MetaProp Accelerator Graduation: Exit Interview with Ardalan Khosrowpour, CEO & Co-Founder of OnSiteIQ

Last Thursday, we graduated seven of the best PropTech companies from the MetaProp Accelerator at Columbia University. This year we added an Open House before our New York City Demo Day as well as an Investor Lunch before our West Coast Demo Day. In total, over 1000 people registered for the graduation events.


Leila Collins, Senior Associate at MetaProp interviewed Ardalan Khosrowpour, CEO and Co-Founder of OnSiteIQ to learn more about his experience of the program.

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Ardalan, why did you decide to apply to the MetaProp accelerator?

I was constantly looking for advisors and mentors who could help me navigate through the construction and real estate industry. For example, I needed to understand the construction insurance underwriting process to get my business to the next step. Since MetaProp is the main hub for PropTech, I was hopeful that I could develop a network of advisors, customers and investors through the program.


Specifically, what goals did you have for the program?

I wanted to grow the number of pilots, sell more and attract strategic capital.


So, in reality, what did you get out of it?

By the end of the program, we had full sales infrastructure in place, had increased our outbounds by 9x and increased our sales by 6x.

As a direct result of the program, OnSiteIQ got multiple contracts, sales and investment. Perhaps most importantly, Joe Charczenko was assigned as my mentor and became the best possible advisor. "Joe got us in front of literally every insurance carrier. Without him, we could not have established insurance partnerships." 


Tell us a little about the graduation, what happened and what came out of it?

The Demo Days and particularly the Open House exceeded my expectation. At each we were approached by several highly qualified potential customers and investors. For example, after presenting at Demo Day in NYC we were approached by several real estate VCs who were uniquely positioned to invest and advise us.


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Leila Collins
Senior Associate

Why Did We Start MetaProp NYC?

It’s clear that 2015 was the right time to launch a real estate technology accelerator in New York City. 

Steve Schlafman from RRE Ventures once asked if I thought 2012 would have been a better time to do it.  I pondered that question for a while and realized it probably would have been a financial windfall to work with the crop of high growth real estate tech start-ups that three years ago were just starting out (VTS, Hightower, Managed by Q, Compstak, Floored, Compass, Honest Buildings, SiteCompli, The Square Foot, Nestio, Reonomy, etc.).  All of these companies, and many more successful NYC based real estate tech companies, germinated at this time and we could have had the opportunity to accelerate a few of them.  Now, the best of those companies have gone on to raise substantial financing rounds and are building very successful businesses. 

After some reflection, I would argue that a world class real estate tech accelerator would not have been possible in 2012 and, furthermore, is only possible in 2015.  For a domain specific accelerator to work, you need a few things to coalesce.   First, you need technological talent.  Second, you need capital.  Third, you need mentors.  Fourth, your portfolio companies need customers and clients.  Finally, you need more mature start-ups in the ecosystem.

In 2012, one definitely could have put together the talent and capital but not a large base of clients and mentors.  The industry was simply too nascent.  Landlords worked with software for property management (Yardi, Timberline, and MRI, etc.) but used very little innovative software for leasing management, compliance, HVAC, marketing, or construction management. 

In 2015, not only do you have landlords learning more about software, they are clamoring for it.  Dave Eisenberg from Floored mentioned to me on a panel that a massive business breakthrough for him was initially suggested by a client.  The fact that a real estate professional is that in the weeds with a technology product is a massive shift for the industry.  This shift has been brought about by a meaningful dialogue for the first time commencing between software developers and clients in this industry. 

In 2015 you also have mentors who have been through that dialogue.  They now intimately know the dos and don’ts of selling software to landlords, marketing software, hiring, raising money, and many other critical business building concepts. 

We assembled an all star team of mentors and corporate partners (including Zillow Group, Warburg Realty, DLA Piper, EisnerAmper and The News Funnel) to launch MetaProp NYC because we thought that this was a unique opportunity in time to bring together new founders, old founders, clients, and financiers together to accelerate businesses.  While the industry has matured quite a bit in NYC from 2012-2015, we believe that the software disruption of real estate is just beginning and will continue to push forward into the next decade as technology changes the entire process of building, leasing, and operating a building from top to bottom.