- Mallorie Brodie, co-developer of Closeout, an app intended to streamline the project closeout process, also known as a "punch list," has been selected to present at Google Demo Day: Women’s Edition in San Francisco on Wednesday, the Daily Commercial News reported. Brodie is one of 11 women chosen from a pool of 450 applicants to make a four-minute pitch, streamed live, to investors and tech leaders.
- Closeout, launched in 2014 through Brodie’s and partner Lauren Hasegawa’s Canadian tech startup Bridgit, enables supervisors or project managers to record construction project deficiencies found at the end of a project and communicate them to the responsible contractors in real time. Users are able to include smartphone photos with their instructions to subs as well.
- Brodie and Hasegawa said they interviewed 500 people in the construction industry and made construction site visits as part of their research for the app.
Research firm CB Insights said venture capitalists have invested $101 million in construction-tech startups this year, the biggest deal thus far being a $76 million investment in used heavy-equipment marketplace IronPlanet. Canadian mentorship program The Next 36 provided Bridgit with startup capital, DCN reported.
Bridgit has grown to 10 employees since its launch, and Brodie and Hasegawa continue to tweak Closeout’s features. At the same time, the duo continue to fight the stereotypes of women, or lack thereof, in both the tech and construction industries.
"There are a lot of females that would consider being entrepreneurs but they don't because they see that it is extra male dominated in the tech world," Brodie told DCN.
As far as the construction angle of their business, Brodie added, "On the macro level, people ask, what are these two doing in this business? But if you were to remove those factors from the equation, look at our backgrounds: both of us have family in construction, Lauren is in civil engineering, I had a tech startup while going through university, so we are both from entrepreneurial families. This makes perfect sense."
The construction industry is in the midst of a well-publicized shortage of skilled labor since building has finally picked up following the recession. Companies struggle to find qualified workers, and women are stepping up to fill in the gaps and lead future generations of women into the trades. In particular, general contractors have a hard time finding qualified woman-owned subcontractors to help the minority hiring goals required on most federally funded projects.