Marco Polo 100 Digital Build Challenge (HORIZON Legacy)


Tech & IT

Location (s):

  • Online


Revolutionize construction, build affordable housing for $100/sq ft with 3D printing, prefabrication, robotics or new technologies.


Revolutionize the Construction Industry!

With 7 decades of experience building, financing, and operating complex long term infrastructure projects in one of Canada’s most influential cities, Toronto, Horizon is driven to pioneer the next innovation in sustainable real estate.

This open innovation challenge was created with the goal of achieving our mission to build affordable housing using new construction technologies and processes.

Construction is an industry that’s made relatively little progress in how it organizes its business, still using century-old technologies and processes. We believe digital capabilities present opportunities to make qualitative leaps for the industry. There have been piecemeal efforts made, but no significant revolution in overall project scale practice. 

This is where we want your help!

Horizon is looking for passionate individuals around the world who have innovative solutions that can help us bring our vision to life. We want your ideas & will partner with you to realize them. We will provide land, technical expertise, and funding to actualize and build the chosen concepts. At the end of our journey, our goal is to have several completed buildings that are operational, and places people can call home.

A 4 stage journey:

  • Stage 1 - Qualifying Round, Oct 1, 2020 - Jan 11, 2021: Identification of the best ideas from around the world that demonstrate potential for savings in cost, time while using innovative construction technologies/processes.
  • Stage 2 - Design (Semi Finals), Jan 22 - Aug 2021: Up to 20 teams will work with Horizon and its support team to develop & evaluate their plans to construct a futuristic building in an innovative way.
  • Stage 3 - Small Building (Finals), Aug 2021 - Aug 2022: Up to 5 teams will work with Horizon and its support team to build a Small Building, intended to showcase the innovative technology/process and scalability.
  • Stage 4 - Big Building (Grand Prize), After Aug 2022: One team will be selected to partner with Horizon to build a livable Big Building in Southern Ontario, Canada. 

Your mission

Your mission is to develop innovative ideas to build a multi-residential building for $100/sq ft using new technologies and processes and reduce traditional construction timelines by up to 50%. This Challenge is attempting a leap for digital technology, 3D printing, robotics, automation, prefabricated manufacturing that is both exciting and formidable; breaking down traditional silos and bridging knowledge in construction, architecture, and engineering to implement a living breathing building.

The building and construction industry faces several key challenges:

  • Shortage of qualified labour and shortage of interest among young people wanting to work in the construction industry;
  • Increasing health and safety regulations which add cost and slow down the production;
  • Increasing exposure to unpredictable weather events, global risk exposure which add cost and delay to projects.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

The Marco Polo 100 Digital Build Challenge is open to everyone  

  • We believe the best ideas can come from anywhere.  
  • No matter whether you are a startup, entrepreneur, inventor, industry professional, educator, or a student around the globe from fields including but definitely not limited to 3D- printing, prefabrication technologies, robotics, architecture, engineering, manufacturing, and construction.  
  • Our expert mentors & partner associations will support you during the whole process to help you advance in all aspects that you do not have expertise in yet.


Deadline: January 11, 2021

Cost/funding for participants:

Your Benefits & Prizes  

Stage 2 for all teams selected for the 2nd stage  

  • 1 Awards and certificate for best new ideas, innovation, design
  • 2 Mentorship & feedback Stage 3 for all teams selected for the

3rd stage  

  • 1 Technical, financial, business support
  • 2 Stipend for travel to Toronto, Canada
  • 3 Up to $140,000 of investments and $15,000 of cash
  • 4 Royalty of $15/sq meter ($1.39/sq ft). Royalties received after the Challenge
  • 5 Intellectual property maintenance fee of $65,000

Stage 4 for the winning team  

  • 1 Technical, financial, business support
  • 2 Up to $10,000,000 of investments and $200,000 cash prize
  • 3 Royalty of $20/sq meter ($1.86/sq ft). Royalties received after the Challenge
  • Intellectual property maintenance fee of $250,000
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