Techstars: Build It Better
Cox Enterprises is proud to partner with Techstars Atlanta as the presenting sponsor three years running. The 10 companies chosen to participate in the 12-week startup accelerator program — a sort of boot camp for entrepreneurs — represent best-in-class company founders from six U.S. states and Israel. The program is housed at Ponce City Market in Atlanta.
When you think about the world before Uber, Google Maps or autonomous vehicles, it’s astounding how efficient transportation has become because of digital technology. By comparison, the construction industry is lagging nearly a decade behind.
Cemento — one of 10 startup companies chosen to participate in the Techstars Atlanta 2018 class — is helping bring the digital revolution to the construction industry. Cemento is a new platform that helps contractors build multi-unit buildings (think apartment buildings, multi-family complexes, hospitals, hotels or schools) more efficiently and with better quality control. The potential market for such a product is huge. The construction of multi-unit buildings makes up about a third of all new construction projects globally — $4 billion of a $12 billion market, according to Cemento’s co-founder and CEO, Dov Litmanovitz.
“While blueprints show you what to build,” Dov explained. “Cemento is like the navigation on top of the map. It guides you how to get there.”
Cemento does that by breaking down the project into many micro projects and automatically creating the right checklist for the right trade in the right unit. This allows management to ensure local regulations and company best practices are applied throughout the building process. Each field worker sees a graphical representation of his own project and only the information that's relevant to what they are working on. For example, a plumbing checklist for a two-bedroom apartment unit.
The technology also gives the developer and general contractor full visibility into the status of every project and predicts possible failures and delays," said Tomer Shohet, co-founder and chief technology officer.
Tomer and Dov served in elite technological units in the Israeli army. They were in charge of the command and control system synchornizing soldiers in the field and connecting them with the headquarters. When they founded Cemento, they took some of the same technologies to construction.
Today, Cemento has been used to help construct some of the largest buildings in New York and Tel Aviv. The company will soon embark on a new project with a major developer to construct a half-million-square-foot building with more than 500 residential units in New York City. Dov and Tomer said they came to Techstars to gain insight into how to scale up quickly and run a successful business, and according to Dov, that’s exactly what they’ve learned.
“We were very focused on the product,” said Tomer. “Here at Techstars, we got a lot of help with everything around that — messaging, branding, what to highlight on our website — all those elements that can make a very good product into a very good company.”
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