UrbanLab collaboration, from left: Wei Basong, chief technology officer at Ping An Urban Tech; Guy Bradley, chief executive at Swire Properties; and KK Fung, chief executive officer at Great China JLL.
UrbanLab collaboration, from left: Wei Basong, chief technology officer at Ping An Urban Tech; Guy Bradley, chief executive at Swire Properties; and KK Fung, chief executive officer at Great China JLL

‘First accelerator’ created in China

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Chloé Vaughan

JLL, Swire Properties, and Ping An Urban Tech have collaborated to “help foster the next generation of entrepreneurs from the Chinese proptech ecosystem.”

UrbanLab will select six to 12 startups that offer products or services in areas such as:

  • Smart cities
  • Construction tech
  • Blockchain
  • Workflow platforms
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Building operations and management
  • IoT
  • Energy management and sustainability
  • Data analytics
  • New retail

The three-month programme will see the chosen startups testing their products or services at Swire’s projects in Shanghai, as well as the Shanghai office of JLL and Ping An Urban Tech.

Startups will also receive opportunities with JLL, Swire, and Ping An Urban Tech across their real estate portfolios and business units along with mentorship and support for industry leaders and experts.

Swire Properties manages and develop mixed-use units in China, where its portfolio encompasses over 9.4m sq ft. JLL is the second largest commercial real estate services firm in the world with an annual revenue of $16.3bn. Ping An Tech is a subsidiary of Ping An Insurance Group, the biggest insurance company in China.

UrbanLab is accepting applications until the end of August. Tech startups based on the Chinese mainland with working products and business models which are trial ready are invited to apply. Business proposals are to be sent to bp@urbanlab.com.cn

KK Fung, CEO Greater China at JLL, said: “We recognise in our partners the same client-focussed pioneering spirit to reshape the real estate industry as we have at JLL. This programme extends our proptech efforts in the region, including the recent inaugural China Proptech Forum that we organised in both Beijing and Shanghai.”

Guy Bradley, chief executive of Swire Propertise said that the accelerator should “help foster the next generation of entrepreneurs from the Chinese proptech ecosystem through UrbanLab.”

Wei Baisong, chief technology officer of Ping An Urban Tech, said: “We are providing an opportunity to urban innovators to test their solutions in the Chinese mainland, specifically technology solutions that can change the urban planning, real estate and infrastructure industries. With the spirit of a financial services firm, Ping An Urban Tech also hopes to find a model that can seamlessly integrate these technology solutions with its finance and technology ecosystems. We hope to form an urban ecosystem that can benefit our customers and partners in the long run. I think Urban Lab is a good starting point.”

Three cities in China feature in the global top 20 for innovation according to a report from JLL this month. Beijing was fourth, while Shanghai was 11th and Shenzen was 14th. Beijing is also a global leader in terms of total real estate occupied by global tech companies, ranking first above Seattle and Hyderabad in second and third.

 

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