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SAP.iO Foundries

2023 Year in Review

Dear SAP.iO Community,

2023 was another great year for SAP.iO. Together with our broad set of stakeholders, we continued to curate an innovative and diverse startup ecosystem for SAP’s customers, extending the value of their SAP solutions and meeting their continuously evolving needs.

The Year of GenAI

Undoubtedly, 2023 was the year of GenAI. At SAP.iO, we surpassed 125 AI-powered startup partner solutions in our ecosystem which are available for immediate adoption by SAP’s customers via the SAP Store. These partner solutions complement SAP’s AI offerings and enable customers to leverage this technology throughout their businesses. In addition, we compiled trend reports highlighting not only GenAI use cases but also the impact of GenAI in the startup environment for key lines of business.

Strong SAP Customer Engagements

One of the unique selling points of SAP.iO is the direct connection it provides between startups and SAP customers. In 2023, we reached another record: our team helped SAP.iO startups engage with over 1,000 SAP customers, bringing the total number of connections facilitated to 9,000+ since 2017. Furthermore, we collaborated very closely with over 75 of these customers in our programs for startup selection and solution piloting. SAP.iO startups also had the opportunity to engage with many strategic customers during several Industry Advisory Councils.

As a result, we continue to see increasing numbers of SAP customers adopting startup solutions through the SAP Store. Many of these became customer success stories such as MaintainX & DuracellMention Me & PUMAZoovu & Bosch Power Tools, and Shippeo & Coca-Cola.

Continued Impact

Across the 11 SAP.iO locations globally, we brought in 120 new startups into the SAP partner ecosystem and now have 260+ startup solutions available on the SAP Store. Our amazing portfolio has cumulatively raised $12B + in venture capital and we added our 5th startup to SAP.iO’s growing list of unicorns!

At SAP, we aim to improve people’s lives and make the world a better place. We are proud to say that SAP.iO startups have created 42,000+ jobs in 45+ countries around the world to date. In 2023, we continued our commitment to the SAP.iO No Boundaries program with 45% of our portfolio companies founded or led by underrepresented entrepreneurs.

We are extremely proud to be recognized for the impact we have in the startup ecosystem through the awards we have won. In 2023, we were named by CB Insights as the #1 corporate among the most Successful Startup Accelerators and #6 in the overall ranking. We were also recognized with an award for Open Innovation Best Practices and a Corporate Startup Star for the 4th consecutive year by the International Chamber of Commerce and Mind the Bridge.

Thank you!

In challenging times, it becomes increasingly clear how much we need one another. I am proud of what our SAP.iO community has accomplished together. I would like to thank the SAP customers who worked closely with us and who use SAP.iO startup solutions, the founders who are great partners to work with, our SAP colleagues who work relentlessly with us to build the next generation of SAP partners, the VCs who refer their best portfolio companies to us and many more who have contributed to our success.

A special thank you goes to the fantastic SAP.iO team, who continues to bring their passion and enthusiasm to work each day, enabling us to help great startups scale and our customers drive their innovation agendas successfully.

Here’s to 2024 and taking our work to the next level together!

Alexa Gorman
Senior Vice President & Global Head of SAP.iO

Top Highlights from 2023

SAP Surpasses the 125-mark for AI-Powered Startup Partner Solutions in Partner Ecosystem

SAP.iO has surpassed the 125-mark for AI-powered startup partner solutions in our partner ecosystem. These solutions are fully integrated with SAP and available via the SAP Store for immediate adoption by SAP customers.

SAP Leverages Its Massive Network to Uplift Diverse Startup Founders

While the company doesn’t fund startups directly, its SAP.iO Foundries initiative arguably offers something even better. The program gives startups an opportunity to integrate within SAP’s technology ecosystem and develop relationships with the company’s vast network of customers, partners and employees.

SAP Named Leading Corporate Innovator for Fourth Consecutive Year

SAP was recognized as a leading Corporate Startup Star for the fourth consecutive year by Mind the Bridge and the International Chamber of Commerce.

Building the most comprehensive, innovative, and diverse startup ecosystem in the enterprise software industry.

startups from 45+ countries supported since 2017
startups founded or led by underrepresented entrepreneurs
billion in VC funding raised by startups in ecosystem

Start-up with SAP

In 2023, SAP.iO Foundries helped 120 startups from 29+ countries launch relationships with SAP. We are proud that 45% of startups in our portfolio are founded or led by underrepresented entrepreneurs.

