten startup property technology companies from seven countries are the first successful applicants for the Colliers Proptech Accelerator program.

Colliers and Techstars are partnering to identify and develop potential disruptors in the commercial real estate sector.

Colliers and Techstars are partnering to identify and develop potential disruptors in the commercial real estate sector.

Colliers International Group Inc. teamed up with Techstars to launch the first-of-its-kind program, which received applications from hundreds of companies in about 50 countries.

“The applicants that were chosen were the best of the best from a functionality perspective, a technology perspective and a business plan perspective,” said Colliers vice-president of strategic investments and corporate development Zach Michaud.

“It’s a very important Colliers initiative and we’ve invested millions and millions of dollars into it,” added Michaud, who noted his company has made a three-year commitment to the program.

Colliers funds participating companies

It doesn’t cost anything for the startups to take part, and they also receive upfront funding from Colliers for being included in the program.

The program is part of Colliers’ focus on targeted innovation, which it says will enable it to create solutions, shape technologies and find opportunities to advance its business.

Colliers is a global real estate services and investment management company operating in 69 countries with a workforce of more than 13,000. It had 2017 corporate revenues of $2.3 billion.

Techstars is designed to help entrepreneurs succeed by connecting them with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders and corporations to grow their companies.

The program kicked off in Toronto on Sept. 10. Over the next 13 weeks, the 10 startups will occupy an entire floor of the 240 Richmond St. W. WeWork location.

Each company has from two to a dozen team members taking part. They’ll be guided by up to 150 mentors, who include Colliers and Techstars employees as well as representatives from the broader real estate industry, successful startup founders and venture capitalists.

The location will offer a lot of collaboration space so the companies can brainstorm with each other as well as their mentors.

“Techstars runs 45 accelerator programs around the world,” said Michaud. “We are their exclusive partner for Proptech.

“They’ve been doing this for a long time so they have a set formula that accelerates innovation and idea generation and really allows companies to commercialize a lot of their ideas very quickly.”

Colliers PropTech Accelerator program timelines

During the first month of the 13-week program, Michaud said the 10 startups and their mentors will cover such things as concepts, market opportunities, monetizing their technology and business plans.

The second month will revolve around changes in business plans, technology and features, as well as getting ready for pilot projects with Colliers or other partners to test technology and revenue streams.

“The final month is getting them ready to pitch investors,” said Michaud. “That’s where they’re really honing their strategies and business plans, and we’ll walk them through their pitches and tell them where they make sense and where they don’t.”

At the end of the program, each startup will present to between 400 and 500 representatives from Colliers, mentor companies, technology firms, venture capital and real estate investors, and others at “Demo Day” on Dec. 4.

“The goal is to get them further business and help build their revenue streams and further grow their business,” said Michaud.

Colliers Proptech Accelerator program participants

The 10 companies participating in the inaugural Colliers PropTech Accelerator program:

A Retail Space is a data-driven retail platform which allows brands to discover retail space through building their own customer profile. It provides real-time data and is designed to improve decision-making;

Basking is a “return on investment-driven building automation” platform for the flexible office space market. The German company can provide data-driven insights from existing building systems in such areas as occupancy trends, potential energy savings and facility management metrics;

* Hong Kong-based Booqed is a digital marketplace for flexible space which helps connect businesses needing places to work, meet or host an event, with landlords seeking to monetize underutilized space. Michaud said the technology has the potential to be applied in other real estate asset classes as well;

* Toronto-based Lane is a fully customizable operating system designed to make managing buildings easier by streamlining building operations on a cloud-based platform accessible from anywhere;

MapYourProperty is an all-in-one platform for the planning and real estate communities in Toronto and the Region of York. It enables users to search property addresses, browse digital maps and zoning information, analyze regulatory data and find a property’s true development value with its due diligence reports;

Propstack is India’s leading real estate data, analytics and workflow solutions platform, developed in response to a need for greater market transparency. It helps predict real estate market trends and enables efficient transactions;

Raybased is a Swedish-based open wireless network for commercial real estate which communicates across all existing electrical systems to monitor, control and optimize functions such as heating, ventilation, lighting and building access;

RefineRE is based in Dallas, Texas. It leverages real-time market data to provide commercial real estate portfolio intelligence for organizations looking to make better and faster decisions about buying, selling, leasing, expanding or downsizing their property footprints;

SPCE is based in London, England. It allows the higher education community to search and pay for campus-specific student rental properties and accrue a positive credit rating without the need for deposits or joint tenancy liability;

Upsuite is based in Denver, Colo. It connects working teams with co-working spaces so they’re more successful together.


Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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