A group of the UK’s most innovative social housing providers have come together to launch HouseMark Evolve, which offers support to startups looking to break into this market. The first ever partnership of its kind, this 12-week programme promises to help entrepreneurs understand the businesses opportunities that exist for them in this sector and support the development of new and necessary products and services.
The group contains 13 leading social housing providers who own and manage hundreds of thousands of homes across the country including Bath-based Curo. It is led by HouseMark, the leading provider of social housing data and insight, in partnership with L Marks, a corporate innovation specialist and early-stage investor who have a history of bringing startups and corporates together for mutual benefit.
Successful applicants will have access to free London office space, senior mentors, piloting opportunities and potential investors. The programme is looking to collaborate with businesses providing solutions to benefit:
- House building – building quicker, cheaper and better homes to help address the shortage of social and low cost housing.
- Older and vulnerable people – helping potentially vulnerable people feel happy and comfortable in their homes and communities.
- Repairs and maintenance in people’s homes needs to be quicker and easier to arrange and more efficient to run.
- Use, analysis and management of data to make better decisions.
- Behavioural insights and engagement to help understand customers and colleagues, and interact in new and interesting ways.
- Digital channels which help connect us to tenants in fast and easy ways.
Commenting on the UK housing crisis, David Done, CEO of programme hosts RHP, said: “The social housing sector is going through a huge change. There is a massive shortage of affordable homes in the UK. That means we have to be super innovative and creative in our response to that challenge. We are looking for really bright, creative people who can help us do that.”
Arturo Dell, Product Development Director at HouseMark added, “We are very excited by HouseMark Evolve because it is the first sector-wide programme of its kind. We know there is a need and we know there are bright minds and new ideas and we are looking forward to seeing what happens when we bring them together.”
Stuart Marks, Chairman at L Marks and serial entrepreneur explained the benefits of the programme: “HouseMark Evolve is a fantastic opportunity for startups to get to know the opportunities that exist in this exciting and essential market. Not only will the startups involved gain access to superb mentorship and potential investment, they will be helping to improve thousands of lives by addressing real issues within the UK social housing market. We are excited to help the sector move towards a more innovative way of working and ensure that the sector’s first ever programme is a success.”
Applications are now open and companies have until 9 October 2016 to submit their applications to www.housemarkevolve.com.