5 Mins With ... Construo Founder & CEO Tom Spilsted
Tell us about Construo
The platform is designed to bring the fragmented construction industry together in one focal point, with a revolutionary (effectively crowdsourced), vote-backed question-and-answer system plus access to high-level expertise. I co-founded it with E-Man Venture Labs, the leading technology startup incubator based in London, Los Angeles and Sofia.
What’s the driving force behind it?
It’s about sharing practical knowledge and experience, rather than advice. The differential is that you’re actually talking to real people, and those people are interested in sharing their knowledge. It’s a central point for construction information and advice, whereas everything else out there is spread far and wide.
Because the construction industry is so diverse and fragmented, it doesn’t generate collaboration easily. And it has a habit of driving everything down to the cheapest cost, not necessarily taking the best value approach. I think the last year generated the most collaboration I’ve seen in the industry because of Covid-19 – companies have been working together to solve mutual problems.
What are the key features?
At the heart of Construo lies its question-answering engine, along similar (but more subject-focused) lines to Quora. It boasts a number of unique features, including easily discoverable video and written reference resources, and the ability for both seasoned and aspiring professionals to form global networks with their peers.
Construo’s upvoting/downvoting system ensures that the best questions and answers remain prominent on the portal – rather than becoming buried in a feed as they would, for example, on LinkedIn.
As Construo.io builds its member base, its roadmap includes adding exciting services that include various cloud tools designed to help SMEs, a comprehensive, AI-driven advertising, jobs and events platform, along with a wealth of other features.
How does it appeal to graduates?
It’s the perfect entry point for young people looking to pursue a career in the construction industry. In what is a physically fragmented industry – especially given the current situation – it gives them the chance to amass useful contacts, and to tap into Construo’s vast well of building-related knowledge by asking questions.