Meet The Experts Who Will Decide The Hotel Of The Future

Meet The Experts Who Will Decide The Hotel Of The Future

These judges will dole out $50K in prizes for PSFK x Prodigy’s crowdsourced competition to design a hotel for the modern business traveler.

  • 20 march 2014

PSFK has partnered with real-estate crowdfunding company Prodigy Network to crowdsource the designs for their most recent project 17John, an innovative hotel in the heart of New York City’s Financial District. This series of articles provides inspiration for readers wishing to be a part of the project and join the crowd in designing the first Cotel.

Think you have what it takes to design the business hotel of the future? Then submit your ideas for a chance to see them come to life on the streets of New York City and win up to $50k in prizes. PSFK and real-estate crowdfunding company Prodigy Network have assembled a panel of world-renowned experts to evaluate your submissions.

Judges for the competition include a select group of entrepreneurs (Piers Fawkes from PSFK, Graham Hill Founder at LifeEdited), developers (Rodrigo Nino. Founder & CEO of Prodigy Network) designers (Alex Brownless, Founder of Arts Thread) and professors (Karim R. Lakhani, Professor at Harvard Business School) who will evaluate all competition entries. See their full bios below:

Rodrigo Nino. Founder & CEO of Prodigy Network

Rodrigo Nino developed Prodigy’s crowdfunding model as an innovative way of giving smaller investors access to large real estate assets. With this model, he set the world record in crowd funding by summoning 3,500 investors and raising more than US$200 million in less than two years to fund the tallest building in Colombia, BD Bacata. Through crowdfunding, investors now have an opportunity to safely participate in profitable large-scale real estate investments at an affordable price. The other projects in Colombia that have come to frame Prodigy’s new crowdfunding vision are: Bacata Express, Airport Business Hub, and Bogota Art District.

Piers Fawkes. Founder and President of PSFK

Piers Fawkes is the founder and editor-in-chief of the daily news and innovation site, and president of PSFK Labs. For almost a decade, Piers has steered the content direction of so that today it is read by 1.5million creative professionals. In that time, he has driven thought leadership into health, retail, marketing and other key sectors with a series of provocative ‘Future Of’ reports and the hosting of insightful events where he brings to stage the next generation of change makers. With his team at PSFK Labs, Piers has provided product and marketing strategy advice to the world’s leading brands including Apple, BMW, Google and Target. Piers is often called to give his point of view through leading media publications such as BBC, Bloomberg, New York Times, Wall Street Journal.

Graham Hill. Founder and CEO of LifeEdited

Founder and CEO of LifeEdited, Graham Hill brings years of visionary startup experience to every one of his projects. In 1995, he helped found the early Internet consultancy firm SiteWerks, building the company to sixty people before selling to Bowne in 1998. In 2003, he married his environmental consciousness with the burgeoning online media world to, still one of the web’s top environmental news-sites. Graham began LifeEdited in 2010 with idea of translating the ideas of Treehugger into design and architecture. The company is now working with real estate developers to design and market a new breed of house that packs big function in small spaces.

Karim R. Lakhani. Professor at Harvard Business School. Director of NASA Tournament Lab

Karim R. Lakhani is the Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the Principal Investigator of the Harvard-NASA Tournament Lab at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. He specializes in the management of technological innovation in firms and communities. His research is on distributed innovation systems and the movement of innovative activity to the edges of organizations and into communities. He has extensively studied the emergence of open source software communities and their unique innovation and product development strategies. He has also investigated how critical knowledge from outside of the organization can be accessed through innovation contests. Currently Professor Lakhani is investigating incentives and behavior in contests and the mechanisms behind scientific team formation through field experiments on the TopCoder platform and the Harvard Medical School.

Alex Brownless. Co-Founder of Arts Thread

Alex is the co-founder of Arts Thread, the world’s only creative graduate network. Over the last 3 years, Arts Thread has helped hundreds of creative graduates gain employment worldwide. There are approximately 100 institutions promoting 10,000 creative graduates from 20 countries on the Arts Thread digital platform. Alex graduated with a BA Hons in Textile Design in the early 90′s and has a rather diverse career, designing for such companies as M&S, Banana Republic, Gap etc. Manufacturing in the UK, China, India & Turkey, he headed up the casualwear brand NASA, was the E- Business Manager of the International online trend website WGSN and headed up fashion/textiles at the world’s largest creative recruitment consultancy Aquent.

17John is a crowdsourced competition will help design the interior of the world’s first ‘Cotel,’ an extended stay hotel servicing the needs of the modern business traveler located at the heart of Manhattan’s financial district. The competition will run through April 21st and offer $50k of prizes around the three competition categories of Collaborative/Public Space, Private Space and Digital Services.

Visit Prodigy’s site to read the full brief and join the competition. Teams or individuals entering the competition are eligible to enter one, two or all three competition categories. For more inspiration around the project visit PSFK’s microsite.

In addition to entering for the chance to win 50k in prizes, all competition entries submitted before April 4th have a chance to be featured in a submission round-up held on stage at PSFK CONFERENCE 2014 held here in New York on April 11th.

Prodigy Network is known as a pioneer in crowdfunding for real estate. In 2009—after more than 29 projects—Prodigy Network developed an innovative investment  model for crowdfunding in real estate, becoming the world’s leading platform in the field. By doing so, Prodigy introduced a way of democratizing investment opportunities for large-scale projects. Prodigy Network believes that community and transparency are essential to success in real estate.


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