FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 16, 2017
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THE FUND FOR PUBLIC HOUSING ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL NYCHA TECH PILOTS WINNERS
The Fund for Public Housing, MetaProp NYC and The Urban Tech Hub @ Grand Central Tech have collaborated to identify the City’s top real estate technology companies.
Seven innovative companies will work with NYCHA on individual pilots to demonstrate how public housing can adapt to new technologies.
The 2017 NYCHA Tech Pilots demonstrates the Authority’s creative new approach to managing public housing in the face of critical budget cuts.
NEW YORK––The Fund for Public Housing, a non-profit organization founded to facilitate public-private partnerships in support of public housing, announced the winners of the inaugural NYCHA Tech Pilots competition last week at RE | TECH DEMO, part of Real Estate Tech Week, produced and hosted by MetaProp NYC. The NYCHA Tech Pilots is an innovative real estate technology competition dedicated to helping the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) capitalize on new resources in an effort to strengthen public housing.
“The NYCHA Tech Pilots are creating meaningful partnerships to bring innovative technology to NYCHA,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “Collaboration between NYCHA, the Fund for Public Housing and the tech sector means new solutions and possibilities for our residents. Today’s tech pilot winners are moving NYCHA forward towards our NextGen NYCHA goal to provide safe, clean and connected communities.”
“The response to our pitch event demonstrated there is a real interest in connecting public housing to today’s leading technologies,” said Rasmia Kirmani-Frye, President of the Fund for Public Housing. “Through the support from our partners at the Urban Tech Hub @ Grand Central Tech and MetaProp NYC, we are looking forward to helping the residents of NYCHA thrive with our NYCHA Tech Pilots winners.”
The 2017 NYCHA Tech Pilots launched in June with a formal Pitch Event at the Urban Tech Hub @ Grand Central Tech, and with the support of MetaProp NYC, Real Estate Tech startup companies presented to NYCHA and the Fund for Public Housing leaders about how their product could potentially benefit public housing residents. The event saw a diversity of proposals, ranging from heating and cooling efficiency efforts, construction project management, health and lifestyle enhancement initiatives and more.
MetaProp NYC and the Urban Tech Hub helped find well suited companies to apply for the pilot program through their networks of New York City startups. MetaProp NYC and the Urban Tech Hub are leading tech accelerators that support startup companies by connecting them to resources and co-working spaces to scale their products. The applicants were chosen for their understanding of how technology can support public housing into the future.
“Innovation is what drives cities. We’re thrilled to support the Fund for Public Housing’s work to deliver tech-forward, community-centric benefits to New York City’s public housing residents,” said Robinson Hernandez, Executive Director of the Urban Tech Hub @ Grand Central Tech. “The Urban Tech Hub is home to 40 companies working on the future of smarter cities, and we’re proud that five of the winning startups come from within our own community. Our entrepreneurs are committed to tackling urban challenges through game-changing technology that continues to improve the city we love and call home.”
“The announcement of the NYCHA tech pilots show that New York City is leading the way in embracing innovation in the built world, and that this shift is happening not just from the private sector, but the public sector as well,” said MetaProp NYC Co-Founder Zachary Aarons. “We are proud to collaborate with The Fund for Public Housing to identify some of the City’s best startups and help the Tech Pilots come to life.”
Seven companies were selected to participate and are now coordinating with NYCHA to finalize the logistics of their pilots. Due to the impressive range of applicants, the original goal of three selected winners was expanded to the seven that impressed the selection committee beyond expectation.
“As city lovers and entrepreneurs, it's a dream to work with the Fund for Public Housing and the New York City Housing Authority because the potential scale of impact is so huge,” said Numina Co-Founder and CEO Tara Pham. “As cities change and experience new pressures, we are excited to work with NYCHA's deeply mission-driven team and apply new technologies to address challenges unique to housing, a part of cities that now more than ever needs proactive problem-solving and innovative approaches. And for us, it's a unique opportunity to test how our technology translates outside of our typical domain — from streets and transportation, to housing — and further our own mission of making cities more responsive and equitable.”
“As a NYC-based startup, Pansofik is excited and honored to have been selected to participate in the NYCHA Tech Pilot partnership program,” said Pansofik Co-Founder Tony Bowden. “We believe our technology can meet the challenge of providing environmental monitoring and control solutions that enhance the health and safety of NYCHA's tenants while reducing both the upfront and operating expenses of NYCHA's building portfolio. It’s just the kind of win-win that both NYCHA and the startup community are looking to provide to the people of New York City.”
