Forty percent of global CO2 emissions land squarely on the plate of what’s called the built environment – that is, buildings, utility distribution systems, and transportation systems that are human-made.
Hines, one of the world's largest privately held real estate investors and developers, with nearly $96 billion of assets under management and a presence in 30 countries, takes this digit seriously. And assumes great responsibility in helping combat the industry's role in the climate crisis. With a commitment to reach net zero by 2040, Hines addresses disruptive changes in the built environment with EXP by Hines. This newly announced business unit integrates ESG with a growth engine that includes venture building, investing, partnering, and M&A.
Hines’ Global Venture Lab, part of EXP, identifies and accelerates ventures, partnerships, and investments that benefit the customers, communities and investors that Hines serves. Partnering with Mach49, the lab leverages an industry-leading combination of a venture incubator to launch new ventures from within, alongside a venture investment and partnering arm to engage with external startups.
Kathryn Scheckel, head of Global Venture Lab, recently sat down with Mach49's Managing Partner, Venture Investing, Chris Cusack to discuss how the 66-year-old company is rethinking the boundaries of real estate around the world through innovative ventures, partnerships, and human-centric solutions.
"Global Venture Lab is a complementary strategic growth engine for Hines," explained Kathryn. "We must have some relevance to our core business, but we're also really focused on exploring what is ahead of us on the horizons of disruption, and taking a broad view on new technologies and the built environment."
Current priorities for the Lab include the evolving use of physical space, next-generation ESG solutions, and revolutionary built-world technologies.
Amid global economic headwinds, the Global Venture Lab has doubled down on a customer-centric approach to innovation, designing and investing in solutions that reflect key needs rather than “nice to have” incremental changes.
"In the U.S., a record amount of sub-leasable space is coming to market, where tenants don't need the same space they've had and are locked up in longer leases. As a landlord, that is an important challenge for Hines to solve," said Kathryn.
In response, Halo was incubated with Mach49 and the Global Venture Lab in 2021. The venture empowers enterprises with an end-to-end SaaS platform to manage their subleasing needs. In incubation, the Hines venture team spoke with 200 customers to understand and respond to their pains. Now in-market, the platform helps real estate teams plan, market, and lease excess space and provides ongoing tenant management services.
In parallel, Hines' venture investing arm worked alongside the incubation team to understand where and when the firm should invest in the market.
"We are being very intentional, bringing together the venture building side in proximity to our investing and partnering team," explained Kathryn. "The two teams interact, connecting back to the core of Hines' business and what matters most for the clients we're serving across the Americas, Europe, and Asia."
Hines' Global Venture Lab is generating growth that matters through multiple ventures and a growing portfolio of investments.
"There are many intractable problems that real estate is sitting on," said Kathryn. "Whether it's carbon, how space is evolving, work trends, you name it. There are a lot of different industries that we welcome to the table. We've got thousands of tenants across Fortune 1000 [companies] and our multifamily and student housing portfolio. Our direct access to pain points is a huge opportunity. And we are interested in partnering with diverse industries, in uncommon ways, that will evolve the core of this growth engine for Hines and the built ecosystem."
How to Drive Sustainable Initiatives at Your Company
Mach49's clients, like Hines, have started with our teachable, repeatable, and scalable methodology that integrates lessons proven to produce pipelines and portfolios of profitable new ventures in the climate and sustainability space and beyond. Our experienced team of venture building and venture investing experts guide companies that want to turn climate and sustainability goals into real action and growth. Learn more by contacting email@example.com.
Watch Chris and Kathryn's complete discussion at GCVI Summit 2023 here.