Navigating 2023: Key Highlights and Transformative Insights

Welcome to the culmination of an unprecedented year, where despite challenging macroeconomic factors, we progressed in our mission to shape the construction landscape of tomorrow through sustainability and innovation. Our commitment goes beyond the ordinary, propelling us to push boundaries and redefine what is achievable.

Toward the end of 2023, Dubai hosted the COP28 (United Nations Conference) on climate change from November 30 to December 12. The primary objective set during this event was to expedite the reduction of fossil fuels use in order to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

As Fernando Gonzalez, CEO of Cemex, said at COP28, “We are sure that the transition to net zero is fully feasible,” which is just one of the reasons why Cemex Ventures, Cemex’s open innovation unit and corporate venture capital, will continue to foster innovation in the construction industry in 2024 and beyond.

To adhere to the latest industry goals and achieve the objectives set out by Cemex’s avant-garde sustainability initiative, Future in Action, 2023 was a year with many important milestones. Creating a better built world was at the core of every action we took throughout 2023.

Recap 2023

Let’s take a lightning-speed recap!

Navigating 2023: Key Highlights and Transformative Insights

Investments and Partnerships 

Two of our core vehicles to foster innovation are strategic investments and partnerships with the most disruptive startups. These collaborations help us make tangible changes in the construction industry, and many of these startups have previously engaged in our programs demonstrating their commitment to the innovation ecosystem.  

Let’s delve into the most groundbreaking investments and partnership agreements of 2023: 


ETFuels, the green fuel production startup with a disruptive decarbonization model, aims to provide Europe with a pathway to energy security by reducing its reliance on fossil fuels. In this agreement with Cemex, ETFuels will utilize up to 450,000 metric tons of carbon emissions from Cemex, along with green hydrogen, to synthesize 300,000 tons of green methanol (e-methanol) for use in the shipping industry.  

This partnership is part of Cemex’s broader portfolio of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) solutions, encompassing permanent storage or utilization of CO2 from biogenic sources. It aligns with Cemex’s overarching objectives of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and actively promoting alternative energy sources as part of its comprehensive sustainability strategy. 


Cemex’s investment in StructShare holds significant implications for the construction supply chain.  

This partnership is designed to assist StructShare in expanding its geographical reach by capitalizing on the advanced R&D departments, global presence, and network of Cemex, and proven growth strategies and team of specialized investors from Cemex Ventures.  

In 2017, Cemex initiated the digital transformation of the building materials industry with the introduction of its advanced end-to-end multichannel platform, Cemex Go. StructShare serves as a link for Cemex Go, connecting all platforms seamlessly to facilitate a streamlined contractor procurement workflow. 

Most notably, Cemex will play a pivotal role in helping StructShare achieve its vision of evolving into a comprehensive construction materials operating system, characterized by advanced data capabilities and seamless supplier integration. 


The French startup awarded the bronze medal in Construction Startup Competition 2023, has secured investment from Cemex thanks to its innovative digital platform designed for construction industry stakeholders that serves to measure and reduce carbon emissions in industry projects.  

Vizcab’s product suite simplifies this complex process by incorporating five digital services. It enables manufacturers, designers, real estate developers, and builders to benchmark building materials and practices, establish sustainable building strategies, automate Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) within the construction plan, measure performance for impactful insights, and gain a comprehensive overview of real estate developers’ scope 3 emissions. All these functions are seamlessly integrated into one platform, fostering connectivity.  

Vizcab aims to make Building Life Cycle Analyses accessible to construction and real estate professionals, offering an opportunity for companies to strive for carbon neutrality by 2050. 

