Company History

A brief history of how BuiltWorlds came to be from it's earliest years all the way through 2019 and beyond. Learn about our goals, how we've developed, and why you should join our growing community of industry leaders.

Then, head to our Member Network Page to find out how you can join in and start your own story with BuiltWorlds, today!


Builtworlds began with a small group of individuals focused on researching the most impactful ways emerging technology might change the way we build. The group established itself in a former gear plant turned co-working space on Chicago’s burgeoning, tech-heavy west side. People began visiting BuiltWorlds to partake in meetings, sharing ideas, and asking to get involved with a growing community.


Responding to increasing requests for ways to get involved, BuiltWorlds began offering desk space for those wanting to collaborate, making introductions to people, and created a blog, social media, and a newsletter. The centerpiece of the newsletter, “Tech Talk Tuesdays” garnered more followers, subscribers, and began to draw a small group of sponsors, providing the first source of income for the company.

To further satisfy people’s desire of gathering to share insights about the industry’s future, BuiltWorlds launched a monthly meet-up in November of 2014, bringing together members of the growing community interested in sharing their startup ideas as well as their views on how emerging technology would change the industry.

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BuiltWorlds launched BuiltWorlds One, a YouTube channel aimed at providing people who couldn’t join us at our in-person events a way to experience them, digitally through video. BuiltWorlds also hosted one of the first and largest industry hackathons, further promoting collaborative explorations of emerging technology’s ability to address industry challenges.

BuiltWorlds expanded its mission to look at advances, not just in the areas of development, design, and construction but also in the design and materiality of the buildings and infrastructure, itself. This initiative was named SmartWorlds.


BuiltWorlds hosted its inaugural Summit focused on bringing together the industry’s c-suite for an intimate survey organized around BuiltWorlds topics. This has developed into one of the industry’s leading gatherings to talk about business development in a time of rapid technological change.

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As the interest in investing in the sector began to balloon in 2016, BuiltWorlds adds a venture focus to the topics covered. Dustin Devan of BuildingConnected discussed the completion of his “A round” with BuiltWorlds, before going on to sell the company to Autodesk, just a few years later.


Through a merger with Hard Hat Hub, the formalized BuiltWorlds Member Network was launched in conjunction with the launch of a new BuiltWorlds website, built exclusively for members. With the Member Network, BuiltWorlds launched a collection of written products like top lists of leading technology companies and topic-focused research reports.

Responding to demand from the community for deeper exploration of the key topics of interest, BuiltWorlds expanded its meetups to a series of full-day conferences touching on each broader topic including buildings, infrastructure, preconstruction, project oversight, smart jobsites, machinery and equipment, venture, and future workforce.


BuiltWorlds took its events across North America and also around the world. As the conferences gained popularity, we broadened and expanded the format, bringing them to two-day events with networking, programming, and hands-on workshops.

BuiltWorlds took another step to invest in a resource-rich digital platform, featuring premium content for members to help them learn, share their knowledge, and connect with others within the community.

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BuiltWorlds launched our first Global Summit in Paris, France, bringing in perspectives from those around the world, both from the technology development and industry sides. We also added a more rigorous benchmarking and surveying methodology, backing our more in-depth research reports with the unique insight gained only from our key audience.

BuiltWorlds launched a corporate venture forum as a place for our corporate members investing in the sector to meet, compare notes on their activities, and collaborate with each other as it relates to built industry technology.


With weekly calls and briefings, job board and posting through BuiltWorlds Careers, general and group-specific discussion forums, a deal board for investors and start ups to find each other, a robust digital conference program, a re-introduced company directory, a robust contributor program and more, BuiltWorlds re-affirmed its social and digital roots and pushed a powerful digital-first, networking and learning platform made specifically for its industry, at a time when the industry is more in need of digital tools to stay connected than ever.