The Mavericks is our attempt to honor those leaders, and, now more than ever, we are excited to announce our 2023 list of Maverick Awards winners! This list highlights 50 individuals who have acted as trendsetters, innovative thinkers, and catalysts of change in their respective fields. From architects and entrepreneurs to industry leaders, technologists to investors, and those developing both off-site fabrication and on-site robotics, we have identified boundary-pushers from leading companies around the world, and across the built environment's vast ecosystem. We hope you enjoy reading about them as much as we did!
Want to learn more about the Mavericks and their organizations? Just click on their company name to find them in our company directory and see all the analysis we've provided about them. Many of the Mavericks are also members of the BuiltWorlds Network and you can also find out more about them and connect with them in our Member Directory
MAVERICKS CELEBRATIONS AT AMERICAS SUMMIT IN SEPTEMBER
At the conclusion of the 2023 Americas Summit, a special reception and dinner will be made available to celebrate the 2023 Mavericks Nominees.
*Please Note: RSVP is required. There is an additional charge of $200 to attend the Mavericks Dinner.
The Mavericks Reception | 5pm-7pm
(Open to all Summit Attendees)
The Mavericks Dinner | 7pm -9pm
Mike Pivac is a pioneer in robotics within the construction industry, currently leading as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at FBR. He has also owned and operated businesses in the retail, hospitality and transport sectors and has been key to developing FBR's technology, business plan and machine development strategy. He has forged strong relationships with investors, builders, building material suppliers and future customers pivotal to bringing the Hadrian X to commercial reality around the world.This year Pivac and his team are working to manufacture and deploy three USA-spec next generation Hadrian X Robots. This fleet will guide the industry towards a more sustainable, cost-efficient, and streamlined solution.
Enrique Villamarin Lafaurie is the Co-Founder and CEO at TUL and received his International MBA at IE Business School in Madrid. Lafaurie is revolutionizing the way that hardware stores throughout Latin America manage the sales and delivery of materials, with $212 million raised thus far.
O’Rourke made an astute observation of inefficiency within job sites and has led a streamlined process to combat wasted time, materials, and money. He is the CEO of RenoRun and has extensive experience within the built world. In 2022, RenoRun’s Series B round raised $142 million to expand its delivery model across North America.
Jeevan Kalanithi is the CEO of OpenSpace and has a background in artificial intelligence, drones and cameras, and product design with an MS degree from MIT. OpenSpace announced this year that they will be expanding their support for drone-based reality for the Insta360 Sphere, improving user experience and was awarded for its innovation at the Emaar Innovation Challenge in January of 2023.
As the Co-Founder, Group Co-CEO, CEO MENA & APAC of PlanRadar, Imam leads many hats with grace and the passion to innovate within the team. PlanRadar will serve as a key software vendor for the $786 million Bridgewater Bridge Project, which is the largest transport infrastructure project to date in Tasmania. The project commenced in 2022 and has a current estimation date of completion in 2024.
Austrian native Fuhrmann is the founder and CEO of GROPYUS, leading an innovative building system that is both affordable and sustainable. GROPYUS has funded €100 million this year to finance a collaborative project with Vonovia to expand their growth sites and push for sustainable and lasting solutions to the housing shortage.
CEO & Co-Founder
With almost a decade of experience in signal processing and artificial intelligence, Jeremy Suard serves as the Co-Founder and CEO of Exodigo. Exodigo started in 2021 and has skyrocketed to be one of the leading companies in underground exploration. They closed a $41 million seed round to continue their non-intrusive underground exploration while widening their progression within the transportation and energy sectors.
Wong’s ample experience within the construction and development industry, along with the tech industry has made him a true force within the built world. In 2021, Wong founded Cloud Apartments to make housing accessible and affordable for more people. Cloud Apartments is working to confront the housing crisis in the United States by producing modular housing for the modern renter.
Tessa Lau is an experienced entrepreneur with expertise in AI, machine learning, and robotics. She is the Founder and CEO of Dusty Robotics, which is dedicated to developing robot-powered tools to revolutionize the construction industry. In 2022, Dusty Robotics closed a $45 million Series B round that will be used to expand its product offerings, guide their growing team, and expedite their manufacturing process.
