Polaar Energy And Airboxlab Selected For The PropTech Startup & Scale-Up Europe Awards

The Luxembourg prop-tech scene is starting to make a name for itself at the European level. A few months after the launch of the LuxPropTech association, the first repercussions for the startup ecosystem are being felt. Two startups have been pre-selected for the semi-finals of the PropTech Startup & Scale-Up Europe Awards 2020. Let’s wish for them to be among the 10 finalists and most promising technologies that will be presented at the Propel by MIPIM conference. Laurent Rouach, president of LuxPropTech tells us a bit more.
by: Charles-Louis Machuron
photo: Dries De Schepper on Unsplash
The first phase of the EPAs has just been completed, what are the results?

Despite the health crisis, the Jury was able to do its job. 167 prop-techs from 28 states submitted their applications.

50 applications were selected on the basis of innovation, sustainability and societal contribution.

These 50 presentations came from 17 countries, including 2 Luxembourgish startups: Polaar Energy and Airboxlab (Foobot).

At the European level, all the companies working in the dematerialization register have seen their positions strengthened.

What was the role of the LuxPropTech association in this phase?

Proptech house, the European alliance of national associations, is the mastermind of this competition, with the support of the European Commission. It relies on each national association for the launch.

Beyond making this competition as widely known as possible thanks to relays like you (and I thank you for that), LuxPropTech chaired and piloted the organization of the Grand Ducal jury, chosen among our Corporate members. In this case, Deloitte, Inowai, LBH Immo, Panhard-Luxembourg agreed to play the game, as it involved analysing 167 startup files.

The Jury was composed of a total of 70 people from 17 states, each from the real estate industry.

What are the next deadlines?

The 50 elected representatives will pitch in Brussels on June 30 with the same jury. Covid will decide if it’s done remotely.

As you certainly know, the quality of a startup’s management is key to the success of its project and being able to appreciate these qualities, “cooking them up”, allows us to refine our opinion.

The 10 most promising ones will emerge from this exercise. They will be invited for the finals at MIPIM PropTech (renamed Propel by MIPIM) in Paris on September 15.

This may be an opportunity to attract some of them to Luxembourg.

“From the interviews I’ve had with our startup members, this containment was good for developers.”

How is the PropTech sector doing these days? Have you seen any new innovations or technologies emerge?

At the European level, all the companies working in the dematerialization register have seen their positions strengthened. I am thinking in particular of the customer journey in the acquisition/sale of a good: electronic signature of contracts, virtual tours, remote signing of authentic acts, or the platforms for assistance to the syndic: remote copro general assembly, etc …

Neighbouring legislators quickly reacted by breaking the taboo of mandatory attendance, via tech. They will probably perpetuate it one way or another.

I think, however, that many proptechs have put themselves in a “safe position”, reducing their burn rate as much as possible. Even if video tools have been widely democratized, a customer pitch is better done face to face.

How will the sector respond post-confinement?

From the interviews I’ve had with our startup members, this containment was good for developers. They are working remotely and have not been affected by the health crisis at all.

However, the customer relationships have suffered: Presentations postponed for Polaar Energy, or launches of pilots (including one in the UK) cancelled due to empty buildings for Foobot). The post-confinement period will therefore allow us to make up for this lost time and it is in these starting blocks that some are waiting for this period.

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