2023 Highlights

Scale with SAP

Hundreds of the most promising startups continue to scale their businesses via an SAP partnership. Marketplaces like the SAP Store now feature 263 startup solutions, enabling thousands of SAP customers to access innovation while accelerating growth for our startups.

2023 Highlights

SAP.iO is the best way to start a partnership with SAP. The program provided us with everything we needed to launch and be successful on the SAP Store. We gained access to resources, technology, and learnings, and built relationships with other startup founders and SAP customers and mentors. We are grateful to have been selected to participate and thankful for the growth we have realized as a result of the program.

Sarah RodehorstCEO, Onwards HR

On behalf of GoFlux team, I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to all SAP.iO Team! We were accelerated before by top tier programs, but I can say that no one was even close to the impact that SAP.iO had to us! All the connections with customers, the discussions, the real commitment of everyone to help us thrive it's incredible and we will do our best to make it worth and grow our partnership.

Rodrigo GonçalvesCEO, GoFlux

As a founder, I am proud to be part of SAP.iO, where innovation and collaboration are at the forefront. Working alongside a talented group of individuals at SAP dedicated to driving digital transformation and supporting startups, I am inspired by the impact we can make together.

Kareen MalletFounder, Replika Software

Thanks to SAP.iO we had the chance not only to present at the SAP booth at Hannover Messe 2023, but also to invite our customer on stage to present the BTP integration and the work we did with them. This was a unique opportunity to be a part of the SAP family, learn about our customers' needs, and meet many amazing customers and members of the broader SAP ecosystem.

Jan-Martin JostenFounder & CEO, shyftplan

Amplifying Ecosystem Voices

At SAP.iO, we work with innovative people and new technologies that positively impact our world every day, and we think it’s time to share their stories with you! By producing inspiring content, we get to hear how founders, CEOs, presidents of cutting-edge startup technologies overcame, thrived, and pursued their goals.

Ensuring that SAP customers discover and adopt startup innovation.

integrated startup solutions available on the SAP Store
unique SAP customers engaged in 2023
connections facilitated between startups & customers since 2017

Our partnership with SAP.iO has been impactful in identifying cutting-edge startups to accelerate commercial transformation at AB InBev. Through our incredible collaboration on new ideas, knowledge sharing on emerging trends and access to startup portfolio we are better prepared to leverage innovation to tackle our business problems and create a positive impact on our consumers & customers.

Meru SharmaGlobal Manager Innovation at AB InBev

These types of partnerships, like SAP has with Obsess and other event technology startups that are leading new areas of innovation, really open up new ways to engage with the consumer.

Jordan SpeerIDC Analyst (Source: TechTarget)

Being an HR Tech Advisor for SAP.iO is an incredible opportunity to learn about great startups and foster innovation in HR technologies to improve employee experiences.

José Juan CarranzaDirector of Technology Portfolio and Process at Tec de Monterrey

SAP.iO put on a dynamic session with three of their startups during the recent SAP Fashion Council. It was a super engaging session and we experienced firsthand some of the exciting innovations SAP is adding to its ecosystem.

Ralph VibhustienExecutive Director – Global GIS Retail at The Estée Lauder Companies

SAP bringing together HR leaders with creative innovators focused on improving the technology experience for HR solutions creates a unique opportunity for all of us to grow and learn together. Time spent with this group provides me with energy and inspiration.

Julie PettitVP of Human Resources at Cintas Corporation

Gerdau’s collaboration with SAP.iO and its startup ecosystem has had a relevant impact on our business. The SAP.iO team does a fantastic job at vetting and accelerating startups with valuable solutions that sit adjacent to our SAP systems and address relevant pain points. They have also provided me with in depth knowledge on how to leverage innovation to tackle real world problems.

Rafael La Porta de CastroDirector of Business Development at Gerdau

Innovation Engagements & Councils

We facilitate relationship building between SAP customers and the most relevant SAP.iO Foundries’ portfolio companies through curated innovation engagements, customer innovation days, and workshops. These engagements provide customers and startups in our portfolio the opportunity to share knowledge, discuss industry challenges and opportunities, and showcase the latest innovations. This helps SAP customers access external innovation, elevates SAP’s brand as an innovation partner, and opens new doors for startups to drive demand for their solutions.

2023 Highlights

Solution Adoption & Program Collaborations

We help the world’s biggest brands unlock innovation through SAP’s startup ecosystem. In 2023, we engaged over 1,000 customers and worked with organizations globally to maximize their SAP investment, enable simple transactions via SAP’s online marketplaces, and accelerate their ROI. Hundreds of SAP customers closed deals with our portfolio companies, whose technologies are transforming how businesses operate. In addition, we work closely with strategic customers to scout startups, assess solutions, and provide input before accepting them into new programs. In 2023, we partnered with 76 SAP customers to collaborate on industry- and line-of-business-specific programs to explore new market insights and solutions, participate in the application screening phase, and potentially become beta-sites for pilot programs.

