BoxBrownie Wins Pitch Battle; KW Labs Win Hackathon at NAR's Inaugural Investment, Opportunity & Innovation Summit

WASHINGTON (August 30, 2018) — The National Association of Realtors® announced that BoxBrownie, an on-demand photo editing service for real estate, and KW Labs, Keller Williams in-house software development arm, won the pitch battle and hackathon, respectively, at NAR’s inaugural Investment, Opportunity & Innovation Summit in San Francisco.

Software developers, data scientists, designers, marketers and real estate professionals from across the country competed in an artificial intelligence hackathon and a startup pitch battle.

Second Century Ventures, NAR’s strategic investment arm, hosted the pitch battle between a select group of technology startups focused on real estate. Contestants presented live demos in front of venture capitalists, chief technology officers, chief information officers, technology innovators, brokers and real estate professionals to share ideas and help define the future of real estate.

“The vision of Second Century Ventures is to define and deliver the future of the real estate industry by being a catalyst for new technologies, new opportunities, and new talent. The pitch battle and hackathon were an exercise that broadens that vision and brings the leading minds in technology, investors and Realtors® to the table to share ideas and bring the future of real estate into focus,” said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg.

The pitch battle participants were tasked with delivering a demonstration of a product that will help real estate companies, agents or consumers and outline solutions for the venture capitalists, executives and brokers in the audience. BoxBrownie received the winner-takes-all prize of $15,000. BoxBrownie’s demonstration focused on their wide range of services for Realtors® who want to showcase their products with professional photos.

KW Labs, the winner of the hackathon, built an app that allows an agent to make a video of a property on a walkthrough. While making the video, the phone will identify the type of room and features in the room, then convert to text, and create a web page with links from auto-generated images that will appear in the video.

Hackathon contestants gathered to build innovative products that leverage artificial intelligence to serve Realtors® and determine the impact on the future of real estate.

“The iOi hackathon is a cutting-edge collaborative exercise that allowed NAR to work with technology experts to examine, embrace, leverage and be part of the change that surrounds our industry. The hackathon is a piece of my larger strategy as CEO to bring tech firms that many consider to be disruptors under the tent as innovators, and turn them into advocates for our members,” said Goldberg.

Some example problems that teams explored were ways to improve how agents serve their clients, opportunities for improving home search in the real estate industry and ways agents can maximize their marketing opportunities with less effort.

Teams started building their ideas virtually on August 1 and were judged on five different criteria: use of the provided APIs, creativity, functionality, practicality and user experience.

The hackathon data set providers included benutech, CRMLS, enodo, Foursquare, Lyrebird, MRED,, RPR, SOLARIA labs, the San Francisco Association of Realtors® and TLC engine.

The National Association of Realtors®, is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.