MetaProp’s Latest Accelerator Program Comes With a Twist
Early-stage venture capital firm wants to make New York City office tenants out of its graduate firms
Making New York City the global capital of proptech while supporting its real estate industry is a founding tenet of Manhattan-based early-stage venture capital firm MetaProp. Now, the VC firm is tying that goal to the latest iteration of its accelerator program for proptech startups.
MetaProp officially announced Tuesday that it is accepting applications for its 2024 MetaProp Accelerator @ Columbia University, a program it conducts annually in association with the Ivy League school in Manhattan.
Launched in 2015, MetaProp is revamping its accelerator this year to focus on attracting a new startup cohort that will eventually become New York City office tenants.
“We are specifically looking to attract fast-growing tenants from markets outside New York City and the U.S. in order to help them settle in the Big Apple,” said Aaron Block, co-founder and managing partner at MetaProp. “This emphasis came about as a result of our viewing the city’s office market, which is still deeply troubled after COVID. Combined with the effects of high interest rates, office real estate has experienced declining valuations.
“Workers are back, but sublease space abounds. We want to help address these issues with startups that have real growth potential as office tenants.”
MetaProp’s ninth accelerator cohort will for the first time provide the startups with free space in the firm’s Manhattan office to develop their business. “2024 will be the year for ‘early’ and ‘earliest,’” Block said of MetaProp’s expectations for its latest accelerator cohort. “Expect a combination of acceleration and true incubation in our new program.”
In addition, the startups will be exposed to MetaProp’s new “Five Borough” acceleration tour, which will be held over the course of the 22-week program. The accelerator features tech talks, presentation workshops, education sessions, real estate property tours, and events in cooperation with top industry players across Manhattan (including Roosevelt Island), Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island.
“The MetaProp Accelerator @ Columbia University’s new ‘Five Borough’ effort is one of many ways the New York City technology industry can increase our city’s innovation lead, fill our offices, and drive our economy,” Julie Samuels, president and executive director of city technology sector booster Tech:NYC, said in a statement. “New York offers entrepreneurs so many amazing unfair advantages — buildings, mentorship, and capital to name a few — and I’m thrilled to see MetaProp taking advantage of all of them.”
Since a soft opening for applicants on Nov. 1, the latest accelerator program has received 25 applications and conducted active discussions with startups from Chicago, Dublin, Silicon Valley, Toronto and Vancouver, Block said. There will be plenty of issues for them and others to tackle going forward, which in large part explains the continuation of the accelerator program.
“New companies will need to be born in order to tackle thorny issues like labor imbalances, crumbling infrastructure, and a slowing economy,” Zach Aarons, co-founder and general partner at MetaProp, said in a recent blog post on the firm’s website.
Fifty companies have participated in the MetaProp accelerator program since it launched in 2015. Graduates have raised more than $200 million in combined venture funding and have exited to industry leaders such as Alarm.com, Comcast, JLL (JLL) and Realtor.com.
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