World Cup of ConTech: “Expect Amazing”

The promising entrepreneurs and startups who applied to this year’s Construction Startup Competition 2022 are nothing short of amazing. We count on the support of our partners Black & Veatch, Dysruptek by Haskell, Ferrovial, GS Futures, Hilti, VINCI Group’s Leonard, NOVA by Saint Gobain, Procore, and Zacua Ventures to welcome this latest cohort of game changers. Like the slogan of this year’s 2022 FIFA World Cup™, expect amazing, because this year startups from around the world came ready to compete and win.  

Just as the World Cup brings together the best football players from around the world, CEMEX Ventures’ Construction Startup Competition brings the best solutions related to sustainability, efficiency, timeliness, and innovation in the construction industry all together in one place. We have been excitedly reviewing hundreds of applications and look forward to sharing the final eight selected startups with you soon. However, before we announce the winners, here are the interesting ConTech trends this year’s Competition revealed.  

Let’s see where the ConTech ecosystem is headed and where innovation is going by taking a closer look at the groups and players in this year’s World Cup of ConTech. Game on! 

World Cup of ConTech: “Expect Amazing”

Enhanced productivity leads the field 

Practice makes perfect and this year, solutions related to enhancing productivity in the construction value chain saw the most applications compared to the Competition’s other four focus areas:  

  • 37% – Enhanced Productivity: Solutions that seek to increase efficiency and productivity to improve stakeholders’ collaboration, communication, and coordination throughout a connected and monitored construction value chain.  
  • 23% – Greener Construction: Startups that play a key role in the transition to a Low-Carbon Economy by decarbonizing the built environment, mitigating its carbon footprint, and promoting circular economy by giving a new life to used and demolished materials. These solutions adopt renewable energy resources and make an efficient use of natural ones for more sustainable cities and urban areas in the future. 
  • 21% – Construction’s Future is Now: The solutions aim to build a better planet with robotics and machine assisted applications, advanced building materials and industrialized construction methodologies to boost productivity, enforce radical efficiency and make the future of construction a reality. 
  • 19% – Construction Supply Chain: Involves helping key industry actors to get the right resources to the right place at the right time for a more efficient construction ecosystem. These startups drive the construction industry by optimizing resource sourcing, material and fleet tracking and inventory management. 

Although all the applications received seek to transform the way we do construction today, there was a considerable focus on how to improve efficiency within the industry.  

Of course, this should come as no surprise considering the sector’s reputation as being the most fragmented and slowest to digitize. With all industries moving towards digital, construction is no exception, which explains the number of startups and entrepreneurs with ideas that seek to improve this loud pain point.  

Below are just a few facts and figures that explain the jump in applications in this category from past Competition editions. Did you know? 

The startups of today are bringing the solutions needed to improve inefficiences related to time, budgeting, and resource management. The most popular solutions related to productivity this year included subtopics such as planning & scheduling, project design & budgeting, asset management & maintenance, and project quality (materials, environment, etc.), project specification: materials, design & methods, document management, H&S compliance, investing & finance, and project bidding. 

It’s time for a new starting lineup and this year’s round of applicants look like a promising future generation of top industry players!  

Second runner up: Greener construction 

The second most popular category of solutions was related to greener construction, that is, any technology and/or process that makes the industry more sustainable. Across the field it’s clear that action is required by all actors in the industry in order to reduce the harmful impact that our activities have on the environment. With legally binding international treaties, government regulations and social norms influencing the climate action targets of prominent corporations and carbon-heavy emitters, green construction is a hot topic that needs to be addressed now, if not yesterday. Just because it placed second in this year’s Competition doesn’t mean you should take solutions related to green construction lightly.  

Alfredo Carrato, Venture Capital Advisor at CEMEX Ventures adds, “We are undeniably facing the challenge of our time, so innovation combined with collaboration across public and private stakeholders is critical to ensure that it is still feasible to close the loop on carbon and meet net zero targets.” 

Whis is why at CEMEX Ventures we are proud to count on a selection of startups in our portfolio who are revolutionizing the industry with their sustainable approaches to construction. 

This year, the most common subtopics related to sustainability in the construction industry were:  

  • Circular economy  
  • Decarbonization: Carbon Capture, Utilization & Storage 
  • New energy sources & solutions  
  • CDE waste management & recycling 
  • Water conservation 
  • CDE waste management & recycling 

Top scorers: Europe and North America 

This year’s top scorers hailed from Europe and North America, making up 32% and 28% of applications, respectively. The most applications were received from the United States, which continues to dominate the competition seeing as it’s one of the biggest startup ecosystems in the world, followed by the UK, as has been the pattern in previous Competition editions. Trailing behind these leaders comes Germany, France and Spain – global players in ConTech and world football.  

Compared to last year, we saw an increase in the number of submissions from Latin America and Asia-Pacific, which placed third and fourth with 16% and 14% of submissions. Within Latin America, there was a notable amount of activity from Mexico, Chile, and Colombia – which could signify that these are emerging startup markets to watch out for! The Middle East stayed at the same level as last year, representing 6% of applications. Perhaps what is more worth noting, however, was the representation from countries in Africa. This year we received 5% of applications from Africa, notably from Nigeria.  

What makes this Competition even more exciting is the diversity of participating entrepreneurs and startups that make it a truly international affair, because although we are different stakeholders and work for different enterprises, we are one industry.  

Here you can see the breakdown of applications by geographical region:  

  • Europe – 32% 
  • North America – 28%  
  • Latin America – 16% 
  • APAC – 14% 
  • Middle East – 6%  
  • Africa – 5%  

Up next: Winners announcement & Pitch Day!  

Mark your calendars! Stay tuned as we announce the winners of the Construction Startup Competition 2022 on Wednesday, October 26 

And then to the final we go, where we will gather to watch the winning eight startups battle it out during Pitch Day on November 9. This year, Pitch Day will take place at Procore’s GroundBreak conference in New Orleans, United States, where each of the winners will pitch their solutions to a panel of 10 members from CEMEX Ventures and the other nine Competition partners. Following the pitches, four gold medalists will be selected from each of the competition’s four opportunity areas.  

In addition to the benefits the winners receive from the Construction Startup Competition, they are also awarded the unique opportunity to develop entrepreneur to entrepreneur relations with key industry leading corporations, exhibitors, and startups, and take advantage of the extensive exposure from the full-access three-day industry leading conference.    

So why should you think about competing in next year’s Construction Startup Competition? In the U.S. alone, the construction industry represents 6.3% of the country’s GDP, meaning the market opportunity is enormous and growing. In fact, last year an all-time high of $1.57 trillion was spent, and this upward trend is expected to continue despite the murky economic waters we’re currently treading. 

Get in the game and take it to another level with CEMEX Ventures’ Construction Startup Competition, the leading and most promising challenge for startups in the industry. The competition calls for solutions that improve sustainability, efficiency, time, and innovation throughout the entire construction value chain. Remember, to be a champion, you need to compete with the best. 

Keep in touch with us and don’t miss any important announcements by following us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or through our biweekly ConTech Tacos newsletter.

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