On May 17th, the MENA region’s first construction-tech innovation program, Makers, held a Showcase Day for nine construction technology startups to demonstrate and present their innovative, tech-based solutions to diverse challenges in the built environment and the construction sector.
Launched by Dar and private construction firm SIAC in partnership with leading early-stage venture capital firm Flat6Labs, Makers is designed to foster start-ups focused on construction technology solutions that can serve the MENA region and beyond.
The innovative ideas demonstrated at the showcase were diverse and included designing solutions for building materials using gypsum and plastic, retrofitting buildings into smart spaces, creating marketplaces for building materials and construction waste scraps, and introducing innovative software and hardware that could facilitate design and building processes.
The nine startups were graduates of Makers’ pre-accelerator program, and each of these teams were offered extensive mentorship and support by industry and market experts from Dar and SIAC. These consultations included one-on-one meetings with Dar experts in different related departments, such as telecommunications, engineering, and project management as well as workshops conducted by Dar’s market intelligence unit which gave the different founders insights into key markets around the region. The objective of these interactions was to help the founders assess and develop their products in order to deliver an asset that is fit for the market.
Speaking on Showcase Day, Dar’s Head of Digital Practice Faysal Shair said: “To the Makers who are demonstrating today, you have taken on the challenge of disrupting arguably the most difficult and challenging industry. But that only means there is an exceptional opportunity. If we can disrupt old practices and introduce new, innovative, safe, and sustainable ways of work, then we can transform one of the most active and prominent sectors in the MENA region. Just one different way of work can have an exceptionally positive impact on communities not just in the region but also around the world.”
The showcase was also attended by a leadership delegation from Dar, including Dar’s Managing Partner for Dar Cairo Hazem Gohar, Director of Structural and Bridge Engineering Charles Malek, Director of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications Jad Succar, Commercial Manager Tarek Zaki, Venture Investments Manager Zeina Mandour, and other experts from across the company.