104 year old trade group launches tech incubator
The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) investment arm, Second Century Ventures was officially launched, branded, and began partnering with technology companies that serve the real estate industry, operating exclusively on returns, and not member dues. The goal of innovation has been lauded by other industries, but the organization was only partnering with established companies like DocuSign, rather than the budding ideas and bootstrap startups that could dominate the space with the right money and connections.
Enter REach™, the new real estate technology incubator which accepts companies at all stages of growth, noting that the accelerator program “will be particularly useful to those just now turning a focus to the real estate ecosystem,” hinting that it will not necessarily operate like the traditional startup accelerators most imagine where 20 somethings sit around in hoodies dreaming up iPhone apps.
The program will accept six to 10 companies per year, and is accepting applications through January 10, 2013. The REach™ program is nine months long and will begin in March 2013.
REach compared to other programs
In a statement, the newly formed organization explains that participating companies “will interact with some of the most highly regarded executives, digital entrepreneurs, and practitioners in the industry who run, manage or have sold companies with a combined multi-billion dollars of revenues in real estate alone.”
NAR emphasizes that “while other Accelerator programs provide some similar functions and many significant benefits, REach™’s differentiating factor is a focus on education, mentorship and market exposure around access to the trillion-dollar real estate market and the strategic expertise NAR can bring. In the process, NAR will also bring added value to its membership and continue to fulfill its core mission by identifying those technologies, resources and companies that will most benefit the industry.”
“This venture truly represents a win for all parties,” said NAR CEO Dale Stinton. “It provides our members with cutting-edge resources that have already been vetted by their association; it creates solutions for the industry, consumers and investors that will improve all stages of the home-buying and selling process; and gives these companies an unprecedented opportunity. And it’s the first time an organization like NAR is behind an accelerator like REach™, which makes it that much more powerful.”