The 3rd edition of the Esade Alumni & Idealista Real Estate Challenge, organised by the Real Estate Club and Esade Alumni Entrepreneurship, was held in an online session on 25 March where they presented the finalist projects and the judges chose a winner: StageInHome.
Esade Alumni & Idealista Real Estate Challenge seeks to recognise projects that feature an innovative product/service or a prototype and market feasibility plan. This year, took part 47 projects and seven finalists presented their solutions in this session attended by experts, investors, and business executives from the real estate sector and representatives of Esade BAN and Esade Alumni.
The panel of judges was made up of business leaders, entrepreneurs and academics: Miguel Montes (GEMBA ‘09), president of the Esade Alumni Business Innovation & Technologies Club, Enrique Martínez Laguna (MBA ‘93), president of the Esade Alumni Real Estate Club; Carmina Ganyet (VV ‘03), vice-president of the Esade Alumni Real Estate Club; Eduard Mendiluce (MBA ‘97), vice-president of the Esade Alumni Real Estate Club; Acisclo Pérez (Lic&MBA 08), board member of the Esade Alumni Real Estate Club; Fernando Zallo (Lic&MBA ‘83), director of Esade BAN; Patricia Valentí (MBA ‘02 / Promociona ‘17), director of Esade Alumni; and Idealista Head of data, Daniel del Pozo Salinas.
In his introductory remarks, Fernando Zallo exuded an infectious optimism, noting that “in the first three months of 2021, we have nearly equalled, in Spain, the investment figure for all of 2020”. He went on to predict a quick recovery for entrepreneurship and investment in the post-pandemic period.
Enrique Martínez Laguna thanked the club’s sponsors (Anticipa, CBRE and Colonial), the sponsors of Esade Alumni Entrepreneurship (BStartup, Grant Thornton, Roca Junyent and Cuatrecasas) and Idealista, the sponsor of the Real Estate Challenge. He observed: “This is a very important event because it brings together the interests of a sector in transformation – the real estate sector – with all the dynamism of proptech. And it will be even more important tomorrow, since we want this to mark the beginning of a stronger relationship and connection between the two.”
Seven high-growth-potential proposals for solving significant real estate challenges were presented at the online session:
1-Landex: A predictive analysis tool for selling urban land. “Our tool solves problems for both developers and sellers by using a proprietary algorithm that calculates likelihood of sale on the basis of real estate and economic data, which are fed back into the system,” commented CEO Augusto López.
2- Lodgi: Furniture as a service: property owners can rent spaces or furniture on a subscription basis. “Our product does not require any investment on the part of the property owner, and we increase the owner’s profitability by 10%,” commented co-founder Andreu Pujades.
3- Mr.Neiborhu: A digital tool for managing communities that allows neighbours to share value amongst themselves. “We combine various functionalities to streamline administration processes, assist in communication and provide a marketplace for on-demand services through an app with a subscription model,” explained Nahia Cortázar, Innovation Manager at Innomads.
4- Sitandplug: A marketplace that connects the space needs of companies, making it possible to commercialise flexible offices. “Our goal is to be a hybrid office, a network of on-demand spaces, through a management software that allows companies to have a workspace nearby,” commented co-founder Jaume Iglesias.
5-StageInHome: This company uses AI techniques to automatically decorate rooms in contemporary styles, either for the purposes of selling or renting a property or simply as inspiration for a home redecoration project. “Right now, no one else on the market is offering a similar approach that uses AI to automatically decorate a space in different styles,” explained co-founder and CEO Saúl García.
6-The Predective Company: This AI-based SaaS solution for energy efficiency allows personalisation through self-learning algorithms and predictive maintenance. “Our tool will play an important role in the fight against climate change,” declared co-founder and CEO Alonzo Romero.
7-Ukio: Curated collection of uniquely furnished flats in Europe’s most desirable cities, allowing customers to live anywhere at any time. “We offer beautifully designed, fully furnished flats available for extended stays, and are positioned to become a leader in Western Europe,” commented co-founder Stanley Fourteau.
After completing their deliberations, the judges chose StageInHome as the winner for its unique proposal. Daniel del Pozo noted that all seven projects have a promising future and solid teams, and expressed confidence in their ability to move forward with their proposals. “Each of you is at a particular point of maturity,” he commented. “I encourage you to keep fighting to achieve your growth objectives.”
The award winner will receive several lines of support, including one year of guidance from the Esade Alumni Entrepreneurship team, the chance to pitch the project to the Esade BAN selection committee, visibility and participation in Esade Alumni activities, and a cash prize of €5,000 to help with the launch or expansion of the project.