Connect with us

Technology

Bridgit brings digital transformation to construction sites

Published

on

Bridgit founders Lauren Lake and Mallorie Brodie
Bridgit founders Lauren Lake and Mallorie Brodie
Share this:

The construction site is rapidly transforming through the adoption of digital tools. Innovators are developing technology to help stakeholders deal with tasks in an effective and efficient way. Startup Bridgit is right at the heart of that effort.

For founders Mallorie Brodie and Lauren Lake, creating a useful product for the construction site was all about transforming the workflow process for the better. According to Lake, they decided to focus on creating “transparency for the general contractor” as well as value for everyone involved in the process.

Bridgit Closeout is a mobile task management tool that allows contractors and subcontractors to track specific elements of a job site, and track when a task has been completed. It’s a far cry from the futurist vision of drones being used on job sites, but it’s a major step towards greater efficiency and a big step up in terms of clear communication.

Bridgit’s founders laid the groundwork for their product by focussing on workflow and communications issues on the job site — and for them, the answer was mobile tech.

Lake’s background in structural engineering, as well as her time on several job sites, uniquely positioned her to assess the needs of workers and managers in construction, and locate target areas for efficiency.

When Lake met Brodie at Toronto’s The Next 36 accelerator program and discussed the digital transformation of the job site, the two hit it off. It also didn’t hurt that both Brodie and Lake had a direct family connection to the industry as well: Lake’s grandfather worked in specialty trades, and Brodie’s grandfather had operated in construction.

The founders drew on feedback from friends and family, working to create a product that would improve the efficiency of task-based communication occurring on the job site. Brodie said that it was key that the new tool provided stakeholders, contractors and subcontractors with peace of mind. “We wanted to build a solution that would be valuable to all the different stakeholders.”

While there was obviously room for improvement at the job sites Lake and Brodie visited as they researched and developed their product, they didn’t want to force something on contractors and subcontractors. Digital transformation isn’t always a smooth transition for everyone involved, and they wanted to make sure they had the confidence of users.

“There was definitely a push to bring mobile to the job site,” said Lake. There wasn’t much pushback from adopters, Lake noted. She found the most important part of the product release process was going in with an open mind, allowing different users and stakeholders to voice any frustrations they might have.

Just recently, Andersen Construction in Seattle used Bridgit while working on a $150 million urgent care facilities project. Andersen had to work with several subcontractors, and conventional reports with that many parties involved would take hours to keep up to date. Bridgit allowed the company to track the whole process automatically via mobile device, and avoid an overcomplicated punch list process for the tasks at hand. That’s music to Brodie and Lake’s ears.

When it comes to high volume, complicated workflows, that’s when a mobile tool like Bridgit really gets to shine.

The data generated by the app is also turning up new insights for users. Brodie and Lake were surprised by just how much Bridget Closeout’s reporting tools were being used by people on site. ‘We found out they were using those reports every single day,’ said Brodie. The app currently provides users with tools to create a number of different reports, using a variety of different filters.

Now the founders are looking to provide even more reports to their users. The startup is developing what has been tentatively titled ‘Bridgit Insights’ around the office, a new tool that will generate things like a running count of tasks, how long tasks have been open and even a comparison of the performance of subcontractors week over week. The new analytics tool is still in development, but Brodie and Lake are excited about how much it will help Bridgit users.

When it comes down to it, Brodie says Bridgit is about “bringing positive change to the job site.” The amount of digital transformation going on in construction is likely to accelerate in the coming months, and with tools like Bridgit showing entrepreneurs how it’s done, positive change is sure to follow.

Share this:

Business

Collision returns to Toronto with more than 35,000 planned attendees

Nicknamed ‘The Olympics of Tech,” Collision 2022 is back live after two years.

Published

on

Share this:

It’s been called “The Olympics of Tech.”

More than 35,000 attendees, 1,250+ startups, and 800+ investors are converging on Toronto for a now-sold-out Collision 2022 — back live for the first time in two years. 

North America’s fastest-growing tech conference takes place June 20-23 at Toronto’s Enercare Centre. It is part of a series of technology conferences that include Web Summit in Europe and RISE in Hong Kong.

Welcoming attendees back after the 2020 and 2021 virtual editions of the conference, Paddy Cosgrave, founder and CEO of Collision & Web Summit said, “I just can’t tell you how excited I am to be back,” before introducing Toronto mayor John Tory.

“The numbers of people that come to this conference demonstrate the eagerness that everyone has to be together after a long pandemic,” said Tory. “It speaks to the impact of Collision itself, that so many people are here.”

“You come because you think it matters,” he continued. “And we have to make it matter. We have to make it make a difference — not just with respect to technology.”

Tory then outlined why Collision is right at home in the city of Toronto: “This is one of the fast-growing tech conferences in the world, for a reason, and there is a reason that Toronto is hosting it.”

“If you’ll forgive me a moment of truthful immodesty, we have cemented ourselves as a global hub for technology and innovation,” said Tory, before welcoming attendees to explore the city and see what it can do for their businesses. 

“You can be part of this Toronto success story.”