Cemex’s strategic investment in Vizcab underscores its commitment to fostering innovation through a green construction approach. Vizcab’s platform enables Cemex to digitize its catalog of sustainable products and services, ensuring that industry professionals can find the best solutions for their projects. This aligns with Cemex’s strategic priority of Customer Centricity


New energy fuels are on the horizon with our follow-on investment in HiiROC, an innovative startup specializing in zero-emissions hydrogen. HiiROC has pioneered a new process for low-cost, zero CO2 emission hydrogen production through Thermal Plasma Electrolysis (TPE). Cemex had previously invested in this promising cleantech startup in 2022 and has increased its commitment to enhance its hydrogen injection capabilities at its pivotal cement plant in Rugby, United Kingdom. The long-term vision is to extend HiiROC’s groundbreaking technology across Cemex’s EMEA operations. 

With a visionary approach, Cemex strategically invests in the Contech and Cleantech startup talent pool, cultivating a dynamic ecosystem of innovation. Through strategic alliances, the company nurtures and harnesses the potential of these startups, fostering a dynamic synergy aimed at achieving mutual sustainability and innovation goals. 


Through its acceleration program, Cemex Ventures Leaplab encourages entrepreneurs to translate their knowledge into impactful actions. Launched in November 2022 for the first time, Leaplab is designed to accelerate the development of high-potential Contech startups. Cohort startups are afforded a unique opportunity to validate their solutions through real-scale pilots within Cemex facilities, and receive guidance from qualified experts, securing the potential to eventually become a partner, client, or supplier of Cemex. 

In 2023, we observed the pilot outcomes of the 2022 cohort, launched the accelerator’s 2nd edition, and celebrated the success of 2022 participating startup Ruedata in the form of a commercial agreement. 

2022 Edition: Pilot Outcomes 

The 2022 edition connected a cohort of 5 startups with Cemex business units across 6 countries. During this period, 14-week pilots were conducted to validate their solutions, and the startups received master talks from the company’s construction and business experts.  

In 2023, we reviewed the pilot outcomes of the 2022 cohort, which included AEInnova, Ception, Cloud Cycle, Qsee, and Ruedata. Here you can find out more about the impactful results achieved in these 5 pilots. 

2023 Edition: 2nd Launch 

On November 30, 2023, the 2nd edition of the Leaplab’s acceleration program was launched following its resounding success in the inaugural edition. This time, the cohort comprises 5 disruptive startups: Introid, Mixteresting, Movener, Verusen, and Waterplan. The startups are engaging in 14-week real-scale pilots across 100 Cemex sites in 11 countries. For this edition, 80 experts from within Cemex and the greater construction industry will collaborate, playing key roles in providing knowledge and mentorship to the startups. The 2023 edition of Cemex Ventures seeks to scale technologies related to the following key themes: 

  • Industry 4.0. 
  • Electromobility. 
  • Decarbonization. 
  • Water Security. 

Stay tuned for the status of the 2023 cohort’s pilots in Q1 2024! 

Commercial Agreement: Ruedata and Cemex 

At the end of 2023, we announced that Ruedata had secured the opportunity to become a supplier for Cemex following its participation in Leaplab 2022 in the Construction Supply Chain category. 

During the 14-week pilot in Leaplab 2022, Ruedata’s innovative solution was tested across Cemex Colombia’s entire supply chain fleet. A significant validated benefit was the potential for up to a 30% reduction in tire costs. Their system presented an opportunity to streamline the tire management process, centralizing data for efficient use and enhancing traceability in Cemex’s operations.  

Ruedata’s SaaS platform further improved fleet maintenance and tire purchasing plans by utilizing data to send alerts on tire pressure, wear, and potential mechanical failures. This results in annual savings of up to US$800 per truck by optimizing tire choices, identifying retread opportunities, and refining purchasing strategies. 

Through this agreement, Ruedata becomes Cemex’s supplier, accelerating its supply chain digitalization in construction. This commercial deal marks a significant milestone in the startup’s journey, propelled by the Leaplab program. 

Construction Startup Competition 2023 

The 7th edition of the Construction Startup Competition took place this year, led by Cemex Ventures, Black & Veatch, Dysruptek by Haskell, Ferrovial, Hilti, VINCI Group’s Leonard, NOVA by Saint-Gobain, Trimble, and Zacua Ventures. 

