A Munich-based start-up that aims to make money by tracking every building project on Earth has been awarded a €50,000 prize from the European Space Agency (ESA), along with satellite imagery and support.
When it comes to selling property, it’s often said that the three biggest factors are "location, location, location".
But for companies seeking business from building projects, the key is often "timing, timing, timing" – in order to pitch products and services at precisely the right moment.
The company’s algorithms automatically detect, add and update thousands of new construction projects daily, and then lists them by neighbourhood–
Start-up firm Building Radar’s satellite-based search algorithm helps pinpoint the exact stage of construction projects.
"Our goal in five years is to know everything about any building project globally," said company co-founder, 25-year-old Leopold Neuerburg.Â
"This type of information is really valuable to companies that supply to building projects, because these companies don’t wait for their customers to call them and really need up-to-date information."
He said building projects often take longer than planned, but that satellite images can identify the exact phase without relying on publicly available information, which is often delayed.
"If you’re a manufacturer of office furniture like tables and chairs, you want to know when the interiors are being finished or just about finished, because that’s the time to pitch your products," he said.
The ESA award is the third prize for Building Radar: the company was accepted on a Google programme that provides about $100,000 worth of cloud-based server time and technological support, and it received a €15,000 award from ImmobilienScout24, an online property-search company.
The company’s algorithms automatically detect, add and update thousands of new construction projects daily, and then lists them by neighbourhood.Â
The company identifies the current construction phase – using terms like "Green Land," "Ground Works," "Topped-Out" and "Fitting Out" – and can recognise when projects are not proceeding according to plan. Satellite imagery helps verify information developed through various other online sources.
Building Radar launched last year, and currently has nine employees, and has so far signed up such clients as Viessmann, a heating and refrigeration company, and Vitra, an office-furniture company.
Neuerburg, who had only recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School, said the market to supply building projects is global and enormous.Â
He said the Cambridge programme especially helped him set up the structure of the company, with financial modelling and in establishing a human relations system.
He had formerly interned at Google.
Check out: http://buildingradar.com
Thanks to: Cambridge Judge Business School
Image: Satellite images can identify the exact phase without relying on publicly available information, which is often delayed (Building Radar)