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The Propcast

Nov 17, 2020

Summary: In this episode The Propcast talks to Nicholas Schmidt of Blueprint Power, and Sonny Tai of Actuate AI about how they moved from the Military into PropTech.
The Propcast by Louisa Dickins, Co-Founder of LMRE the leading Global PropTech recruiter brought to you in partnership with UK PropTech Association, The UK PropTech Association is a membership organisation to drive the digital transformation of the property industry. This show will focus on connecting the PropTechs, real estate funds and VC’s globally…and get everyone talking about innovation of the build to rent environment.
About Our Host
Louisa Dickins 
Louisa started her career in property working at a well-known estate agency in London. Realising her people skills, she moved over to Lloyd May to pursue a career in recruitment. She now is a Director at LMRE, who are a specialist recruitment firm driven by PropTech and recruitment professionals, and Louisa oversees their 5 core areas. Louisa co-founded LMRE and provides a constructive recruitment platform to the new disruptors in real estate. Louisa is also on the board of Directors at UK PropTech Association (UKPA).
About LMRE
LMRE believe there is a better way to recruit. LMRE focus on a more comprehensive, client led focus delivering exceptional talent to the right place at the right time. They are passionate about the industry and passionate about people's careers. LMRE spend time with each client to become and an extension of the business, and their transparency and core values help them grow with the sector. LMRE simplify recruitment and innovate with our clients and evolve the people driven, PropTech community.
About Our Guests
Nicholas Schmidt 
Nicholas is a proven entrepreneurial executive, with extensive expertise in leading high-performing teams that design, engineer, and deliver multi-faceted solutions. His knowledge includes managing complex integration projects, performing unique R&D projects, as well as creating quick reaction capabilities for clients. He is the CIO of Blueprint Power, which is a New York City based tech company whose mission is to accelerate the growth and financial sustainability of distributed intelligent clean energy, by helping regional groups or real estate companies transform their portfolios into power plants. Nicholas's background spans both military and corporate solutions in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East with globally dispersed teams. After serving in the United States Air Force, he has worked in a variety of roles to include Co-founder and Entrepreneur, as well as Chief Engineer at companies such as Boeing.
Sonny Tai 
Sonny is the CEO and co-founder of Actuate, an AI company that builds software that turns existing security cameras into smart cameras. Prior to founding Actuate, Sonny served as a captain in the United States Marine corps, where he led anti terrorism, force protection, planning and training. After the Marine Corps, Sonny helped corporate executives solve their most challenging growth and operational problems in strategic advisory. Sonny graduated with BA from the University of Illinois, and has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Companies mentioned
Resources mentioned
LMRE website
UKPA website
Blueprint Power 
Actuate AI 
Insights From This Episode
  • I think the biggest lesson that I brought over from the military… was to get as much information as you can and charge the hill. So not to necessarily fall into just analysing an issue over and over again, but trust your gut and go forward - Nicholas Schmidt
  • A good decision executed assertively now is better than a perfect decision executed 10 minutes later, or a week later - Sonny Tai 
  • I find that in the private sector, some people tend to micromanage. And that's something that I've learned not to do in building this company - Sonny Tai
  • I think finding that curiosity in somebody and seeing the passion that they want to learn what you're talking about, is in some ways better than having a tonne of background and experience in something - Nicholas Schmidt  
  • You want to hire people that are not averse to doing the things that it takes for your organisation to be successful. - Sonny Tai
  • Being able to build a team and mentor that team and watch it grow and shape and change as a leader just an incredibly rewarding thing - Nicholas Schmidt  
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