State of the GEM 2021
Diverse by role, sector, and geography, the GEM is a community of more than 350 proptech founders, execs, VCs, and tech-forward practitioners.
A private group of independent thinkers, free from sponsored messages, sales pitches, and noise — our Mantra is simple: Go deep and keep it tight-knit. The GEM is not the largest proptech community, and never will be (membership is capped at 1,500 members). We were created to provide an objective lens into the trends, companies, people, and ideas shaping the future of real estate.
We are often asked about the types of people and companies represented among the membership. So what did we do? We manually categorized every member by sector, role, and geography. For the first time, we have hard data to answer that question. That’s partly why we did it, but also for our own purposes, to understand the unique range of individuals within our community so that we can better cater content development and programming.
As of January 13th (we’ll update this publicly yearly going forward, and quarterly internally)…
Total members: 372
…from sectors far and wide…
… in varying roles..
…representing locations across the globe.
First, the obvious: We are exceptionally well represented in residential (including property management and rentals). I believe that is reflected in the past year’s coverage, which included deep dives on many residential topics.
Beyond delving deeper into CRE, I’d also like to see coverage of social impact and tech investments grow, given our goal of furthering innovation, progress, and outcomes. Further, the next time we publish a report, you’ll see a new macro sector added to the mix: Climate Tech.
Coverage-wise, if you saw our 2021 predictions, you know I’m deeply committed to putting climate change front and center in the years ahead.
Founders are the core of this community, and that will remain the case for as far as we can see into the future.
2020 was meant to focus on hosting regular membership dinners and lunches across the country. It didn’t happen, for Covid-19 reasons we’re all aware of. In 2022, I could conceivably appear at events in the six largest GEM hubs (or even the top 10) in the U.S.
I’ve long believed the content side of GEM is even more valuable to an international executive, as most of those executives are interested in better understanding the evolution of the tech industry in the United States. The pockets of international members supports the idea that there is value even without regular in-person gatherings. I can’t promise anything internationally in 2021, but growing our base outside the United States is a priority. We want the very best founders building portals, hardware for smart buildings/homes, and financial innovation represented from every corner of the world.
EVENTS / NETWORKING
I’m praying we can put the pandemic behind us and return to physical gatherings later in the year. When the world returns to some sense of normalcy, we’ll be leading the charge to get back to our roots of IRL community-building. That said, despite the pandemic, we did manage to host six physical events in 2020 — most pre-Covid-19, and then one Seattle happy hour at an outside beer garden a few months back.
GEM walks/hikes will continue in Seattle in 2021, as well as begin in Southern California.
And, some color on our virtual events…
”Proptech networking roulette”: A monthly staple the past few months (seven events total), the sessions consist of a series of five minute one-on-ones. Participants have loved the rapid-fire aspect to fill their top-of-funnel.
After Hours: I’ve really personally enjoyed this one; many thanks to Jack Burns for championing and hosting the twice per month virtual relationship-building exercise on Saturday mornings. We’ll keep this going in 2021, and if the group gets too large (more than twenty), we’ll spin out multiple versions of it.
Early-stage fundraising office hours: This has been well-received. Thanks to Mark Hurst and Jonathan Bednarsh for hosting those sessions. We’ll make these a quarterly occurrence for any members raising capital, and bring additional venture capitalists and angels into the fold.
Practice Pitches: Eleven peer pitches were conducted in 2020. Want to be in the hot seat this year? Let me know.
We strive to always improve how the GEM can better serve, inform, and connect our community, and 2020 presented a unique set of challenges that allowed us to come together in ways that will echo into the future. Virtual events are here to stay, even as we resume in-person gatherings. Stories and topics covered will continue to focus on progress and outcomes. We’ve spent a year rising to face the unprecedented challenges that impacted how we live, work, and even discourse. 2021 is off to a fresh start. As we welcome a new President into the Oval Office, I’m looking forward to rounding the bend to a more unified future.
FOR THE VCS / ACCELERATORS
While most of our members come to us directly via referral, we’d love to help your portfolio founders stay on the cutting edge of tech, cross-pollinate C-level relationships, and learn from peers in far-reaching corners of the industry. If you are interested, we want to speak with you. Drop us a line anytime at [email protected]
the GEM BRIEFING
A PRIVATE GROUP OF INDEPENDENT THINKERS, FREE FROM SPONSORED MESSAGES, SALES PITCHES AND NOISE
There are four parts to membership:
- Long-form articles covering the spectrum from shipping container co-living spaces to the battle for listing acquisition in the first iBuyer world war (Weekly Transmission).
- Curated real estate, startups, & built world links & analysis blended with out of the box ideas (Weekly Radar).
- Special reports (a category review of Small Landlord Prop Mgmt Software & quarterly earnings summaries).
- Networking opportunities with 350+ innovators from across the globe through the private forum & in-person gatherings.
OUR MEMBER PROMISE
- We deliver an exclusive, objective lens into the trends, companies, people, and ideas shaping real estate technology with thought-provoking analysis and conversations that keep you inspired every week.
- We help you make better, more well-informed decisions to help grow and support people and companies making a difference in real estate.
- We enable discovery and meeting others with shared interests online and in-person (whether they live near you or are traveling to the same conference).
GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING
- Transmissions and Radars have become a trusted signal for industry news and analysis.
- Articles and ideas are regularly discussed in product & strategy meetings.
- Our virtual workgroups bring together a diverse mix of C-Suite execs to discuss real issues.
- We’ve introduced members to new vendors, partners, and friends.
With a mission to attract the 1,500 most forward-thinking, and diverse, innovators, we’re looking for the best and brightest in all the land...
Membership is $109 / quarter
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