Bridging startups and industry leaders to drive purposeful innovation

Bridging startups and industry leaders to drive purposeful innovation

As Jeff Bezos once said: “What’s dangerous is to not evolve.” While most business leaders understand that stagnation is fatal, for a host of reasons established companies often struggle to innovate—purposefully and powerfully.

The potential to shape how people will work and live in the future creates natural synergies between Investa and leading founder incubator, Antler. Antler partners with founders to launch and scale startups that address meaningful opportunities and challenges.

Investa x Antler: Shaping how people work and live in the future


Through Antler's global community of tech startups, Investa will have access to a wide spectrum of early-stage solutions to drive opportunities. In addition, Investa will benefit from global insights from entrepreneurs disrupting at the edge and access a global network of founders, investors, and progressive peer organisations.

Deepak Jayaraman, Global Head of Business Development and Collaboration at Antler said: “By serving as a translator, we are helping Investa and companies within our portfolio bridge the corporate-startup relationship. By facilitating deep problem and opportunity statement analysis we can source and pair Investa with relevant startups across Antler’s portfolio that might have solutions for verified use cases”.


Experiment with varied approaches or risk obsolesce 


Real estate touches all aspects of the human experience and contains massive opportunities for new wealth creation along with global carbon footprint reduction and consequently improved quality of life for all.

Real estate accounts for two-thirds of global assets, making it one of the most valuable industry sectors. Alongside the sheer wealth captured within the industry, the built environment is also, unfortunately, one of the greatest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 39% of global energy-related carbon emissions.

According to Kristy Bartlett, General Manager of Innovation and Transformation,  Investa, startup partnerships serve as an opportunity to leverage novel solutions to solve challenges at an expedited speed.

Put simply, three strategic opportunities support the business case for Investa’s collaboration with Antler:

    • Continually innovate to find new ways to grow and adapt.

    • Encourage divergent thinking to challenge the status quo.

    • Nurture a thriving local RE (real estate) service ecosystem to enable the sector as a whole to grow and adapt.


“There is a massive opportunity for technology to uplift the real estate industry, but our sector has historically remained digitally nascent. We’re very good at our core business. But our core business is not driving startup-led innovation. Sourcing startups and evaluating the best ideas to back winning solutions requires significant effort, expertise, and reach. Successful companies know where to focus their internal efforts and where partnering with others will lead to better outcomes." Kristy Bartlett, General Manager, Innovation, Investa. 


Amy Wild, Head of Corporate Operations, Investa, maintains that organisations that aren't leaning into this space and making the time to explore different ways of doing things just won't be here in the next few years.

“Partnerships between large industry players and startups remain a strategic channel for us to source, evaluate, and execute new ideas to drive growth. We’ve worked hard to foster an entrepreneurial culture and mindset, but it’s collaborating with the right people and partners where the magic happens.

Investa has executed more than four internal and open innovation venture builds, with products ranging from a tool that delivers real-time data from a subset of Investa’s building portfolio to an initiative to innovate the way sustainability metrics are collected and reported." Amy Wild, Head of Corporate Operations, Investa. 


The power of diverse and divergent thinking


Innovation inherently comes with risk but the status quo may be riskier.

According to “The Ambidextrous Organization” in the Harvard Business Review, “The Roman god Janus had two sets of eyes—one pair focusing on what lay behind, the other on what lay ahead. General managers and corporate executives should be able to relate. They, too, must constantly look backward, attending to the products and processes of the past, while also gazing forward, preparing for the innovations that will define the future.”

A structured and disciplined approach to innovation is essential to minimise effort, cost, and cultural impact. Intentionality, structure, and discipline support managers as they build confidence in the outcomes of innovation and also provide permission to participate.


Companies cannot do this in isolation, which only creates an echo chamber. The most effective innovations are born when diverse and divergent thinking collides with an insight or data point and finds new ways to view the problem, challenge, or opportunity.

Stay tuned for more learnings and results from this exciting collaboration and for more information please contact Kristy Bartlett.

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