2023 Highlights

Video: Compass Group Collaborates with SAP.iO to Drive Innovation

All logos used with permission. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Setting the global standard for startup engagement.

events attended or sponsored in 2023
locations in strategic hubs around the world
awards won by SAP.iO and our portfolio companies in 2023

Events & Experiences

In 2023, SAP.iO and our startups participated in and hosted more than 200 events and conferences worldwide – reaching an audience of over 745,000 business leaders. Our global presence at top industry and technology events allows us to introduce cutting-edge startup technology to our customers and the global innovation ecosystem. This helps us connect with innovation leaders and support the growth of the ecosystem.

2023 Highlights
  • Had a major presence at NRF 2023 including a dedicated SAP.iO booth and demo pods within the SAP booth and three customer theater sessions – showcasing 30+ startups and engaging dozens of customers during the 3-day expo.
  • Had a dedicated pod at Hannover Messe to showcase our portfolio. Two SAP.iO live sessions with customers & partners were presented at the SAP Live Forum Theater, 20 guided tours were held, and a thought leadership report was launched during the event.​
  • Launched our first ever partnership with LA Fashion Week (LAFW) to contribute to inclusiveness, sustainability, and digital innovation where SAP.iO startup Obsess created a virtual retail store with designers curated by Black Fashion Fair, BigThinx created a virtual runway show, and we had the opportunity to share the trend from physical to virtual retail on a panel.
  • At South Summit, the largest innovation conference in Latin America, the entire SAP.iO Foundry LAC cohort secured speaking slots as panelists and Kange Kaneene delivered a keynote on expanding to Latin America.
  • Many SAP.iO startups including, VNTANA, and SuperSmart hosted featured sessions at the SXSW Conference.
  • The SAP.iO Team and startups including Jebbit and Milkman presented to 10,000+ customers and partners at SAP Sapphire.
  • Multiple startups were showcased in the SAP booth, on the main stage, and in breakout sessions at the International SAP Conference for Utilities.
  • Launched the SAP.iO Innovators Networking Summit in New York City aimed at connecting local startups with SAP customers and account teams.
  • Joined a delegation from Israel to represent SAP.iO on stage at GITEX Africa, a large tech & startup conference in Morocco.

Startup Programs

In 2023, we ran startup partnership programs in 11 locations worldwide, continuing to build the most comprehensive, innovative, and diverse startup ecosystem in the enterprise software industry. Our network of global innovation hubs empowers innovators of all backgrounds to start-up with SAP and help the world run better and improve peoples’ lives.

2023 Highlights

Thought Leadership & Content

As an intermediary between corporates and startups, we leverage and share best practices and market insights for our customers and startup partners to drive innovation and solve challenges across 25+ industries. This helps us support the growth of our customers and startup partners and foster a thriving ecosystem of innovation.

2023 Highlights


SAP.iO and our portfolio companies won 25+ awards this year and were featured in over 250 articles in 2023. We are proud to be one of the most effective organizations transforming open innovation into tangible results, setting the global standard for startup engagement.

2023 Highlights
  • For the fourth consecutive year, SAP has been named a Top Corporate Startup Star by Mind the Bridge and the International Chamber of Commerce.
  • SAP.iO was named the #6 most successful startup accelerator by CB Insights
  • SAP.iO Foundry Shanghai was honored by the Shanghai Government with two prestigious awards: The Best Partners Award and the Talent Scout Award.
  • SAP.iO Foundry NYC attended the prestigious opening ceremony and met with the Head of International Listings at the NYSE together with their latest cohort of startups.
  • StartupBlink 2023 Global Startup Ecosystem Index Report recognizes SAP as a leading corporate innovator
  • SAP recognized for leveraging Its massive network to uplift diverse startup founders
  • 360Learning recognized SAP and SAP.iO with 2 awards including “Super Sponsor” & “Partner Alliance of the Year”

Helping innovators start-up and scale with SAP.

