The Pi Labs experience: What was it like to be part of the program’s 8th cohort
This year we had the opportunity to go through one of the best acceleration programs in the world dedicated specifically to the PropTech Industry: the Pi Labs Accelerator. We have just finished the 15 week program and would like to share with you what this meant for Bright Spaces and for our individual growth.
To start with, Pi Labs is the most active investor in Europe in Real Estate Technologies. They are headquartered in London, but have invested in PropTech startups all over the continent. Their portfolio includes over 50 companies, founded by entrepreneurs from over 30 countries, with a gross value of 340 million pounds.
Pi Labs has been running the last 7 editions of their acceleration program offline, in London, having everyone in the same room.
Their main goals with these programs are: ”Connecting teams to relevant industry players; Helping companies develop their product and business; Helping teams raise their next rounds of investment” thus turning it into a growth driven experience, packed with relevant know-how and networking & investment opportunities.
2020 marked not only the 8th edition, but also the first one organised entirely online, as a consequence of the pandemic. For us, the news of being accepted came at the end of January, after a thorough selection. There were over 600 applications and the designated jury chose only 5 to go through the intensive program of workshops and meetings.
„We picked Bright Spaces for our Accelerator because we have seen an increase in demand for digitising the leasing process for office spaces. We were impressed by their team’s commercial and technology experience and passion for the customer. We believe they are well positioned to deliver this platform, which will ultimately make it easier for landlords to showcase their products virtually. In a post-Covid world, we need more visualisation platforms that let tenants immerse themselves in properties remotely”, says Faisal Butt, CEO and Founder of Pi Labs.
Bright Spaces was the only company from Romania, participating alongside startups from the UK, France and Austria:
PROPSTER (Austria) – a digital configuration and collaboration platform that optimizes the decision making and interaction with consumers in property developments. The platform offers property companies and related consumers such as buyers, tenants and investors the opportunity to configure their project, apartment, house or office to facilitate decision-making. It connects all relevant project participants and provides seamless documentation throughout the entire development cycle.
HausBots (UK) – a patent-pending new generation of wall climbing robot for all surfaces, first focusing on painting large buildings (exterior housing, warehousing) but with opportunity to expand future attachments for cleaning, inspection and more.
REST Solution (France) – a centralized platform for investment and asset managers that enables them to draw accurate and real-time asset-level data.The solution enables to fully automate the data retrieval from the property manager to the asset manager on a live basis and thus provides with back office automation and major operational efficiency.
Structor.io (UK) – a construction software that enables asset owners, developers and main contractors to deliver their projects more efficiently by combining compliance, productivity and collaboration into an easy-to-use platform. The platform enables unprecedented access to project metrics, reduces wasted efforts, improves decisions and ensures contractual compliance, especially for large infrastructure and real estate projects where such benefits scale particularly well.
These 15 weeks meant a leap of at least 1 year in our development process. We had access to international real estate markets, to over 50 mentors and professionals in real estate and technology and we improved our solution – and will continue to do – so based on the feedback we receive.
Specialized trainers helped us better understand, i.e., how to promote ourselves and to set an efficient marketing strategy (check out Elizabeth Lichten, LinkedIn profile and Sean Curtis, LinkedIn profile) or the importance of mental wellbeing and of balance (a workshop any entrepreneur needs, held by Victoria Hill).
Business model, Pricing & Sales were hot topics and our performance in this areas was improved with the help of a lot of specialists, to name a few: Barrie Heptonstall, David Prichard, Patrick Campbell. On the Product part we were inspired & guided by Phil Cowans and Ivan Ramirez.
Also, each Wednesday, we had the opportunity to learn from the best in the industry, in a webinar series called Speakers Series – some of the guests (all Pi Labs Alumni) like Tushar Agarwal (CEO of Hubble), Tom Shrive, CEO of AskPorter or Thijs van der Burg from Office App
The acceleration program ended on June 19th, when we all pitched our projects online, in front of over 250 investors, entrepreneurs and PropTech enthusiasts. It was Pi Labs’ first remote Demo Day and the event ran smoothly, with all of us having the time and space to present our solutions and answer questions.
You can see the full event here or watch our pitch below:
Being part of the cohort was one important step we took in our journey of becoming the standard SaaS solution in Office Space showcasing. We want to express our gratitude for the opportunity we were given and to congratulate the whole Pi Labs team for their sustained, amazing work!
We can and we will revolutionize the Real Estate industry only by working together. Experiences like this help in the creation and growth of ecosystems where we all innovate and pay it forward.