Best path to founding a Proptech startup and real estate entrepreneurship?

It seems like the career paths in real estate PE and capital markets are pretty clear cut...acquisitions, asset management, investment sales, debt brokerage etc. What about those that love real estate but are interested in the startup world (RE fintech, proptech)? Is there a potential path to getting to or founding a real estate startup like Cadre and Fundrise? Is deal experience more important, or a background in business admin marketing? Any advice on early career moves to break into the proptech world?

Comments (4)

 
Dec 29, 2020 - 7:46pm

I think if you are wanting to work for or participate in a start-up, you would want to either 1. have subject matter knowledge on the focus of the firm/product 2. general startup, business, marketing, etc. skills/exp or 3. Some hard skill directly related (I guess "coding" is the cheap answer here). 

The issue is, with exception of #2, you have to know what the focus/product of the start-up is. Honestly, I don't think this world is that hard to get hired in, but getting paid (like with cash not just stock) can be more difficult. Still, small startups are small, so unless you are the founder (which is a different question/goal), then you probably need to sell the founder on your skills and passion for the firm and its products. 

 

 
Dec 30, 2020 - 1:55pm

Thanks for the feedback @redever. I think it would be very useful to have some experience with an existing startup but the ultimate goal would be starting my own and aiming for the founder route. I'm a graduating senior and my internship experience so far has been in institutional brokerage, acquisitions, and RE capital advisory so I'm mainly looking at REPE or institutional cap markets advisory out of school (as that would be a logical/natural transition). Any advice on routes from there to getting to the RE startup world. I know the founder of Cadre went GS then buy-side with Blackstone before launching Cadre...is that a typical route? Appreciate any insight 

 
Dec 30, 2020 - 4:39pm

Eh, I don't know about "typical route"... I mean... college dropout maybe?? If you already know your "idea" for your firm, then getting experience in the world that it will serve (i.e. work for the customer or the future startup's competitors) makes sense. If you don't know the "idea" (it's not clear from your post), I guess exploring the world to figure that out would be needed. Honestly, most "founder" stories involve getting pissed or disappointed with something then deciding to solve it, not sure if you can work your way to that or what (I mean, I guess some say "I want to start a startup" and then figure it out???) 

I-banking is good for seeing the capital/money raising side, which clearly is what founder often have to do. I guess working for a VC would make sense in theory. I really think it's just a matter of figuring out the launch path and backing into it from there. 

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