NYCHA faces an unprecedented financial shortfall with over $17 billion in infrastructure needs, and the Fund for Public Housing is dedicated to looking outside traditional funding sources to help NYCHA address its needs as well as to support its residents. With this mission, the Fund is proud to collaborate with local partners, the Urban Tech Hub and MetaProp NYC, to take advantage of the robust startup culture in New York City. The City’s public housing residents are dealing with outdated technology, crumbling buildings and limited personal resources, which can lead to additional health and lifestyle constraints. The 2017 NYCHA Tech Pilots is a new approach to utilizing New York’s abundant resources in a creative manner. As the country’s largest residential landlord, NYCHA is a platform many companies would be eager to promote as a client, and these pilots offer a chance to modernize the Authority and improve the quality of life for residents.
Participants in the pilot receive no financial reward and NYCHA is under no guarantee to enter into a contract with the selected companies beyond the pilots. The startups will have the opportunity to demonstrate the strength of their products with the country’s largest residential landlord while benefitting the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who rely on NYCHA. The seven selected winners are now developing agreements with the Authority and will launch their pilots during a time that is most appropriate to each product, i.e. winter season for a heating related product. All pilots are expected to be completed in 2018.
Full List of Winners
BlocPower’s mission is to Build a Better World: more efficient, lower carbon, healthier, smarter, greener. Buildings account for around 40% of US energy consumption. Small and medium sized buildings overconsume energy per square foot because they do not usually have the capital and technical expertise to access high efficiency equipment for their buildings. High efficiency heating and cooling systems that lower energy costs and carbon emissions need to be designed and maintained by qualified building engineers. It is not possible to significantly lower US CO2 emissions without “retrofitting” and upgrading systems in all of America’s underserved buildings.
Carbon Lighthouse provides an actively managed energy service that reduces energy consumption and leverages renewable power to deliver a guaranteed revenue stream for commercial, industrial and educational real estate owners. Established in 2010, the company has served over 450 buildings, cutting the carbon emissions equivalent to three power plants and delivering an average financial return of 14%. Using its proprietary energy optimization technology, CLUES™, its engineers analyze new sources of data to uncover hidden inefficiencies and deliver the most profitable solution for each unique building.
Enertiv specializes in the collection, analysis and visualization of real-time building data for commercial real estate, focusing on office and multifamily portfolios. Using a combination of meters and IoT sensors, Enertiv makes operational performance fully transparent, ensuring buildings are being run at peak efficiency. The Enertiv Operations Performance System provides highly actionable insights to help clients eliminate waste, identify and resolve critical system failures, increase tenant retention and maximize asset value.
hOM is a leading technology-enabled amenity provider that partners with residential and office properties to develop community by providing on-site fitness programming and unique events for tenants.
Numina measures what, where, when, and how things move in streets and open space. This data helps city planners, mobility companies, and other stakeholders design better systems for people, bicycles, wheelchairs, strollers, and more.
Pansofik was founded by a seasoned team of technologists and business leaders on a mission to bring to life the promise of Industry 4.0 where the Internet of Things, low cost connectivity and computing, and advanced data analytics combine with AI enabled robotics and 3D printing to transform businesses across virtually every industry vertical. Consumers will benefit from new services such as the advent of mass customization and business will derive new revenue sources and higher margins through highly optimized ecosystems of suppliers, partners, distributors and real time feedback from end customers.
Radiator Labs was born in a New York winter. Founders Dr. Marshall Cox and Professor John Kymissis developed their concept while Marshall was living in overheated graduate student housing. Through conversations with Professor Kymissis, the founders came up with the idea of the Cozy™, an insulated smart radiator cover that brings relief from overheating. After a year of initial testing in Marshall’s apartment, Marshall competed in – and won – the Grand Prize at – the MIT Clean Energy Prize. With $220,000 in prize money Radiator Labs was born!
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA’s mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 326 public housing developments around the five boroughs, and another 235,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/nycha and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/NYCHA and www.twitter.com/NYCHA.
About the Fund for Public Housing
Never before has there been an organization that exists solely to address the priorities of New York City public housing communities. The Fund for Public Housing is an independent not-for-profit organization that invests in the well-being of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents and their communities. The Fund collaborates with public and private partners to reimagine and improve the way public housing works. For more information, visit www.fundforpublichousing.org or follow the Fund on Twitter, www.twitter.com/Fund4PH.