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Founders in Focus: Rob Coorey from Archistar
Archistar helps property professionals find profitable development sites, assess for feasibility and generate architectural design strategies
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We’ve recently expanded the coverage for Founders in Focus to founders outside our portfolio to help shine a light on the amazing builders in the broader start-up community! This month, I had a call with Rob Coorey from Archistar, a generative design platform that helps property professionals of all sizes to find profitable development sites, assess for feasibility and generate dozens of architectural design strategies — all within a few minutes.
In what has historically been an industry late to the party in terms of tech adoption, Archistar has a global market opportunity with the ability to disrupt across all stages of property development, from site selection and feasibility to building design and property sales & marketing. In my chat with Rob, we delve into Archistar’s journey to date, the company’s expansion plans and the vision moving forward.
Prior to joining Archistar Rob was a Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and successful marketer, listed by Startup Australia as one of Australia’s Top 50 Entrepreneurs. This conversation explores the evolution of Archistar to date and the vision moving forward as the platform continues rapid expansion.
What was the inspiration behind founding Archistar?
Rob — Our Founder Dr. Ben Coorey is passionate about teaching and wants the world to benefit from his knowledge, as well as the collective global knowledge of property and design specialists. First, he took the most direct route of teaching as an architecture professor at the University of Technology, Sydney. In order to ‘scale’ his teaching, he created the Archistar Academy which is an online educational platform, teaching technical architectural and design skills. Still today, teaching and simplifying technical concepts is at the heart of Archistar’s values.
Evolving from an educational platform, Archistar now serves multiple industry stakeholders (developers, real estate agents, architects, builders etc.). Was this always the product vision to make the platform accessible and relevant from so many different perspectives?
Rob — We originally focused on making complex computational design accessible to the world without specialist knowledge. However, market feedback made us quickly realise that design does not exist in a vacuum. Government regulations, existing context and market activity are all just as important when it comes to building design. We found that our team’s unique combination of skills and speed meant we were best placed to tackle this complex problem. One of Archistar’s core tenets is to listen to our customers and work extremely fast to chip away at the most important feedback. The result is the holistic platform that you see today.
Expanding overseas is often a challenging experience for founders. What was the rationale behind targeting the US and UK initially, and how far do you see the product’s reach in the mid-to-long term?
Rob — The challenges experienced by the Australian property industry are not unique. Every property/design company or governing body wants more data, transparency, and efficiency. We have had the most interest and enquiry from the US and UK and we’re answering the call.
You have an industry titan in Airtree on the register, as well as attracting the likes of Skip Capital. What are the key factors you evaluate and seek to leverage when partnering with a VC investor?
Rob — We are very happy with Airtree and Skip on our register. Both companies are genuine partners in helping us scale the business. We look for venture capital investors who add value and support our vision.
As the Archistar platform continues to develop and evolve, where do you see the platform in 12 to 24 months’ time?
Rob — Over the next two years, we anticipate the Archistar platform will be live and in widespread use across the US and UK, with more of the property development process digitised from end-to-end. We also see our Innovation Labs arm becoming established as the world’s most trusted and innovative proptech partner.
Learn more about Archistar.
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