Collision kick-off

Led by co-hosts Sunil Sharma (Managing Director of Techstars Toronto) and Casey Lau, opening night featured an impressive lineup of speakers from a range of sectors. Guests included:

To warm up the audience, however, a series of breakout startups presented their pitches, as a preview of what’s in store for attendees this week. Eight startups, three of which are Indigenous-owned (see asterisks), came to the stage. Startups featured were:

Collision and the state of the world

Collision is coming back at an interesting, particularly volatile time for the global economy and tech market. Inflation has skyrocketed, and the costs for everything from basic groceries to buying a car or home has led to a tremendous feeling of uncertainty. 

For starters, recent weeks have seen the cryptocurrency market crumble, with even long-term investors starting to think of exiting the space. CNBC recently reported that the price of bitcoin fell more than 9% in 24 hours to $18,642.22, as of about 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 18. 

Venture Capitalists have been pouring money into startups throughout the pandemic, at what we can now call an unsustainable level. The result? Overvaluation — a big risk to employees, as one CEO wrote for Forbes.

Ultimately, there is an air of optimism coming from Collision, where an enthusiastic and packed crowd were eager to kick off the event. 

Agenda

Attendees will be able to choose from an absolutely massive selection of sessions, across several tracks and curated lists of sessions.

With the aforementioned crypto crash at the top of many minds, the crypto track, featuring sessions like Mass Adoption: Crypto’s next challenge and How to regulate cryptocurrencies, is sure to be popular. 

Those interested in startups can look forward to sessions like How Calgary is winning the global talent competition, How to recession-proof your startup, and 3 big mistakes founders make when building early-stage tech teams, among others.

Want to follow along with all the action from outside the sold-out event? Follow Collision on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. Look for the official hashtag, #CollisionConf.

Share this:
Continue Reading

Technology

The importance of data access for digital initiatives

A new report from MuleSoft found that just 37% of organizations have the skills and technology to keep up with digital projects.

Published

on

Share this:

In a global survey of over 1,700 line of business employees in organizations with at least 250 employees, MuleSoft found that just 37% of organizations have the skills and technology to keep up with digital projects.

The resulting report — The State of Business and IT Innovation — reveals four key ideas that IT leaders need to know in order to drive digital innovation forward.

These four key findings are:

  • Collaboration is key 
    • 68% of respondents believe IT and LoB users should jointly drive digital innovation.
  • Keep up the pace 
    • 51% expressed frustration with the speed at which IT can deliver projects.
  • Integration challenge
    • 37% cite security and compliance as the biggest challenge to delivering new digital services, followed by integration (i.e. connecting systems, data, and apps) at 37%.
  • Data access
    • 80% say that in order to deliver on project goals faster, employees need easy access to data and IT capabilities.  

“This research shows data is one of the most critical assets that businesses need to move fast and thrive into the future,” said MuleSoft CEO Brent Hayward

“Organizations need to empower every employee to unlock and integrate data — no matter where it resides — to deliver critical, time-sensitive projects and innovation at scale, while making products and services more connected than ever.”

Want to read through the whole report? Download it from MuleSoft

Share this:
Continue Reading

Technology

Where is the financial value in AI? Employing multiple human-machine learning approaches, say experts

According to a new study, only 10% of organizations are achieving significant financial benefits with AI.

Published

on

Share this:

AI is everywhere these days — especially as we work to fight the spread of COVID-19

Even in the “before times,” AI was a hot topic that always found itself in the center of most digital transformation conversations. A new study from MIT Sloan Management Review, BCG GAMMA, and BCG Henderson Institute, however, prompts a crucial question:

Are You Making the Most of Your Relationship with AI?

Finding value

Despite the proliferation of the technology and increased investment, according to the report, just 10% of organizations are achieving significant financial benefits with AI. The secret ingredient in these success stories? “Multiple types of interaction and feedback between humans and AI,” which translated into a six-times better chance of amplifying the organization’s success with AI.

“The single most critical driver of value from AI is not algorithms, nor technology — it is the human in the equation,” affirms report co-author Shervin Khodabandeh.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by MIT Sloan Management Review (@mitsmr)

From a survey of over 3,000 managers from 29 industries based in 112 countries — plus in-depth interviews with experts — the report outlined three investments organizations can make to maximize value:

  • The likelihood of achieving benefits increases by 19% with investment in AI infrastructure, talent, and strategy.
  • Scalability. When organizations think beyond automation as a use case, the likelihood of financial benefit increases by 18%.
  • “Achieving organizational learning with AI (drawing on multiple interaction modes between humans and machines) and building feedback loops between human and AI increases that likelihood by another 34%.”

According to report co-author Sam Ransbotham, at the core of successfully creating value from AI is continuous learning between human and machine:

“Isolated AI applications can be powerful. But we find that organizations leading with AI haven’t changed processes to use AI. Instead, they’ve learned with AI how to change processes. The key isn’t teaching the machines. Or even learning from the machines. The key is learning with the machines — systematically and continuously.” 

Continued growth

While just 1 in 10 organizations finds financial benefits with AI, 70% of respondents understand how it can generate value — up from 57% in 2017.

Additionally, 59% of respondents have an AI strategy, compared to 39% in 2017, the survey found. Finally, 57% of respondents say their organizations are “piloting or deploying” AI — not a huge increase from 2017 (46%). 

One of the biggest takeaways? According to co-author David Kiron, “companies need to calibrate their investments in technology, people, and learning processes.”

“Financial investments in technology and people are important, but investing social capital in learning is critical to creating significant value with AI.”

Share this:
Continue Reading

Featured