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5Q PropTech Interview – Logan Soya Founder at Aquicore

October 27, 2020

1.What led you to start Aquicore and what is the company’s mission?

Aquicore’s mission is to create global impact by connecting people to buildings.

Like many entrepreneurs, I was looking for a sweet spot between what I could feel passionate about and my professional skills.

I had recently left my professional career as a telecom software engineer to pursue my MBA at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and started to explore a topic that had always fascinated me – the global problem of climate change and its linkages to energy consumption and the built environment.

Through this exploration, I discovered the dearth of technology and communication tools utilized in operating buildings and the massive amount of waste that results.

Aquicore was born when I eventually ran the numbers and realized — if every building in the US used a tool like what would eventually become Aquicore, we would save the US over $40BN/yr in energy spend.

Solving for that challenge finally felt like the sweet spot I had been looking for.

Since Aquicore’s inception, our understanding of our customers and the true benefits of a product like Aquicore in the real estate world has increased tremendously – but the core premise of creating a global impact by connecting people to buildings has remained the same.

2. How did you manage to scale your product and process to service more than 1,000 buildings in the US?

At its heart, Aquicore is a data platform. To that end, we have always built our technology with the intent to create a repeatable and scalable approach.

This is very challenging given how bespoke each building is, but it is doable.

The reason that Aquicore has been successful in the US is that we recognize that we are not just here to solve the problems of the building itself; it is the stakeholders of real estate that we must build our solutions for.

What are their pain points? Why do people buy and sell buildings? Constantly seeking out answers to these bigger questions about how and why real estate is the way it helps us build software that people actually use while illuminating why technology has been hard for real estate to adopt in the first place.

3. How can the Real Estate sector engage with Climate conscious technologies to decarbonize the built environment?

Market forces including regulation, tenant leasing habits, and capital market sentiment are creating very real and pragmatic reasons for real estate state investors to start adopting climate-conscious technologies.

Whether for altruistic reasons or not, pursuing decarbonization strategies is now becoming a cornerstone of real estate investing as a practice. To engage with Climate Tech the real estate sector should:

  • Set corporate targets:  Know what targets are being imposed on your real estate assets and even consider setting targets that turn decarbonization into an offensive strategy rather than a defensive reaction to these market forces.
  • Make it a corporate strategy: Reaching zero carbon requires centralized intent to orchestrate people, processes, and resources to take the right action.
  • Commit to technology education and adoption: Understanding the evolving PropTech and Climate Tech landscape is going to be crucial for real estate stakeholders to understand which technologies and approaches best align with their portfolios and strategies. It can be daunting at first, but having dedicated staff or partners will make this effort much more achievable than it might seem at first.

Embracing these mindsets and investing in building the right climate-conscious strategy for your portfolio will provide a lot of clarity around which technologies are the best fit for achieving your goals

4. To what extent will technological platforms such as Aquicore play an essential part in adjusting building optimization in a post COVID era?

Coronavirus created many unknowns for real estate executives around how to invest and what the long-term effects on different asset classes will be.

One positive outcome, however, is that it is serving as an accelerant for technology adoption and implementation across real estate portfolios.

The importance of centralized reporting and up-to-date information has been crystalized for the world of real estate operators in a way it hasn’t before.

Early on, Aquicore made a rapid pivot to build out reports to assist property teams in tracking the impacts of COVID-19 on their buildings.

We also accelerated the release of a lightweight version of our product to eliminate the need for on-site interactions.

We are fortunate to offer a product that has surfaced the critical value of having timely information about a building’s energy and facilities in a time when rapid adaptation is most needed.

Technology is critical for building owners to quickly react to changing circumstances and make decisions with confidence in a changing landscape.

Technology will also create more resilient building operations and allow real estate to bounce back more quickly in the face of COVID and future possible risks.

5. As you are looking to expand in the European market, how would you differentiate Aquicore from existing European solutions?

We’re excited to begin the exploration of Aquicore’s benefits to the European market.

We have matured into a leading product in the US market, generating real results and returns for our customers; and we have proven our capacity to support full-scale deployments across incredible market-leading institutions.

European institutions partnering with Aquicore will have the benefit of a technology partner that is already built with the right experts, resources, and depth of experience to know how to serve the real estate and their needs.

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