18.11.20

The Propcast: Military to PropTech

In this episode The Propcast talks to Nicholas Schmidt of Blueprint Power, and Sonny Tai of Actuate AI about how they moved from the Military into PropTech.

 

Click here to listen to Episode 5.

The Propcast by Louisa Dickins, Co-Founder of LMRE the leading Global PropTech recruiter brought to you in partnership with UK PropTech Association, The UK PropTech Association is a membership organisation to drive the digital transformation of the property industry. This show will focus on connecting the PropTechs, real estate funds and VC’s globally…and get everyone talking about innovation of the build to rent environment.

18.11.20

About Our Host

Louisa Dickins

https://www.linkedin.com/in/louisa-dickins-ab065392/?originalSubdomain=uk

Louisa started her career in property working at a well-known estate agency in London. Realising her people skills, she moved over to Lloyd May to pursue a career in recruitment. She now is a Director at LMRE, who are a specialist recruitment firm driven by PropTech and recruitment professionals, and Louisa oversees their 5 core areas. Louisa co-founded LMRE and provides a constructive recruitment platform to the new disruptors in real estate. Louisa is also on the board of Directors at UK PropTech Association (UKPA).

About LMRE

LMRE believe there is a better way to recruit. LMRE focus on a more comprehensive, client led focus delivering exceptional talent to the right place at the right time. They are passionate about the industry and passionate about people's careers. LMRE spend time with each client to become and an extension of the business, and their transparency and core values help them grow with the sector. LMRE simplify recruitment and innovate with our clients and evolve the people driven, PropTech community.

 

About Our Guests

Nicholas Schmidt

https://www.linkedin.com/in/oneguynick

Nicholas is a proven entrepreneurial executive, with extensive expertise in leading high-performing teams that design, engineer, and deliver multi-faceted solutions. His knowledge includes managing complex integration projects, performing unique R&D projects, as well as creating quick reaction capabilities for clients. He is the CIO of Blueprint Power, which is a New York City based tech company whose mission is to accelerate the growth and financial sustainability of distributed intelligent clean energy, by helping regional groups or real estate companies transform their portfolios into power plants. Nicholas's background spans both military and corporate solutions in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East with globally dispersed teams. After serving in the United States Air Force, he has worked in a variety of roles to include co-founder and entrepreneur, as well as chief engineer at companies such as Boeing.

Sonny Tai

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sonny-tai

Sonny is the CEO and co-founder of Actuate, an AI company that builds software that turns existing security cameras into smart cameras. Prior to founding Actuate, Sonny served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, where he led anti terrorism, force protection, planning and training. After the Marine Corps, Sonny helped corporate executives solve their most challenging growth and operational problems in strategic advisory. Sonny graduated with BA from the University of Illinois, and has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

 

Resources mentioned

LMRE website www.lmre.co.uk

UKPA website www.ukpa.com

Blueprint Power www.blueprintpower.com

Actuate AI www.actuate.ai

 

Insights From This Episode

  • I think the biggest lesson that I brought over from the military, was to get as much information as you can and charge the hill. So not to necessarily fall into just analysing an issue over and over again, but trust your gut and go forward - Nicholas Schmidt
  • A good decision executed assertively now is better than a perfect decision executed ten minutes later - Sonny Tai
  • I find that in the private sector, some people tend to micromanage. And that's something that I've learned not to do in building this company - Sonny Tai
  • I think finding that curiosity in somebody and seeing the passion that they want to learn what you're talking about, is in some ways better than having a tonne of background experience in something - Nicholas Schmidt
  • You want to hire people that are not averse to doing the things that it takes for your organisation to be successful - Sonny Tai
  • Being able to build a team and mentor that team, and watch it grow and change as a leader is just an incredibly rewarding thing - Nicholas Schmidt

 

Episode transcript

Louisa

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Propcast. My name is Louisa Dickins, co-founder of LMRE and board director of the UKPA, and I shall be your weekly host. Each week for 30 minutes we'll be connecting with VCs, PropTech startups and real estate professionals globally, and assist in bridging that famous communication gap we all love talking about. So sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Hi, everyone, and welcome back to the Propcast, for this season we've been talking about various industries people entering into the real estate technology space from, and today we're talking about the career path from military to PropTech. And we are fortunate to be joined by Nicholas, CIO of Blueprint Power and Sonny, CEO and co-founder of Actuate AI, so welcome to the show Nicholas and Sonny.

