Suffolk Technologies has partnered with MassRobotics to host Robotics in Construction 2023 event to discuss the future of construction technology and emerging robotics and AI trends

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Robotics and AI are proving to be powerful, innovative resources revolutionizing how buildings are built. To explore how this booming trend can benefit the industry, Suffolk Technologies, the venture capital platform funding the next generation of companies solving built environment challenges, recently hosted Robotics in Construction 2023 at Suffolk Construction’s Roxbury headquarters in partnership with MassRobotics. The event, sponsored by Autodesk and Hilti Venture, brought together industry experts, investors, construction professionals and robotics startup founders from around the world for a series of panels, pitches, product demonstrations and networking opportunities.

“Robots can help to improve safety and accuracy as well as provide services in areas where there are labor shortages. We were happy to collaborate with Suffolk and Suffolk Technologies in showcasing some of these innovative solutions to the construction industry.” Tweet this

John Fish, Chairman and CEO of Suffolk

“While the construction industry is not known for driving innovation and change, we are living in a new norm where increasing efficiencies and improving productivity are absolutely necessary for managing successful projects and providing real value for clients,” said John Fish, Chairman and CEO of Suffolk. “At Suffolk, our mission is to redefine the way the world builds. To accomplish this ambitious goal, we must bring together the most visionary, forward-thinking leaders and organizations in the industry to share ideas, drive conversation and leverage our most creative ideas to transform the built world through groundbreaking technologies and solutions. We are honored to partner with MassRobotics, Autodesk and Hilti and host the many industry thought leaders who share our exciting vision for the future.”

The day-long event welcomed emerging robotics and AI technology startups solving built world challenges.

“Many of our resident startups and those from across the globe are working on technologies that are able to support many industry vertices and construction is an industry ripe for adopting robotics,” said Tom Ryden, Executive Director, MassRobotics. “Robots can help to improve safety and accuracy as well as provide services in areas where there are labor shortages. We were happy to collaborate with Suffolk and Suffolk Technologies in showcasing some of these innovative solutions to the construction industry.”

Josh Lobel, Strategic Projects Executive at Autodesk
Johannes Paefgen, Director with Hilti Venture in Boston

Keynote speaker Josh Lobel, Strategic Projects Executive at Autodesk, followed opening remarks from Mr. Fish and Mr. Ryden. Two panel discussions then explored the on-site challenges faced by industry incumbents for adopting new technologies and what it takes to successfully raise capital as a robotics founder in construction. Later in the day, Johannes Paefgen, Director with Hilti Venture in Boston, spoke about Hilti’s partnerships with robotics startups:

“In our perspective, construction automation is an imperative – to be safer and more productive, but also to win and retain talent in an increasingly competitive labor market. Mastering automation is not only about robots, but also about planning, coordination, collaboration, and logistics. Contractors should rethink their processes, not just their machines.”

The evening culminated with five startups pitching their solutions to the room of industry experts:

  • Rugged Robotics – Autonomous vehicle which streamlines manual layout processes by marking fully-coordinated A/E designs directly onto unfinished floors.
  • Element Exo – An exoskeleton that reduces the risk of work-related back injuries.
  • Reframe Systems – Leveraging modular components and robotic micro-factories to drive down the cost and delivery time of net-zero multifamily residential buildings.
  • Cleo Robotics – Compact and rugged unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with cutting-edge sensing to collect critical data and assist with inspections in GPS-denied, dangerous and difficult to reach areas.
  • Renovate Robotics – Robot designed to reduce work at height and make roofing more productive for contractors.

Cleo Robotics
Element Exo

“Given the challenges the construction industry continues to grapple with, such as persistent labor shortages and shrinking margins, robotics holds incredible promise,” said Jim Lynch, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Autodesk Construction Solutions. “Many of our forward-thinking customers are already realizing the value of robotics in applications like offsite manufacturing, reality capture and tackling repetitive tasks. When combined with the power of data and machine learning, robotics can supplement human labor to increase job site safety, ensure greater predictability, and improve quality control.”

Suffolk Technologies is a venture capital platform that invests in early stage built-world companies, working closely with Suffolk to fuel industry innovation and ensure a more tech-driven, efficient and safer construction process. The firm has made over thirty investments in companies including OpenSpaceKojoWINT and CANVAS. Suffolk Technologies also recently launched applications for its fourth annual BOOST program, an intensive six-week accelerator designed to ignite growth and equip pioneering built world startups with the tools to transform the AEC vertical. The eighteen startups that have graduated from the program have raised over $350 million of capital since 2021, with alumni companies including MoxionPassive LogicRugged Robotics, CalcTreeCarbon Title and Qualis Flow (Qflow).

This year’s BOOST programming will include Operating Partners, a group of general contractors, building owners and operators, real estate services companies, material providers and trade partners who will engage with this year’s cohort throughout the program. The inclusion of Operating Partners is designed to share construction innovation throughout the built world, echoing the mission of Suffolk Technologies’ partnership with MassRobotics, Autodesk and Hilti to host this year’s Robotics in Construction event.

About Suffolk Technologies

Suffolk Technologies is a venture capital platform funding the next generation of companies solving built environment challenges. Suffolk Technologies was recently recognized by AGC Partners as the #1 most active construction technology venture capital investor from 2018 to 2022. Led by Managing Partners Wan Li Zhu, Jit Kee Chin, and Puneet Mahajan, Suffolk Technologies invests in early and growth-stage startups transforming the built world across real estate and development, architecture, engineering and construction, property management, and smart cities. Leveraging Suffolk’s expertise and broad network of industry leaders, Suffolk Technologies partners with visionary founders to accelerate industry-wide adoption of breakthrough innovations ranging from pre-product to growth stages. For more information about Suffolk Technologies’ strategy and investments, visit

About Suffolk

Suffolk is a national enterprise that invests, innovates, and builds. Suffolk is an end-to-end business that provides value throughout the entire project lifecycle by leveraging its core construction management services with vertical service lines that include real estate capital investment, design, self-perform construction services, technology start-up investment (Suffolk Technologies) and innovation research/development. Suffolk is a national company with $5.0 billion in annual revenue, 2,500 employees and main offices in Boston (headquarters), New York, Miami, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Estero, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. Suffolk serves clients in every major industry sector, including healthcare, science and technology, education, gaming, transportation/aviation, and commercial. Suffolk is privately held and is led by founder, chairman and CEO John Fish. Suffolk is ranked #23 on the Engineering News Record list of “Top 400 Contractors.” For more information, visit and follow Suffolk on FacebookTwitterLinkedInYouTube, and Instagram.


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