In our inaugural year, we had an overwhelming response from 135 applicants working on creative solutions to help solve the national housing crisis. Our finalists represent a diverse group of entrepreneurs and social innovators who are leading the way, developing bold new ideas that are harnessing innovation to confront today’s affordability challenges head on. We’re excited to get to know them better as we welcome them to UC Berkeley for a final round of interviews before selecting our cohort.
Bit-by-Bit uses technology to transform the small and scattered parcels in America’s urban neighborhoods into more and better homes for middle income households.
Century Partners works to holistically revitalize under-served neighborhoods by raising private funds to rehabilitate vacant housing, raising philanthropic funds to support green infrastructure and workforce development, and creating visual art to bolster community pride.
Digs is an educational savings app that partners with lenders and home ownership counseling agencies to support people to incrementally save for a down payment, while learning about the home buying process along the way.
Dweller builds small houses in people's backyards as inexpensively and quickly as they can. Typically they sell these houses to the people who own the backyard, but if they can't afford to purchase the house, Dweller builds it any way and lets them buy it later.
Esusu works with both landlords and tenants to ensure rent payments are included in credit scores. This helps increase tenant credit scores allowing people to get their first car, a bigger home, or even a new job.
Hurry Home serves people trying to buy homes that are worth less than $80k. Right now, there are very few financial products that help people buy these homes. Hurry Home provides a way to buy homes bit by bit, in a way more people can afford.
Landing helps find and rent vacation homes to local workers in vacation towns so that they can live closer to where they work, creating a stronger community.
Padsplit connects workers who need affordable housing and housing owners looking for increased returns. They help change apartments and bedrooms so more people can sleep in them. We make it clean, safe, and fair.
prefabADU is designing kits to build small houses in people’s backyards that are easy, fast and affordable to put together. When complete, the houses are also fire-resistant and don’t use any energy.
ProforMap is a one-stop platform that combines data with mapping technology and brokerage services to simplify and expedite real estate acquisitions, particularly for builders focused on housing that is affordable.
The 12 finalists will be joining us in Berkeley on September 13th for a final round of interviews. Our team of Expert Advisors will help us choose the top companies to work with over the next 6 months. Each company will receive a grant between $100k - $150k along with the support of advisors and other resources.