A record-breaking 1,000-plus members of the PropTech investor and startup community attended CREtech’s Venture Conference in New York City yesterday.
The event, which featured speakers ranging from angel to key venture capital private equity investors, offered startups and commercial real estate industry professionals the opportunity to gain insights from industry insiders like Softbank Vision Fund, MetaProp NYC, EQ Office, and Newmark Knight Frank.
“We are here to connect startups with capital and connect the industry with thought leaders through a full day of programming. Every one of these panelists should be doing a keynote speech,” said Michael Beckerman, CEO and founder of CREtech, who gave a brief opening address.
“Since I personally entered the CREtech sector in 2012, there has been an explosion of startups, innovation, and adoption in the sector,” said Beckerman, who added that the record-breaking turnout at the event was a testament to the incredible pace of change in the commercial real estate sector.
More than 35 panelists shared their views across a broad range of topics, such as how to best use startup accelerators and attracting angel investment to navigating the more significant PropTech trends set by private equity firms, commercial real estate landlords and brokerage firms.
The highlight of the conference was a panel discussion session featuring large private equity players like Bain Capital, SoftBank, WeWork and Glade Brook Capital Partners, who discussed how the surplus of capital and the emergence more full-stack solutions have created opportunities for Proptech companies like Compass, WeWork and Opendoor Labs to enter the private equity space.
“During the CRETech Venture Conference in NYC, it was abundantly clear that PropTech and ConTech have come of age. The presence of not only large landlords and brokers, but also venture and growth capital giants such as SoftBank Vision Fund and Bain Capital Ventures, is a testament that the real estate technology industry is getting the type of attention previously reserved only for financial and consumer technology companies. I look forward to seeing this industry grow even more in the near future,” said Aakash Ravi, co-founder of Spaceti, a provider of sensor-based smart building digitization solutions.
Another popular session was led by Steve Wiekal, head of industry relations at MIT’s Center for Real Estate, who talked candidly with venture capitaliss from Fifth Wall, Navitas, Capital, Camber Creek and Index Ventures about the global trends and the industry’s hits and misses.
The event concluded with the announcement of the Real Estate Tech Awards winners, which recognize technology companies servicing the commercial real estate industry presented by CREtech. Chicago-based startup Truss won two awards in the Listing Marketplace and Tech-Enhanced Brokerage categories. WiredScore, Measurabl and Enertiv were winners in the smart buildings sector. Startups Honest Buildings, Cherre, VTS, Storefront, Digital Map Products, HqO, CrowdStreet, Bowery and others received awards for their integral role in advancing real estate technology.
The event included exhibitors from more than 40 startups and companies developing products for the Proptech space and was sponsored by Sax LLP accounting firm, ConnectOne, Fried Frank, Equiem, REThink, Starry, Logical Buildings and Connected Magazine.
CREtech’s 2019 event programming will include three flagship events in Los Angeles, Boston and New York City.