Getting a head start in competitive construction business is Curate’s goal
In the construction industry, staying ahead of the competition is not always easy.
Curate, a Madison-based startup, is looking to give general contractors and vendors the competitive edge they need to stay one step ahead of their competitors. The company was featured as part of an ongoing business profile series done by UW-Madison students.
Through using the latest technology in web-scraping, big data and artificial intelligence, Curate scans public meeting minutes and agendas from cities, counties and school boards to identify potential projects well before they break ground.
Curate identifies the needs of public institutions looking to renovate their city hall, while also discovering new private projects through zoning changes or planning commissions.
The information gathered through this process is then sent to sales teams in a weekly report. These reports include the keyword matched, a text snippet from the document, and a link to the full document. The sales teams then provide their feedback into the Curate platform leading to more accurate future results.
Taralinda Willis, one of the founders of the business, comes from a construction background and came up with the idea for Curate while working on UW-Madison’s Union South.
During the construction of Union South, Willis noticed the number of vendors bidding for a piece of the action increased as the building was entering its final stages of construction.
The reason for all this action so late in the game was these vendors were relying on newspaper stories to find and capitalize on large construction projects in the area. Because of this, when these vendors heard about the projects, they had already begun.
Using this knowledge, Willis co-founded Curate in May 2016.
Today, Curate is providing its service to general contractors and vendors throughout Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois.
Willis describes the company’s mission as “helping the construction industry capitalize on new and upcoming projects by providing accurate and efficient information before anyone else can.”
Finding out about a potential project early gives business development professionals the ability to meet the buyer and make the sale before their competition even knows the project is happening.
Willis also finds time to help new and upcoming startups in the Madison area.
“When I was first starting Curate I had many mentors along the way and now that Curate is doing well, I want to be a good mentor like others were to me,” she said.
Immediate plans for Curate include expanding throughout the Midwest and then to the U.S. coasts. Willis presented to potential investors during the Tech Council Investors Networks’ track at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium.
By Kyle Kamerer
Kamerer is a student in the UW-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication.