In the second episode of Season 10 of the Propcast, host Louisa Dickins is joined by Taylor Wescoatt, General Partner at Concrete VC and Guy Grainger, Global Head of Sustainability Services and ESG at JLL.
They discuss why global real estate leaders are refocusing their investment strategy and turning to venture capital to help reach net zero. Taylor Wescoatt shares Concrete VC’s big plans with the sustainable fund and how they managed to get some huge real estate names to invest. Guy talks about JLL’s strategy around net zero and their involvement in the fund. Taylor and Guy share with Louisa how technology, both internally and externally, will help businesses reach their sustainability goals.
Key Insights From This Episode:
About Our Guests:
Taylor’s career in technology product management spans 20 years of startups and larger pioneers like eBay and AOL. He started Concrete in 2016 with Starwood and JLL as founding partners out of a recognition that the coming wave of change in Real Estate would be primarily driven by technology. Concrete’s mission remains to help leading players in the Real Estate sector see better into the future by engaging with the most compelling and visionary founders in the technology sector to drive revenue, operational efficiency, and net-zero environmental goals.
Guy Grainger is Global Head of Sustainability Services and ESG at NYSE-listed real estate services company JLL. He has overall responsibility for sustainability services, products and strategy, and for JLL’s corporate sustainability program.
Previously, Guy led the EMEA region since June 2016, also serving as a member of JLL’s Global Executive Board. Prior to that, he was CEO of the UK business between 2013 and 2016, having originally joined as a senior leader of the Churston Heard business acquired by JLL in 2008.
Outside of JLL, Guy is Chair of the Circular Economy Taskforce at responsible business organisation Business in the Community and Vice President at the British Property Federation.
An alumnus of the London Business School Senior Executive Programme, he is also an established media commentator on sustainability, the built and natural environment, and amateur triathlete in his spare time.
About Concrete Ventures:
Concrete Ventures is a venture capital investor working closely with leading global real estate partners to understand their key challenges and identify and invest in the technology startup founders delivering real impact.
We’re here to create rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces around the globe where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we are building a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities.
We’re a world leader in real estate services, powered by an entrepreneurial spirit. We want the most ambitious clients to work with us, and the most ambitious people to work for us. It’s as simple as that.
We buy, build, occupy and invest in a variety of assets including industrial, commercial, retail, residential and hotel real estate. From tech startups to global firms, our clients span industries including banking, energy, healthcare, law, life sciences, manufacturing and technology.
About Our Host
Louisa is the co-founder of LMRE, which has rapidly become the market leading global PropTech recruitment platform and search consultancy with operations across North America, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
To promote the industry she is so passionate about, Louisa set up the Global podcast ‘The Propcast’where she hosts and invites guests from the built environment space to join her in conversation about innovation.
LMRE is globally recognised for leading the way in Real Estate Tech & Innovation talent management.
From the outset our vision was to become a global provider of the very best strategic talent to the most innovative organisations in PropTech, ConTech, Smart Buildings, ESG, Sustainability and Strategic Consulting.
At LMRE we are fully committed at all times to exceed the expectations of our candidates and clients by providing the very best advice and by unlocking exclusive opportunities across our global network in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.
[1:16] Guy: Can you talk us through how you ended up as Global Head of Sustainability and ESG Services?
[2:57] Taylor: Can you expand on the fund recently launched by Concrete VC and tell us how you found your partner Arnaud and what it is you do?
[4:39] Guy: What is JLL’s involvement in Concrete’s fund?
[6:47] Taylor: What sort of investments are you going to be looking at and is there any particular strategy for them?
[8:04] Taylor: Will you be looking for more partners within the fund?
[9:14] Guy: Could you elaborate on the services and solutions that you offer your clients at JLL?
[12:40] Guy: What are your thoughts on the government’s recent strategy on climate change?
[15:15] Taylor: Why is there hesitancy from the clients to use the technology?
[17:21] Guy: What needs to be done in this industry to move it forward quicker?
[22:05] The ‘LMRE’ part, Louisa asks the guests to talk about;
L – Touch on the main lessons you have learnt throughout your career.
Taylor: I’ve really started to appreciate the nature of the building of relationships in the real estate sector.
M – Please give a mention to anyone / product / service.
Guy: Your network is really important, and meeting more diverse people or adjacent industries that are going to give you more pioneering or creative thoughts.
R – What has been the most rewarding aspect of working in PropTech?
Taylor: I have never seen a longer, more sustained uphill climb in learning that I know that I am facing than in the real estate sector. There is constantly so much to learn in this space and I love that.
E – What are you excited about in the future of the sustainability world of real estate?
Guy: I am really excited about batteries, I think they’re going to save the world. Electric vehicles are going to disappear pretty fast because of the innovation around batteries. Once we can create them without rare resources like lithium, it will change the world.
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