Englebrecht started out as an Eagle Scout with six years in the Army and graduated in the top 10% of all training schools, he then started Toolbelt as a way to connect people and subcontractors with builders and remodelers. ToolBelt has launched nationwide and is continuing to grow and adapt within the ever-evolving industry.
Noah Ready-Campbell, Founder and CEO of Built Robotics, has deep roots within the construction industry and has continued to foster them by pushing evolution through robotics within the industry. Built Robotics is one of the first venture-backed construction firms to raise significant capital this year followed with a second major raise and creation of additional products tailored for the solar market.
Sato is the COO and CFO at Obayashi Silicon Valley Ventures & Laboratory (SVVL) and holds an MBA from Hult International Business School. Obayashi SVVL received the JAPAN Construction International Award because of their innovation for construction technology in Silicon Valley and has served as a major leader connecting Japan and the Bay area innovative initiatives.
Carvalho’s an industry leader in leveraging technology to drive safety and is currently the Chief Safety Officer at Shawmut. Shawmut is a construction management firm that provides service for clients within the commercial, institutional, retail, and healthcare sectors. There is a rapid momentum for the company, with a projected $1.65 billion of awarded funds to grow their projects.
As Chairman and CEO of a world leading structural engineering firm known for its work on such landmark buildings as Saint Regis in Chicago and Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, Klemencic’s innovation and creativity is well-known throughout the industry. Magnusson Klemencic Associates have designed projects in 48 states and 62 countries and are leading the development of SpeedCore, a panelized alternative to reinforced concrete sheer walls in high rises.
As head of innovation and transformation at Gilbane, one of the country's largest and oldest building contractors, Benedict leads the company's innovation council and also works across the company as well as with clients and partners to ensure the company applies the lens of innovation to all of its activities. Prior to Gilbane, Benedict was SVP of Innovation and Customer Focus for the Americas at LendLease.
Beginning her career as a quality manager and owner's representative on projects in Juárez, Mexico, Palys rose through the ranks, initially focused on drive quality and performance in construction processes and outcomes and now is focused on leveraging technology to drive those processes while integrating a commitment to ESG throughout all that Graycor does.
Edward Bouygeus was appointed Chairman of Bouygues Telecommunications in February of 2021. In 2022, Bouygues had an 18% increase in sales relative to 2021, with €44.3 million in commerce. They also completed an acquisition of Equans, which is projected to generate around €17 billion in sales.
Evans leads Timberlab, a vertically integrated construction company born out of Swinerton Builders that strives to create buildings with low carbon footprint and high community impact. Timberlab has worked on some of the most high-profile mass timber projects in North America, including the massive Portland International Airport redevelopment and Ascent, the world's current record for the tallest timber tower at 25 stories.
Gill is a trailblazer within the industry known for several iconic projects around the world, along with serving as a founding partner of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG). Some of his notable designs include the Pearl River Tower in China, the Masdar Headquarters in Abu Dhabi, and the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia–which will be the world's tallest tower once completed. AS+GG’s devotion towards sustainable development have driven innovative solutions for large-scale projects that are both holistic towards its environment while remaining pragmatic.
Coen Van Oostrom
Founder & CEO
Since founding EDGE in 1997, Van Oostrom has been at the forefront of sustainable development efforts in Europe and, increasingly, abroad. EDGE is a construction pioneer, conducting their work through four fundamental principles: wellbeing, sustainability, design, and technology. In 2022, EDGE Suedkreuz Berlin was awarded as Germany’s most sustainable building by DGNB, with the highest ranked score in the country’s history.
Business Intelligence Specialist & Board Member
Seif Ragab is leading as the Business Intelligence Specialist and Board Member at one of Africa's largest builders. This Yale-educated innovator is helping drive the region's engagement with the broader built world ecosystem, through programs such as Flat6Labs, the MENA region’s leading seed, and early stage venture capital firm.
Under Hillbrand’s leadership, Hilti has been a major investor in the industry's emerging technology ecosystem, buying concrete sensors and fieldwire, expanding their partnership with canvas, and launching their own Jaibot and exoskeleton offering. In March of 2023, Hilti announced a strategic partnership with Canvas in which they will assume manufacturing functions over Canvas projects.
