The construction industry today is faced with a unique set of challenges in response to current economic conditions. Among increasing project complexities and a growing urgency for sustainable development, owners and contractors are confronting labor shortages, materials cost escalation and supply chain disruptions. These significant challenges are directly impacting project outcomes, as a recent survey commissioned by Procore Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:PCOR), a leading global provider of construction management software, found 75 percent of construction projects are over budget and 77 percent are behind schedule.
Recognizing the immediate need to leverage digital solutions to address labor, supply chain, design, sustainability and automation goals, three years ago Suffolk Technologies, the venture investment affiliate of Suffolk, created its BOOST program. BOOST is an intense six-week business accelerator that connects technology startups in the built world with Suffolk leaders, industry experts and academics. Today, BOOST announced the seven construction technology startups selected for its third annual cohort. The BOOST program will allow these participants to test their solutions on Suffolk jobsites so they can demonstrate and improve their products while building key relationships with industry professionals.
“The construction industry has long had a reputation for being resistant to innovation and change, but the business acumen, pedigree and passion demonstrated by entrepreneurs and startups entering the construction technology space today has been exciting to watch and bodes well for the future,” said Parker Mundt, Vice President of Platform for Suffolk Technologies. “By leveraging Suffolk’s tremendous resources and national platform and partnering with innovative startups through the BOOST program, we are identifying the forward-thinking leaders, organizations and solutions that will unlock our industry’s potential and eventually help us redefine the built world.”
The BOOST program, which was a first of its kind construction technology venture capital accelerator, was voted a Center for Real Estate Technology & Innovation 2021 Accelerator of the Year. The BOOST program continues to grow since it was first launched three years ago. BOOST received 185 applications this year, which is a 76 percent increase from the previous year, with applicants representing 32 countries. Key themes among this year’s applicant group include sustainability, design, planning, robotics, advanced data analytics and smart building, among others. From this highly competitive field, the following seven finalists were chosen to participate in the program.
- BuildClub: The late delivery of construction materials to a jobsite can negatively impact project schedules and costs. BuildClub provides contractors an easy-to-use solution allowing them to order sought-after building materials on demand for delivery in a little as one hour which ensures efficiency and productivity on projects.
- CalcTree: Critical and complex engineering calculations have historically been derived from offline, fragmented calculation tools. CalcTree brings together engineering teams, designs and calculations onto one cloud-based management platform, where calculations can be easily shared and translated to streamline engineering work.
- Carbon Title: The real estate industry is responsible for 38 percent of carbon emissions. Carbon Title provides an end-to-end software platform designed to empower the real estate industry to calculate carbon impact and reach carbon neutrality goals.
- Constrafor: Cashflow for trade partners is a major cause of default in construction, and on average trade partners wait for 83 days to be paid for work completed. Constrafor is setting new standards of productivity and cost-efficiency regarding how general contractors and subcontractors procure and cashflow their projects.
- PLOT: Jobsite coordination can be chaotic, with many trade partners at work, an ever-changing jobsite, and unstructured communication. PLOT's Delivery Calendar, Logistics Map and Structured Messenger ensure constant alignment within project teams.
- Qualis Flow (Qflow): Tracking materials on a jobsite with paper tickets is overwhelming and can lead to incorrect or missing information. Qflow is a digital platform enabling construction teams to collect and make decisions based on real-time materials and waste data at the source.
- TrustLayer: Tracking insurance certificates is critical to mitigate jobsite risk, but compliance is a tedious, uphill battle. TrustLayer offers a collaborative risk management platform helping to reduce friction between stakeholders by automating the verification of insurance, licenses and compliance documents that contractors receive from their business partners.
These seven startups were chosen through an application and interview process driven by Suffolk Technologies. Their standout applications highlighted excellent team collaboration, bold visions for the built environment and well-defined business challenges that can be solved by their cutting-edge technologies.
“A strong vision and relentless desire for innovation are critical for success and long-term productivity growth in our industry. At Suffolk, we are continuously exploring new technologies, solutions and partners that will add value for key stakeholders across the entire building lifecycle and push our industry forward,” said John Fish, chairman and CEO of Suffolk. “We are absolutely committed to redefining what it means to be a builder. Suffolk Technologies and BOOST allow us to identify and partner with some of the most innovative, disruptive startups in the built world that will help transform our industry for generations to come.”
Startups that have participated in BOOST over the past several years have benefitted greatly from the program. The BOOST I and II cohorts, which included startups such as CANVAS, Moxion Power, Flexbase, Wint, Felux, Soil Connect and Rugged Robotics, have collectively raised more than $300 million of venture funding after participating in the program. Program participants also forged robust connections with BOOST mentors, who represent a cross-section of the industry from venture capital partners to construction technology founders and executives.
“As the construction industry ramps from zero to 100 to fully embrace technology, we’ve seen a proliferation of startups rise to meet demands and tackle the built environment’s most pressing challenges,” said Sid Haksar, head of construction strategy & industry partnerships at Autodesk. “Suffolk Technologies is investing in entrepreneurial teams dedicated to developing solutions that help construction firms operate more efficiently while reducing risk. We’re a proud supporter of the company’s BOOST program and its efforts to increase innovation for construction — the fruits of which will benefit our customers and advance our industry.”
BOOST 3 programming is set to begin on October 3, 2022 (the BOOST application process is closed). The BOOST Demo Day is scheduled for November 17, 2022.
This year, BOOST is presented in partnership with Autodesk, Moog Construction, Procore, Liberty Mutual, MIT DesignX and Gunderson Dettmer.
About Suffolk Technologies
Suffolk Technologies is the venture capital investment arm of innovative construction enterprise Suffolk. Suffolk Technologies invests in early and growth-stage startups transforming the built world across real estate and development, architecture, engineering and construction, property management, and smart cities. Leveraging Suffolk’s expertise and partner networks, Suffolk Technologies partners with visionary founders to accelerate industry-wide adoption of breakthrough innovations ranging from pre-product to scaled go-to-market. For more information about Suffolk Technologies strategy and investments, visit Suffolk-Tech.com
Suffolk is a national enterprise that invests, innovates, and builds. Suffolk is an end-to-end business that provides value throughout the entire project lifecycle by leveraging its core construction management services with vertical service lines that include real estate capital investment, design, self-perform construction services, technology start-up investment (Suffolk Technologies) and innovation research/development. Suffolk is a national company with $5.0 billion in annual revenue, 2,500 employees and main offices in Boston (headquarters), New York, Miami, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Estero, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. Suffolk serves clients in every major industry sector, including healthcare, science and technology, education, gaming, transportation/aviation, and commercial. Suffolk is privately held and is led by founder, chairman and CEO John Fish. Suffolk is ranked #23 on the Engineering News Record list of “Top 400 Contractors.” For more information, visit www.suffolk.com and follow Suffolk on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram.