Company: Project Frog
For CEO Ann Hand, the hardest part about building up Project Frog, a company that creates ready-to assemble “smart buildings,” was convincing venture capitalists and customers that it was indeed possible to disrupt the long-stagnant construction industry.
“You would look at construction and say, because nothing has changed in 1,000 years, it should have all the makings of the right [industry] to disrupt,” Hand says. “But in the early days, it made it more challenging to get customers and VCs to jump.”
While sectors like the auto and aerospace industries, a mere century or so old, have evolved quickly—working to improve speed, cost, efficiency and other metrics throughout their comparatively short histories—the basic processes of construction have remained relatively the same since Roman times, Hand says. Seven years ago, Project Frog was ready to bring the same evolution to construction, creating energy-efficient, economical, and attractive building components that contractors and construction crews could assemble quickly. It’s seemed like a no-brainer. But initially, funding was a hard sell.