Development Partner Search

Our team doesn’t want the Charter Communities XPRIZE to just be an “ideas” competition. We want to see the master plans that the competing teams design become real, living, thriving communities in the shortest amount of time possible.

To that end, XPRIZE is actively looking for what we’re calling a “Development Partner.” This would be a partner unlike any XPRIZE has worked with in the past; an organization with the ability to make the breakthroughs developed in the competition an immediate reality.

An ideal development partner would have the following attributes:

  • Have a community-focused mission that aligns with XPRIZE
  • Have deep, established engagement with their target community
  • Have the capability to gain control of land where they could build an affordable housing development
  • Have the capability to raise capital for the development
  • Have a willingness to take audacious risks in order to achieve breakthroughs for their community

Are you affiliated with, or know of, any organizations with these qualities? They can be nonprofits, municipalities, or even for-profit organizations. Do you know of any groundbreaking community projects that might be interested in partnering with XPRIZE? Let us know!

Bumping this up here, as we would love to see some ideas from the community. Even if you don’t know of a specific organization, it would be valuable to hear about the characteristics, questions, etc. that we should be considering.

What types of organizations would be a good fit for this type of partnership? Are there specific regions where we would be more likely to find these types of organizations? What are some issues and considerations we need to be cognizant of as we pursue these relationships?

@timsilman are you looking to execute this in any specific geographies?

@prernakuhad for the time being the competition we have been designing has a scope that is focused only on the United States. However, we are interested in adapting the model for other geographies for the future, and if we are introduced to a motivated enough partner we could make those adjustments sooner.

To put it succinctly, we’d love to hear about anyone who might be interested regardless of geography!

@"DavidPoli "
I run a for-profit affordable housing company in India. Our focus is to build self-sustained communities at scale that have access to holistic yet affordable lifestyle while being in tune with the environment.

1.We have 8 locations across north-India with 20 acres of land that is approved and ready to be developed immediately.
2.We’ve handed over 1000 homes already to families with another 3000 homes in the pipeline. Our average price per home is 10,000-20,000 USD as we are focused on low-income families.
3. We are an equity funded, debt free company with several banking relationships for mortgage arrangements for our customers.
4. We have been actively looking for an international university or research organisation to partner with on R&D/innovations across the AH value chain.
Please see our work at About Us - Shubhashray

I would love to be connected to someone at xprize to see if there is a fit here to work together whenever you guys are ready to expand outside the US.

Thank you @prernakuhad!

@jrmtchll @leahpeker @FreeWilliam @samanthasuppiah @HousingMichigan @RBarragan @mkooistra @csmith102462 @JimKing @ashokjain @Rwyse @Nirmita @alexadlp @LisaHomesFund @bngejane @Jefferson @fferguson @RachitaMisra @dpelleti @Greenduck @sunshinem @SRashkin @annedodge @FanyuLin @sglaude1 - interested if you all may have further thoughts or input around possible partners? (Or questions about the search?) It seems like there may be a lot of exciting options out there!

try Louis Bernardi at McCormack Baron Salazar in San Antonio

@NickAzer How about Lennar?

Per the article in the latest NFPA Journal, there is a new company called Apis Cor which is getting started in 3D concrete printing of small homes. I believe they’ve done some work in Asia, so with a worldwide perspective they may have some good insights on housing needs in different areas.

Also, if you’re looking for a university partner for community resilience and quality of life, the University of South Carolina has developed a couple of robust risk indices for community safety in the US.

Enterprise Community Partners is an obvious partner. They spearhead excellence in design for affordable housing - and have been doing so for almost two decades. They have a fantastic track record and capacity to engage large swaths of direct partners across the US.

There is a fascinating project that is substantially out-of-the-box I’m tracking for my book… It’s a workforce housing development called Green Harbor Communities in Tacoma, WA. The developer team took a less desirable property burdened with 70% wetlands, transformed the wetlands into an outstanding amenity (one of the partners is a biologist), plan to only construct zero energy homes, and will only sell to workforce families that can’t afford the excessively high property costs in the region with an innovative land lease concept designed to enable full ownership in the future vs. take unfair advantage of low-income families. They plan to take this concept nationwide. Happy to make a connection if of interest.

