Platform Miami | Deep Blocks

https://www.platform.miami/deep

Miami entrepreneur Olivia Ramos has many interests: real estate development, urbanism, architecture, sustainability, big data and machine learning. And she believed there was a big opportunity to optimize buildings and make cities more efficient.

But Ramos wasn’t sure how all the pieces fit together until she participated in Silicon Valley’s prestigious Singularity University, where her startup, Deep Blocks, took root.

“Deep Blocks is leveraging artificial intelligence to digitize, automate and integrate all the pieces around real estate development. Now it takes three to six weeks just to analyze a single property. Our software is coming up the same results in two to three minutes,” Ramos said in an interview with Platform Miami in January.

Currently, for a real estate developer to analyze a potential site, she would typically need input from an architect, a zoning attorney, a banker, a broker, a contractor and an analyst.

“What we do is we grab all the data and calculations and dynamically integrate it in the same smart system. When you select the [real estate] site, the software understands all those parameters and constraints,” Ramos said.

The impact could be great. Now, because it is such an arduous process to optimize a building from the beginning, it hardly ever happens.

“We feel if we make that process instant and practically free by comparison to today’s process, we will have a chance to bring out buildings that are optimized for financial returns, while taking into account market demand, appropriation of space, and smart building systems. We can eventually optimize an entire city in master planning,” Ramos said.

Emerging economies also. “How do we take a slum and bring it to another level of safety, security and sustainability? We think our technology will be a valuable service to cities at every single level.”

Miami entrepreneur Olivia Ramos has many interests: real estate development, urbanism, architecture, sustainability, big data and machine learning. And she believed there was a big opportunity to optimize buildings and make cities more efficient.

Ramos, who attended Design and Architecture Senior High in Miami-Dade, earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Florida, a master’s in architecture from Columbia University and a master’s in real estate development from the University of Miami. Ramos interned at Arquitectonica and she participated in a DARPA program called Innovation House where she designed software for big data navigation based on architectural principles, her first taste of technology. To learn more about the entire ecosystem, she took a job at McKenzie Construction, too.

Then Ramos went through Singularity’s Global Solutions Program, where she was surrounded by world-class experts from around the world, was selected for Singularity’s incubator and finished an 8-week accelerator there early last year. At Singularity, she joined forces with a physicist and an expert in AI to design and engineer the software. Ramos moved the company to Miami in April to build and test the product since real estate is a huge industry and she already had a robust network in South Florida. There, she joined Robert Siebken, Deep Blocks CFO, with eighteen years of commercial real estate development experience, and Nicholas McCrea, Deep Blocks CTO, with seven years of experience in programming, machine learning, and robotics.

“We still have a long way to go. We have a lot of features and vertical products layers that will stack on what we’ve built. Our goal is to model entire buildings so all of the finances, as well as spaces and components within the building will be optimized.”

Deep Blocks is currently a team of six in house, half engineers and half market experts. With Singularity invested, Deep Blocks raised a $1 million seed round, about a third from Miami real estate developers, another third from institutional investors from Silicon Valley and Miami, and the rest from angels in China and elsewhere, Ramos said. A $2 million seed round is the next goal.

“Our entire team is based in Miami. We are all big supporters and believers in the progress of Miami as a city. And we hope our software can be of service in the way the city will need to develop to tackle things like sea level rise and the wave of hurricanes we might be getting,” Ramos said. “Hopefully our software will help create the next wave of optimal buildings.”