On a sunny day in Berlin, Germany, proptech enthusiasts gathered from all around the world for the PropTech Innovation Award Ceremony to celebrate the startups paving the way in the field of property technology. The Award was initiated by Union Investment and GTEC as a way to find and recognize groundbreaking proptech startups from all around the world – over 200 applications came in from 46 countries, from Argentina to the United Arab Emirates. All these applications were carefully evaluated and then whittled down to a shortlist of 8 high-potential startups.

The event was kicked off by Christoph Räthke, known throughout Berlin as one of the best moderators in town – but we know him as our Director of Education, as well. Our Managing Director, Benjamin Rohé, followed with warm words about the partnership between GTEC and Union Investment and thanked the distinguished jury members:

  • Ron Hillmann (MD, BVP Berlin Venture Partners)
  • Hendrik Stange (Senior Data Scientist, Fraunhofer IIAIS)
  • Prof. Wolfgang Schäfers (Professor of Real Estate Management, IREBS)
  • Christian Schulz-Wulkow (MD, Ernst & Young Real Estate)
  • Jörn Stobbe (COO and MD at Union Investment Real Estate)
  • Benjamin Rohé (MD, GTEC)
  • Jan Thomas (CEO of NKF and Editor of startup magazine Berlin Valley)

Up next was the keynote speaker, Ragnar Lifthrasir, who is the founder of the International Blockchain Real Estate Association. He talked about the biggest problems in real estate and how technology can help solve these problems – exactly what the startups are hoping to do!

And finally, the pitches started from the first 4 startups:

After the networking break, the panel discussion took place, with topics on good vs bad proptech startups and what risks startups should and should not take. It was fascinating to hear the answers given from the corporate perspective – great info for startups looking to grow in the real estate market! To see some short insights on what was discussed, visit our Twitter page, or use the hashtag #PropTechAward (and check out the Ceremony as it happened!)

After the panel, the audience was ready to hear the last four pitches, given by:

 

And finally, after careful deliberation by the jury members and the vote of the audience through an online voting tool, the winners were chosen!

Second Prize was awarded to Architrave:

The jury and the audience seemed to share the same impressions and judging criteria: the Community Award *and* First Prize went to Green City Solutions!

Here’s what Liang Wu, CIO of Green City Solutions, had to say about his experience at the Ceremony:

 

Huge congratulations to all of the pitching startups – every startup offers an important solution for the property market and we were happy to have so many talented founders in one room! In case you missed the event, don’t worry – Dr. Reinhard Kutscher, CEO of Union Investment Real Estate GmbH, announced at the end of the Ceremony that there will be another PropTech Award in 2018! In the meantime, check out some more photos of the Ceremony (all taken by Christine Schramm). We’ll see you in 2018!