Emerging Technology

Identifying and researching emerging tech with the potential to enrich or disrupt the real estate industry.

Where Are iOi’s Pitch Battle Winners Now?

By: Jeb Griffin, Director, Strategy & Innovation, National Association of REALTORS®

iOi’s Pitch Battle, Former Winners and 2022 Contestants

For new technology companies, breaking into the real estate market can feel insurmountable, but NAR’s annual Pitch Battle, held exclusively at the iOi Summit, makes this obtainable. Presented by Second Century Ventures, this is the preeminent tech competition that challenges startups to present their product LIVE in four-minutes followed by a four-minute Q&A. The Pitch Battle is a significant opportunity for competing and winning companies to gain brand exposure in front of venture capitalists, agents, brokers and NAR’s 1.5 million members.

The 2022 Pitch Bitch battle winner, announced at iOi on Thursday, Sept. 29, will join an esteemed lineup of previous battlers but you may be wondering who were the winners and what are their thoughts on the Pitch Battle? Let’s find out! 

Former Pitch Battle Winners

Feather, 2021 Pitch Battle Winner 

Feather was able to beat the competition of finalists by pitching that their product would aid real estate by offering a sustainable furniture and home décor rental service model that allows clients to change their style, budget or décor needs in an affordable manner.

Jay Reno presented for Feather in front of both a live audience of over 400 conference attendees and before a livestream audience of thousands. He noted that Feather's unique solution empowers REALTORS® and their clients not only to stage and sell faster, but also to live in and enjoy their homes all while reducing waste.

Otso, 2021 Pitch Battle Crowd Favorite Winner

New for 2021, NAR invited attendees to cast their vote for the first Pitch Battle Crowd Favorite winner. With over 1,200 votes, Otso won by a landslide! A financial services company, Otso offers financial certainty to commercial leasing by setting a new standard where commercial landlords gain protection, tenants keep their cash and leases get done faster. With Otso, everyone wins.

Curbio, 2019 Pitch Battle Winner

Curbio is a technology startup company that is revolutionizing presale home renovations. Their item empowers real estate agents to maximize return on investment and helps homeowners sell quickly and for the best price possible. The service is available exclusively for homes that are utilizing a real estate agent, and Curbio isn’t paid for renovations until the property is sold.

According to Curbio’s CEO, Rick Rudman, “It’s easy to write a long story about your product and the benefits it can offer, but to take everything you are doing and compress it down to four minutes—that takes work. But it’s not impossible. Don’t be intimidated. Just go for it.” 

Rudman goes on to say “There may be hundreds of prop tech companies in real estate but being selected as the Pitch Battle winner made Curbio the company to watch. The impact (from the win) has been positive, and companies want to work with us, and investors want to continue to support our work.”

Shortly after their Pitch Battle win, Curbio raised $65 million in seed funding, allowing them to rapidly expand their operations and forecasts for the future.

BoxBrownie, 2018 Pitch Battle Winner

BoxBrownie, an on-demand photo-editing service, beat 15 other contestants at the inaugural 2018 iOi Summit and very first Pitch Battle in San Francisco. 

Mel Myers, CEO of BoxBrownie, has two simple words of advice: “Do it.” Mel offers the following advice, “The battle challenges you to know your product and how it is relevant to the people using it—then explaining it, succinctly. Submit your pitch and be in it to win it.”

For BoxBrownie, participating at iOi led to a great deal of momentum and name recognition. “After seeing us at iOi, BoxBrownie was not just another name. Our name was shining in the lights—where customers became advocates who provide referrals time and time again.” Meyers said. 

Like all winners, BoxBrownie enjoyed exposure both at the conference and throughout the year in NAR publications and social media channels. They have certainly capitalized on all that exposure. Since winning, BoxBrownie has grown rapidly, now reaching customers in 102 countries!

2022 Pitch Battle

Don’t miss this opportunity to see startups like Feather, BoxBrownie and Curbio pitch their innovative and leading-edge projects at the 2022 Pitch Battle in Los Angeles this September. Attend this must-see event and view the new 2022 Pitch Battle contestants - Register today!


Real Estate Technology

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