 

Nicholas

Great to be here. Thank you.

 

Sonny

Yes, excited about the podcast.

 

Louisa

I'm excited to go through it. Before we start, let me tell you a bit about their journeys to give a taster before we hear from them. Now we'll start with Nicholas, so Nichola’s background spans from both military and corporate solutions in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East with globally dispersed teams. After serving in the United States Air Force, he has worked in a variety of roles to include co-founder and entrepreneur, as well as chief engineer at companies such as Boeing. He has established successful international businesses on three continents, built teams that deliver high quality, cost effective technology solutions for clients in diverse business sectors, including aviation, energy, manufacturing, and cybersecurity. Now he's currently CIO of Blueprint Power, which is a New York City based tech company whose mission is to accelerate the growth and financial sustainability of distributed intelligent clean energy, by helping regional groups or real estate companies transform their portfolios into power plants.

 

We’ll hear a lot more from Nicholas later, and let me introduce Sonny to you. So Sonny is the CEO and co-founder of Actuate, an AI company that builds software that turns existing security cameras into smart cameras. Prior to founding Actuate, Sonny served as a captain in the United States Marine corps, where he led anti terrorism, force protection, planning and training. After the Marine Corps, Sonny helped corporate executives solve their most challenging growth and operational problems in strategic advisory. Sonny graduated with BA from the University of Illinois, and has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. So a warm welcome to both of you, and thank you for joining on the Propcast. Now, let's get started and hear a lot more from both you about your moves from military to PropTech, which is what we're all here to learn about. And Nicholas, why don't you get started?

Nicholas

Yes, I had no understanding I would say, I had a little bit of what PropTech was and what energy was, but I was transitioning out of a position in Abu Dhabi and had been trying to hire a really great friend of mine for the better part of a decade. And he turned the tables on me, I was coming back, he said, “Hey, there's this really interesting company we're working on, your systems integration and security background would be beneficial to growing this team. What do you think about switching over into something a little different?” It was an exciting spot. Number one, it's great to be able to talk about what I do, which was a pretty rare thing up until that point. And being able to work on something that was more geared towards making distributed green energy, a reality for large commercial was something that drove me more on the society side than necessarily the military and intelligence tech side.

 

Louisa

Yes, And then can you elaborate a little bit more into your product as well, I gave a brief overview, but if you go into bit more than be extremely helpful.

 

Nicholas

Yes, we built a platform which is a mixture of a little hardware, a little software that connects these distributed energy assets, like solar, and batteries, and CHP to the grid. So we aggregate these large real estate owners portfolios and allow them to generate new income at their buildings, as well as helping the grid put energy in places where it couldn't before, as you can imagine. We started in New York, it's a very congested city, there's not really a spot to plant a new power plant in Central Park, so by allowing and enabling that connection, we're helping the growth of those types of solutions.

 

Louisa

Worlds away from what you first started your career doing. Sonny, what about you? How did you get to where you are today?

