FIRA Barcelona
1-4 February 2022

Real estate industry ‘late’ to digitisationRISE Spotlight: Smart Buildings – The Way Forward

In the Startup Nation segment, Nikolas Samios, co-founder of Proptech1 – the first venture capital fund in Germany focused on proptech startups – discussed key trends and notable fledgling companies in the smart building arena with moderator Már Másson Maack.

According to Nikolas, the real estate industry has been a latecomer to digital innovations and has never been “optimised within”, because “it was so easy to earn money in real estate that people didn’t need to explore these options.” He further highlighted that the pandemic has created the need for the industry to utilise effective technology. “We’re still in the first innings of digitisation… there’s very good business opportunities for clever startups to connect with the industry and help them improve their basic processes and efficiencies.”

The session saw pitches from Marc Gille, Founder of Thing Technologies and Lee Butz, CEO of District Technologies.

Watch the full Startup Nation session here

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Firstly, Marc showcased Thing-It, an enterprise digital building system for corporate real estate managers, asset managers, facilities managers, and other service providers. Thing-it makes everything smart by connecting people, systems and things via processes and data. It seamlessly transforms offices and buildings into intelligent digital spaces – via one single cloud platform.

Lee presented District Technologies, an advanced, workplace experience platform that allows communities to navigate the workplace and stay connected from any location.  When using the platform a community can check in to the building, book desks and meeting rooms, view food and drink services on-site and many other features that optimise office locations.

Nikolas also listed several other startups to keep an eye out for:

  • Simplifa is an independent partner in elevator management. It digitises lift management for simplification and bundles together all processes relating to elevator systems. The system also makes it possible to bring elevator operators and maintenance companies together.
  • Vilisto is a smart, fully automatic radiator thermostat that reduces the CO2 emissions of non-residential buildings without any effort from the customers. The digital heat management solution is based on thermostats with integrated presence detection, learning algorithms and indoor climate sensors.
  • Aedifon is a highly specialised cloud platform for monitoring and optimising technical building equipment and energy systems. It’s the tool to reduce operating costs and allow for more sustainable operation.
  • R8tech focuses on decreasing energy consumption and CO2 emissions of large commercial properties (shopping malls, office buildings, hotels etc) while keeping outstanding indoor climate for every room and area. It creates significant savings for the building owners and managers.

During the session an audience poll was taken, and District Technologies came out as the top ‘one to watch’.