Discussing Construction Startups and Innovation with Gonzalo Galindo

Gonzalo Galindo of Cemex Ventures

In this episode of the AEC Business Podcast, Aarni Heiskanen interviews Gonzalo Galindo, President at Cemex Ventures. They discuss startup funding, construction technology, and this year’s construction startup competition.

Cemex Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Cemex, a global building materials company, actively supports innovative startups in the construction industry. Through their investment and collaboration, Cemex Ventures aims to drive sustainable innovation and address the challenges the construction industry faces.

Supporting Innovative Startups

One area of focus for Cemex Ventures is carbon capture and usage technologies. They have helped companies in this field increase the maturity level of their technologies, from early-stage lab development to pilot programs in industrial environments such as cement plants. 

This support is crucial, as the transition from lab to industrial settings is often where technologies fail. By preventing these failures and enabling companies to become serious players in carbon capture and usage, Cemex Ventures is contributing to reducing carbon emissions and the fight against climate change.

In addition to carbon capture, Cemex Ventures also supports startups in other areas, such as supply chain optimization. For example, they have worked with a last-mile delivery company called PartRunner, helping them expand their operations in Mexico and establish partnerships with major digital retailers like Amazon and MercadoLibre. This collaboration benefits the startup and improves the efficiency and sustainability of the construction supply chain.

Great Track Record

While the failure rate for startups is notoriously high, Cemex Ventures has seen a relatively high success rate. They estimate that 80-90% of their investments are still thriving. This success can be attributed to their strategic approach and a clear path for supporting and scaling technologies. 

By carefully selecting startups and aligning their investments with Cemex’s strategic objectives, they increase the chances of success and long-term viability.

Looking To the Future

Looking to the future, Cemex Ventures recognizes the need to innovate and evolve continuously. They understand that an innovation program must constantly reinvent itself to remain relevant. Regular discussions and evaluations are held to ensure they are at the forefront of emerging opportunities and connected to the right strategic issues. 

As Cemex works towards decarbonization and other sustainability goals, Cemex Ventures will continue seeking technologies to help achieve these objectives.

Cemex Ventures also aims to maintain its position as a leader in the construction innovation world. They actively seek partnerships and relationships within the ecosystem, connecting with other corporate venture capital arms, venture capitalists, and startups. By staying connected and being a thought leader in the industry, Cemex Ventures can access transformative technologies that will shape the future of construction.

The Construction Startup Competition

Cemex Ventures promotes innovation and collaboration through its construction startup competition. This annual competition attracts hundreds of entries from startups in the construction technology space. 

The competition provides a platform for startups to showcase their innovations and potentially secure investment and collaboration opportunities with Cemex Ventures. The competition is continuously refined and improved to make it more appealing to startups and ensure its success.

Gonzalo Galindo, Head of Cemex Ventures

With over 30 years of experience in the building materials industry, Gonzalo promotes the construction revolution by working with Contech startups, entrepreneurs, universities, and other entities interested in the industry. His focus is on finding innovative business models for the construction industry and helping propel innovation, sustainability, and digitization in the built sector that leads to more collaboration and less fragmentation. 

Thanks to Gonzalo and his team at Cemex Ventures’ work, he’s been named one of the most relevant investors in the construction ecosystem for four years running.

Find more about Cemex Ventures at www.cemexventures.com.

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