Smart Student Living: a sector-wide approach to tech challenges in PBSA

In a strategy to create even more tangible outcomes, this year’s edition of Smart Student Living is revamping the agenda by having tech leaders present their business cases to address challenges identified by operators.

Smart Student Living: a PBSA sector-wide approach to tech challenges | PBSA News

Navigating proptech challenges for residential buildings for students and young professionals is complex. Figuring out the right system to use, learning how to integrate them with other platforms, and discovering how to measure valuable data are just a few of the main difficulties. What’s more, all of these complexities must culminate in a user-friendly experience for residents. 

The Class and its partners identified these challenges to be common among housing operators within the community. In response, they created an event Smart Student Living to address these issues head-on and successfully hosted its inaugural edition last year.  

The aim of the event is to bring together the technology leaders from operators and tech professionals and have them collaborate in curated workshops, effectively creating a space where they can explore challenges, ideas and solutions collectively.  

Attendees of Smart Student Living 2023 during one of the collaborative workshop sessions | PBSA News
Attendees of Smart Student Living 2023 during one of the collaborative workshop sessions.

The agenda for change

The Class, wanting to gain greater insight into the sector’s main concerns regarding technology, conducted forums with leading European student housing providers to help set the agenda. 

Following these discussions, we invited tech professionals to address these challenges by pitching Dragon’s Den styled business cases.* 

The challenges identified by operators were as follows: 

1. How should technology enhance the customer’s journey and experience, or even redefine the design scope for modern refurbishment?
2. How can translators enhance day-to-day operations, with a focus on the integration of systems and data?   

The Class is calling upon tech entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders to join them in Amsterdam. 

For those interested in pitching their idea, they can fill out this form shared by The Class. You can take part in the event with or without pitching, as there is the option to just collaborate. 

Why the event matters

By bringing together leading technology teams, operators and specialised organisations, The Class aims to foster an environment of collaboration rather than competition. In an industry where technological challenges hinder progress for everyone in the sector, such collaborative efforts are crucial for driving innovation and progress.  

Moreover, the collaborative nature of the event is to not only create innovation, but also to cultivate a sense of community and shared purpose among stakeholders, ultimately benefiting both operators and students alike in the long run. 

To read more about the event, you can visit The Class Foundation website or register your tickets

About The Class Foundation

The Class Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded in 2011 with the aim of helping the student living sector to attract and retain the brightest young minds. In promoting this mission, we hope to pave the way to social and economic success for university cities across Europe. 

Together with our industry-leading community, we set out to rethink the places where students live, work and learn. We are focussed on uniting both public and private stakeholders, such as HE institutes, PBSA providers, city and council leaders, and external suppliers to make student accommodation more affordable, accessible and available in Europe. 

*More on the business case format

Participants will have seven minutes to present their business case solutions. 

The business cases can be done collaboratively with other tech organisations and will have a solution-based focus rather than a sales approach.  

They will then open the floor to a Q&A session, where both operators and other members of tech organisations will be able to ask their inquiries regarding the practical applications and more ideas on how the business cases are executed. 

The audience will then have the opportunity to support one of the presented solutions, using the rest of the time to collaborate on devising a strategy for its successful implementation.