Fresh out of the studio, Alexander Bent, founder & managing partner from Undivided Ventures, joined us in a conversation on why this is the time to invest in sustainability within the built environment. Alexander started with his background as a real estate developer and the inspiration behind starting his venture capital firm. He dived deep into his investment thesis and shared his perspectives on how transforming technologies from AI to materials engineering will transform the real estate industry. Last but not least, Alex shares what great would look like for Undivided Ventures.
“We've got a 330 trillion dollar industry here, which arguably a lot of it, we talk about stranded assets, CRREM pathways to stranded assets, et cetera. I talked to a lot of funds. I've talked to a lot of developers. They're getting very worried about this. And it's not just about their existing portfolios. It's about how they are going to exit portfolios. Because many buyers now actually build in the cost of retrofitting a building to bring it up to sustainability when they're looking at acquiring an asset. So, that might bring the price down. So, for us, we look at everything you've just mentioned. We look at materials. We look at hardware. We look at software and anything that gets us to some of these impact targets we want to achieve in the built environment and also is something which is commercially viable and fixes some particular pain point within this ecosystem.” - Alexander Bent
- Alexander Bent, Managing Partner and Founder of Undivided Ventures (LinkedIn)
- Let’s start with your origin story, how did you start your career and eventually land your current role as the managing partner of Undivided Ventures?
- What are the key lessons that you can share about your career journey with my audience?
Undivided VC & Investing in the Built Environment & Sustainability Globally
- Can you share the vision and mission for Undivided Ventures and its focus on the built environment?
- How do you visualize the total market opportunity in the landscape you invest in? Given the vast landscape of the built environment, how do you look at the space from the lens of an investor?
- What is the investment thesis for Undivided Ventures and what falls or does not fall under the investment mandate of Undivided VC?
- What is a typical day for you as a venture capitalist?
- How do you identify and evaluate potential investments in the sustainability sector, especially for the built environment?
- What are the traits in startup founders and their founding team that will help you in making the decision to invest in them?
- What do you think about the business models for the startups to generate revenue in the area you invest in? How do you know if the startup is on the right track in building the right monetization model?
- Reversing the question, what are the red flags that deter you from investing in them?
- What is the help that Undivided VC provides for the startup teams?
- Can you talk about a few startups within the Undivided VC and share their impact if everything goes right for them?
- What is the one thing you know about investing in companies that operate in the built environment that very few people do?
- Do you have any advice for startups or entrepreneurs looking to make a positive impact on the built environment's sustainability specifically tackling the big problems such as reducing carbon emissions and improving the building towards achieving net zero?
- What are your mental models for these technologies that I will mention and describe their role in bringing the most significant potential to what you invest in?
- Artificial Intelligence specifically generative AI
- Internet of Things
- Blockchain technologies
- Augmented and Virtual Reality
- Advancements in materials science or engineering sciences
- What does great look like for Undivided VC?
- Any recommendations that have inspired your life?
- Alex's inspiration is derived from children and he is inspired to create a better future for them.
- How can my audience find you?
Podcast Information: Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) hosts and produces the show. Proper credits for the intro and end music: "Energetic Sports Drive" and the episode is mixed & edited in both video and audio format by G.Thomas Craig (@gthomascraig, LinkedIn).