SAP.iO Foundry Berlin

Fast Facts

  • Founded: 2017
  • Startups Accelerated: 90
  • Programs Run: 12

The Team

Delivering Maximum Impact and Value

“In 2023, the SAP.iO Berlin team successfully concluded two programs, culminating in the celebration of corresponding Demo Day events. The Future of Work demo day was an invite-only on-site event featuring Sabine Bendiek (CHRO & COO of SAP) and key customers. Our Public Sector demo day was a fully virtual event, accessible to a wider audience. While recognizing the substantial benefits of in-person connections, we understood that a one-size-fits-all approach is not suitable. Our commitment lies in delivering maximum impact and value, achieved through identifying the most effective approach tailored to the target industry and the startup solutions within our programs. We aspire to continually grow and learn from each opportunity, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.”

– Monika Ruzickova

SAP.iO Foundry Munich

Fast Facts

  • Founded: 2019
  • Startups Accelerated: 78
  • Programs Run: 8

The Team

Working Towards a Sustainable Future

“In 2023, we finalized our Industry 4.0 program and proudly witnesses the graduation of ten exceptional startups. Meanwhile, we were preparing a program dedicated to sustainability and energy management. The landscape of sustainability and green energy has evolved from a mere concept to a well-established reality. The startup market is a vibrant hub, enthusiastically presenting great solutions. At SAP.iO Foundry Munich, we are proud to work with companies who are solidifying the vision of a future where sustainability is not just a goal but a core value.

We were also lucky to host our first Industry X lunch at the world’s biggest automotive fair ‘IAA’. We welcomed 40 participants, and it was fantastic to see so many passionate corporate innovators and startups come together to explore the future of mobility across industries. We are planning to continue such events in 2024 to drive customer success.”

– Sina Fraenkle

SAP.iO Foundry Paris

Fast Facts

  • Founded: 2018
  • Startups Accelerated: 89
  • Programs Run: 10

The Team

In-Person Moments

“My fondest memory of the year 2023 was a two-day, in-person workshop to launch our 6-month SAP.iO Paris program. Until now, this had always taken place over several weeks and virtually. Having everyone in the office in person for the first time elevated the energy and motivation levels to an entirely new dimension. This event once again proved that it is definitely worthwhile to have certain meetings in person. The European startup ecosystem, much like in other parts of the world, is deeply affected by the numerous tragic events that happened in 2023. Nevertheless, I see in this transformation a great opportunity, as it will ensure that only the technologies and solutions that are truly sustainable will prevail.

– Odilia von Zitzewitz

SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv

Fast Facts

  • Founded: 2018
  • Startups Accelerated: 71
  • Programs Run: 11

The Team

Innovation Powered by the Human Connection

“Despite the backdrop of economic uncertainties, geopolitical tensions, and supply chain disruptions, the tech ecosystem witnessed remarkable breakthroughs in 2023, fueled by the revolutionary GenAI boom. This year underscored the unwavering spirit of founders, reinforcing that the tech landscape is fundamentally about the people who shape it. We learned that more than ever, innovation thrives in adversity and that human connection is the bedrock of our ecosystem. Together, we will keep making a lasting impact on the future of technology, driven by the unstoppable human spirit, and empowering the individuals around us.”

– Inbar Yacoby

SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco

Fast Facts

  • Founded: 2017
  • Startups Accelerated: 67
  • Programs Run: 10

The Team

Exploring Startup Advancements

“In 2023, the CX Demo Day, the opening of the San Francisco office, and the first SAP.iO event during SF Tech Week were by far the fondest memories. We had the opportunity to meet with several of our alumni and startups with whom we have been working, as well as dozens of customers and investors. SAP.iO is leading the way in exploring innovative startup advancements, and I could not be more excited to showcase our partnership with some of the most innovative Generative AI startups, shaping the future of customer experience.”

– Domitilla Caputo

SAP.iO Foundry New York

Fast Facts

  • Founded: 2018
  • Startups Accelerated: 72
  • Programs Run: 10

The Team

Shaping the Digital Supply Chain Landscape

Our Digital Supply Chain cohort’s success was a 2023 highlight. These startups are developing innovative solutions that extend SAP’s value for our customers, such as improving supply chain risk visibility and leveraging AI for virtual mapping. SAP.iO is committed to fostering diversity in the startup ecosystem, as evidenced by our Digital Supply Chain cohort. With 6 out of 10 startups led by underrepresented founders, we’re shaping an inclusive innovation landscape.

– Sherry Li

SAP.iO Foundry Latin America & Caribbean

Fast Facts

  • Founded: 2022
  • Startups Accelerated: 16
  • Programs Run: 2

The Team

Collaborating to Foster Inclusion

“SAP.iO LAC had the privilege of collaborating with one of its most diverse cohorts to date, comprising startups from Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, the Bahamas, Mexico, and Brazil. This incredible group and their innovative FinTech solutions present an opportunity for SAP’s customers to make a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people, fostering financial inclusion for new populations and driving economic growth. It is exciting to witness how we are supporting SAP’s mission to make the world run better and improve people’s lives through the development of cutting-edge solutions in the Latin America and Caribbean region.”

