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Founder Profile: SwiftConnect’s Matt Kopel on Developing the World’s First Street-to-Seat Experience for CRE 

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SwiftConnect is the leader in providing connected access enablement that focuses on delighting users with elegant ways to interact with places, spaces and things. By ensuring a user’s digital pass is on a smart phone or watch, the company enables swift access to every place, everywhere by powering connected access experiences for commercial real estate owners and enterprises.   

From the beginning 

Developing innovative solutions for physical access is not new to Matt Kopel, SwiftConnect’s Co-CEO and President. His story began in law school when he launched his first company, Waltz, with a goal to easily connect people to flexible office spaces. Through Waltz, he developed a mobile app and reader that allowed employees and guests to enter buildings and offices using a single credential on a mobile phone. WeWork took notice and acquired Waltz in 2019.  

Enter SwiftConnect 

Matt briefly worked at WeWork and later founded SwiftConnect with co-CEO Chip Kruger. They had the idea that the flexibility and on-demand nature of access control that WeWork found attractive was going to be a requirement of every building owner and occupier due to the increasing number of people working onsite and remotely. Little did they know at the time that a global pandemic would accelerate the need for commercial real-estate and enterprises to use physical space and real estate more efficiently, while providing employees and tenants with better access experiences. 

Fast forward to today. Matt, Chip, and the team have developed an award-winning platform, forging critical partnerships and collaborations with tech giants such as Microsoft and Apple to bring their vision to life. Combining these accomplishments with its continued market traction, SwiftConnect has secured its place as the leader in connected access enablement among owners and occupiers of trophy commercial real estate properties. The company powered the world’s first deployment of an employee badge in Apple Wallet at Silverstein’s 7 World Trade Center, where SwiftConnect’s AccessCloud service allows users to easily access their office buildings, tenant floors, fitness centers and amenity spaces with their iPhone or Apple Watch. Among many more enterprises and building owners, Boston Properties (BXP) and Bridge Commercial Real Estate have introduced the AccessCloud service to their employees and tenants.  

The street-to-seat value proposition 

For building owners, SwiftConnect helps enable self-service, unfettered access to parking garages, buildings, turnstiles, office suites and amenity spaces for tenants across their portfolio of properties. Owners can also enable a tenant-branded access pass in a digital wallet that works seamlessly across multiple building access points (either managed by the owner or by their enterprise tenant).  

Not only can property owners increase efficiency and lower costs with SwiftConnect, but they now have an attractive mobile access offering they can extend to their enterprise tenants.  This means tenants can skip the security desk and go straight to their office suites with a hassle-free, street-to-seat access experience. This is an increasingly relevant feature given the trend toward hybrid work models powered by the growing number of flex office locations. 

“SwiftConnect’s mission is to help building owners and enterprises adapt to the new way of work and optimize their offices by removing the complexity related to connecting people to the right place at the right time. We provide a street-to-seat journey that users love, automation that redefines operational efficiency and a security-privacy foundation that administrators trust,” says Matt. 

At JLL Spark, we’re particularly optimistic about the future of mobile credentials for access control for CRE and are actively working to deploy SwiftConnect across JLL’s own corporate offices. Historically, the process for enabling tenants and guests with access to commercial buildings has been slow and cumbersome, largely due to fragmented landscape of legacy hardware and software providers. For large enterprise occupiers, we see a unique opportunity to help unify access control across a client’s whole portfolio, while allowing them to digitally provision employee credentials. For landlords, we’ve already seen a fundamental shift in smartphone-enabled tenant experience and building management, SwiftConnect’s solution is delivering operating efficiency and a best-in-class access experience.

As a leading real estate advisor to some of the world’s largest corporate occupiers and commercial landlords, we see a bright future for mobile access technology supporting the growing trend for a connected lifestyle that owners and enterprises seek to help people navigate their world better.  

Written by Daniel Correa, senior associate at JLL Spark based in New York, NY.

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