Could you describe briefly who you are and where you set yourself in the industry?
I’d like to see myself as an enthusiastic, driven, and energetic entrepreneur. I’m the (co-)founder of Global PropTech, Holland ConTech & PropTech, Smart Building Certification, and the online trade fair Real Estate Futureproof. The common denominator of these businesses is real estate, technology, and innovation. My passion is to connect people so that they can learn from each other, collaborate, and do business. I have positioned myself as an influencer in the PropTech world, with insight into future trends and developments on which I aim to exert a positive influence.
Could you tell us more about the Global PropTech platform you have found?
Global PropTech collaborates with the biggest real estate trade fairs worldwide in order to promote technology, digitalization, and innovation in our sector. To achieve this, our platform shares important new insights during our quarterly Global PropTech Online Summit and organizes events such as Global PropTech Leaders to connect decision-makers so as to foster collaborations and partnerships. Our aim is to inspire at least 1 million individuals worldwide that work in the real estate sector.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out as an entrepreneur in the PropTech industry, what would it be?
Having the drive to acquire new knowledge is a must. When starting out, I’d say first and foremost to immerse yourself in all the available information on what the upcoming trends are going to be (for example through participating in Propel by MIPIM) and adjust your idea according to these. Also, there are already so many technological solutions out there that the time has come for some serious integration. So definitely go big on collaboration.
Can you tell us about a recent innovation in ConTech that will benefit the built environment?
One of our members, the construction company VORM Holding, was looking for a corona solution to ensure the safety of its builders when they are working on the premises. We matched them with PropTech company Mapiq and within only three weeks this partnership resulted in a “corona alarm” that notifies the builders when they are standing too close to each other. Each builder gets a sensor that emits a generic Bluetooth signal and captures those from other beepers. If a signal is within 1.5 meters, the builder will hear a beep. If they are 1.5 meters away from each other, the beeper stops and they can continue the work. The sensors do not have an internet connection and are not personal. This means that they are fully GDPR-proof.
To which extent do you think Europe can become the leading hub for PropTech innovation?
Well, that is going to be difficult in my opinion. The language and culture barriers between the European countries are big obstacles for doing business. Each state prefers to use its own solutions. On the other hand, we have a great digital highway here in Europe, which makes the implementation of different technologies rather easy. Another thing we have going for us, is the availability of funding from parties such as A/O Proptech but also from the E.U.