Cemex Ventures, nine partners open Construction Startup Competition

Applications can be submitted through September 4 at the www.cemexventures.com/constructionstartupcompetition portal.

The corporate venture capital and innovation unit of Cemex S.A.B de C.V. invites participants in the sixth Construction Startup Competition—the biggest such program for the global construction industry. Open to businesses in their early stages up to their commercialization phase, the Cemex Ventures competition suits entrepreneurs who wish to knock on the doors of potential business partners. Participants can apply in Green Construction, Enhanced Productivity, Construction Supply Chain or Construction Future is Now categories

The 2022 Construction Startup reunites Cemex Ventures and previous partners Dysruptek by Haskell, Ferrovial, GS Futures, Hilti, Vinci Group’s Leonard, and Nova by Saint-Gobain. Joining them as hosts this year are Black & Veatch, a global engineering, construction, and consulting firm; Procore Technologies, leading cloud-based construction software provider; and, Zacua Ventures, a construction sector-focused fund. 

“Participants can expect to engage with any of the host companies even before the competition comes to an end, going as far as receiving investment or setting up agreements in the months following their application,” says Cemex Ventures Head Gonzalo Galindo. “This competition has served as a shortcut for many startups to connect with top industry investors and begin their successful collaborations, and this year’s lineup guarantees it will be no exception.”

The 10 Construction Startup hosts will evaluate applications before choosing the finalists in a November Pitchday event. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to showcase their solutions for competition jurors, as well as leading companies and investors from the construction and technology industry. The competition has seen 2,000-plus startups from more than 80 countries participate since its first edition in 2017.

Houston-based Cemex USA has increased portland-limestone cement (PLC) output at its Brooksville, Fla. and Demopolis, Ala. plants for concrete customers and contractors across the southeastern United States. With finely graded limestone blended at up to 10 percent, PLC or Type IP powder has a lower carbon footprint than ordinary portland cement due to the reduced content of energy-intensive clinker. Cemex test results and customer feedback show PLC offering the same or better performance in durability and resilience when compared to a pure clinker binder.

Stepped up production and promotion over the past year have seen Type IP account for more than 50 percent and 20 percent of respective Brooksville and Demopolis output. Cemex USA aims to increase or commence PLC production throughout its cement operations in 2022. 

“We acknowledge that climate action is one of the most important issues facing our world, and are committed to being part of the solution,” says Cemex USA President Jaime Muguiro. “Our company has ambitious emission-reduction targets, and by offering lower carbon products that deliver brilliant performance like portland-limestone cement, we can continue to work toward those goals while encouraging customers to join us in the journey.”

In addition to diversifying blended cement offerings, the producer plans to increase its use of alternative fuels, including biomass, at the Brooksville and Demopolis operations—further reducing carbon dioxide emissions and abiding circular economy principles. Alternative fuels are expected to account for 30 percent Brooksville kiln output by year end. Alternative fuel adoption and PLC market development dovetail the corporate Future in Action program, which calls for a 40 percent CO2 emissions reduction by 2030 using Cemex S.A.B. de C.V. cement operations’ 1990 baseline levels. That effort will contribute to the producer’s commitment to delivering net-zero carbon concrete throughout global operations by 2050.