By: James Janega, Solution Owner, Innovation Portfolio
Cushman & Wakefield, in collaboration with PropTech partners, MetaProp NYC, hosted an industry-leading workshop on Monday, July 9, in our Chicago headquarters. Attendees heard from PropTech startups offering innovative building solutions for health, comfort, new revenue streams for rental assets, and leasing efficiency.
Visitors included Midwest venture capital firms, leaders in the construction and development space, and commercial real estate competitors. The two-hour event in The Studio – C&W’s showcase interactive room on the 31st floor at 225 W. Wacker Drive – included elevator pitches from startup founders, speed round Q&A, and networking.
The group learned about paint that purifies air, cloud services that use environmental data to devise healthier facilities, business intelligence for real estate agents, and technology to support short-term rental owners.
The startups – airlite, 720 degrees, Frontdoor, and YourWelcome – hail from Europe and are part of MetaProp’s new MetaProp Bridge at Columbia University accelerator program, which expands on MetaProp’s New York-based accelerator programming to offer European PropTech startups a gateway to North American markets. The companies also presented pitches to diverse CRE audiences in New York and San Francisco.
“Cushman & Wakefield invests in and supports PropTech innovators because it helps us drive value for our clients, and it helps the industry evolve. We want to be at the center of what’s next,” said Adam L. Stanley, C&W Global Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer. “The Bridge program is a fantastic means for Europe-based entrepreneurs to gain early access to American markets while providing our colleagues insight into innovation. We were honored to host the pitch event.”
C&W builds on best-in-class foundational technology by using our scale and collaboration in the PropTech ecosystem to unlock new value in CRE faster than anyone else in the world. Relative to competitors, or even how we did business a few years ago, this allows us to build new value faster and more effectively – and integrate it with C&W’s strategies for growth. With this approach, our business gets “first looks” at new technology – and a chance to test-drive it in the market in a way our competitors don’t.
Partnering with thought leaders lets us help draft the road-map for the future. By engaging with PropTech startups, we partner with teams that otherwise would disrupt our industry, allowing C&W to adapt rather than succumb.
“We know technology is an integral part of providing best-in-class service to our clients, and it is important to keep close ties to the wider Commercial Real Estate technology community,” said Vicki Noonan, C&W’s Chicago Managing Principal. “Events like these showcase the most exciting aspects of our engagement in the PropTech marketplace, and partners like MetaProp make it easy to stay ahead of the curve to ensure what best-in-class services look like now and for the future.”