22 April 2021

Accelerating evolution in the real estate industry: proptechs driving innovation during the coronavirus crisis

PropTech Innovation Award attracts 180 ideas from 40 countries for the real estate world of the future

“The future prospects of proptech companies are excellent, because the real estate sector is enjoying strong growth and has enormous innovation potential – which has been further boosted by the coronavirus crisis,” said Christoph Holzmann, COO of Union Investment Real Estate GmbH. Following a brief period of reorientation, the international tech community is responding accordingly, showing itself vibrant and ready for the next evolutionary step. That is reflected in the entries to the PropTech Innovation Award, which is being held this year for the fifth time by Union Investment and GERMANTECH. “With 180 submissions from 40 countries, our international startup competition has generated a response that typifies the revitalised entrepreneurial spirit and creativity being displayed by proptechs despite the coronavirus crisis,” added Christoph Holzmann.

Entries are divided into five categories, with the organisers looking for answers to the most pressing issues facing the real estate sector. Examples include how to use digital solutions to create future-proof office space, how digital solutions can support transformation of retail space and of decision-making and letting processes, and how the challenges around rising regulation and the increased connectivity required for energy-efficient building operation can be overcome.

Christoph Holzmann

“When it comes to these major pain points for the industry, cooperation with digital innovators is essential. At Union Investment, we favour a make strategy with regard to some solutions, while in other cases we adopt a buy approach. We’re therefore delighted with the many exciting submissions and the huge impact the award has had within the international startup scene.”

Christoph Holzmann, COO of Union Investment Real Estate GmbH.

With more than 830 proptechs taking part since the competition was launched in 2017, the PropTech Innovation Award is one of the world’s biggest platforms for bringing together tech companies and the real estate industry. “The pandemic is proving to be an accelerator of new business models and technologies, rather than triggering a crisis as many had expected. The opportunities for generating and leveraging synergies between startups and established companies have never been greater than they are today,” said Maria Gross, managing director at GERMANTECH.

On 23 June, the fifth PropTech Innovation Award will again provide a forum for sharing insights around digital business models for the real estate sector, with the best 15 proptechs out of the 180 entrants presenting their ideas and business concepts live. The all-day online event, which will be livestreamed from Hamburg, will be centred around five themed sessions focusing on the competition’s five categories. The 75-minute sessions will include the semi-final pitches and will each be led by a partner company. “Bosch, The Class Foundation, Cushman & Wakefield, Drees & Sommer and iMallinvest are all strong partners whose formidable expertise will enrich the summit. The increased networking we want to achieve with established and new partners and through ongoing development of the PropTech Innovation Award gives tech companies enhanced access to industry players. In turn, it gives established companies the opportunity to review how their digital transformation is going and where they can benefit from digital business models,” said Christoph Holzmann.

Online participation in the PropTech Innovation Summit on 23 June is open to all. Registration commences on 1 May 2021.

For more information visit www.proptech-innovation.de


For Union Investment Real Estate GmbH

Fabian Hellbusch

Fabian Hellbusch

Head of Real Estate Marketing, Communications

+ 49 40 34919 4160