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Construction industry search engine builds revenues across three continents

21 February 2017

The article at a glance

Building Radar, co-founded by Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship alumnus, has expanded its reach across the globe in only two years. Building Radar …

Building Radar, co-founded by Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship alumnus, has expanded its reach across the globe in only two years.

satellite and the Earth

Building Radar is a global search engine aimed at supporting the construction industry in detecting new sites ahead of competitors and tracking progress from planning to completion. The company was co-founded by Leo Neuerburg in 2014 while he was studying on the Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship. Today Building Radar revenues are growing at the rate of 30 per cent month on month. The company has offices in three continents – in Germany, the US and China – and the 20 employees serve a global customer base that ranges from small and medium enterprises through to Fortune 500 construction industry giants.

In only two years, the Building Radar team has created a finely tuned platform that keeps the construction industry supply chain informed about just about every construction project on the planet. Building Radar’s satellite-supported algorithm identifies and offers clients the opportunity to search more than three million current building projects across the globe for verified, timely and site-specific sales leads.

Analysing the opportunity

Leo thinks the learning experience on the Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship (PGDE) enabled him and his co-founder to assess and validate their idea’s potential far more quickly than would otherwise have been possible. “I gained practical business skills, underpinned by the theory the faculty introduced us to in discussions, case studies and research papers. That learning came together to enable me to analyse our idea and the marketplace very productively in depth and detail. And the answer was, yes, Building Radar was worth pursuing. So, the Diploma not only helped me find my future job after university, it forced me to get to work on it!”

The first challenge for the team was refining their business model. This meant moving away from an initial social enterprise focus to an automated delivery model expressly designed not only to meet the needs of customers, but also to appeal to potential investors. “We had no income and had to increase our customer base very quickly just to survive. That was a very positive pressure”, says Leo. As the company’s MD, Leo certainly felt the urgency to understand and implement optimal financing models: “The PGDE taught me that if you fund your business with debt, the debt will always get bigger, but the company may not. It introduced me to the idea of equity funding and really helped me build the business case to attract our first investors.”

Encouraged to be a global player

Building Radar was created in the UK and now has its head office in Germany, but Leo was advised to position the business as a global player. Fellow students of the Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship and teaching faculty at Cambridge Judge Business School played a critical role in that early and speedy internationalisation: “Learning from a community of different business cultures allowed ‘out of the box’ thinking and helped me decide how best to grow the company globally.”

Leo valued the considerable personal support he found in his peer group; “As entrepreneurs we were all experiencing the same struggles. We’d exchange ideas, share problems and help each other.”

An opportunity to be genuinely entrepreneurial

Leo came to the PGDE with an enviable undergraduate and postgraduate record. After graduating with a BSc from the University of Munich, he went on to attend Colombia Business School in the United States, and subsequently gained an MSc from the London School of Economics.

He’s won half a dozen scholarships, interned at Google, Accenture and BMW, and back home in Germany, has founded a social enterprise startup and a political party. Unsurprisingly, he’s been nominated a global Leader of Tomorrow.

Leo valued the highly practical nature of the Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship. He says: “Of course, it’s academically amazing, but the diploma really forces you to be genuinely entrepreneurial. You have to be practical and work for results in every aspect of your business. At the same time, you get support and absolutely invaluable feedback from experts. What they have to share is inspiring.”