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Colliers Proptech Accelerator attracts worldwide participants

The inaugural Colliers Proptech Accelerator program was such a success the program attracted even...

IMAGE: Participants in the 2019 Colliers Proptech Accelerator in Toronto, a workshop put on by Colliers and Techstars. (Courtesy Colliers)

Participants in the 2019 Colliers Proptech Accelerator in Toronto, a workshop put on by Colliers and Techstars. (Courtesy Colliers)

The inaugural Colliers Proptech Accelerator program was such a success the program attracted even more interest for the 2019 edition, which kicks off this week in Toronto.

Colliers International has again teamed up with Techstars to operate the program, which received one-third more applications than last year.

Colliers’ vice-president of global strategic investments Zach Michaud told RENX hundreds of companies from more than 50 countries applied to be involved.

“Our companies this year have an aspirational aspect to them, and the possibilities are exciting,” Michaud said.

“Our conviction around technology continuing to improve both our ability to service our clients and improve our clients’ businesses remains solid and we continue to view technology as tool versus a threat in our industry.”

Ten companies from six countries were chosen to take part in the 13-week accelerator program, which will follow a similar format to last year.

About the accelerator

It’s designed to help the companies refine business plans and gain global real estate perspective through more than 120 mentors from Colliers, Techstars and the broader real estate, technology and investment industries.

They’ll explore pilots and partnerships with Colliers’ people and clients to accelerate growth prospects for all parties.

The program culminates on Dec. 4 with “Demo Day,” which will feature presentations to clients, real estate industry leaders and technology investors. This year’s Demo Day is sponsoring the Buildings Connect feature at The Buildings Show.

It is also the technology partner of The Real Estate Forum at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre during the first week of December.

There is no charge to the startups, though companies provide equity to take part in the program. Participants also receive up-front funding from Colliers.

Colliers partnerships from 2018 class

Colliers has established formal partnerships with four companies from the 2018 class: Lane, Booqed, Upsuite and Basking. It continues to work with the others toward their goals, according to Michaud.

Colliers and Booqed launched a partnership in December 2018 to respond to the growing demand from companies of all sizes in Hong Kong and Singapore looking to leverage the strategic benefits provided by flexible workspaces.

“The partnership will allow our occupier clients to quickly and easily secure the most suitable workspaces, at competitive prices, prior to making longer-term or larger-workspace decisions,” said Michaud.

Colliers announced its partnership with Upsuite in February. By utilizing the Upsuite platform, it can help clients easily find, compare, share and select co-working spaces in their respective markets.

Colliers launched a partnership with Basking in April. The startup’s technology provides occupier clients with a granular understanding of how space is used. It helps them better plan staff allocation and lease handling by using real-time occupancy analytics, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things technologies.

Colliers is utilizing Lane’s technology with its investor and property management clients as a white-label solution. Lane claims its platform makes it easy to offer innovative workplace experiences in any building.

“We have been impressed by how quickly some of the solutions across proptech have progressed in just a year,” said Michaud.

Three Toronto companies

Three Toronto companies will take part in the program this year:

* BRED Token is a real estate fund operating on blockchain technology to simplify real estate investment through tokenization. It can create a more efficient real estate investment process that provides freedom, security, liquidity, and the ability to trade on public stock exchanges;

* FastOffice offers real-time three-dimensional custom office layouts for any space under consideration on top of a PDF image floor plan file, providing a total cost of occupancy in minutes;

*Finneo is an end-to-end technology platform for commercial real estate debt placement and management. Its platform uses advanced data analytics and machine learning to offer workflow efficiencies and cost savings.

Seven other participating companies

* ADEx from Berkeley, Calif., leverages machine learning and natural language processing to analyze legal documents and extract structured data efficiently and accurately. This offline data is combined with online sources to provide deeper insight and predictive analytics;

* AREX from Madrid is a software company that creates real estate solutions using blockchain and advanced technologies;

* BlueSuit from Denver creates unique insights for the commercial real estate investment life cycle by leveraging modern artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to replace and advance the analyst teams exclusive to institutional owners;

* PropertyQuants from Singapore looks to apply quantitative finance and data science techniques to global real estate in order to improve decision-making and help investors beat the market;

* Realar from Gold Coast, Australia is an augmented real estate application that helps people spatially visualize a property through life-size walkthroughs before it’s built;

* Skenario from Helsinki, Finland predicts the value and risks in properties using data and artificial intelligence on both residential and commercial real estate;

* Talox from Singapore is a cloud-native, data-powered inventory and deal management system for the commercial real estate industry in Asia Pacific.

Colliers and Techstars

Colliers is a real estate services and investment management company operating in 69 countries with a workforce of 14,000. It had 2018 corporate revenues of $2.8 billion and has more than $26 billion of assets under management.

Techstars is a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed through connecting them with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders and corporations to grow their companies.

Techstars’ accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,900 companies with a market cap of $23 billion.

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