Hundreds of startups with brilliant ideas in the construction sector applied in this edition, but only the 8 #BuildersOfTheFuture could be able to be selected as winners in the 4 major verticals:  

Following the winners announcement, the 8 startups came together at Pitch Day, the final phase of the Construction Startup Competition, it’s a special event where investors and experts in construction and innovation converge. During this stage, finalist startups seize the opportunity to present their business/technology models to a panel of judges, consisting of executive representatives from the Competition’s partners. These decision-makers play a pivotal role in determining the winners and expressing interest in investing in valuable solutions. 

This year, Pitch Day took place on November 7 at Trimble’s Dimensions User Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada (USA). After the impressive pitches in front of investors and top players in the construction industry, these were the 3 final medalists:  

Construex (Ecuador): The winner of the gold medal, Construex, has revolutionized the landscape of construction suppliers in Latin America. The company empowers small and medium-sized businesses with digital tools for online presence, client management, and overall business growth. Real estate developers benefit from streamlined supplier connections, resulting in both time and cost savings. 

Sensmore (Germany): Sensmore secured the silver medal, taking second place with its innovative solution. The company’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) software utilizes radar and artificial intelligence for heavy machinery automation in demanding conditions. Their plug-and-play solution improves safety and productivity in mining and quarries, while also reducing costs and emissions. 

Vizcab (France) was the winner of the bronze medal, claiming third position with its captivating solution. The company has crafted a digital platform designed to measure and diminish the carbon impact of construction projects. After its participation in the competition, Cemex invested in this Green Construction startup, adding it to its investment portfolio in November 2023. 

Cleantech Construction Map 2023 

As part of its commitment to sustainability and Green Construction startups, Cemex Ventures unveiled its first Cleantech Construction Map 2023. This project aligns with Cemex’s sustainability goals as outlined in the Future in Action Program. It aims to achieve this by discovering and implementing clean technology (Cleantech) in its operations, scouted by its open innovation unit, Cemex Ventures. 

This map outlines the top 5 disruptive Cleantech technologies for use in the construction industry as identified by our team of investors. 

The Cleantech Construction Map 2023 showcases 25 startups organized into the following 5 verticals: 

  • Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS). 
  • Circular Economy: Construction, Demolition, and Excavation Waste Management (CDEW). 
  • Hydrogen
  • Industrial Heat. 
  • Circular Economy: End uses of different waste streams in construction. 

Top 50 2023: List & Report

The most ambitious startup insights that kickstarted the year 2023 came in the form of the Top 50 Contech Startups list and report highlighting the 50 most promising startups in the Contech ecosystem in 2023. Our investment experts meticulously curated the 50 innovative and disruptive startups aligned with Cemex Ventures’ four market-driven opportunity areas. 

Dive into the Top 50 2023 list to recap the groundbreaking companies and stay tuned in the coming days for the reveal of the Top 50 2024 list and report! 

2024, we are expecting you! 

All the efforts made throughout this year were recognized at the Top 100 Corporate Startup Stars event, congratulating Cemex for world-class innovation and sustainability practices. Cemex received the Special Award: CVC to deploy Sustainable Construction, granted by Mind the Bridge and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). 

This award marked the culmination of a year in which Cemex was recognized not only for its open innovation practices but also for its commitment to sustainability. Moreover, it acknowledged Cemex for fostering collaborations between corporate and startup entities worldwide. 

“Fostering innovation, one of Cemex’s core values, is a fundamental aspect of our company culture and central to our commitment to our customers and communities in which we are present,” said Gonzalo Galindo, Head of Cemex Ventures. 

In light of all this, we wish you a Happy New Year filled with achievements, opportunities, and prosperity. But this is just the beginning. In 2024, we hope to take innovation to unprecedented levels as we persist in driving and #FosteringTheConstructionRevolution. Cheers to a year of success and growth! 

See you next year, and feel free to contact us

Let’s keep in touch!


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