June 30, 2021

Dysruptek Goes Global with Construction Startup Competition 2021

Haskell innovation leaders are eager to gain and offer perspective as they join a worldwide panel of judges to vet proposals in the ultimate startup challenge.


Construction Startup Competition 2021, the industry’s largest startup challenge, enters a new phase on July 4, as the application period closes and proposal vetting begins. Put another way, for the innovators at Dysruptek, now is when the fun starts.

Dysruptek, Haskell’s venture arm developing and investing in disruptive architecture, engineering, and construction technologies, is one of seven worldwide sponsors of the challenge, joining CEMEX Ventures, Ferrovial, GS, Hilti, VINCI Group’s Leonard and NOVA by Saint-Gobain.

Directors of each organization now will sift through submissions from around the globe to identify the winners, each of which will participate in a Pitchday event where they will present their solutions, begin conversation with investors and turn their ideas into reality.

“We’re excited to see what we expect to be an amazing collection of proposals,” said Cutler Knupp, Director of Strategy and Technology Innovation for Dysruptek’s. “This is an opportunity to see innovation from all around the world. Joining this group of sponsors gives us a view through a powerful, worldwide lens.”

Not only does Dysruptek gain perspective on hundreds of inbound proposals, but it also offers the perspective of Haskell, a U.S.-based leader in Architecture, Engineering and Construction.

CSC was first launched in 2017 by CEMEX Ventures, the open innovation unit and corporate venture capital subsidiary of CEMEX, the second-largest building materials company worldwide, and has grown to become the industry’s most promising startup challenge.

“There will be inbound proposals from everywhere in the world,” said Hamzah Shanbari, Haskell Manager of Construction Technology and Innovation. “Let’s say there’s an Australian startup that is really disrupting the space but might not be on our radar. Having access to inbounds like that can help us see more technologies, investment opportunities and things that we can use at Haskell.”

Dysruptek is participating for the first time in the alliance of innovative companies staging the event, joining European Union-based Ferrovial; VINCI Group´s Leonard; and NOVA by Saint-Gobain; GS Futures, investment arm of Korean conglomerate GS Group; and Hilti, the only other North American participant.

Entrants are applying in five categories:

  • Carbon Footprint Mitigation
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Efficient Jobsite and Built Environment
  • Advanced Building Materials
  • New construction methods

While some alliance members are purely seeking venture-capital opportunities, Dysruptek is focused on identifying and investing in technology and intellectual capital to help Haskell create the best possible outcomes for its clients.

“Everybody’s looking for the next unicorn, to be honest, but a lot of these VCs are looking for investment opportunities, not necessarily something they can implement internally,” Shanbari said. “Our philosophy here is a little bit different, because we invest in companies that we believe can make Haskell safer, more effective and efficient.”

That point of view -- and Haskell’s robust reputation as a worldwide AEC leader – offers fellow CSC sponsors a window into the North American industry.

“If something attractive to us, then that might affect the others’ viewpoint,” he said. “If they see that Haskell and the U.S. market is interested, then it might intrigue them as well. The U.S. market is always the biggest opportunity.”

Haskell delivers $2± billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,200 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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