 

Sonny

By complete happenstance and randomness to be honest. So I was on Marine Corps active duty from 2009 to 2013. When I was deployed in Afghanistan 2012, I just thought that I want to go to business school after leaving active duty. So I applied to a bunch of schools and ended up getting a half scholarship at the University of Chicago. And that happened to be 40 minutes away from my parents, so it was kind of a no brainer for me to end up going to Booth. So as many veterans do during business school, who have no idea what they want to do and what they're qualified to do. I decided to go into management consulting, which a lot of vets just end up saying, “Okay, I'm gonna be an investment banker or a management consultant," these are two natural landing spots for people with a generalist skill set coming out with an MBA. So I ended up going into consulting and by 2017, I was actually staffed on a project with CBRE, one of the world's largest commercial real estate brokerages, and I was working with their VP of strategy and on a digital transformation project. And that's where I was introduced to the world of PropTech. I had no idea what PropTech meant prior to 2017. And that was how I started working on this engagement. I also got a lot of exposure into how CBRE was thinking about startups as well in the startup space within this industry.

 

And for me, one thing that the audience may not know is that I grew up in South Africa, and South Africa is one of the highest rates of violent crime in the entire world. So I've always had a passion of wanting to do something about public safety. So after one a mass shootings in America, the Las Vegas shooting, the wheels in my head started turning, I was thinking, we are the most innovative country in the world, but why is it that we're not innovating to solve this issue of gun violence. So I put some thought into it, I did some research and found that computer vision models were increasingly accurate, but nobody had adapted it for this kind of purpose to identify gun threats in real time. So that's how the company got started. Late 2017, early 2018, I decided to leave management consulting, take a leap of faith and pursue my passion for both social impact and entrepreneurship and start a company. And that's how I kind of got into PropTech space. But it was ultimately initially introduced by a consulting engagement with CBRE.

 

Louisa

It seems to be a common theme in these interviews, everyone says, “I didn't know what PropTech was” and it's all around the same time, around 2017. I think we're still fairly unsure what it exactly is, but we're all here to solve problems. And Sonny I'd love to hear a little bit more about your product as well, whilst we're on the topic.

 

Sonny

Yes, absolutely. So we build software only technology that enables existing security cameras to become smart cameras that can actively scan and detect for threats, and send out alerts in real time. So actually by 2021, there'll be 85 million security cameras deployed across the United States. When we think about companies like the UK, like China, these are some of the densest countries in the world in terms of security cameras, per capita. But what people don't know is that United States is up there as well. So all these cameras, they sit there and just record footage for the most part. And when a crime or incident has been committed, a security team or law enforcement goes and retrieves that footage, and tries to catch the person who did it. And our vision is to turn all these 85 million cameras into smart devices that can actively scan for threats, but does so in a way that respects privacy. So we don't do any form of facial recognition at all. We don't identify any individual features like clothing, skin colour, or anything like that. We just look for threats and behavioural patterns. So we can identify things like gun threats, which stemmed back from Las Vegas story was actually our primary core offering for a while. We can identify intruders, vehicles, crowding, loitering, and even things like social distancing and mask compliance, that we recently developed capabilities for, have increasingly picked up a lot of traction. So just think of us as a software solution that turns cameras into smart cameras.

 

Louisa

God, it sounds super technical. You must have a great team building that and working with you.

 

Sonny

Yes, thankfully, I do!

 

Louisa

Going back to the topic of today, and for a lot of people listening coming from different routes into this relatively new space, what skills did you both learn from the military, Nicholas you just told us about your journey, but what has been particularly transferable into this startup life and culture and new work ethic?

 

Nicholas

I think leadership is a key component of that. The military ingrains leadership qualities into you to make sure that that's something you can do to build teams around. So that structure and attention to detail on leadership structure overall I think are just key components, not only for startups, but also providing some rigour for how we approach problems in what can be very complicated space. Especially in PropTech where it's still trying to figure out what it is in some cases. But I think the biggest lesson that I brought over from the military, something my father, who also was a veteran, taught me was to get as much information as you can and charge the hill. So not to necessarily fall into just analysing an issue over and over again, but trust your gut and go forward. And I think that served us really well at blueprint to make quick decisions, live with the risks and issues that come with that, and just getting better at doing that. So I think those are the key things that the military has helped me with, as we started building Blueprint.

 

Louisa

And, Sonny, anything you would add to that or support?

