Startup Q&A - Enertiv Transforms Building Data into Asset Value
Enertiv is a real estate technology company that streamlines building operations through its platform by digitizing the physical infrastructure of commercial real estate portfolios. The company was founded in 2009 by Connell McGill (CEO) and Pavel Khodorkovskiy (CTO).
I spoke to McGill to learn more about the New York City-based business, including the story of its founding and what positions it’s hiring for.
Alex Culafi (AC): To start, Connell, tell me about your background. What was your career like prior to founding Enertiv?
Connell McGill (CM): Growing up, I was always trying to start companies. This passion led me to Babson College where I studied entrepreneurship. I worked for a top strategic management and marketing consultancy for a couple of years, but I started Enertiv when I was 24. The truth is, there wasn’t much of a career before Enertiv.
AC: What’s the story of Enertiv? How did it get started?
CM: My classmate at Babson, Pavel Khodorkovskiy, and I worked on the idea of Enertiv for a while before launching the company. We knew that in order to streamline building operations for large portfolios, we were going to need to capture better data, faster and more affordably than was possible at the time. We incorporated the company in 2011 as a hardware and software solution. The hardware enabled us to build an enormous data set of building operating conditions quickly. The software was designed to transform that data into actionable insights for owners and operators.
AC: I’d love to hear more about Enertiv and how your real estate platform works. In other words, for the uninitiated, what is Enertiv?
CM: Enertiv is a real estate technology company that streamlines building operations by digitizing the physical infrastructure of commercial real estate portfolios.
AC: How has the company (and platform) evolved over time?
CM: When we started, we had all this data, but we weren’t sure how to make it valuable and actionable. Over the last eight years, we have worked in close collaboration with owners and operators of some of the largest real estate portfolios and collected nearly 3 billion machine hours worth of data. That depth of knowledge has completely transformed the platform and every decision we make at the company.
AC: Who are your core customers?
CM: We provide easy to use solutions for every stakeholder in building operations, from the boardroom to the boiler room. Our platform is designed to meet the unique needs of office, multifamily, hospitality, and industrial real estate portfolios.
AC: What does the competition look like? Is there any?
CM: There are many companies that use data to help real estate companies run their buildings better. The difference is that the Enertiv OPS platform has been designed to integrate a much wider range of data and that it is not a siloed solution for preventative maintenance, or energy management, or networking IoT sensors, it is a holistic solution for streamline every aspect of building operations.
AC: What kind of success have you had so far?
CM: We have a number of case studies you can check out on our website. Our clients include some of the biggest players in each of the verticals we target – Colliers (office), Related (multifamily), KKR (hospitality), and Prologis (industrial) are some examples. We are also backed by leading real estate technology funds including Fifth Wall, MetaProp, and Rudin Management.
AC: How big is the team? Looking to hire any particular positions in the coming months?
CM: Yes! We’re growing rapidly and are looking for a range of positions, especially Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) and a Senior Operations Manager.
AC: What’s next for the company?
CM: We are integrating additional data streams, discovering new insights within the data we capture, and building more solutions to make buildings easier to operate and more profitable to own. We have a big product announcement coming soon, but you’ll have to wait a little longer for that…
AC: Any final thoughts?
CM: Real estate technology, or PropTech, is getting a lot of headlines recently. A lot of solutions that are getting pitched to owners are designed to put a fresh coat of paint on that old car. We think that you should first make sure the engine is going to get you where you need to go. The value of the Enertiv OPS platform comes from the asset value it creates (about $13 a sq ft), but we also like to point out that operating buildings better will make tenants happier, which is crucial to any real estate company.