Startup profile: BuilderStorm, winner of TechPitch 4.5
David Lawrence has been a civil engineer in the construction industry for 20 years, working on Heathrow Terminal 5 and winning an award for his work on Selfridges in Birmingham. But he became increasingly frustrated with the amount of paper work he had to do, so came up with an online system to streamline the process. “I came up with an idea for my own benefit rather, but someone saw it and asked if they could buy it,” said Lawrence. “I knew then I was on to something.”
His experience of using legacy software solutions directly influenced the development of BuilderStorm. “I’ve used other products that are supposed to do what we now do, but they were cumbersome, complicated and expensive,” he said. “BuilderStorm is the complete opposite.”
What is BuilderStorm?
BuilderStorm is an online system designed to bring all companies, contractors, designers and engineers on a building project together via a variety of features.
“[With BuilderStorm], everyone is on same calendar,” Lawrence explained. “The software is modular, so it can be built to fit. We have over 30 features to manage a construction project, including diaries, drawings, hosting, and asset management.”
In 2011, the UK government published a mandate that all construction projects be compliant with the UK government’s BIM initiatve. The objective is to reduce “capital cost and the carbon burden from the construction and operation of the built environment by 20%. Central to these ambitions is the adoption of information rich Building Information Modelling (BIM) technologies, process and collaborative behaviours that will unlock new more efficient ways of working at all stages of the project life-cycle.”
Lawrence’s experience in construction created a deep understanding of why such standards were needed. “Construction was previously plagued with people working with wrong information, with no coordination between companies,” he explained. “BuilderStorm can enable all companies and contractors to become fully BIM compliant by providing one source of information stored online, which reduces costs and increases product margins. It makes sure everyone is on the same page.”
A winning pitch
BuilderStorm won the judges’ vote at TechPitch 4.5, an experience Lawrence said was “massively useful. It was good to see what everyone else was pitching.”
At the networking portion of the events, people were queuing to speak to him. “There were a number of people interested in investing,” he said.
BuilderStorm has been self-funded to date, and is now aiming to raise £150K with CrowdCube, the online crowdfunding platform.
To apply to pitch at our next TechPitch 4.5 on 31 January 2017, please visit the 4.5 website.
Also, come to our inaugural TechPitch 4.5 PLAY, in collaboration with Hasbro, on 22 November 2016.