 

Sonny

Yes, absolutely. It actually resonated with me a lot. In the Marine Corps, we say and I forgot which commanding officer said this back in maybe World War Two, but a good decision executed violently now, it maybe I shouldn't say violently to him in the private sector, but a good decision executed assertively now is better than a perfect decision, executed 10 minutes later, or a week later, whatever the case may be. So that really resonates with me in terms of decisiveness. And I am decisive to the point of almost being impulsive. Like when I decided I wanted to do this, I was all in. I was all in and I had to drag other people along with me and hustle enough to get to the point where they buy into our traction and vision. Good thing, I have a very much more conservative and grounded co-founder that will check my kind of more impulsive tendencies, and we're very good Yin and Yang, that helps us to make very data driven aggressive decisions. So that part completely resonates with me. The other thing is definitely values.

 

I mean the military, especially the Marine Corps from my perspective, it's only in the Marine Corps, preaches values of honour, courage, commitment, integrity. Integrity is paramount, I’ve seen people get kicked out of the Marine Corps for integrity violations. When I was at the basic school as Lieutenant, a bunch of lieutenants decide they want to cheat on land nav, because land nav is really, really hard. They throw you into the woods, you get a map and compass and you’ve got to find these tiny little red boxes. And they were real slick and thought they’d bring some GPS out there. And they all lost their  officer commissions in the Marine Corps. So by taking these values and implementing them, not just in the construction of our team, but also in a way that we do business externally, investors, customers, partners, know that Sonny, Ben, and Actuate team, they're not going to over promise under deliver, they're gonna do what they say. And we can trust them. And we can build a long term partnership with them. And that really, really, really goes a long way. And I'm super fortunate, not just in the military has kind of indoctrinated me with these positive values, but also my co founder, he didn't serve but he really subscribes to these values as well. And that’s played a major role in allowing us to get to where we are today.

 

I think the third thing is a centralised command, decentralised execution. And that's something that the Marine Corps teaches all the time, small unit leadership, don't micromanage. And that’s something that's really come easy to me. One thing my co founder once said to me is, “What I love best about you, is that you admit when don't know something, and you'll let the experts go and execute.” So for me, even though my title is a CEO, my co founder fully runs a lot of the internal operations and engineering decisions, and a lot of times I really rubber stamp what he does, I trust him that much. And in the Marine Corps, as the commanding officer, you better trust your peers, and trust your subordinates go out there and execute. You’ve got a supervise, but you’ve got to trusted they can make the right decisions. And I find that in the private sector, some people tend to micromanage. And that's something that I've learned not to do in building this company.

 

Louisa

Also for both of you coming from the military or having those strong morals and you're talking about trust and just the way you go about things, being able to execute quickly, hiring the same level of experienced talent must be pretty tough. Are there certain traits now that you look for when you're hiring for your own team? Nicholas?

 

Nicholas

Definitely, I think in the military because everybody comes from such a diverse background, maybe they're fixing aeroplanes and maybe somebody else is loading ordinance, somebody who's working in intelligence, people coming into those careers didn't necessarily have those skills when they joined the military. But I think for me something the military showcases is if somebody is curious, and they have a passion for learning something, you can mould that individual into a useful part of your command or your organisation. And I think finding that curiosity in somebody and seeing the passion that they want to learn what you're talking about, is in some ways better than having a tonne of background and experience in something. So to me, that's always been key in hiring is just finding those types of people.

 

Louisa

Yes. And Sonny, what about you?

 

Sonny

You know what, I'm gonna say something that's kind of funny, but kind of true - pain tolerance. All the traditional things in terms of people that you want to hire for, in terms of good values, in terms of competence, intelligence, I mean those are pretty standard across the board. But one thing I took away when I went to a McKinsey event when I was in Business School, and one of the people hosting the event was a was a former Marine officer just like me. And he said to me something that really stumped me, he's said, “Yes, the McKinsey lifestyle actually suits me really well, because I have a high pain tolerance from my time in the Marine Corps," I was like, “Okay, well, that doesn't really encourage me to want to join!” But the funny thing is, startups are really hard. I went 14 months without pay, I've slept in office more times than I can ever remember.

