Cushman & Wakefield and Spire Ventures partner to create Europe’s first property focused accelerator

Cushman & Wakefield and Spire Ventures has announced a strategic partnership with Pi Labs, Europe’s first property-focused technology accelerator company. Founded by Faisal Butt (Founder and CEO of Spire Ventures, formerly known as Hamilton Bradshaw Real Estate) and Umesh Kumar (former Techstars and Oxygen Associate) Pi Labs was created to assist start-ups focused on property and technology innovation. The programme will accelerate the growth of these companies by providing them with access to investment, mentoring and business space.  This move underlines Cushman & Wakefield’s commitment to support and drive innovation in property and tech hubs globally.

From October 2014, innovative property start-ups will be able to apply to join the Pi Labs accelerator programme which will be located within ‘Second Home’, a new iconic 20,000 sq. ft. space in Shoreditch.  Founded by Rohan Silva, former adviser to David Cameron and chief architect of London’s Tech City initiative, Second Home will set new global standards in the provision of stimulating private and social workplace environments supporting collaboration and co-working amongst creative and technology businesses.

Through its strategic partnership with Pi Labs, Cushman & Wakefield’s tech team led by Juliette Morgan, (Head of Property at Tech City UK) will relocate to Second Home and become an integral part of the accelerator programme. The Pi Labs programme was founded by entrepreneur Faisal Butt and Umesh Kumar (who will assume day to day operations as programme director) out of the realisation that a platform approach to property innovation would improve the success rate of budding ventures when compared to the isolated efforts seen today.

This unique initiative puts Cushman & Wakefield at the heart of London’s tech ecosystem working alongside world-class entrepreneurs, tech innovators and creative companies while sharing the firm’s extensive range of industry sector specialisms, contacts and networking opportunities. For Spire Ventures, Pi Labs is a natural next step after the venture capital platform’s investment in eMoov (the UK’s largest online estate agent) and most recently, Spacious, positioning the firm as London’s most active investor in prop-tech start-ups.

Faisal Butt, Pi Labs Founder and CEO, commented: “Pi Labs’ vision is to drive the next generation of technological innovation in the property sector. Through Pi Labs, we can empower prop-tech start-ups requiring space, access to capital and support and ultimately, help spawn the next wave of tech company success stories.  We see Pi Labs as the platform that will create the next Zoopla, the next AirBnB and the next Nest.”

Digby Flower, UK CEO, said: “The convergence of property and technology will transform the way we and our clients operate in the future and the tech and creative industries driving this revolution can be found right on our doorstep in East London.

As a leading property adviser to the tech and media sector in London and other global tech hubs, Cushman & Wakefield is committed to supporting and empowering the next generation of property and software businesses who will shape the future of our cities and buildings and the way we work, shop and live.

“Furthermore, our partnership with Pi Labs and being embedded at Second Home, puts us at the very core of London’s burgeoning tech sector and the collaboration and networking opportunities for us and our clients will be game-changing in our industry.”

Rohan Silva, founder of Second Home, said: “We’re thrilled that Pi Labs is going to be based at Second Home, investing in startups that will help make the property industry more efficient and consumer friendly. Second Home is all about bringing different sectors together, and Pi Labs is a brilliant example of this type of inter-disciplinary thinking. Congratulations to Cushman & Wakefield and Spire Ventures for making it happen.”