(Photo by Flickr user Roman Königshofer, used under a Creative Commons license)
As anyone who has attempted to rent an apartment in New York can attest, the real estate industry is ripe for innovation. To all technologists and entrepreneurs: this weekend is your chance to get involved.
The Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY) tech committee is hosting a hackathon at the Urban Tech Hub, featuring $75,000 in prizes and the opportunity to win entrance to a three-month incubator.
“Our Hackathon aims to connect investors and real estate companies interested in funding PropTech innovation with Hackathon participants,” said Nicole Chin-Lyn, a REBNY spokesperson. She says engineers, computer scientists and software developers are encouraged to attend.
Real estate technology, or PropTech, has been on a recent tear. (One investor called PropTech the new FinTech in a HuffPo piece in January.) As WeWork became a household name, 2012 and 2016 saw private funding for startups in the sector increase by a factor of ten and minted four new unicorns, according to CB Insights. Fearing disruption, the big players are racing to acquire competition and attract talent. For technologists seeking to start new ventures or join rapidly growing ones, PropTech is worth keeping an eye on.
The event’s host, REBNY, an industry group for New York real estate professionals, has been working hard to stay on top of recent innovations. It started its tech committee earlier this year alongside Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs and a who’s-who list of New York property management and investment companies.
Although the relationship between established business and the startup community can sometimes be strained, REBNY has proved willing to listen. It responded swiftly to community complaints about the hackathon’s terms by removing its outdated and exploitative intellectual property clause.
— Brad Hargreaves (@bhargreaves) October 9, 2017
Although this is the hackathon’s first year, organizers have enlisted support from AEC Hackathon, experienced organizers with over two dozen events under their belt.
Speakers this weekend include John Gilbert of Rudin Management Company, Jeff Berman of Camber Creek, Tucker Reed of TOTEM, Robinson Hernandez of Grand Central Tech, Aaron Lovejoy of Prescriptive Data, Greg Grossman of DLA Piper, Rob Otani of Thornton Tomasetti, Marshall Cox of Radiator Labs and Matthew Kopel of Waltz.
The Urban Tech Hub is located at Grand Central Tech (335 Madison Ave., in Manhattan) and registration kicks off Friday, Oct. 13, at 6:30 p.m.