Before we go into our experiences at The Big 5: International Building and Construction Show held in Dubai earlier this month in detail, allow us to share a piece of good news. VisiLean walked away from this iconic event with not one, but two prestigious awards! This is a huge recognition of our efforts to do our bit for future-proofing construction technology and we cannot contain our excitement.
The Start-Up Ecosystem was the focus of this year’s Big 5. We received the Center of Excellence in Smart Construction award and the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy award during the Start-Up Pitch Competition, which was one of the highlights of the event.
‘It was a last-minute decision’, says Dr Bhargav Dave, our CEO and co-founder, ‘to participate in this mega event’. In fact, the organisers contacted us asking if we would like to participate – and we did. There were more than 36 contestants and we were excited to know that we had made it to the top ten before the event began. Over the last four decades, the BIG 5: International Building and Construction Show has been an information and communication platform for the construction industry, and a catalyst for entering the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market. ‘It was with this in mind that we ventured to be part of this mega event,’ he added. The win, has definitely opened up a whole new avenue.
What’s the Start-up Pitch Competition?
The construction industry is in a state of flux. Through innovation, disruption, and agility, the pitch competition showcased technologies that will disrupt and transform the construction industry. Several pioneering Contech, Proptech, infrastructure and energy start-ups from 21 countries presented their business cases to a panel of judges in the hope of securing prizes from the Big 5 and its partners including Dubai Chamber Digital, ALEC Engineering & Contracting, The Founder Institute, and Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction. Taking part in the competition offered us the opportunity to launch our future-forward product, to connect with actors of the world’s most exciting construction industry region, and to forge valuable relationships with investors. And that brings us to the Big 5.
Why is the Big 5 special?
The 43rd edition of the Big 5, the largest and most influential construction event in the Middle East, was held at the Dubai World Trade Centre with an industry-altering and future-proofing agenda. The fact that more than 2,000 participants from 60 countries took part in the event itself makes it an extremely significant occasion. In addition to pavilions from 20 different countries, we had the chance to interact with key stakeholders and decision-makers from across the construction value chain. The annual event covered six specialized events addressing the entire construction ecosystem, including the Big 5 Heavy, Middle East Concrete, HVAC R Expo, Middle East Stone, Urban Design & Landscape Expo, and FM Expo. The Big 5 also played host to the first ever Everything Architecture, the only exclusive event in the region for the architect and designer community.
Being a mega event, the Big 5 provided us with the right mix of innovators and companies that were open to collaborating with us. Despite the competitive spirit, we found the solidarity and the future oriented tech getting its due at the event.
What we saw, what we heard, and what we learned
The mega event was an eye-opener. A stepping stone to the MENA market, it brought together innovators and the big names in the sector. A 360° platform for the construction industry is provided by the specialized events, making it a not-to-be-missed opportunity. The expo allowed us to witness first-hand innovative tech inventions and solutions from 2,000+ brands both local and international. Between our busy schedule we managed to interact with leaders and innovators from construction powerhouses. As a result of the award, we were able to interact with officials from the MENA construction industry who play a crucial role in the development of new projects.
Speaking about the show, he added, ‘when you take part in an exhibition or a show, we experience the new horizons opening up. “Presenting and giving demos of VisiLean to a very diverse set of people who may not know the background of your work, and adhering to a strict timeline is a challenge during the shows. It is a high-pressure environment. At Big 5, we had access to the most innovative built environment solutions globally and locally from its global hub in Dubai. The Big 5 has opened up a lot of prospective and positive leads.”
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