PropTech Romania which is the first Romanian innovation platform designed for the real estate market, hosted the first European real estate hackathon in Bucharest on 12 and 13 April 2019.
The event brought together over 200 tech and real estate specialists, while during the two days of the hackathon, over 30 local and international teams which took part in the competition designed and developed innovative solutions and platforms which were adapted to the 6 real estate categories.
The challenges addressed to the start-ups and technology companies by major players in the local real estate market, such as JLL Romania, NEPI Rockcastle, Ceetrus, Portland Trust, Speedwell and Simacek, have focused on categories brokerage, smart offices, facility residential, retail and community management.
“With this competition, we have officially opened the innovation platform facilitating direct interactions between tech and real estate players. We are very much impressed by the large number of participants, but especially by the level of innovative digital solutions suggested by the teams which were part of the competition. On the one hand, we have noticed that there is an utmost need for digitization in the real estate industry, an aspect that could dramatically change the dynamics of the sector on both a medium and a long term run, while, on the other hand, there is a need for investing in and promoting professionals in the technology industry field in order to implement their innovative solutions. We truly hope that within the PropTech Romania platform we will be able to generate the necessary investments as well as the new business models,”, said Ciprian Pașca, CoFounder of PropTech Romania.
„We are grateful for the opportunity which PropTech Romania offered us, namely, to be the hackathon’s partners. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that the participants managed to create viable business solutions in a very short period of time. We have already had the first meeting with our category winners and we plan to implement their innovative solution without further ado. All teams proved to have brilliant ideas, so we hope that, after this event, we shall lay the foundations for new collaborations, because we are in need of partners with whom we can innovate. We believe that together we have all the necessary assets to create successful projects that will change the dynamics of the retail market,” declared Marius Barbu, Head of Asset Management at NEPI Rockcastle.
Local company BRIGHT AGENCY, owned by Romanian entrepreneur Bogdan Nicoară, was called the winner of the competition, receiving the highest score. The solution proposed by the BRIGHT team was registered in the retail category as part of NEPI Rockcastle's challenge with regard to management and the leasing of temporary shopping facilities.
The creative platform proposed by BRIGHT was designed as an efficient digital solution that allows potential tenants to access spaces available in a shopping centre in real-time, view their configuration and their rental costs. On the other hand, through the algorithms and the use of artificial intelligence, the application allows the configuration of an active 24-hour help centre with the help of chat-bots.
At the same time, the application can send notices regarding the leasing status and the due date of the contract, automatic renewal settings being available as well. Additionally, the application can predict the occupancy rate following the tenants' behaviour in the platform
Sigtree Technologies held a second place, being a local company specialized in the development of I0T software solutions for smart homes, industrial platforms and office buildings. Sigtree Technologies has designed a smart solution for the residential segment within the challenge launched by Speedwell. Last but not least, the CenterMine team from Bulgaria ranked third in the competition with an innovative project developed for the brokerage sector, a challenge proposed by JLL Romania, the official partner of the event.
The first three winning teams of the competition won prizes amounting to €5000, €2500 and €1000, respectively, as well as the chance to represent the Romanian proptech industry at the Future Proptech conference in London.
The winners of each category in the competition, namely community (Ceetrus), facility (Simacek), and residential management (Speedwell), office buildings (Portland Trust), brokerage (JLL) and retail (NEPI Rockcastle) were GoTiny, Just Mad, Sigtree Technologies, Parkly, Optimrent and Bright Agency.
The judging criteria allowed for the understanding of the problem, the feasibility and the validation of the proposed solution, the competition analysis and the expertise of each team. The members of the jury were Silviana Petre - CEO of JLL Romania, Marius Barbu - Asset Manager at NEPI Rockcastle, Cristina Ţoncu - Program Manager at Techcelerator, Dragoş Nicolaescu - Angel Investor and CiprianPaşca - Co-Founder of Proptech Romania.
The experts in the hackathon jury estimate that the implementation of the innovative solutions presented in the competition could have a commercial potential of more than €1 million.
PropTech Romania is going to organize PropTech Demo Day, another interactive event dedicated to the real estate industry, where proptech developers will present their innovative projects, having the opportunity to attract funds for their start-ups.