Real estate technology nexus and early stage PropTech accelerator MetaProp NYC, announced today that the five earliest-stage startups in the 2017 class of the MetaProp Pre-Accelerator at Columbia University, had completed the world’s first such PropTech program.

Working with Columbia University’s Center for Urban Real Estate (CURE), the MetaProp Pre-Accelerator at Columbia succeeded in providing the startup founders with a wealth of exposure to capital, education and mentors. The program featured eight education sessions with an equal number of mentors for the founders. In addition, 13 guests speakers from the real estate and technology world exchanged their experience and ideas with the startups. Collectively, the startup founders presented 300 hours of defense practice, culminating with presentations before seven PropTech judges who evaluated the companies based on an identified problem, competitive analysis, proposed solution, traction, team and presentation.

“In completing our eight-week Pre-Accelerator program, these earliest-state PropTech entrepreneurs demonstrated the broad and deep spring of real estate technology ideation that craves guidance and direction from MetaProp and Columbia University’s CURE experts,” said Aaron Block, Founding Partner and Managing Director, MetaProp NYC. “Everyone involved at each level of this program has been greatly energized by our mutual interaction. MetaProp is proud to have partnered with CURE to create the world’s first PropTech Pre-Accelerator to give these young entrepreneurs their best chance for future success.”

“Our experience with Aaron, Leila [Collins, MetaProp’s head of the Pre-Accelerator], and the rest of the MetaProp team in successfully building this program was outstanding,” said Josh Panknin, Adjunct Professor, Associate Director of CURE, GSAPP, Columbia University. “We’ve shown that Columbia and MetaProp can work together effectively and leverage the different resources of both organizations. Combining MetaProp’s vast industry and entrepreneurial network, knowledge of the PropTech world and business development experience with Columbia’s deep technology and real estate resources, we’ve taken companies from rough ideas to viable proptech businesses and believe this is an excellent program for anyone venturing into the proptech space.”

Five companies accepted into the program qualified to pitch the judges for seven minutes, followed by five minutes of intensive questions from the panel. The judges were Zach Aarons, Founding Partner, MetaProp NYC; Jeffrey E. Berman, Director at Camber Creek; Matt Boras, VP at Colony NorthStar, Inc; Nat Kelner, Assistant Director, Columbia Entrepreneurship; Clelia Peters, Founding Partner, MetaProp NYC; Sloan Saunders, Managing Partner at Cedar Hill Holdings, and Roberta Sydney, of Sydney Associates, Inc.

Designed by MetaProp NYC and Columbia University’s Center for Urban Real Estate, the pre-accelerator’s goal was to connect first-time, earliest-stage PropTech entrepreneurs (including students, recent graduates and scholars from the Columbia University ecosystem and beyond) to sources of seed capital, real estate and technology mentors, as well as to deep technology education.