Back by popular demand, NMHC’s 2013 OpTech concluded with the second
annual Launch Pad technology competition. A riff off ABC’s “Shark Tank”
show, this program brought together a select number of startup
technology companies to “face the music” about their products as they
get judged by a panel of tough apartment industry executives.
This year’s judges were Terry Danner, CEO of Riverstone Residential Group; Rick Graf, president and CEO of Pinnacle; Kristy Simonette, senior vice president of strategic services for Camden Property Trust; Julie Smith, president of Bozzuto Management Company; and Scott Wesson, senior vice president and CIO for UDR, Inc.
While the competition attracted proposals from 15 companies, the final four competitors were Benchmarx (http://www.mybenchmarx.com), which provides property managers with an interface to automate utility data collection to improve energy performance across a community or portfolio; ButterflyMX (http://butterflymx.com/), which developed a mobile application to facilitate real-time, two-way, audio-video calls with building visitors via a touch-screen panel; InfoTycoon (http://www.infotycoon.com), which offers multifamily firms a mobile asset lifecycle management tool to track and store critical asset data; and RentMetrics (http://www.rentmetrics.com), which aims to reduce the cost of phone comps by aggregating real-time rent info from the web.
The judges’ panel selected InfoTycoon as the Launch Pad winner while conference attendees gave the People’s Choice Award to ButterflyMX.
The judges were impressed with InfoTycoon’s mobile platform, which
promised to speed up due diligence processes by as much as 74 percent by
streamlining the collection and storage of data collected during asset
inspections. Similarly, they saw the applicability of the technology in
an operations capacity, allowing firms to standardize their property
data collection, improving visibility and accountability across a
OpTech attendees gave kudos to ButterflyMX because of the convenience and security their mobile-based intercom system offers residents, as well as the utility of such a service in smaller multifamily buildings that don’t have a door attendant or concierge. Using the app, residents are able to verify a visitor with video before letting him/her into the building and also can remotely unlock the front door (great for housekeepers and dog walkers). Moreover, unlike a traditional intercom, the system leaves a message for the resident if no one is home.
As competition winner, InfoTycoon was awarded a $5,000 check. All finalists also received a complimentary advisory board membership to NMHC.