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13 Apr 2021

Swire Properties Sponsors Second “UrbanLab” Accelerator Programme in Search of Innovative PropTech Solutions

13 April 2021, Shenzhen – Swire Properties is pleased to announce the launch of the second series of its property technology (PropTech) accelerator programme, “UrbanLab” (城越), in collaboration with 36Kr, a leading Chinese mainland technology and media platform. This year’s programme, titled “Entrepreneurship Competition 2021 – Future Smart Cities” (創業星物種 2021 城市新勢力), is sponsored in partnership with Jones Lang Lasalle and new collaborators Shui On Land and Goodman China as part of the Company’s ongoing efforts to foster the development of PropTech solutions for the property industry.

The latest UrbanLab will focus on sourcing emerging technologies from early- to mid-stage startup companies in the burgeoning Chinese PropTech ecosystem, using the competition to find solutions that can disrupt and transform the real estate industry. The technologies selected by Swire Properties will have the opportunity to be tested in real-life situations in the Company’s portfolios in the Chinese mainland. The technologies that show the highest potential will be considered for capital investment through Swire Properties’ New Ventures team, which identifies emerging trends and accelerates the adoption of creative solutions at scale for the Company.

“At Swire Properties we see innovation as a driving force for our business and we have already enjoyed a number of tremendous transformations resulting from technology solutions,” said Guy Bradley, Chief Executive of Swire Properties. “In the past year, the pandemic has accelerated the pace of technology advancement in the real estate industry and led to a shift in business and customer behaviour. We see a need to continually seek out emerging technologies that can create significant benefits for our business partners, tenants and customers.” 

This year’s UrbanLab programme covers smart retail, smart construction, asset management, future workplaces and offices, and the applications of frontier technology.  Four rounds of regional competitions will be held across the Chinese mainland between April and July 2021, with three companies selected in each round. The 12 shortlisted startups will go through a programme of entrepreneurship training and development organised by 36Kr, working together with leading industry experts and institutional investors.  

The finale of the programme will see the selected startups showcase their innovative solutions at the PropTech Summit in Shanghai this summer, with each of the four sponsoring companies identifying suitable solutions for their respective property portfolios.

Inaugurated in 2019, the UrbanLab initiative has enabled Swire Properties to source several new technologies developed by high-potential startup companies that have already delivered promising results in its operations in the Chinese mainland. They include Jingteng Tech’s mixed reality glasses, which have been used at Taikoo Li Qiantan to enable prospective retail tenants to inspect the new project and its retail spaces virtually during the pandemic, when travelling to the site might not be possible, and the E-sign solution which is being used by the Company’s finance department to optimise operational efficiency by processing digital contracts.

For details or application submission, please visit topics.36kr.com/topic/star-2021-city (Simplified Chinese only).