The construction industry is having to make room for a new player in the space, construction technology start-ups. These start-ups are embracing the growing need for technology in the industry and are a driving force in the trends we are seeing this year and into next year.
Investors Have Taken Notice
The large surge of these start-ups is due to the amount of money being poured into them by investors. In the first half of 2018, $1.05 billion was invested in construction technology start-ups. This money is allowing start-ups to research, develop, and deploy technologies that influence the industry by refining existing technology, introducing new technology, improving automation, and/or lowering construction costs.
Investors can see that there is a wealth of opportunity in the construction industry, especially when it comes to innovating processes/products to fit the demands of clients. These investor-backed start-ups are seeing success as they provide much-needed solutions to consumers who are becoming more and more discerning in what they expect from construction companies.
Don’t Stagnate, Innovate!
Start-ups have to be different in order to succeed. They and the products/services they offer have to be unique and market-relevant to distinguish themselves from their competition. They can’t just fit into a mold and rehash tried and true methods. This is why most construction technology start-ups are focusing on areas such as AI, smart materials, 3D printing, green buildings, and drones (source).
Companies such as BuildStream, BldBox, and Thunderbolt Pipeline, all named as part of CEMEX Ventures’ 10 Most Promising Construction Start-Ups, are not only fulfilling a need in the industry but the amount of money being poured into them, and start-ups like them, is also driving the trends that shape the future of the industry.
Start-Ups Are Shaking Things Up
The construction industry is often considered lacking or “missing out” when it comes to technology and innovation. While true at times, the slowness to change is warranted. It is not easy to adapt to new ways of operating when the tried and true methods guarantee the safety of workers and produce results. But, with technology expected to become prevalent more quickly in the next decade than in the previous five decades (source), the industry needs to adapt and these start-ups are looking to find ways to intertwine cutting-edge technology with the people-oriented construction industry.
This is why construction companies must start adapting now to keep up with the trend both followed and perpetuated by start-ups. To stay on top of the technology curve, make sure:
- You learn about construction technology
- You find ways to invest in and implement the technology in your company
- Your workforce is trained in the necessary technologies to stay competitive
And, perhaps most importantly, develop a workforce plan that incorporates technology without losing the human touch.