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Colliers Proptech Accelerator Powered by Techstars Welcomes Class of 2019 Startups

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Colliers International (NASDAQ and TSX: CIGI) announced today its Class of 2019 proptech startups taking part in the Colliers Proptech Accelerator Powered by Techstars. As the first truly global initiative of its kind, this groundbreaking program highlights our commitment to targeted innovation and our belief that strategic investments in the right technologies and founders can transform the industry.

This year, we received hundreds of applications from an unprecedented 50+ countries, demonstrating a strong growth in proptech, the intersection of tech and real estate. Our 2019 class of 10 companies represent six countries  - Including Spain and Finland  - and are tackling a wide range of solutions, including quant valuation and investing, crowdfunding, asset fractionalization, machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain, as well as augmented and virtual reality.

“We set out on a mission to look for early-stage technologies across the real-estate value chain that deliver smarter, more personalized services to our clients and people,” said Jay Hennick, Colliers Global Chairman & CEO. “Building on the successes of last year’s inaugural class, in 2019 we are beginning to explore longer-term opportunities and more advanced solutions that could disrupt the industry which is helping us advise our clients on what is noise and what is real.”

The intensive three-month accelerator program is hosted in Toronto. It is designed to help the class refine business plans, gain global real estate perspective through the eyes of over 120 mentors, and explore pilots and partnerships with Colliers’ people and clients to accelerate growth prospects for all parties. The program culminates in Demo Day, featuring presentations to clients, real estate industry leaders and technology investors on December 4, 2019 providing a global stage for our startups.
This year’s Demo Day is particularly exciting as we are proud to be the title sponsor of the Buildings Connect feature of The Buildings Show (December 4-6) and technology partner of The Real Estate Forum (December 4-5), adding a digital innovation lens to the real estate conversation. More details on proptech programing will be shared in the coming weeks.

“What we have with Techstars is a special partnership. Startups get exposure to Techstars’ global expertise in tech innovation and building accelerators combined with Colliers’ enterprising culture, real estate expertise and global network. It is the only global program in the industry which combines a wide lens with a proprietary process that sharpens our focus as we identify targeted innovation,” said Zach Michaud, Colliers Vice President, Strategic Investments | Global. “We’ve now established formal partnerships with four companies from the 2018 class, including Lane, Booqed, Upsuite and Basking and continue to work with the others towards their goals. We have gained tremendous energy and insight from our class participants and the program and look forward to working with the incoming class.”


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United Kingdom

Chris McLernon

Chief Executive Officer | EMEA

As Chief Executive Officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Chris is responsible for the growth and strategic direction of the business in the region. Bringing a depth of experience in building and growing businesses in mature and emerging markets, Chris has played an integral role in growing Colliers International into its current position as a top three global commercial real estate services provider.

Passionate about providing our clients with the highest level of service, Chris is committed to ensuring a seamless service experience across our complete range of services offered in the 43 countries in which we operate in the region.

In addition to his role as CEO in the EMEA, Chris is also a member of the global senior executive team that sets the vision and strategy for Colliers International.

Chris’ real estate career began in 1987 when he joined Colliers International as an office leasing advisor in Toronto. One of the most active top producers in Canada, he received awards for completing the most transactions in a single year in 1991, 1992 and 1993.

In 1994, Chris relocated to Mexico City to build the Latin America business. In his five years there, he was lead principal on four major acquisitions in Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Columbia. In 1998, he was appointed CEO for the region.

In 1999, Chris moved to Miami, home to over 500 Latin American headquarters, to set up the regional corporate solutions team.

Chris returned to Toronto in 2002 and expanded his responsibility as CEO of EMEA, focusing on the growth of the emerging European markets and leading acquisitions in six countries in Southeast Europe, the UK, Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands. In 2008, he moved to London where he set up the EMEA headquarters.

In 2012, Chris served as lead principal in the acquisition of the Colliers German affiliate, bringing five cities and 230 professionals into the fold.

In 2014, he was lead principal in the acquisition of the AOS Group, the premier occupier-focused business in Europe, in a deal that added to the company 430 professionals across 10 countries in multiple service lines.

Throughout his career, Chris has delivered exceptional service, fulfilling the real estate needs of major corporations such as Nortel Networks, Federal Express, Oracle Corporation, Cisco Systems, Compaq, Dun & Bradstreet, Ford Motor Land, Microsoft, Regus Business Centers and Silicon Graphics.

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