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What is the Innovators Workshop?

The goal is simple: to drive innovation of new products, services, and solutions that will create efficiencies, improve productivity and dynamism, and help REALTORS®, brokerages, and other real estate professionals to do their jobs better, smarter, and more efficiently. C.A.R. wants to partner with you to take your revolutionary business, product, or idea to transform the marketplace to the next level.

All that is required to participate is smart thinking and a big idea for a ground-breaking real estate product. The potential outcome for those submitting the best ideas is to partner with C.A.R. to gain access to the assets/resources needed to turn your vision into reality. In short, C.A.R. may make contributions to the development, marketing, and/or sales of your company/product in return for some benefit to C.A.R. or potentially an ownership stake in your company. 


A huge market opportunity!

Real estate remains one of the largest and most significant parts of California’s economy today. In addition to C.A.R. members, real estate employs many more real estate-related workers across the state. The real estate industry supports nearly $350 billion in real economic activity in California directly—second only to the finance sector and roughly 21% more than the professional services industry.

However, real estate pervades well beyond its own sector to a host of other industries that assist in marketing real estate, providing technology solutions, mortgage financing, transactional assistance, legal and business support, accounting and tax assistance, and many, many others.

This is your chance to become a part of one of the largest and most important sectors of California economy today.


How it works?

You’ll submit your idea or vision through the submission process and if chosen as a finalist, you'll be notified and asked to demo your innovation or share your vision with a panel of C.A.R. subject-matter experts. They explore this concept with you, ask you questions and give you feedback to help you get to the next level. Together, we will come to an agreement as to the next steps, business decisions, and process—think “Shark Tank” for new real estate ventures. 


Who should apply?

Whether your idea is still in the early stages or you’ve got a fully fleshed-out product, we want to hear from innovative REALTORS®, brokers, real estate industry gurus, engineers, software developers, and entrepreneurs alike about their ideas for transforming the way real estate industry conducts business. Whether it is initial capital, expertise, or the knowledge base to unlock your idea’s potential, you've got an exciting solution and need help to realize it.

We will choose companies and ideas that span across the gamut of real estate—it just needs to be creative and to fill an unmet need in the marketplace. The ideal innovation will be one that is simple to understand its value proposition and provides a solution for critical pain points in our industry.


What to expect?

Each submission to the Innovators Workshop will be reviewed by both the Innovators Workshop Team (IW Team) at C.A.R. as well as a group of external experts known as the Innovators Workshop Advisory Group (IWAG).

The IW Team will review your submission and follow up with any questions or suggestions for clarifying your submission.  IWAG reviews submissions three times each year, generally in January, May and October in connection with the C.A.R. Business Technology Forum.  The submissions are reviewed online by IWAG first and finalists may be asked to present their submission (in person, via webinar, video submission or other mutually approved format) to the C.A.R. Business Technology Forum for review and further recommendation to C.A.R.

 2018 Review of Innovators Workshop Applications

If both IWAG and the Business Technology Forum like your idea, follow up meetings with C.A.R. will be arranged to determine next steps.


An A-list partner

Dating back to 1905, C.A.R. is one of California's oldest industry associations that now serves more than 180,000 REALTOR® members. Not only is it the pre-eminent source for information on California's real estate market, but its members have helped to facilitate millions of transactions for real estate consumers in every region of the state.

In exchange for a piece of the action, C.A.R. will provide you with the financial and/or expertise and coordination needed to create a successful product or service. Whether this means investing in your company, purchasing your idea, providing you with a grant, or other specialized support, you'll unlock the  knowledge base and monetary resources that C.A.R. has earmarked for this endeavor. C.A.R.'s staff and volunteers provide a think tank for your idea, the technical expertise and deep industry knowledge will be employed to bring the product to market. In exchange, C.A.R. will negotiate the business relationship and equity stake in the product or service should it be chosen for further development. This could include financing as well as non-financial assistance that could include:

  • advice, expertise, and mentorship;
  • access to proprietary C.A.R. assets;
  • product validation and market strategy;
  • product exposure to industry professionals at our various events, and the depth and breadth of C.A.R.'s marketing reach;
  • opportunities to integrate with other real-estate focused products and services such as continuing education, zipForms, webinars, outreach programs, direct marketing (emails, newsletters, and magazines), and a variety of other avenues to connect with potential customers;
  • technical expertise and deep industry knowledge;
  • our relationships and connections; and
  • C.A.R.'s many other assets and programs that are currently available to members in addition to this effort to bring new products and services to market.

Submit your idea

Here's a copy of the questionnaire if you wish to prepare your answers before you apply  -  PDF

 

 

*To save your progress and return to the survey at a later time, simply exit out of your browser. To return to the survey, please visit this webpage and click the "submit your idea" button again. You will automatically be routed to the point where you left off. Please note that you must use the same computer and browser to use the save & continue feature of this survey.


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