Twice a year, Dreamit brings together a group of promising real estate and construction tech startups for a 14-week accelerator program. These pre-Series A startups are all working on products that seek to transform the built environment. Startups in the most recent cohort are working on ways to improve data collection for real estate brokers, to use artificial intelligence for property managers to spot security breaches, and to create marketplaces for owners to find subcontractors for projects.
Dreamit is not your typical accelerator. The 14 weeks are laser-focused on assisting startups with business development and customer growth. “Over the years, we’ve learned the exact stage when startups are early but not too early for our UrbanTech partners to truly engage in ways that can lead to real partnerships and actual sales – we call it ‘corporate ready,'” explained Managing Director of Dreamit UrbanTech, Andrew Ackerman.
They have built an ecosystem of some of the largest, most innovative real estate firms and construction companies in the US, including developers like Related, Silverstein, Strategic Property Partners, and Rudin, as well as construction firms like Skanska, Suffolk, and Creative Contractors.
“I explicitly tell our partners that this is not about feedback or encouragement. This is their opportunity to kick the tires ‘hard’ and to decide which of the startups they meet are worth investing a meaningful chunk of their valuable time to fast-track. These C- and SVP-level executives are actively shopping for solutions to pressing problems; this is anything but the usual “startup theater.”
Startups in the program interact with executives at these companies to build relationships and to pitch their products. These corporates have a massive influence on the built environment, and, due to their scale, the products they use tend to become the industry standard.
“We bring several of our UrbanTech partners into the room during final round interviews – after we’ve winnowed the applicant pool down from hundreds to just a few dozen, of course. For instance, I can often tell simply by how far the Chief Innovation Officer from a developer leans forward when asking a question that the startup we are interviewing is touching a massive unresolved pain point for him,” says Ackerman.
This symbiotic process allows for new learnings for all parties involved. And for the startups, these meetings often result in new paying customers.
Spring 2018 Dreamit UrbanTech Cohort
Cherre provides investors, insurers, brokers and other large enterprises with a Platform-as-a-Service to collect, resolve, and augment real estate data from thousands of public, private, and internal sources. By providing a “single source of truth,” Cherre gives its partners a competitive advantage, helping them evaluate opportunities and trends faster and more accurately than ever before while saving them millions of dollars in manual data collection and analytics costs.
IPSUM is a web and mobile app that helps construction companies implement lean construction techniques with BIM methodologies to prevent delays, avoid cost overruns, and plan projects more efficiently. IPSUM empowers workers in the field, increases compliance, generates analytics, and creates automatic reports to keep projects on track. CB Insights named IPSUM a top startup transforming the construction industry.
Kognition is a hardware agnostic enterprise software solution for real estate property managers and security operators in highly regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services. Kognition’s flagship SuperGuard solution combines live security camera footage with sensor data to manage and automatically mitigate even previously undetectable security threats such as unauthorized entrants who “piggyback” on roughly half of all authorized entrants to corporate worksites. Kognition can reduce the cost of security management by as much as 90%.
myComply is the go-to platform that general contractors use to reduce their liability by verifying training and certifications of all site personnel. In minutes, GCs can deploy myComply’s free, cloud-based service to all site subcontractors creating a digital training log with up-to-date safety certifications and proof of training.
TRAXyL installs optical fiber onto the surface of roads with no need for trenching. By painting fiber directly onto paved surfaces, TRAXyl delivers installed optical fiber at one tenth the install cost of traditional trenching and deploys in hours rather than months.