The National Association of Realtors and its investment arm, Second Century Ventures announced the winners of its pitch contest and hackathon.
BoxBrownie, an on-demand photo editing service for real estate, won the pitch competition, and KW Labs, the Keller Williams in-house software development arm, won the hackathon at NAR’s first ever Investment, Opportunity & Innovation Summit in San Francisco.
"The vision of Second Century Ventures is to define and deliver the future of the real estate industry by being a catalyst for new technologies, new opportunities, and new talent,” NAR CEO Bob Goldberg said in a statement.
“The pitch battle and hackathon were an exercise that broadens that vision and brings the leading minds in technology, investors and realtors to the table to share ideas and bring the future of real estate into focus,” he added.
To win the pitch competition, contestants had to execute a live demonstration of their real estate tech startups’ products in front of venture capitalists, chief technology officers, chief information officers and others in the industry. BoxBrownie pitch won on the merit of its versatility, and for winning the pitch competition, the startup received a $15,000 prize.
KW labs won the hackathon by building an app that allows agents to make a video of property on a walkthrough. While the video is being made, the phone app will identify the type of room and the features in the room, then convert that information to text and create a web page with links from auto-generated images that will appear in the video.
The teams in the hackathon started their projects on August 1 and were judged on five different criteria: use of provided APIs, creativity, functionality, practicality and user experience.
"The iOi hackathon is a cutting-edge collaborative exercise that allowed NAR to work with technology experts to examine, embrace, leverage and be part of the change that surrounds our industry,” Goldberg said.
“The hackathon is a piece of my larger strategy as CEO to bring tech firms that many consider to be disruptors under the tent as innovators, and turn them into advocates for our members.”