 

And you want to hire people that are not averse to doing the things that it takes for your organisation to be successful. And I'm not saying that we encourage people to not have work life balance, but especially early on we have people that were so passionate about our mission, that we didn't have to ask them to stay in office, we don't have to ask them to work late. There's a data scientist that we can only afford to pay part time. And he stayed up till 2am, like three nights in a row to make one of our computer vision models work to get the performance right, because he was so passionate about what we're doing. So that enthusiasm for the mission and that ability to make the sacrifices necessary to accomplish it is something I've learned from a military, and when you come from that kind of background, you just end up attracting people who are similar as well.

 

Louisa

Yes, I bet. For both view and your journeys which we went into a bit earlier, the transition, was there support on the way from when you were moving from the military? And is there advice or groups you can go to? Sonny mentioned you went into consultancy, I can't imagine that was easy to get into and also going through that change. What was the support like?

 

Sonny

Honestly, I'll tell you right now coming out of the military, if I did not go to business school, I'll probably be working some job that pays $40,000 to $50,000, which is perfectly fine. But it would have been a significant pay cut from the military just because I would have gone for years without the very specific industry and functional experiences and many other people develop right after undergrad. So I chose to go to business school and I encourage most veterans, if you're looking to transition into private sector, there are some placement agencies, especially if you did something very specific that transfers really well into the private sector. You can land on your feet and be enrolled that's potentially pays as well as what you made in the military. But otherwise, if you come from a very generalist skill set, if you're an artillery officer for example, there's really nothing a private sector that transfers skills that translates to doing something on a job. So I really encourage people go to business school, that was my support network, the Booth network is wonderful. The job placement resources from a top business school is also wonderful. Companies come to you instead of you going out job hunting, they have career fairs and recruiting events, and happy hours for companies to be candidates. For me it was a very, natural transition where I had two years to build my skillset, build my network and get the recruiting job placement resources to transition to a new career. So I highly recommend that for other veterans who don't really know what they want to do.

 

Louisa

This sounds like a huge support network and so much to be gained from it. What about you, Nicholas?

 

Nicholas

It’s a little bit different for enlisted folks, so you are given out processing support, where they try to help you generate what your CV or your resume should look like. What skills would be transferable from what you did in the military to the private sector, try to make some connections, but it's at least or at most, a week's worth of time where that that comes into play for you as you're leaving the service. So it's not as much as I would hope for veterans overall. But we do come from this amazing personhood of people who've served together, and the biggest thing that resonates for me as I was coming out was just how many people were willing to make that introduction, write that letter, connect you with folks that they thought could be useful in your journey. And that just is such a useful network that's inherent to just having put on your uniform together, that I think veterans do have a benefit in that in that regard.

 

Louisa

And since you're both going into the world of prop tech in your own companies, what's been your biggest success or achievement to date? Sonny you go first.

 

Sonny

I actually I think it's pretty easy. For me, I think the biggest achievement to date Is being able to put that team together and convince them to come and work with me to build the company that we've built today. To date, we are at about $2.5 million dollars of annual revenues, and we just started a company two and a half years ago. And we are dipping our toes and starting to raise that series A. I don't think I'm the smartest guy or the most talented guy in the world and from time to time, actually pretty lazy. But the ability to get world class people to come and subscribe to the vision and mission of what we're trying to build here and riding their coattails, I am more than happy to do that for the rest of the time that this company is existing. And I think that's definitely my proudest achievement so far.

 

Louisa

Yes, I'm not surprised. It's pretty impressive. What about you, Nichola?

