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17 October 2019

How PropTech Companies Are Made

PropTech (Property Technology) startups are looking to use technology to solve challenges in the real estate, property, and building industry. A traditional industry like this that overlooks the potential improvements through the use of technology is prime for disruption.

Investors are now actively looking for the next big thing in PropTech, and with companies like:

  • Fast Brick Robot that has a robot lay bricks for you.
  • SpacetoCo that allows people to book space by the hour.
  • Vendorable that will enable you to tender our real-estate contracts.
  • Idle that simplifies construction equipment rentals.
  • Cordially that allows you to inspect properties remotely.
  • Absolute VR that will allow you to view display homes remotely.

Since 2013, PropTech companies in Oceania & Asia have received upwards of US$8 billion in investments.

Today I will walk through three main steps to Here are three steps to how PropTech companies are being made in Australia:

PropTech Fun Facts

1. Replacing The Old With The New

Ask any startup founder about how they formed their company and where their idea originated. It typically starts with a story of frustration around old processes and procedures, or the painful inability to access certain services or goods due to a monopoly.

For Australians looking to build a fence or a pool, they will go through the traditional design, planning, engineering, council planning approval, and building processes that our grandparents went through.

When I need a ride to the city, I can tap a few buttons, and my uber is waiting for me in minutes.

When I want to rent a holiday home, I can search, review, and book on Airbnb within minutes.

But then, when I need to build anything, I have to go through an age-old process. This process includes paper forms, driving to the council, and other third-party businesses, and arguably takes months before I can even start building.

Innovation is born out of these frustrations, and the public’s demand easier and more convenient technological solutions.

PropTech Startups Australia

2. Turning PropTech Ideas Into Reality

Ideas are only as good as the people who implement them. Myspace was before Facebook, Yahoo was before Google and the Sony Walkman was before Apple’s iPod. The ideas similar, but the latter was implemented better.

Sometimes an idea is an invention that is a world’s first. Sometimes its an innovation over a pre-existing product. But it always comes down to the implementation and the team who turns these ideas into reality.

Australia is embracing the startup scene and the tech-savvy youths that are disrupting industries and creating million-dollar companies overnight. With programs like muru-D and Spacecubed’s Plus Eight, validating, implementing, and commercialising on new ideas have never been easier.

Taking an idea and a team through one of these programs will create a proof of concept to show the world. Completion of one of these programs is the first real step in the long journey towards PropTech startups disrupting the Property industry.

These programs also allow you to enter an alumni full of experienced members that openly assist and guide you throughout your journey. All the pain points you have with starting a PropTech company has been felt before and you can find out how people have overcome these in the past.

Startup Scene in Australia

3. Securing Your Ideas With Patents

Don’t jump the gun when it comes to patents. Every company, idea and solution is different, and timing is always a factor when deciding when to go ahead with patents.

When you are ready and confident that its time to go forward, be as broad as possible to cover as much area as possible. Being careful not to reveal all the “secret sauce” is half the battle.

There is a delicate balance between what you will be giving away VS how broad an area you are after. The reason being, once a patent is published, it becomes public information. Nothing is stopping the competition from using this information to: Re-engineer the same solutions that don’t infringe on the patents Copying the solutions outright and hoping you don’t catch on, have the funds to pursue or being in a different market that your patent doesn’t cover. Paranoia is common in the startup industry as every idea could potentially be a billion-dollar business someday. It may be worthwhile seeing if the market is interested in the concept before investing in patenting these ideas.

Preparing a business plan, mapping out a strategy, figuring out the market size and potential, and the value proposition. These are the first steps to validating your solution and are always recommended before jumping into patents.

The patents costs range per region, so you will have to invest in covering every international region that you want to protect. In saying this, the PCT patent covers most internal regions and is often the first choice for startups seeking initial IP protection. The PCT patent only lasts 18 months; then you have the opportunity to expand region by region for an additional cost.

Patent professionals and subject matter experts can also help validate the uniqueness of the solution before requesting a patent. Validation can also be done independently through rigorous research through the Australian Government Patent Database and google searching to find similarities.

Bringing it back to step 2, participating in one of the startup accelerator programs will give you access to knowledge and experience to validate your PropTech ideas. This is invaluable as a startup isn’t all about unique ideas, but the learning experience that could lead you to success.

PropTech Startups Australia