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ESG solutions dominate the PropTech Europe Awards 2020

By Iskren Marinov, EPRA Membership & PropTech Manager

Smart thermostats, indoor quality sensors, sub-metering and green energy storage were some of the highlights of this year’s European PropTech House Awards 2020. Not surprisingly, six out of the ten finalists focused their products and solutions on energy efficiency, reducing the carbon footprint of buildings and optimising HVAC systems.
The PropTech StartUp and ScaleUp Europe Awards were launched in 2019 in Brussels by the EU PropTech House. This initiative has been widely promoted by the European Commission and Finnova Foundation and supported by the President of the European Parliament, the President of the Committee of the Regions, the Vice-President of the Economic and Social Committee and several members from the European Parliament. The objective of the initiative is to give visibility and support the most promising startups and scaleups in innovation in real estate.
As part of the second edition, which ran from October 2019 until September 2020, 166 European PropTech startups and scaleups applied in five categories: Manage & Operate, Market, Plan & Build, Smart city and Invest & Finance. The jury members involved industry representatives, among which EPRA members such as Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Covivio, Merlin Properties, Icade and Globalworth.
During the first round, the jury members reviewed the written presentations of the candidates based on criteria such as social impact, sustainability, technical innovation, business model and problem-solving potential. The top 50 startups then took part in virtual live pitches, which resulted in the selection of the ten finalists. The winner was then selected during the final, which took place on September 15, 2020, both live in Paris and virtually.
This year’s award went to the Wondrwall Group, a British company that has developed an intelligent system for smart homes. It does so by embedding more than 100 sensors in the home that monitor occupancy patterns and how the home performs environmentally by applying data analysis and machine learning.
Wondrwall Group will receive a prize award of EUR 10,000 in services, coaching, support and advice to apply for funding programs such as Horizon 2020 and reach top investors.
The second place was awarded to iwell, a Dutch startup that created a smart energy storage system. The third place went to the German air quality sensors, data and analytics company – Breeze.
Dominique Moerenhout, EPRA CEO said, “It was a great experience for EPRA to be part of the jury of a successful competition that was organised in a very challenging environment. We will be looking forward to taking part in the next edition as well.”
According to Idriss Goossens, co-founder of PropTech House, “The Awards were especially useful because of the unique momentum we are in – a sanitary and economic crisis that is poised to accelerate the digital transformation in construction and real estate.” In this context, he added, “The agility and resilience of the sector depend on its ability to embrace new technologies.“
EPRA invited Wondrwall and two other finalists – Sensorberg and DeltaQ – to present their solutions to EPRA members as part of a webinar that took place on November 5, 2020.