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The Venture Junkie 
  

Pillar Technologies

New construction in the US is a trillion dollar industry where a lot can go wrong fast. Builders are beset by weather, deadlines, and accidents – any product that can give contractors (or their demanding insurers) peace of mind, is essential to success. Pillar Technologies is advancing construction site risk management, providing real-time monitoring of structural and environmental conditions that can prevent construction accidents before they happen.

How it Works

Pillar will deploy upwards of 100 small sensors strategically located throughout the building project. These sensors send data to servers which analyze parts of the building for dangerous conditions. Contractors can remotely monitor this information from an app and adjust building conditions to prevent problems. Pillar will also inform contractors if an unpredictable accident does occur so that damage can be assessed and controlled as quickly as possible.
From an insurance standpoint, knowing that a construction site has better prevention and notification systems allows for more accurately underwritten policies as damages are likely to be lower. Both contractors and insurers can use Pillar’s data to begin to understand trends in building that lead to accidents and establish preventative best practices to avoid further loss or damage.

I Want One, Where Can I get it?

Pillar is currently testing their product with several large construction firms. The lucky few contractors have given extremely positive feedback with one saying “I went from learning about the system to testing the system to depending on the system.” The company will be rolling out a Pilot Program by the end of the year, so if you’re a builder, be on the lookout.

Let’s Talk Finance

Funded: Yes, seed funding

Raising Money: Yes

Revenue: Yes, subscription model from several early adopters

Potential Customers: The top 50 construction firms who control a majority of large scale building development

Industries Served: Commercial construction, insurance

Cyclicality: Exposed to real estate market


The Men Behind the Machines

I sat down with Alex Schwarzkopf, Sean Iacobone, and Matt Joyal, the three co-founders of Pillar to get an idea of the people behind the product. The three met at Wentworth Institute of Technology and are not only colleagues, but friends. As with any good business, the genesis for Pillar came from identifying and trying to solve a problem. The team had been interviewing contractors about the biggest problems faced in the construction industry and how technology can help.
The three founders are extremely personable. The team has the humor and humility to not take themselves too seriously, and the hard work, risk-taking attitude to be creative problem solvers.

Looking to the Future

Pillar is currently testing with a few select customers. Upon successful completion of their pilot program, the company will look to roll out the product to a wider variety of customers, explore partnerships, and expand their product offering. More long term, the company will look for opportunities to diversify, expanding into adjacent markets including continued monitoring of inhabited buildings.  

For more information please go to the website at  www.pillar.tech  or contact the team directly at Alex@pillar.tech