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HouseMark: Evolve

Dedicated to improving housing standards, HouseMark is the leading provider of social housing data, providing real insights for the social housing sector, with over 950 housing organisations as members.

Heightened risk, a stronger focus on value for money and cultural shifts presented new challenges to leaders in the sector to balance commercial thinking with social purpose.  With a recognition that the social housing sector needs to adapt if it was to respond effectively to the rapid advancements of technology, HouseMark partnered with L Marks to create the UK’s first accelerator for the social housing sector – HouseMark Evolve.

To create impact across the industry, the programme engaged with 13 leading and most forward-thinking housing providers including: Camden, CHP, Flagship Group, Curo, Metropolitan, mhs homes, Peabody, RHP, River Clyde Homes, Together Housing Group, Torus, Viridian and Walsall Housing Group, all working together to support these startups in their endeavour to disrupt the social housing sector.

Running for 12 weeks and hosted by RHP, HouseMark Evolve brought together housing providers and startups to give tenants a better experience, and to innovate current processes in order to overcome the current challenges of the sector.

The key focal areas included:

  • House building
  • Supporting older and vulnerable people
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Data management, use and analysis
  • Behavioural insights and engagement to help understand customers and colleagues.
  • Digital channels which help to connect tenants and providers in fast and easy ways.

Throughout the programme, the six selected startups collaborated with the housing providers to develop the business opportunities that exist within the sector, as well as supporting the development of new and necessary products and services.

“The absolute beauty of HouseMark Evolve, in the startups point of view, was that the potential customers are there from the beginning of the program and are willing to address their challenges openly to the startups in the program, After the first talks with the pioneers of the programme, we could immediately identify joint needs for each provider and vertical needs addressing the whole UK housing sector and could steer our solution to the right direction throughout the program.”

Topi Tiihonen
Co-founder & CEO, SkenarioLabs

The launch of Evolve reached the press and startups worldwide, with applications received from 17 different countries. 26 startups were invited to Pitch Day of which six finalists were selected to join the programme.

Results

Four of the six startups ran trials during the programme, and two of these went on to agree commercial contracts with the housing providers immediately following HouseMark Evolve.

SkenarioLabs

SkenarioLabs provides a visual service (SaaS), which exploits open data and scientific methods to produce relevant data to recognize the most decisive variables regarding built environment, energy efficiency, climate and cost effects as well as evaluation and testing of sustainable solutions and reviewing them with different future scenarios. For housing providers, SkenarioLabs is able to provide them with full capacity to evaluate and understand built environment and its functions, energy efficiency, emissions and costs as well as the parameters that affect them.

SkenarioLabs are based in Helsinki, and Evolve allowed them to access not only customers in the UK, but better their understanding of the UK market and social housing sector. They ran 3 pilots during the programme, with RHP, Peabody and MHS, and commercially engaged with an additional 6 providers following Demo Day.

“SkenarioLabs will be a game changer for the sector, allowing easy access to truly actionable insight at a pace never envisaged before.”

Francois Mounier
Head of Business Engagement and Solution Delivery, Peabody

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