LONDON—Cushman & Wakefield andSpire Ventures have entered into a strategicpartnership with Pi Labs, Europe's firstproperty-focused technology accelerator company. Founded byFaisal Butt (Founder and CEO of Spire Ventures,formerly known as Hamilton Bradshaw Real Estate)and Umesh Kumar (former Techstarsand Oxygen associate) Pi Labs was created toassist start-ups focused on property and technology innovation. Theprogram will accelerate the growth of these companies by providingthem with access to investment, mentoring and business space.

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This move underlines Cushman & Wakefield's commitment tosupport and drive innovation in property and tech hubsglobally.

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From October 2014, innovative property start-ups will be able toapply to join the Pi Labs accelerator program which will be locatedwithin Second Home, a new iconic 20,000square-foot space in Shoreditch, London. Founded byRohan Silva, former adviser to DavidCameron and chief architect of London's Tech Cityinitiative, Second Home will set new global standards inthe provision of stimulating private and social workplaceenvironments supporting collaboration and co-working amongstcreative and technology businesses.

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“The convergence of property and technology will transform theway we and our clients operate in the future and the tech andcreative industries driving this revolution can be found right onour doorstep in East London. As a leading property adviser to thetech and media sector in London and other global tech hubs, Cushman& Wakefield is committed to supporting and empowering the nextgeneration of property and software businesses who will shape thefuture of our cities and buildings and the way we work, shop andlive,” said Digby Flower, C&W's UK CEO.

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“Furthermore, our partnership with Pi Labs and being embedded atSecond Home, puts us at the very core of London's burgeoning techsector and the collaboration and networking opportunities for usand our clients will be game-changing in our industry.”

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Through its strategic partnership with Pi Labs, Cushman &Wakefield's tech team led by Juliette Morgan,(Head of Property at Tech City UK) will relocate to Second Home andbecome an integral part of the accelerator programme. The Pi Labsprogramme was founded by entrepreneur Faisal Butt and UmeshKumar (who will assume day to day operations as programmedirector) out of the realisation that a platform approach toproperty innovation would improve the success rate of buddingventures when compared to the isolated efforts seentoday.

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This unique initiative puts Cushman & Wakefield at the heartof London's tech ecosystem working alongsideworld-class entrepreneurs, tech innovators and creative companieswhile sharing the firm's extensive range of industry sectorspecialisms, contacts and networking opportunities. For SpireVentures, Pi Labs is a natural next step after the venture capitalplatform's investment in eMoov (the UK's largestonline estate agent) and most recently, Spacious, positioning thefirm as London's most active investor in prop-tech start-ups.

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Faisal Butt, Pi Labs Founder and CEO, commented: “Pi Labs'vision is to drive the next generation of technological innovationin the property sector. Through Pi Labs, we can empower prop-techstart-ups requiring space, access to capital and support andultimately, help spawn the next wave of tech company successstories. We see Pi Labs as the platform that will create thenext Zoopla, the next AirBnB andthe next Nest.”

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David Phillips

David Phillips is a Chicago-based freelance writer and consultant with more than 20 years experience in business and community news. He also has extensive reporting experience in the food manufacturing industry for national trade publications.