Find answers to your questions

For your convenience, our FAQ are divided in three sections:

  1. General Layout of our Program

  2. Application Process

  3. Evaluation Process, Winners & Pilots

 

General Layout

What is Buildings4People?


Buildings4People is the first collective open innovation initiative in the facility management industry directed towards startups from all over the world and promoted by the Global Alliance of Facility Management Innovators. Informally, we call our members “FM Innovators”.

Leading facility management corporations have come together to create a digital platform and launch challenges to the global entrepreneurship community to boost innovation in the sector. The challenges aim to find startups with which to develop high-impact technological solutions for the industry, or, in case entrepreneurs have already launched an interesting solution to the market, adapt the solution to the FM industry to stimulate further commercialisation.

Buildings4People is, therefore, the venture client unit of the Global Alliance of Facility Management Innovators. This means that FM Innovators become a client of a startup in an early stage of product commercialisation. Nor FM Innovators, our Global Alliance or the platform Building4People are investors; we are potential clients of your startup.

Buildings4People focuses on startups that help FM Innovators to solve critical challenges across all business areas and functions. As soon as we decide that your solution is relevant and unique, we invite you to pilot and test your solution in our industry. Therefore, the main module consists of applying your solution in a real operational setting. This is the fastest and most effective way for you and us to learn if there is a fit and how to roll-out your solution globally.

Your startup may already have a solution marketed in a different industry that has the potential to be commercialised with little or no adaptation in the facility management sector. You’re a fast-tracker, and Building4People would love to get to know your solution, and work with you!

Joining Buildings4People is a great opportunity for your startup to enter or expand your business in the global, trillion-dollar facility management industry. Your solution, after being prepared for our industry, will be promoted through the Global Alliance of Facility Management Innovators, and you will scale up quickly.




What is a Venture Client?


Buildings4People is the Venture Client unit of the Global Alliance of Facility Management Innovators. Our goal is to find, evaluate and adopt innovative solutions from startups, and boost innovation in the sector in consequence.

Through this relationship, we become an early stage client of a startup. As a Venture Client, we do not invest, i.e. we do not ask for shares or equity.




What is an FM Innovator?


FM Innovator is the informal name we give to a member of the Global Alliance of Facility Management Innovators. This alliance has been founded by leading facility management corporations who have come together to create a digital platform and launch challenges to the global entrepreneurship community to boost innovation in the sector. The challenges aim to find startups with which to develop high-impact technological solutions for the industry, or, in case entrepreneurs have already launched an interesting solution to the market, adapt the solution to the FM industry to stimulate further commercialisation.




Do you also invest in startups?


Buildings4People does not invest in startups, nor does the Global Alliance of Facility Management Innovators.

May your startup require investment, we could present you to our venture capital network and other stakeholders in the ecosystem if you ask us to do so.




Is Buildings4People an accelerator?


No, Buildings4People is the Venture Client unit of the Global Alliance of Facility Management Innovators. As a Venture Client, we focus on validating startups’ solutions, helping them learn about the facility management industry, and connecting them with decision-makers for business development. Startups work directly with our managers on real business projects. Our final goal is to help you to commercialise your solution in our industry through us, FM Innovators: we will become your client or our clients will become your client.

In comparison, incubators help entrepreneurs getting their businesses started, such as building prototypes and business models, establishing a legal structure, identifying target clients, and raising seed funding, while accelerators focus on scaling a business. We do not do so; nor will we oblige you to come to trainings or school classes. Our objective is not to validate your solution, but to promote it into the FM Industry and become your client.




Who does Buildings4People look for?


Buildings4People looks for startups at an advanced stage of maturity that have developed a functional prototype or have already launched a product or service in the market. The key objective of the program is to co-develop the participants’ products or services and adapt them to solve business challenges that are relevant to the facility management industry. The startup’s solution will be piloted in fire conditions in real business cases. We aim to A. promote solutions that are ready to be marketed with little or no adaptation to our industry and B. pilot solutions that require some more adaptation to the facility management sector and its clients.

We have no objection that your solution originates from or has been already applied in any other industry. Your startup must have a functional prototype or working product. Prototypes must be mature enough to be integrated and validated in our business. We accept startups that have been accelerated in other organisations and/or have been funded by a professional venture capitalist. Your startup must be a legal entity (of any country and type).




Is the competition open only for startups, or can other business profiles participate as well?


