MOTIVE Bets Big on Texas as Epicenter of Real Estate Technology - 150 Gather for Launch of Dallas Real Estate Tech Accelerator Fund
Summary: The launch of the only real estate-focused accelerator in the Southwest kicked-off today with with an impressive roster of backers, and its inaugural class scheduled for fall of 2015. Selected real estate technology startups will receive capital, mentorship from some of the leading experts at the intersection of real estate and technology, and be channeled through a rigorous program focused on customer and product development.
MOTIVE to Accelerate Disruption in Real Estate Sector
“Dallas is the best place in the world to innovate at the intersection of real estate and technology,” said John Backes, who announced the MOTIVE real estate accelerator fund.
“Two of the top five real estate CRMs are based in Dallas. RealPage is here. CBRE, the number one Real Estate company in the world, has their Innovation Lab here. The JLL technology group has a major presence here. Trammell Crow is here.
“Dozens of startups are here, and we have an incredibly accessible investor community. Dallas real estate tech is one of the great untold stories in the country. We are going to change that.”
Introducing the MOTIVE Accelerator Fund
The project will be launched in late-August, and will be the only real estate startup accelerator in the Southwest. The program is accepting applications at thisismotive.com for its first class to launch this fall.
MOTIVE founder John Backes defines the effort this way: “MOTIVE is an entrepreneur-first accelerator with a focus on customer development for early stage tech companies in the real estate sector. Texas is the biggest technology exporter in the country, and we will be able to leverage extensive real estate, technology, and international industry networks.”
A Natural Development
Twelve months ago, John Backes and Sean Caho started RealTech Dallas, an event that brings together the startup community with the real estate industry.
“We witnessed the power of events for early stage companies firsthand through events like Dallas New Tech and Startup Grind. But our hypothesis was that real estate startups really needed relationships with industry connectors and veterans, so we launched RealTech,” said Mr. Caho, who has a venture capital, real estate, design, and strategy background.
RealTech has since grown into an international event series in four cities, including Dallas, Toronto, NYC, and Los Angeles. Over two dozen Dallas startups, including Glass Media, RentEval, and SkyRise, have now gone through the RealTech pitch event.
“Developing the RealTech network gave us an incredible window into the real estate startup space,” said Mr. Backes. “We had initially planned to launch in Austin, but our network there told us, “No, launch in Dallas, all of our customers are there, we’ll come to you!”
Partnerships and Mentors
MOTIVE is looking forward to announcing a number of partnerships in the coming weeks, including a global venture capital firm and some of the prominent players in Dallas’s vibrant entrepreneurial community.
“We look forward to being a key feature in Dallas’s startup landscape for years to come,” said Mr. Backes, “and cultivating the regional real-estate-technology story.”
The MOTIVE mentor network includes experts from industry leaders like Trammell Crow, CBRE, Hillwood, CompStak, ViewTheSpace, DisruptCRE, ManagedByQ, and REthink CRM. The organization’s website includes the opportunity to apply early.
“Mentorship is a crucial part of any accelerator effort,” said Mr. Caho. “We’re thrilled to see this outpouring of support from the community and people in the industry for these innovators.”
The Dallas Real Estate Technology Festival, November 18-19, 2015
MOTIVE is also partnering with DisruptCRE, the country’s top real estate startup conference, to bring the entire real estate tech conversation to Dallas in November. At the Dallas Real Estate Technology Festival, MOTIVE startups will be able to pitch in front of real estate technology professionals, decision makers, entrepreneurs, and investors from all over the country during a two-day event November 18-19.
The MOTIVE Demo Day will be on November 18, followed by a day of DisruptCRE programming on November 19.
“Look for MOTIVE to catalyze innovation in technology for the real estate industry – not just in Dallas, but industry-wide. Its launch will establish a collaborative connection between established firms and new ideas that are ready for prime time,” said Mr. Caho.
The MOTIVE Program
MOTIVE plans to fund up to 10 selected companies each year, investing approximately $40K in each venture. Applications are open now, on a rolling basis, with increasingly active interest from both startups and industry veterans.
“We really are interested in the best teams, reflecting what is important to us: intensive focus on the lean entrepreneurial process, a strong and cohesive team, a give-before-you-get mentality, and strong desire to change the built environment,” said Mr. Backes.
Applicants are asked to supply detailed information on their organization’s founders, who their target customers are, and what problem their products will solve. They must also provide details on how they are organized and what existing funds are in place.
Acceptance into an accelerator is a huge boost for entrepreneurs, and these organizations have been growing steadily in the last 5 years. Forbes found more than 200 accelerators when ranking the best for 2015. Research mentioned in the article found that accelerators can increase early stage capital in a region by 13 times, and serve to attract more entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors.
Follow @thisismotive on Twitter, and watch the announcement live on Periscope.tv.