North East-based property technology firm PlaceChangers has been shortlisted for the Disruptor of the Year category at the 2021 Great British Entrepreneur Awards for the North East region. This year's GBEA awards received a record 4,800 entries across eight regions, demonstrating tough competition.
Planning & development in the UK is ripe for disruption. 21st century problems cannot be solved with 20th century solutions. Outmoded reliance on physical consultations and manual aggregation of site data has led to longer application processes, designs that don't utilise the best attributes of a site, and poor build methods that require post completion remediation.
PlaceChangers builds best-in-class digital tools for built environment projects, providing design teams with real-world insight from community feedback and site based analytics throughout all stages of the planning process.
Throughout the pandemic, PlaceChangers has consistently demonstrated a drive for innovation.
PlaceChangers' cutting-edge planning consultation tools are now used across the UK by Developers and Local Authorities to gather more meaningful feedback than traditional websites or public exhibitions.
Over the years, the consultation tool has seen significant expansion, including enhanced proposal maps to visualise built environment projects and guided tours to make it easy to get feedback on complex proposals. The company is now working on 3D visualisations and AI-driven response summaries.
In March 2021, PlaceChangers successfully released Site Insights, an innovative location insights tool, on the back of a £62,000 InnovateUK innovation grant. This groundbreaking tool is targeted at recognising opportunities for planning to improve health and wellbeing.
The Site Insights tool gives designers and planners instant access to benchmarked information on demographics, green space, and health and wellbeing factors. In an instant, the tool provides a baseline analysis useful for scoping of Health Impact Assessments.
In response to the nomination, Sebastian Weise, founder at PlaceChangers, said:
"The pandemic has been hard for everybody. I am proud of the work the team has put in over the past year in particular. PlaceChangers has moved physical interactions related to property development with digital tools for engagement and site analytics. Being named as a finalist for Disruptor of the Year with the GB Entrepreneur Awards is a testament to our great clients and the many members of the public who shaped projects for their area."
Alex Moon, Co-Founder at CTO at PlaceChangers, said:
"PlaceChangers operates on a simple premise: a shared passion for applied technology that makes a difference and a shared interest in a world where thriving places are built by collaboration. That starts with accelerating housebuilding in the UK with digital tools that contribute to Net Zero outcomes. Being a finalist is not just recognition of the Founders. It is a validation for all of the exceptional individuals who’ve understood our vision and supported us."
The final winners for the 2021 Great British Entrepreneur Awards will be announced in September 2021.
Great British Entrepreneur Awards is an annual award given to small businesses. Born out of a belief that entrepreneurs are as much about their story as they are their balance sheet, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards were launched by Francesca James in 2012.
PlaceChangers is a startup focused on digital solutions for collaboration and engagement in development and regeneration projects. The PlaceChangers platform helps architects, urban planners, and developers to understand the context of new development proposals through collaboration and intelligent handling of data.