The Disruptors: #NYCRETechWeek and #REBNYTech Hackathon

There are many complex challenges facing the real estate industry in the 21st century. Fortunately, leaders from our industry – with representation from both commercial and residential real estate – will be discussing the newest trends and solutions to those challenges all this week during NYC Real Estate Tech Week.

NYC Real Estate Tech Week 2017 will feature over 5,000 leaders and innovators from nine sectors across 12 city-wide events, including conferences, panels, roundtables, demos, networking, and education sessions. If last year’s is any indication, this week promises to be fun, rewarding, and inspiring.

For REBNY, we are most excited for the very first #REBNYTech Hackathon, to begin on Friday, October 13th.

Hackathons, for those who might not know, are gatherings of computer programmers who work collaboratively toward a goal, often in a competition, in a short period of time. The main idea behind it is that like-minded and individuals can utilize shared skills and create innovative programs out of new technology.

While this was originally a concept popularized by Silicon Valley giants like Facebook, it has since spread to almost every other industry. We all rely on technology to operate successfully in the modern world.

Now is the time for real estate organizations to recognize changing technology and ecosystems. REBNY is proud to be part of that effort in New York City – our leadership was recently recognized by Forbes as a good example of a traditional player in the real estate industry who “made a strategic decision to become the disruptor, not the disrupted.”

In a nutshell, that is what the Hackathon will do this week.

The #REBNYTech Hackathon will bring together up to 200 of the brightest minds in the property and technology industry as they work toward creating cutting-edge solutions to real-world challenges faced by real estate companies across the world.

As the competition is under way, there will be a number of panel discussions and workshops from industry leaders to help inspire participants.  Speakers have been confirmed from Camber Creek, Core Studio at Thornton Tomasetti, DLA Piper, Knotel, Lotik Labs, Radiator Labs, Rudin Management Company, Sentient Buildings, | TOTEM |, and Waltz.

Participants will work on any one of the six following categories: Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) & Development; Brokerage; Cybersecurity; Geospatial Intelligence; Sustainable Maintenance and Operations; and Open Hack.

Paired with work space provided by the Urban Tech Hub at Grand Central Tech, event sponsor Samsung Internet will be lending Virtual Reality (VR) headsets—Oculus, Microsoft Acer, Gear VR, Google Daydream, and HTC Vive—to participants interested in VR/Augmented Reality (AR) real estate solutions. 

Six winning teams – one from each category – will win $2,500 in cash and three months of free office space to refine their solutions and compete for an additional $15,000 plus prizes worth $20,000. All in all, that’s a total of $75,000 in cash and prizes.

We are fortunate to have a number of key partners including 1776, AEC Hackathon, the Association for a Better New York (ABNY), the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, City University of New York (CUNY) and its Institute for Urban Systems, Civic Hall, the Coalition for Queens (C4Q), Columbia University, NYC Foundation for Computer Science Education (CSNYC), Thornton Tomasetti’s R&S incubator CORE Studio,, Digital NYC, the Fund for Public Housing, Gust, Intersection, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, MetaProp NYC, MIPIM PropTech, the NY Tech Alliance, New York University’s (NYU) Center for Urban Science and Progress along with its Tandon School of Engineering  Urban Future Lab incubator ACRE, RICS, Silicon Harlem, Tech:NYC, | TOTEM |, and the Urban Tech Hub at Grand Central Tech.

Our prizes are provided by Fisher Brothers, Gust, Knotel, Newmark Knight Frank, Related, Rudin Management Company, and Silverstein Properties.  Event sponsors include Real Capital Analytics, RealConnex, and Samsung Internet. 

More information, including how to register, can be found at:

I know I speak for all of our partners, sponsors, and for the Real Estate Board of New York’s Tech Committee when I say that I am excited to see what innovations will arise out of this new venture.