New Construction Startup, PLOT, Announces Backing from Koch Industries and High Alpha Innovation
By bringing the right players together to make decisions both on and off job sites, PLOT is optimizing construction communication.
WICHITA, KS — November 9, 2021 — PLOT (https://www.getplot.com/), a comprehensive construction communications platform, announced its pre-seed investment partnership with Koch Industries and Indianapolis-based venture studio High Alpha Innovation this week. PLOT will be headquartered in Wichita, KS, and is actively recruiting to fill key early roles.
Fragmented conversations not reaching all relevant parties are central to an endemic communication problem in the construction industry. In order to better streamline communication channels across the construction value chain, Koch partnered with High Alpha Innovation to build PLOT, and most recently led the startup’s pre-seed round. As corporate partners, Koch and High Alpha Innovation will advance PLOT’s vision of creating a comprehensive platform that could transform communications throughout the construction industry.
PLOT is led by co-founder and CEO Chris Callen, an experienced Wichita entrepreneur and construction-tech founder who has spent decades understanding the processes — and shortfalls — of how construction teams interact. Callen is the former CEO of concrete contractor Builders Plus Construction, and in 2017, he founded Grit Virtual, a construction scheduling software, which he has since sold. Callen most recently served as Head of Customer Success at California-based TraceAir Technologies.
“Construction technologies, whether built from internal or external perspectives, have often focused too much on documents and processes rather than teams and the people within them” notes Callen. “In building PLOT, we’ve expanded our focus to the lifeblood of a construction site — the workers and their teams — who have never had a software built to fully address their communication needs.”
Central to PLOT’s approach is applying proven communication techniques from white-collar industries while embracing the unique challenges of construction sites: namely that these sites are often fragmented both contractually and geographically. When in-person conversations don’t provide the proper information dissemination and meetings bring logistical challenges and duplicative information, PLOT’s optimized jobsite communication technology can help streamline and provide efficiency.
“PLOT is a communication platform the industry needs. In today’s world, too many stakeholders try to juggle text messages, emails, phone calls, and messages generated through project-specific platforms,” notes Travis Voss, Leader of Innovative Technology at Helm Mechanical. Echoes Dustin Burns, Vice President of Information Technology at McCownGordon Construction: “Construction software has come a long way in digitizing document and project management workflows, but there is still a massive lack of seamless and contextual communication on project sites. The way PLOT is approaching this problem is truly unique and has the ability to change the industry.”
Adds Jim DiAndreth, Managing Director at Koch’s Georgia-Pacific Ventures: “PLOT is uniquely structured to take on today’s communication challenges, and Chris’ leadership adds a degree of expertise not seen anywhere else in the industry. This is a big advancement for construction tech, and I can’t wait to see what PLOT will accomplish.”
The initial concept for PLOT was one result of a wide-ranging collaborative effort between Koch and High Alpha Innovation focused on supply chain challenges. After validating to launch PLOT through High Alpha Innovation’s Sprint process forcing function, both teams furthered the company’s early concept with feedback from construction suppliers, owners, and trade contractors while sourcing Callen in a nationwide CEO search.
“By employing this venture studio approach, both Koch and our team at High Alpha Innovation were able to bring PLOT to market quickly. We are thrilled with the collaboration and look forward to supporting the PLOT team together as they scale,” explains High Alpha Innovation CEO Elliott Parker.
As PLOT builds its initial product in this post-launch phase, the company is actively hiring for engineering talent and engaging a foundational client base to provide platform feedback. Interested owners, contractors, and suppliers can apply for early access on PLOT’s website.
About Koch Industries, Inc.
Based in Wichita, Kansas, Koch Industries, Inc. is one of the largest private companies in America, with estimated annual revenues greater than $115 billion, according to Forbes. It owns a diverse group of companies involved in refining, chemicals, and biofuels; forest and consumer products; fertilizers; polymers and fibers; process and pollution control systems; electronics, software and data analytics; minerals; glass; automotive components; commodity trading; and investments. Since 2003, Koch companies have invested more than $130 billion in growth and improvement projects with more than $30 billion invested in technology since 2013. With a presence in more than 70 countries, Koch companies employ 122,000 people worldwide, with about 62,000 of those in the United States. From January 2009 to present, Koch companies have earned more than 1,300 awards for safety, environmental excellence, community stewardship, innovation, and customer service. Learn more about Koch at KOCHind.com.
About High Alpha Innovation, Inc.
High Alpha Innovation is an Indianapolis-based venture studio that partners with corporations and universities to innovate through systematic startup creation. Building upon the venture studio model pioneered by High Alpha, High Alpha Innovation’s dedicated team of company builders, strategists, and designers combines the speed and learning ability of a startup with the knowledge and scale of a large organization. In collaboration with corporate and university partners, High Alpha Innovation generates and validates business ideas, sources entrepreneurial founders, launches and nurtures companies to scale, and establishes permanent startup creation capabilities. Learn more about High Alpha Innovation at highalphainno.com.