Founders Five with Bryan Copley of City Bldr

Thank you to everyone who attended our September events. It’s been a fantastic month for our community connections. Over 300 job candidates met with 25 companies at the job fair and our 13th and 14th women in tech events were enlightening and raw.

The Eastside event in particular included experiencing inspiring, vulnerable, and courageous sharing from community members and presenters topped off with skillful moderation from our co-host, Dr. Cheryl Ingram. Our community is stronger and deeper because of the moments like these we create and share together.

It’s been awhile since we’ve shared a Founders Five profile since we began this series with Melinda Fox of Tanji a year and a half ago. We share these flash interviews with you to share more about some of the founders innovating new tech from the PNW.

Today we have more insights for you from Bryan Copley of City Bldr, a longtime New Tech Northwest member and presenter alumnus. (Full disclosure, I work with City Bldr and have been a long time supporter of their technology).

1. Why do you do what you do for a living?
I run a real estate technology company called CityBldr that connects buyers and sellers of underutilized property. Most of my days consist of meetings with partners, investors and clients.

When I’m in the office I work with our leadership team to ensure each division is executing against its objectives to help the company reach our target metrics and milestones. I’m most in my element working on data science initiatives or collaborating with our leadership team on sales, marketing and product strategy.

2. Why did you start your company?
I’ve held the belief that the real estate market has been broken (or at best highly inefficient) for over a decade, and that – whether or not they realize it – everyone engages with real estate every day. Your home, where you work, where you eat, where you buy things, where the things you buy are made – all of these places work within a broken real estate operating system.

Whether directly or indirectly, the brokenness of the industry effects everyone. For example, every time you hear someone say that housing is hard to find or too expensive – that’s a problem perpetuated by a broken real estate industry. That problem is also a personal one for me; I grew up in a poor household raised by a single mom, and empathize with those who may have grown up without the advantage of housing security.

With respect to why we started CityBldr specifically, Devyn and I found while running our last company (Everyhome) that there was no marketplace for buyers and sellers of underutilized property. We also learned that many underutilized properties could unlock vast amounts of functional, sustainable, transit-oriented (even affordable!) housing, and that machine learning could predict which of these underutilized properties would sell to builders and developers.

Lastly, I’m deeply passionate about creating housing for all, and the CityBldr platform, at its core, generates housing.

3. What is one of the greatest lessons you’ve learned from being a founder?
Focus. It’s not a skill you master and then keep in your back pocket, but more of a daily habit that requires constant refining and upkeep, like going to the gym.

4. What is the one piece of advice you would share today with your younger self before he started your company?
Hire the best people. If you wouldn’t want to work with them forever, don’t work with them for a day.

5. What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
I’m an avid outdoorsman. If you put me in the wilderness for a week with a good jacket, a pocket knife, flint and steel, odds are good I’d make it out alive.

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