This initiative is primarily directed towards mature startups from all over the world as Buildings4People’s main objective is to capture innovative solutions that are not yet implemented in the facility management industry and test them in real environments.

However, if an established industrial or technological company has created a new product or service through an innovation unit that meets the requirements specified above, it can be eligible for consideration. Nevertheless, the company will need to justify the novelty of the solution proposed.




Why should I participate in Buildings4People?


The facility management industry is a giant. Any medium or big corporation you can imagine contracts services of facility management providers to take care of their buildings and their employees through cleaning, catering, maintenance, security and many other services. That’s why the industry’s digits are huge: the annual growth of the sector is 6,2%, and is forecasted to reach a turnover of 2 trillion USD in 2024! Big buildings, workplaces and facilities in general are being modernized to connect to the digital world to enhance the wellbeing and requirements of people who use these buildings. Every day, new and smarter facilities are constructed for an ever-growing world population. Your startup can be part of this growth, and we can get you there – that’s why you should join us.

Buildings4People is a unique initiative that allows startups to present their solution before leading companies and key players in the facility management industry. For startups that meet the established competition requirements, the platform connects finalists with FM Innovators who help further develop their proposed solutions. Our final goal is to A. promote solutions that are ready to be marketed with little or no adaptation to our industry and B. pilot solutions that require some more adaptation to the facility management sector and its clients. We are here to help you to commercialise your solution in our industry: we will become your client or our clients will become your client.




How long does the competition last?


The competition is structured in three-month cycles. They begin with the launch of the business challenges to be solved and concludes with the start of the pilot. There is no limit to the number of pilot projects that can be developed. Any project that demonstrates the ability to solve one of the challenges can participate in the program.




How many cycles are planned?


At this time, two cycles are planned per year. Opportunities in the facility management industry are vast. It is a huge market and still unexplored. We will launch many different challenges during the coming years. Subscribe to our newsletter to be kept up to date.




Who makes key initiative decisions?


Key initiative decisions are made through representatives from each of the FM Innovators. These representatives come from relevant departments such as innovation, customer experience, human resource management or digital transformation, depending on the company. They are complemented by sourcing, innovation and technology experts who are not a part of the Global Alliance of Facility Management Innovators, but have a sound knowledge of the ecosystem as a whole and are specialised in specific technological areas in which the challenges of Buildings4People are framed.




How are the startups chosen?


Once applications have been received, sourcing and tech specialists that partner with Buildings4People will be tasked with analysing and evaluating the projects following our evaluation criteria. If needed, we may invite you for a brief interview to know more about your venture and the specificities of your solution. After this assessment, a shortlist of finalists will be announced. These finalists will participate in our Induction Day; an event in which the startups present their “raw” solutions to players in the facility management industry – both tech experts, as facility management experts as final clients of FM Innovators, which are large corporations of all kinds. Based on the feedback of all players, winners will be chosen. These winning startups will be developing pilots within our organisation and run them in real business environments, usually in business cases for our final clients.

For Induction Day, we will not ask you to adapt your actual solution to the facility management industry yet. We want you to present to the attendees how your solution could be used in our sector in the best possible way. It is not a Demo Day where final products are shown; we want to see your solution in a “raw” state.

Maybe your startup does have a final solution that does not require any or little adaptation to the FM industry. Then you are a fast-tracker, and we would be very happy to have you on board. Please, apply.




How much does the participation cost?


Nothing. There are no costs associated with participation in the Buildings4People challenges. The candidates must only submit the requested info asked for in the application form regarding their startup and the solution(s) they propose for the challenge(s) chosen.




Who can I contact if I have a question?


If you have any additional questions and/or need help, please send us an email to info@buildings4people.com or submit your question via the contact form on our website: www.buildings4people.com.





Application Process

When and how to apply to a challenge?


The registration or call period must be open to be able to apply to a challenge. You can find the dates of each edition on our website. The candidates must only submit the requested info asked for in the application form regarding their startup and the solution(s) they propose for the challenge(s) chosen. In case the startup wishes to apply to more than one challenge, it must identify in the application form all challenges that may apply. Only one application per startup is needed. Startups can only register through the Buildings4People website (www.buildings4people.com); there is no other channel for application.




Are there any restrictions to the technological areas of the Buildings4People candidates?


The objective of Buildings4People is to solve the business challenges, using any technology that can make a difference. For this reason, we do not restrict the technological areas of the participants.




How many startups can participate in each challenge?


