At the MIPIM Cannes event that happened last week an announcement was made by a familiar face. Even if you don’t know Wouter Truffino by name, if you have been to a PropTech event you probably know his attire. He is easily recognizable for his orange suspenders, which compliment his upbeat personality and help him establish a pretty unique personal brand.
Wouter start Holland ConTech & PropTech Association about four years ago and has been one of the main figures in that particularly advanced region. Now he has created a global platform that he thinks can help advance the PropTech industry by sharing ideas online.
He has created Global PropTech online, a digital equivalent of a PropTech convention (of which there seem to be an increasing number of). He also has Global PropTech Leaders and
Global PropTech Channel, an executive network and a streaming video service respectively. He thinks that spreading ideas on-line will be able to reach people that might not normally attend events. “The last three years I spent a lot of time attending all the big PropTech Real Estate events in the world,” he told me. “This was really inspiring, and I will continue doing this. Face-to-face contact is really important and will always be. However, many people are not able to go to all these events (for all kind of reasons).
The goal of Global PropTech Online is bringing people together that would otherwise never come together. If we want to change real estate (we are the industry that causes 40% of the CO2 emissions), we need to empower, inspire and unleash a lot of construction and real estate professionals. The only way to do this is online.”
When I asked him about his goals he told me, “With Global PropTech we have two main goals. Number one is to inspire one-million construction and real estate professionals worldwide to start working with PropTech. Number two is to connect corporate construction and real estate leaders from all over the world so that they can learn from each other and share knowledge to create a better built environment. We will measure success by working very closely together with our partners and advisory board in order to collect feedback.”
I wanted to understand how the organization originated (and therefore how it funds itself). Wouter explained “We have a highly exclusive ecosystem for 44 companies (4 founding partners, 20 Platinum partners and 20 Gold partners). Besides that, we have a free model for the live Global PropTech Online events and a pay-for-content model with our Global PropTech Channel. This channel will consist of videos taken during our events and partner events. We ask €1 per month for the Netflix-like channel. Our intention is not make a lot of money from this new platform, but really to inspire people from all over the world about PropTech.” He recently announced his first corporate member, Prologis, and his first PropTech affiliate, Disruptive Technologies.
I completely agree with Wouter. Events are great but they are not the only (or even the best) way to spread ideas. Making this type of information available online is the best way to share ideas and connect the industry. With his network and the ubiquity of the internet he might attain his goal of reaching one-million people sooner than he thinks.