INFLUENCE & EDUCATION
As Head of Strategic Partnerships for Africa’s first proptech startups accelerator program, Maiga has made a large impact by guiding pre-seed startups towards success. Maiga co-founded Happ in early 2022, and has grown the database to provide co-living spaces for young people on a monthly subscription basis.
Belinda Carr is an architectural designer that has a platform centered around automation, technological advancements, and the in-and-outs of the built world. She is currently working at DPR Construction as a Prefab Research Coordinator. DPR is well decorated, with awards ranging from the #1 General Contractor in Arizona of 2023 from Ranking Arizona, to being one of America’s Best Midsize Employers by Forbes in 2023.
Director of Master in Robotics & Advanced Construction
Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
Aldo Sollazzo is a technologist specializing in robotics, manufacturing, and computational design. He directs Noumena, which uses machine learning algorithms to educate people in the industry about how they can improve their spatial efficiency, urban resilience, and production performances. Sollazzo is also the director of IaaC’s Global Summer School and its Master in Robotics and Advanced Construction, honing in on design opportunities within advanced manufacturing and robotics systems.
Director of Urban Planning & Design
As Director of Urban Planning and Design, Chartier guides her team to develop initiatives and projects that further climate action and resilient urban planning policies. In 2022, C40 leveraged over $1 billion in funding to tackle the climate emergency within the Global South. C40 is determined to halve their emissions by 2030 to be a part of the change to safeguard a greener future.
Finnigan is the Director of the Master of Science In both Project Management Program and Executive Management for Design and Construction at Northwestern University. These programs are breaking new ground within the industry with special attention towards emerging technologies and leading with a globalized lens in the ever-growing digital world.
Dr. Beckerik-Gerber serves as a Professor and the Director of Graduate Programs at the University of Southern California’s Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She is the founder of the Innovation in Integrated Informatics LAB and the Center for Intelligent Environments (CENTIENTS). Her research interests surround the built-environment, machine intelligence, and systems thinking to provide solutions to increase efficiency while also catering to the needs of the user.
With over ten years of experience in financial services management, Dina El-Shenoufy is currently a General Partner for The Africa Seed Fund and CIO at Flat6Labs. Flat6Labs is the MENA region’s top seed and early stage venture capital firm. In March of 2023, Flat6Labs launched a new $95 million venture capital fund that will be used to expand their development for early-stage tech startups throughout Africa.
General Partner & IC Member
Allen is a highly experienced venture capitalist that operates out of Silicon Valley and has a successful global track record. He is a founding General Partner and IC member at SE Ventures, a fund with $1.1 billion in assets anchored by Schneider Electric. SE Ventures’ investment focus is on climate tech, built environment, and other industrial technologies, and they have made successful investments in companies such as OLO, Proterra, Northvolt, Patch, Uplight, CMR Surgical, and Kojo..0 billion.
Stanford Graduate School of Business alumnus, Eduardo Gomez-Mendoza, has years of experience in the building materials and consumer goods industries. Since 2022, he has been working as the Head of CRH Ventures. The building materials firm, CRH, formed a $250 million venture capital unit to develop CRH Ventures and push for partnerships within construction and climate technology companies alike.
Leading as a founding member and General Partner at Builders VC, Kim backs entrepreneurs that are creating lasting change within the tech industry. Last year, Builders VC announced a $250 million fund that will be utilized within vital sectors of the global economy, such as healthcare, agriculture, real estate & construction, and industrials.
Jennifer Marcus, Director of Strategic Business Development at Home Depot, is no stranger to the built world, leading venture investments in early-stage companies. In May of 2022, Home Depot launched a $150 million fund that will be used to invest in early-stage startups in proptech, fintech, and contech.
Since 2015, Jenny Wong has been heading Tishman Speyer’s Proptech platform, overseeing 20+ early-stage tech businesses. She also leads the Proptech Venture Fund, with $115 million for investing in promising proptech startups. It was announced in November of 2022 that Tishman Speyer would be partnering with Mitsui Fudosan to establish a new logistics venture with a seed funding of $500 million to acquire industrial properties in major U.S port cities.
Seth Meisel, Senior Managing Director of Blackstone, is vital towards Blackstone’s private equity transactions sector. Meisel led a $14 billion purchase of Emerson Climate Technologies to lead an energy transition towards implementing innovative technologies to lower energy consumption and push sustainability to the forefront.
