ConTech Event #1: How leading builders are leveraging technology to succeed in a COVID-19 world


Image source: Joshy

Key points from the event:

  1. What has changed in construction tech pre- and post-Covid,
  2. How technology will impact the building industry in 2021,
  3. Incorporating a three angle way for introducing technology: boring, smart, and connected,
  4. Technology adoption as a cost saving exercise improving ROI for builders,
  5. The emerging talent in construction expect technology, they are ‘digital natives’ and have no time for slow, boring processes, and
  6. We are only at the beginning of the IT revolution, the future of construction tech will join more of the supply chain together in a centralised way.

Leigh Jasper, Co-Founder and Former CEO Aconex 

Leigh co-founded Aconex in 2000, and within five years the project management software had launched into the UK and Dubai. Not long after, it reached the US, and in 2018 was acquired by Oracle. Having now exited Aconex, Leigh says Australia has a huge opportunity for construction tech in 2021, with plenty of strong early adopters on site.

Australia is a world leader in construction tech, and Leigh and Rob (Aconex co-founder) are looking for 3 things in their next investments:

  1. Boring: automating boring, mindless tasks (get machines to do what they do best)
  2. Smart: using computers to look for patterns and connect data
  3. Connected: link up the supply chain of the different businesses in construction into a common platform, creating a ‘network effect’

Ben Leach, CEO of HammerTech

HammerTech is a cloud-based operational efficiency platform in the safety space, that seeks to automate mundane tasks and educate the market. The company grew when Kane took a punt on HammerTech early, and gave them exposure to sub-contractors. 

Ben says the way the construction industry has responded to Covid is far ahead of other industries. He predicts ConTech in Australia as a result will grow thanks to changes to safety, with automated checklists on site and mandatory requirements around QR codes.

Michael Ashcroft, Co-Founder of EsitmateOne

EstimateOne is a tender workflow tech for construction companies, which backs into a marketplace of sub-contractors to quote for work. Michael says the platform allows builders and subcontractors to position themselves for success by getting over this ‘myopic obsession with price’. They have the ability to shift focus to performance over time, safety, and going back to basics.

EstimateOne allows companies to cultivate good builder-subcontractor relationships, empowering long term relationship success.

Andrew Deveson, Director of Kapitol Group

Kapitol Group have been early adopters of construction tech, and are a success story of the tech adoption age. Founded just 3 years ago, Kapitol will turn over $200m this year, and have set up a BIM consultancy business to complement the construction arm. 

Andrew says Kapitol looks for solutions that are smart and attract top talent. The company values automating the boring work, focusing on the user experience and hiring great people to focus on great work.

Kapitol are big believers in Contech because it saves them money: speed to market and reducing time spent on resourcing delivers return on investment in ConTech.

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