 

Nicholas

That’s such a tough question. I've been incredibly lucky and fortunate to have done what I've done thus far in life, my greatest accomplishment would be having that opportunity and being able to take advantage of it. Specifically at Blueprint, being able to bring this new vision of what the grid looks like and not be constrained necessarily by “Well, this is the way it's always been done. Or this is the legacy of why this exists” and just bring a new vision and new set of eyes to that problem set, has been incredibly rewarding for me. I just became a father last year and knowing that I'm building something that will improve the earth for her as she gets older is then such a reward for me personally. And to echo a little bit of what Sonny said, being able to build a team and mentor that team and watch it grow and shape and change as a leader just an incredibly rewarding thing also.

 

Louisa

Yes, it's definitely something that lacks in a lot of corporates, and from a recruiters point of view and the amount of people I speak to, it's a different satisfaction than getting a big paycheck, isn't it? It’s people thanking you for giving them more autonomy, giving them a chance to grow something pretty fresh, which large businesses they can't give. And so not surprised with  your answers there. You both worked across information security at some point in your careers. There is an ongoing debate about the power of technology companies have due to the amount of data they collect from people. This is something you mentioned earlier about how you can do it more ethically. How do you see this issue being resolved? Or do you think we will, we will increasingly become a more documented society? What do you predict is going to happen? Sonny, you want to go first?

 

Sonny

Yes, so for us in terms of the mission statement and a vision of our company, we made a conscious effort and we actually spoke with the entire team about this, to become a privacy conscious company. And the increasing fear is that the world is going to become more and more trending towards becoming a surveillance state right where your every single move is going to be tracked by some government agency or some small group of very, very powerful corporations. And we believe that we can contribute meaningfully to a mission of keeping people safe, without having to do so. So we made a conscious decision as a company that we're not doing facial recognition. And we made a conscious decision as a company, despite some customers asking for this capability to build the ability to search for search for human beings and video by their clothing, by skin colour, or other types of identifying features. The only thing that we identify is the way that generic human beings interact with each other that could potentially be a yellow flag or trigger for threats, or identifying an object such as a firearm, or some weapon that requires immediate response. So we find that's a happy medium in terms of developing capabilities that keep people safe. And while still avoiding a lot of privacy, pitfalls that other computer vision companies may fall into.

 

Louisa

Nicholas, what about you?

 

Nicholas

Yes, since the beginning of Blueprint we've focused on giving the data back to our building owners and customers, the tagline, “It's your data, you should have access to it,” which seemed very natural for us. But we found as we were getting more and more into PropTech, that that wasn't necessarily the de facto, where companies saw that data as theirs and even though it belong to the building, it was contracted for them, they made it quite difficult to get to get it out of their systems. And that just went against what we thought should be the market. So I mean, that's been key to everything that we do, and providing open API’s open integration points, well documented security practices, has all been centred around the idea that this belongs to you. Even though we're collecting it, even though we're using it, at the end of the day it's yours. But to the more philosophical question about security and data, I think it was Dylan that said, privacy you can sell, but you can never buy it back. As an industry and as a space, we just need to understand that that choice is always going to be there and make sure that we've put guard rails up with regulations like the GDPR, or California's Consumer Privacy Act, those things are helping I think shaped the industry and also teach people about what they should expect from that privacy and from the sharing of that data. So I'm excited to see the industry beginning to think more about it holistically.

 

Louisa

Yes, there’s definitely further thought the needs to happen. And now, both of you've had different career paths, is there another industry you would like to go down? Sonny?

 

Sonny

I think it's one step at a time. We're just trying to grow this company as big as possible and make as big of a positive impact on society as we can. I really haven't put that much thought into it to be honest with you.

 

Louisa

Nicholas, any other industry you would have gone into?

 

Nicholas

That's a tough one. I am fortunate to live in between all of my family who are farmers here in Northern Michigan, and I am jealous sometimes to look out the window and watch them working a field and then look back at my screen. There seems to be something that you get out of seeing that work actually come to completion vs. code compiling. So I don't know maybe a farmer following in family footsteps.

