Chicago’s construction community witnessed what appears to be the first live event for the construction industry since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The BuiltWorlds Summit event at Westin River North in Chicago kicked off on Sept. 1, with more than 50 individuals in attendance.
The summit’s main objective was to help the construction community within the Chicago neighborhood stay abreast of tech solutions that make construction more accessible, faster, and less expensive.
Several technology startups also presented their products while trying to convince venture capitalists with their presentations.
Also, venture capitalists discussed their investment interests among the several Tech products on offer.
The event gave a semblance of what normalcy used to be before Covid back in 2019. Nonetheless, all exhibitors and attendees had to keep their masks on while observing all local social distancing regulations indoors at the Westin Ballroom.
This event could mark the beginning of normalcy for the construction Tech community in Chicago.
“There’s a familiarity to it, there was a great deal of pent-up energy demand, and we found our guests were ready to observe all of the rules and get back to events like this,” Matt Gray, the founder of BuiltWorlds and co-chairman of Graycor Construction, was quoted as saying in Engineering News-Record (ENR).
BuiltWorld consists of professionals in construction, infrastructure, and technology which contribute their insights on trends and technologies while using platforms like this summit to connect with other professionals.
The summits and other events have been online ever since the pandemic. However, this offline event came on the back of Chicago authorities reopening events earlier this year.
Presentations by startups chosen by BuiltWorlds’ venture program was the highlight of the first day of the conference tagged Demo Day.
Startups delivered their Tech solutions before Judges who were selected from member companies of the venture program.
The judges represented Thornton Tomasetti, Saint Gobain, Syska Hennessy, Nabholz, and Barton Malow.
The winner, Clue Insights, has designed an instant productivity tracker for intense construction work.
Explaining with his demo of how Clue’s platform works, Oded Ran, the CEO and Co-founder, described the difficulty of tracking construction productivity using manual reporting.
“Too many hours are spent on reporting that isn’t a foreman or supervisor’s job and survey drones only provide for you what happened today,” he told ENR..
He also revealed the high cost involved in the telematics of equipment tracking, which is not necessary for equipment renters, in his opinion.
With their “game tape” interface, Clue overcomes this challenge by displaying each equipment’s refueling time, load counts, and other metrics for a workday.
Equipment manufacturers like Caterpillar and John Deere can connect their onboard technologies and telematics seamlessly with Clue’s platform as it is sensor agnostic.
Clue’s servers receive data from the sensors up to 10 times in one minute. After combining it with job site information, it generates the game tape with its machine learning engine.
Clue is supported by Doosan and other partners and has been around for two years.
“[Equipment operators] know what exactly the asset is doing,” Ran said. “It’s hauling, loading, refueling. But Clue also analyzes the number of loads, productivity, fuel consumption and CO2 efficiency is, honestly, a growing concern and what a lot of contractors now have to quantify.”
Document Crunch was also pitching its product at the conference with its AI-based solution for identifying complicated risks and contract challenges after reviewing project data, including specifications and plans.
Similarly, MaterialXchange presented its product targeted at lumber traders with its stock-trader-style user interface. Users have to pay fees just like a stock trading platform. MaterialXchange can also be useful for materials like steel and other materials, according to Michael Wisnefski, the CEO and Co-founder.
CEO and founder of NewMetrix (formerly Smartvid.io), Josh Kanner, says, “It’s good to be back.” NewMetrix provides computer-vision solutions.
Generally, the attendees were delighted to attend the event though regulations still limited them.