Union Investment and the German Tech Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC) have just crowned the most innovative PropTech companies in the world. The competition received more than 200 entrants from 46 countries, and the biggest winners are start-ups in the German capital, Berlin.
The PropTech Innovation Award was initiated by Union Investment and the German Tech Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC) as a way to celebrate, nurture and reward the most groundbreaking property technology start-ups. These are the companies whose innovative ideas and products are set to shape the digital future of the real estate industry. The entrants were whittled down to a shortlist of eight finalists, three of whom are Berlin-based companies.
Berlin does the PropTech double
The winner of the competition’s top two prizes, the jury’s gold award and the community award, was Berlin’s Green City Solutions. The company was founded by a team of architects, engineers, biologists and IT specialists in 2014. As its name suggests, the company’s mission is to develop CleanTech and intelligent sustainable urban development solutions that will make our cities cleaner, greener and more pleasant places to live and work. The company’s CityTree removes harmful particulates, nitrogen oxides and CO2 from the air and delivers the same environmental benefits as 275 urban trees in just 3.5 sqm.
The winner of the silver award was Berlin’s Architrave. Set up in 2012, Architrave’s vision of a digital real estate industry is based around its centralised data room solution which provides real estate companies with data, document and process management. Best of all, real estate companies have access to all of the documents they need anytime, anywhere. And the architrave system works on any tablet or smartphone, regardless of operating system.
Inspire, guide, grow
On top of the symbolic value of the prizes and the positive press coverage they have received, the newly crowned PropTech Innovation Award winners also benefit from a financial boost and a place in the GTEC Campus Lab. The lab exists to inspire, guide and grow young PropTech companies, and the award provides them with 12-months of free office space and a network of support from GTEC mentors, investors and partners, including Union Invest.
No end to the PropTech disruption
Given the success of this year’s inaugural awards ceremony it comes as no surprise that GTEC and Union Invest have already announced that the competition will run again next year. It seems that everyone involved in the competition, from its initiators and backers to the start-ups who entered, were overwhelmed by the positive resonance and media profile the award has achieved. It is clear that PropTech companies have the potential to massively disrupt traditional real estate business models. As this year’s PropTech Innovation Award has also shown, pioneering companies not only have the potential to change the way the industry operates, they can also help to improve the quality of urban life everywhere. Let’s hope Berlin is as strongly represented this time next year!
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