 

Louisa

And for talking about both your products now, what is next for both your businesses? Is there anything new coming out in the next year and what you're seeing your customers are looking for? Sonny go ahead.

 

Sonny

Yes, well to be honest with you really just focusing a lot on scaling our core features to be able to serve more customers more effectively and more efficiently. I think beyond that as well, we are doing more R&D right now into behavioural analysis. So be able to identify things like when a fight has occurred on a security camera frames, or when somebody has fainted, or is laid down for some reason. So a lot of these behaviours are a little bit just slightly more subjective than objective, for example “Oh, is the person holding a weapon in his or her hand?” Those are more challenging use cases and they open a lot more potential doors in terms of security camera monitoring that previously did not exist.

 

Louisa

And what about you Nicholas?

 

Nicholas

Scaling, of course. I mean, we're startup so that's always the next step. But we're incredibly focused on opening up to new geographies. So New York has some really great regulations for advancing the grid. The government's been very proactive and looking at carbon footprints in New York City. So as in new geographies, both in the US and globally we are focusing on those things. Also, it's an opportunity for us to grow our business in those areas. But I think the biggest item coming down for grid security is going to be it's wonderful that we can connect all of these services and bring all of these sensors and command and control interfaces online. But how do we do so in a way that doesn't expose what is critical infrastructure? So I'm excited to listen to the regulators, the national and federal levels and state levels talk about how do we secure these grid connected devices and help proliferate their usage throughout these large cities.

 

Louisa

Best of luck to the both of you with growing your teams and growing your businesses and developing your products. We are coming to the end of the show, but you've already given a lot of insight to your personal journeys. Any last bit of advice you'd like to give for people moving into this space, and then also the best way to connect with you. Sonny, if you'd like to go first?

 

Sonny

Yes, I think a pandemic is the best time to start a company. Here's a reason right, there's less opportunity cost because the likelihood of you getting promoted or getting a higher paying job somewhere else is less than it is in a fully booming economy. There's gonna be a tonne of talent out there, a lot of talented people now that are looking for a next opportunity, either because they got laid off through no fault of their own or for other reasons. This is a really good time if you want to start a PropTech company or otherwise to jump into it, because of the reasons I just mentioned. The best way to get in contact with me is through my email address, it’s sonny@actuate.ai

 

Louisa

Thank you very much for that Sonny, and Nicholas any bit of advice you'd like to give to the audience?

 

Nicholas

Yes, that was a great point from Sonny, I started my first company in 2008, directly following the financial crisis, which also was probably not the best time to do so. But in that chaos, there is a lot of opportunity. And a lot of people who are evaluating life choices differently , ended up being a really great thing for us. So I would always recommend people to not let the chaos and uncertainty be a bad thing, the military teaches us there's a benefit to that you can take advantage of it. So always be looking for those opportunities and those open doors. And then I best way to get a hold of me is @oneguynick on Twitter or LinkedIn. And I just wanted to throw out there for any young airman looking at what's next, whether they're from the US military or abroad, we all put uniforms on, we all share a common background and theme, please feel free to reach out and I'll do whatever I can to make those opportunities open.

 

Louisa

Awesome. Well, Sonny and Nicholas, thank you very much for joining us on the podcast. It's been fascinating hearing about both your career paths. And best of luck to both of you to the end of this year, and fingers crossed for a good start next year. And I look forward to catching up with you both after the show.

 

Sonny

Thank you Louisa, I really appreciate you having us.

 

Nicholas

Thank you.

 

Louisa

Thank you for joining us this week on the podcast and a big thanks to our special guests. Make sure you visit our website www.lmre.co.uk where you can subscribe to our show. Or you'll find us on iTunes and Spotify where all good content is found. While you're at it, if you found value of the show, we'd appreciate it if you could rate and review us on iTunes, or if you simply spread the word. Be sure to tune in next Tuesday, and I'll catch you later.

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