Formwork Labs, a new venture accelerator in AEC (architecture, engineering, & construction), officially announced its Cohort picks on Friday (6/17) at BuiltWorld’s 2022 EAME Summit in Paris.
Out of over 80 startup applicants, 5 well-positioned early-stage startups were chosen to be a part of Formwork Labs innovation-fueling accelerator program.
Formwork Labs, BuiltWorlds and Brick & Mortar Ventures are happy to congratulate Simple Construction Software, Nickel, Automatic Construction, Multipliciti, and BuildPeer for being selected to participate in this growth funneling venture initiative.
Proliferating tech adoption in the AEC ecosystem has led to a tidal wave of market disrupting ideas, inspiring a slew of undercapitalized and undeveloped entrepreneurial endeavors.
The nascency of the AEC startup space led to the organic formation of Formwork Labs and its accelerator program. Formwork Labs’ creation marks the beginning of a market disrupting partnership between AEC-tech pioneers, BuiltWorlds and Brick & Mortar Ventures, each leveraging complementary industry expertise to launch this innovation-nurturing program.
Formwork Labs is helping build out the foundation for the next generation of construction-focused ventures. This curated Cohort of pre-seed startups will be provided with the proper resources (financial & business advisory support from B&M Ventures) and investor/customer exposure (BuiltWorlds ecosystem of AEC tech adaptors and investors) to propel each company’s development timeline and position each of them for rapid scalability as they enter a high-growth phase - usher these idea-stage businesses into a successful Seed/Series A funding round. The 10 week program will culminate with a “demo day” presentation at BuiltWorlds Americas Summit.
The construction industry has been slow to adapt to the technological revolution of the Roaring 20s. This digital renaissance, ignited by pandemic-driven lockdowns, has opened up extensive opportunities for AEC-inclined innovators to take charge of the digital/functional next-generation overhaul in the space, as adapting to the latest tech becomes a competitive necessity.
Formwork Lab’s careful curation of accelerator applicants has led to 5 promising building-tech startups with market disrupting potential as our economy emerges from the pandemic with an innovative tailwind priming these companies to make a splash in the construction market.
Nickel is the first Financial Operating System (FOS) in the construction technology industry combining payment methods, risk assessment, as well as workflow and quote management into one easy to use real time platform. Nickel was also the very first investment of the newly formed Stanley X-Seed Fund (Stanley Black & Decker’s strategic fund for early-stage ventures), and Formwork Labs is now joining the “smart-money” on this venture into its next stage of development.
Nickel’s integrated solution suite targets suppliers in the AEC space who want to streamline their payment and document management processes, driving the ease and convenience of financial technology (aka FinTech) into this slowly digitizing sector.
BuildPeer is a digital platform developed to enhance construction project visibility & control. This LATAM-focused enterprise cloud solution platform provides easy to use digital document management from construction plans to project-related photos and drawings. BuildPeer’s SaaS platform is built to provide real-time communication & collaboration tools for all stakeholders, expediting decision making processes while improving overall project productivity.
BuildPeer is at the forefront of construction digitalization for the LATAM region (starting with its country of origin, Mexico), providing this underserved AEC market with the necessary tools to compete on a more globalized scale. The company is already executing on its product offering with some incipient revenue after raising $175,000 in early-stage equity funding, and Formwork Labs will help position this enterprise for the next level of growth.
Cheaper and faster are two values that the construction industry has prioritized since its inception. Automatic Construction’s Inflatable Flexible Factory Formwork (IFFF) patent epitomizes these coveted construction standards without sacrificing quality. This code compliant and high-strength inflatable structure fills quickly with cement to form the framework of multi-story buildings in a fraction of the time it would take with traditional building processes.
Automatic Construction is still in the concept-stage as it awaits patent approval for its IFFF system. The funding and advisory support this budding company will receive through the Formwork Labs program will serve as a stimulant for rapid expansion into a much needed Seed/Series A funding round (capital intensive business model).
As sustainability and compliance regulations increase, it is important that builders have easy access to energy efficient materials that meet these requirements. This women-led/founded AEC startup provides a solution to these challenges offering a B2B sustainable materials marketplace. From high performing & sustainable windows, and HVAC systems to renewable energy generation, Multipliciti connects buyers and sellers in the AEC industry who share the common goal of reducing CO2 emissions, striving for net-zero carbon footprint.
Multipliciti is already driving healthy revenues after just one $150,000 pre-seed round (SAFE notes). Its partnership with Formwork Labs should provide this next-gen enterprise with the scalability to take significant market share in the booming digital construction marketplace arena.
Simple Construction Software provides an automated software solution to simplify, quicken, and broadly improve the broken “change management” practices construction projects struggle with today. The past 18 months have shown the global economy that no supply chain is immune to disruption and even the most reliable workforce is not exempt from broader economic pressures. Simple’s savvy founders have worked to quickly address and capitalize on these issues in the built world.
Founded in the UK in 2021, this ambitious SaaS startup is attempting to reinvent the way AEC companies approach the increasingly dubious changes in supply chain networks through automation and full stakeholder visibility of the construction process.
Simple’s co-founders Andrius Sutas (CEO) & Stuart Johnson (CTO) have already made a name for themselves as entrepreneurs in the UK (both having founded & exited startups prior to this venture), and are now leveraging their B2B FinTech expertise in this market disrupting venture.
Simple has raised more than $100k in convertible notes from a UK-based accelerator in March of 2022 and its addition to Formwork Labs program should prime this well-positioned construction digitizer for a healthy Seed/Series A round.
There were over 80 innovation-fueled applicants who wanted to be a part of Formwork Labs pioneering accelerator program. We saw high-potential startups from 18 different countries across 4 different continents apply to this built world technology advancing program.
Women in the construction industry are still severely underrepresented. In a recent 2022 research report, The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics cited that women make up only 10.9% of all people working in construction. With women making up 47% of the workforce, the construction industry has a lot of potential to bring in new skillsets and viewpoints into a historically homogeneous space.
This trend has seemingly already begun. 25% of all startups which applied to Formwork Labs were women led and/or women founded. BuiltWorlds is committed to increasing the female presence in the AEC industry by highlighting prominent women in construction technology to help drive this movement.
There were some insight trends that we were able to extrapolate from these emerging AEC-tech initiatives. Cloud-based project & information management led as the prevailing innovative theme among these nascent businesses, followed closely by sustainability, digital construction marketplaces (attempting to be the next Amazon of construction), and risk management software.
Construction’s lagging technology adaptation has left a number of digital holes to fill (e.g., enterprise cloud suites for AEC companies are only now being adapted). However, some construction pioneers are venturing into uncharted innovative waters utilizing nascent digital technologies like internet of things (IoT), virtual-reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) in their next generation AEC offerings.
Actionable insight from real-time data analytics (AI/IoT driven), hands on interactions with digital assets utilizing AR/VR/XR headsets (the construction metaverse for design and engineering), and 3D printing for customizable modular construction, are just a few of the groundbreaking technologies driving the future AEC space.