The romance between VC and CRE - a preview of BWT Real Estate | Built World Technology Alliance Asia
Already high from the launch of BWT India BWT India this February, we ascend further as we approach BWT Asia - an event I conceptualized nearly a year ago. The vision was to create Asia's world-class real estate innovation event. At the core of the program is the blossoming romance between real estate and venture capital, as featured in the 'BWT Real Estate' room. Let's take a peek through the keyhole...
BWT - or 'Built World Technology', if you can spare the time - will explore opportunities at the intersection of technology and real estate, technology and construction, and technology and the workplace. But the truth is, it isn't a PropTech event. It doesn't even have presentations from tech companies, bar the furious pitching in REIN's Innovation Contest. Why? Because I don't see our role as evangelists of technology. Instead, in his excellent progame my colleague Neall de Beer has focused on interrogating the business value of technology in real estate, on the evolution and modernisation of the industry, and on exploring the business models that PropTech disrupts or enables. That's where the real value can be found in real estate technology events.
Don't get me wrong, you will meet the best real estate technology companies in Asia. It's just that that's not the focus of the conference rooms.
To give an example, we have several sessions looking at the marriage of real estate and venture capital. Brendan Wallace, co-founder of Fifth Wall, the world's foremost real estate technology VC, will discuss how real estate and VC can work together. Faisal Butt, founder of the UK's original PropTech VC and accelerator, then discusses disruption to real estate services before we turn to a panel of six VCs with investments in PropTech and ConTech to get to grips with the drivers that underpin their investments. Dr Chet Yong will also present a case study from Ananda's 'UrbanTech'- a fine example of a corporate VC initiative.
Paiboon Wongsasutthikul of fellow Thai developer Sansiri will share another real estate perspective, having recently invested US$80 million in six leading global technology and lifestyle businesses. A fascinating example of how real estate can embrace technologies - in Sansiri's case e-commerce, automation, 3-D printing, virtual reality, big data and artificial intelligence.
Anthony Liu of Swire Ventures joins us to discuss how they process and organize masses of unstructured data, and Lendlease's Jack Fitzgerald will discuss the design and implementation of the technology plan for Paya Lebar Quarter (the S$3.2b mixed-use development in Singapore).
And this doesn't even cover 20% of the program. Check out the full version.
This is, in my humble and highly biased opinion, the most innovate and exciting real estate technology program there has ever been in Asia - something to rival the very best in the world.
If this could prove valuable to you too, then I'd be delighted to see you there.
BWT Asia takes place at The Work Project, Capital Tower, on April 3rd, with post-conference masterclasses on April 4th. It is attended by leading property companies from across South East Asia, venture capital funds, PropTech founders and the most progressive service providers.