Elmspring and Waterton Associates Announce Partnership

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Leading investment firm to offer advisory role and beta testing for real estate technology developed in elmspring accelerator

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The ideas developed inside elmspring are going to help our business and the entire industry.

The elmspring accelerator, a seed-stage technology accelerator for real estate and tech startups, is partnering with Waterton Associates LLC to advance and test select products developed in the accelerator program. Founded by Thomas Bretz and Adam Freeman, respectively the CEO and CFO of Chicago’s Century 21 Affiliated, elmspring is swiftly becoming a premier destination for technology startups in real estate and related fields.

Waterton Associates is one of the country’s leading investment firms in the multifamily and hospitality real estate sectors, with over $3.8 billion currently invested in multifamily and hotel properties. Founders David Schwartz and Pete Vilim, among the field’s most seasoned experts, are recognized for their leadership in both the investment industry and in civic affairs. A Waterton representative will join elmspring’s Board of Directors, and will also participate as an advisor to startup companies in the program. This is consistent with Waterton’s approach to community-level involvement, and sharing experience and insight to help foster future innovation in the real estate industry.

“Partnering with Waterton Associates is not only a privilege for us and our startups,” says elmspring co-founder Thomas Bretz, “but we see it as a template for forging favorable relationships with industry leaders, and are eager to build on this model with other companies.”

As an example of the synergy Bretz hopes to develop, he cites ReaLync, one of three participants in the inaugural elmspring accelerator. ReaLync’s web- and mobile-based platform enables live virtual property tours, offering a time- and cost-saving advantage over marketing properties. “To work out any kinks in our software or training, we need to field test the entire process with experienced agents in real world situations. Waterton represents 20,000 units in 14 states. You couldn’t find a better opportunity to test and validate your product.”

“We are pleased to partner with elmspring in their development of innovative real estate technology. This is very much in line with our commitment to be involved in our communities; while helping to develop the real estate technology of the future is also mutually beneficial,” says Waterton Associates CEO and Co-Chairman David Schwartz. “The ideas developed inside elmspring are going to help our business and the entire industry. By collaborating at the ground floor, we benefit by helping to discover, shape and use the products that are going to add value to our business.”

The elmspring accelerator program provides promising start-ups like ReaLync with seed capital, mentorship, and access to the individuals and resources they need to prepare for market. Recently, elmspring’s inaugural Pitch Night, featuring the four startup participants in the elmspring accelerator program, attracted 80 serious investors. The elmspring team is currently accepting applicants for the next accelerator session that will begin on January 5, 2015.

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Colleen OToole

Michelle Wells
Waterton Associates
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