If the goal is to have actual Developer partners, I’d propose ourselves as we are partnering with the community on a current master planning redevelopment. The partnership includes Piedmont Housing Alliance, National Housing Trust Communities, the City of Charlottesville, the University of Virginia School of Architecture, and many others. I can provide more details if desired. It’s a transformative, multi-phased project co-designed with the current residents with construction of the first phase beginning this year. Key measures/goals: racial equity lens, resident-led design, Passive House certification + solar, balanced income-tiered model, mixed use with resident driven commercial use goals (first phase is high-quality early childhood center), in the heart of Charlottesville, but historically economically and socially isolated (originally built in the aftermath of local urban renewal). It has been and will be nationally significant on many fronts.


Peniel Impact Investment is developing a digital “Analytics Translator” and Impact Investment machine (robot) with Sustainable Cities and Communities as one of our markets. There is an opportunity to create a digital twin of the development process, but we do need the right projects to document and digitize. Stakeholder Engagement, Change Management & Training, are also processes we need to digitize as we have done with this prize design, so is AEC. There are a number of approaches to these goals, and we hope to see more organisation innovating in this space.

We have committed all of our resources to research the field. As I mentioned earlier on, we need to improve the quality of our questions about the Sustainable Cities and Communities challenge, then we will have better answers.

From our end, we are seeking opportunities that will enable data-driven engagements, and XPRIZE has the believability we seek. At Peniel are able to go through the entire infrastructure lifecycle and identify areas already digitized and digitizable.

Why this digitization is important? It enables the creation of standards for scaling. So the prize design will create the product, but scaling while maintaining the XPRIZE brand standards will require a new set of tools, which might not be available within the AEC space. This is where AEC collides with Management Consulting enhanced by Analytics.

The end-vision is a pro-active infrastructure life-cycle management that is intelligent in that it knows all the prize desired outcomes and works you towards them in gamified mode.

With this, I propose another layer, in the scaling and implementation process for the sake of reaching a scale and uniform implementation. We also have developing relationships with Banks and AEC stakeholders who are early adopters of technology here in our home country.

Hey @NickAzer
I would be “super stoked” to work with XPRIZE! on this partnership!!!

Activately you really love understandings and have care for the ideas.Finding levels to subscribe results is not only a current moment for the times people stay realizing policies to achieve goals or collecting ideas. Into the past each company have a instrument to intermediate in affairs or gaining to be .

Hey @NickAzer

I just thought let me update this track on the latest developments in South Africa.

Using the Maboneng Precinct as a model for community development in South Africa, so we have been following their work and updates.
Maboneng Precinct has been acknowledged by many stakeholders as a pioneering project in creating sustainable communities and cities and has a strong partnership with the countries’ leading property development companies and financial institutions.

What Maboneng has been able to do is unprecedented as they turned a decaying, redundant and dangerous neighbourhood into a thriving affordable community that transcends culture, age, race and social class. It’s been covered by Forbes Africa as one of the places to visit while in Joburg.

The project expansion was launched two weeks ago and this next phase of development is estimated to cost at least $100m. Considering it’s leading arts & cultural themes, it presents itself as an ideal candidate for Pharrell’ charter community.

Curious to know what you think.


Can you use some of that money to fund your dream;

Brief updates from South Africa, @NickAzer :

As a stimulus strategy for COVID 19, the South African government working in collaboration with the private sector have embarked on the +/- $20 billion sustainable infrastructure plan:

The first of the projects was launched at the beginning of October 2020 by Balwin Properties. The development will see some 50 000 units developed including affordable housing units. You can read more about this initiative here: Mooikloof Mega City residential project launched - Moneyweb

Pharrell Develops in Toronto

Pharrell with Adidas & Zaha Hadid