There’s no limit to the number of participants per challenge. If the members of the Global Alliance of Facility Management Innovators are interested in more than one solution presented for the same challenge, they can begin negotiations for pilot projects with any of them. The opportunity to start these negotiations will depend on the solution’s novelty and the project’s relevance to the challenge as well as the facility management industry in general.




Can any member from my team apply?


Yes! Anyone who is a part of your startup can register on our platform and explain your project.




Which language is required to complete the application?


You may choose to apply in English or Spanish. Forms completed in any other language will not be considered.




Can I apply to two or more challenges during the same cycle?


Yes, you can apply to as many challenges as you like, as long as your project can provide a real solution to the challenge. If your solution may apply to more than one challenge, you must identify it while filling out the application form. You only need to apply once.




I applied but was not selected. Can I apply again?


Yes, you can apply to the competition as many times as you wish, provided that your project offers a real solution to the challenges presented.




I don’t live in Barcelona nor Spain, can I still take part in the initiative?


Yes. Buildings4People is a global initiative, and there are no geographical limits⁠. The initiative seeks to expand the innovation ecosystem and encourage international startups from all over the world to participate.

Our Induction Day, the day that finalists of the challenges meet players of the facility management industry and tech experts, will be held in Barcelona. We expect you to travel to Barcelona to participate in Induction Day in case you’re a finalist, and the flight or train ticket fares from outside the province of Barcelona plus one night of accommodation for one person will be paid for. Based on the feedback of this event, winners will be chosen, and negotiations will start to get ready for the pilot development or commercialisation stage just after.




Will Buildings4People provide me with a physical space to work on the pilot?


During the negotiation stage, the members involved in the co-development of a pilot project will decide, together with a winning startup, which resources, spaces and infrastructure will be provided for working on the pilot.





Evaluation Process, Winners & Pilots

When and how to apply to a challenge?


The registration or call period must be open to be able to apply to a challenge. You can find the dates of each edition on our website. The candidates must only submit the requested info asked for in the application form regarding their startup and the solution(s) they propose for the challenge(s) chosen. In case the startup wishes to apply to more than one challenge, it must identify in the application form all challenges that may apply. Only one application per startup is needed. Startups can only register through the Buildings4People website (www.buildings4people.com); there is no other channel for application.




Are there any restrictions to the technological areas of the Buildings4People candidates?


The objective of Buildings4People is to solve the business challenges, using any technology that can make a difference. For this reason, we do not restrict the technological areas of the participants.




How many startups can participate in each challenge?


There’s no limit to the number of participants per challenge. If the members of the Global Alliance of Facility Management Innovators are interested in more than one solution presented for the same challenge, they can begin negotiations for pilot projects with any of them. The opportunity to start these negotiations will depend on the solution’s novelty and the project’s relevance to the challenge as well as the facility management industry in general.




Can any member from my team apply?


Yes! Anyone who is a part of your startup can register on our platform and explain your project.




Which language is required to complete the application?


You may choose to apply in English or Spanish. Forms completed in any other language will not be considered.




Can I apply to two or more challenges during the same cycle?


Yes, you can apply to as many challenges as you like, as long as your project can provide a real solution to the challenge. If your solution may apply to more than one challenge, you must identify it while filling out the application form. You only need to apply once.




I applied but was not selected. Can I apply again?


Yes, you can apply to the competition as many times as you wish, provided that your project offers a real solution to the challenges presented.




I don’t live in Barcelona nor Spain, can I still take part in the initiative?


Yes. Buildings4People is a global initiative, and there are no geographical limits⁠. The initiative seeks to expand the innovation ecosystem and encourage international startups from all over the world to participate.

Our Induction Day, the day that finalists of the challenges meet players of the facility management industry and tech experts, will be held in Barcelona. We expect you to travel to Barcelona to participate in Induction Day in case you’re a finalist, and the flight or train ticket fares from outside the province of Barcelona plus one night of accommodation for one person will be paid for. Based on the feedback of this event, winners will be chosen, and negotiations will start to get ready for the pilot development or commercialisation stage just after.




Will Buildings4People provide me with a physical space to work on the pilot?


During the negotiation stage, the members involved in the co-development of a pilot project will decide, together with a winning startup, which resources, spaces and infrastructure will be provided for working on the pilot.





 
 
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CONTACT

You can find us at:

World Trade Center Almeda Park
Plaza de la Pau s/n – Edificio 3, Planta 3ª
08940 Cornellà (Barcelona) - Spain

info@buidings4people.com
 

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