Thai Nguyen is an instrumental force within the built world, with over 20 years of experience within the industry. At Hensel Phelps, Nguyen is leading the newly launched innovation arm of Hensel Phelps, Diverge, which will be working directly with startups to foster innovation within the industry.
With over 15 years of experience in construction and financial services, Aaron Toppston has grown alongside the ever-evolving needs within the industry. As a Managing Partner of GS Futures, he is running GS Futures’ $70 million fund that is focused on early-stage real estate and contech.
Executive Chairman of Hopewell, Sanders Lee, has had his hand in the built world for over 30 years. He is a partner of GroundBreak Ventures, a firm that is focused on investing in real estate and proptech startups. GroundBreak Ventures began a partnership with DMZ in 2022 to launch a PropTech incubator program, with accepted startups receiving $25,000 in grant funding.
An MIT graduate with a background in development at Skanska, Lisa Picar was CEO of EQ Reality, before branching out as a venture capitalist. She is a Venture Partner at Sway, a firm that has invested at the intersection of tech and real estate with plays like Measurabl, CityBldr, and Camino.
Adam Zobler is the Founder/Partner of Foundamental Ventures, a firm investing in construction companies with innovative and promising futures. A current exciting project for Zobler is leading an early-stage EU AEC fund, which closed a $85M fund in Dec 2022.
Searock co-founded Advanced Construction Robots, one the the world’s first construction robot companies, and led transformative work within the industry. Within his time at Advanced Construction Robots, he launched two commercial robots that are used within heavy-civil construction. This technology has improved safety within the workplace, enhanced productivity, and increased consistency too.
Harvard and Tel Aviv University alumnus, Eitan Tsarfati, is the entrepreneur behind the startup CmyCasa (acquired by Autodest), and is currently leading as the CEO of SWAPP. SWAPP is an AI-driven planning platform that is designed for digitization within construction planning.
Founder & CEO
Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree, Dr. Sarah Buchner has been leading in the construction tech industry since 19 years-old. She is the founder and CEO of Trunk Tools, which is working towards tackling the skilled labor shortage within the construction industry.
Zosia Brown is focused on creating a future that makes it viable for both people and natural systems to thrive. She is the Vice President of Sustainability at Nexii, which is working to create and manufacture buildings and retrofit products that provide superior performance, are cost effective, consume minimal energy, and exhibit the ability to withstand the impacts of climate change. Nexii is the first construction manufacturing company in North America to achieve TRUE Gold Certification for zero waste.
Masahiro Indo is a Research Fellow for the Institute of Technology at Shimizu and has a deep passion for the built world. He has been at Shimizu since 1979 and continues to push for innovation within construction technology. Shimizu recently developed the Shimizu Smart Site, which is a production system for completing work in construction through human collaboration with autonomous robots.
Co-Founder & CTO
Chim is an experienced entrepreneur, currently serving as CTO of Nabr where he focuses on building a software platform that streamlines building delivery while enhancing the home buying experience. He possesses over eight years of executive experience at various Alphabet subsidiaries and spinouts, and founded two startups that became acquired by Google.
professor of Construction Technologies
Technical University of Denmark
At the Technical University of Denmark, Teizer serves as a professor of Construction Technologies along with being the Director of the Construction Automation and Information Technologies Laboratory within the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering. His research is centered around creating construction work environments that are both injury-free and efficient.
CEO & Director of Design
Watts is a dual-qualified Engineer and Architect that is specialized in the design of next generation buildings. He is serving as the CEO and Director of Design at Newtecnic, which is focused on creating building designs with innovative solutions.
With over 27 years of experience in the construction industry, Davide Zampini is dedicated to exploring innovative solutions within cement-based products and building solutions. He employs a Design and Industrialization-Driven innovation approach to lead a diverse team at CEMEX’s Center for Innovation and Technology.
Kajima Technical Research Institute Singapore (KaTRIS) is a global R&D hub of KAJIMA Group. Kensuke Date has been an integral part of building the foundation of KaTRIS since starting his career there over 8 years ago. He has been responsible for creating numerous networks in Singapore as well as many other countries in Southeastern Asia.