Venture West Briefing Day Two


To kick off Day Two of the 2023 Venture West Conference, Dan Laboe took the stage to announce the winner of the Demo Day Competition! Though it was a tight competition with several great pitches, Eric Law, Co-Founder & CEO of Urban Machine, was voted the winner of the popular (audience) and judge’s votes!

As the first of four sessions scheduled for Day Two, Guillaume Bazouin, Head of Open Innovation and Startups for Leonard by Vinci, Aaron Anderson, Director of Innovation with Swinerton Builders, Mayra Soto, Associate at Building Ventures, Kathleen Egan, CEO of Ecomedes, and Susan Stone, CEO of Ubiquitous Energy were invited to speak on the panel “Climate Tech: The Regulatory Impact on the Built-World” moderated by BuiltWorlds’ Sean Wrenn. The group discussed the impact of various regulations, grants, and incentives that are designed to help cleantech startups. Though the funding will likely help reach future climate goals, the panelists were largely pessimistic that they’ll be met. 

Next, Tyler Sewall, Senior Director for BuiltWorlds, welcomed Clifton Harness, Co-Founder & CEO of TestFit, Mike Heller, Principal at Navitas Capital, Ajey Kaushal, Investor for JLL Spark, and Ginny Miller, Partner at 1Sharpe to discuss the possible intersection of ConTech and PropTech. Beyond a possible convergence of the two technology types, the panel touched on the potential hesitancy of needing to work with various stakeholders and knowing where the incentives lie.   

Following a quick Networking Break, Shimizu took the stage for the second of two sponsored panels of the 2023 Venture West Conference. This engaging panel was “A Look Inside Shimizu’s State-of-the-Art Robotics Lab.” As the title suggests, the audience was given a deep dive of Shimizu’s robotics efforts by Shuntaro Kano, General Manager of Shimizu. Shuntaro highlighted the various robots that Shimizu has developed and uses on their projects to boost productivity and margins. 

To cap off the 2023 Venture West Conference, Laboe was joined by Meg Baldini, VP of Corporate Development at Procore, Joe Morgan, Managing Director of Piper Sandler, and Sidharth Haksar, Head of Strategy for Autodesk, in a panel titled “A Year of M&A Activity In AEC-Tech.” Among other things, the panel discussed M&A activity and acquisitions in the built environment in 2022 and explored what might happen moving forward. 


Following the final panel discussion of the conference, BuiltWorlds’ Building Tech Forum met in-person for an open conversation on Energy Systems & HVAC. Aaron Anderson, Director of Innovation with Swinerton Builders, teed up the conversation, speaking to MEP functionality from his experience as Innovation Director at Swinerton.