On Monday, 14 November, the PropTech Innovation Camp, a five-day real estate (RE) technology (PropTech) incubator, kicked off in Vilnius, looking for potential future PropTech unicorns. The event will develop and select the best PropTech ideas, while Lithuanian and foreign business, political, and investment representatives will discuss the growth opportunities for the sector in Lithuania and their potential to address a range of national and global challenges.
The PropTech Innovation Camp incubator is organized by real estate company Eastnine and financial technology and sustainable innovation center ROCKIT, where the event is being held. It will develop 14 selected real estate technology solutions.
The idea for the PropTech Incubator was born out of the need to reduce CO2 emissions from buildings and address other real estate challenges, says Kęstutis Sasnauskas, the initiator of the PropTech Innovation Camp and CEO of Eastnine.
"As one of the largest managers of office buildings in Vilnius, we feel a great responsibility to reduce the CO2 emissions of buildings. Energy efficiency certificates alone are not enough to achieve this goal. That's why we are constantly looking for innovative ideas on how to reduce energy use further. By using big data, digitization and innovation, we can make a big difference, which is crucial for Lithuania's current drive towards greater energy independence," said K. Sasnauskas at the opening ceremony.
Lina Žemaitytė Kirkman, CEO of ROCKIT, also highlighted the importance of PropTech in addressing sustainability and energy issues and stressed the need for collaboration in the development of PropTech start-ups.
"It is estimated that almost 40-50% of CO2 emissions are generated by buildings. So, the ideas developed in this incubator can have a significant impact not only in Lithuania, but also globally. To achieve this, synergy between start-ups and established real estate companies, as well as a strong, supportive ecosystem, are essential. As we already have experience in building a financial technology ecosystem, I believe that this incubator will be the first step in developing a strong RE technology community, which will give birth to a large number of potential PropTech unicorns," said L. Žemaitytė Kirkman.
The ideas to be developed in the incubator have been selected based on three strategic dimensions: efficient use and management of space, cost-effective and sustainable construction, and big data and cross-vertical integrations for the benefit of end users. During the programme, solution developers will gain useful insights from market experts and investors, develop their idea with guidance from Lithuanian and international mentors, strengthen their team and get to know the wider market ecosystem.
The incubator will also feature panel discussions where Lithuanian and foreign experts and PropTech representatives will share insights on how PropTech can help address energy and sustainability issues, data collection and analysis and its importance in the real estate sector and more sustainable use of office space.
The incubator's closing event will feature a presentation by one of PropTech's leading experts, Menno Lammers, founder of the PropTech for Good accelerator. The closing ceremony will also showcase the best ideas from the incubator.
More information about the incubator and its full programme can be found here.