– Edwin Gonzalez

SAP.iO Foundry Bangalore

Fast Facts

  • Founded: 2020
  • Startups Accelerated: 36
  • Programs Run: 4

The Team

Enabling Customers to Reimagine Business

“Over 60% of SAP customers in the Indian sub-continent have a stronger interest in leveraging an open innovation ecosystem to achieve innovation goals. Our customers look at SAP.iO as an extension to their innovation team. Our structured approach to drive PoCs, best practices, and robust ‘outside-in’ perspective helps align management teams on their biggest levers for growth. In 2023, we have enabled marquee customers of SAP to engage with multiple startups to reimagine business processes.”

– Aravind Govindan

SAP.iO Foundry Singapore

Fast Facts

  • Founded: 2019
  • Startups Accelerated: 66
  • Programs Run: 10

The Team

Expanding in Southeast Asia

“Despite 2023’s plunge in Southeast Asia’s VC funding, foreign capital is still flowing into the region’s startup ecosystem. Coupled with the presence of VC dry powder and favorable demographic factors, this provides a ray of optimism for 2024. Startups are moving beyond the consumer space and solving difficult problems like Climate Change. I had an opportunity to speak at a conference in South Korea and it is so invigorating to meet many high-quality Korean startups that remain under the radar! Korean startups are eager to expand into Southeast Asia and the reverse is also true for Southeast Asian startups. This augurs well for 2024 where we can bring more innovation to SAP customers in both Southeast Asia and South Korea!”

– Steven Tong

SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo

Fast Facts

  • Founded: 2019
  • Startups Accelerated: 38
  • Programs Run: 8

The Team

Developing SAP’s Next Cloud Partners

“SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo has experienced significant growth this year. Particularly notable is the increase in the number of startups with a clear Value Proposition that have joined our ecosystem, resulting in an increase to our pipelines and wins. Additionally, I am proud to share that three startup solutions have been newly certified as Industry Cloud partner solutions. It’s also encouraging that we now have more startups capable of clearly differentiating themselves with SAP solutions, providing further cutting-edge technologies to SAP customers. Our team will continue collaborating with SAP Japan’s SET members very closely and continue to foster innovation both inside and outside of our organization.

– Maya Sasaki

SAP.iO Foundry Shanghai

Fast Facts

  • Founded: 2022
  • Startups Accelerated: 30
  • Programs Run: 5

The Team

Cross-Border Collaborations for the Win

“Reflecting on 2023, my fondest memory is undoubtedly the launch of our Taiwan pop-up program. The excitement and energy from the Taiwanese entrepreneurial community was palpable, it was an honor to foster cross-border exchanges and collaborations, and witness how this program enabled startups to grow and scale internationally. One of the most significant lessons learned was the importance of agility and resilience. We saw firsthand how critical it is for startups to be adaptable in the face of change. Our experience in China underscored this, as we navigated new terrain and worked closely with our customers to ensure the program’s success.

We observed many startups leveraging advanced technologies to drive impactful solutions. Furthermore, the trend towards Environmental, Social, and Governance continued to gather pace, with startups integrating these principles into their business models more than ever. This shift is indicative of a maturing ecosystem, cognizant of its role in shaping a sustainable future. The lessons from 2023 have informed our approach moving forward, and we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”

– Qiao Li

Global BTP Startup Program

Fast Facts

  • Founded: 2021

The Team

Establishing SAP Datasphere for AI and Advanced Analytics Startups

Throughout 2023, the SAP BTP Startup Program continued to support startups in identifying innovative data use cases and onboarding them as data providers on the SAP Data Marketplace. Additionally, a joint prototype with the SAP.iO startup showcased the importance of combining external data with proprietary business data to support decision-making and gain a broader perspective on the market and industry. The team now moves on to address the challenge of “time to data” by utilizing structured data models developed in SAP Datasphere to seamlessly integrate data into AI and advanced analytic startup solutions.

SAP.iO Rising Stars

Fast Facts

  • Founded: 2022
  • Startups Supported in 2023: 27

The Team

Fostering Even Stronger Collaborations

“Concluding our second year of operations, the SAP.iO Rising Stars team soared in 2023, supporting 27 partners and witnessing remarkable growth in SAP Store deals compared to the previous year.  This year we focused on how we optimize our processes, tactics, and the way we do portfolio and business development. We developed and tested new ways to generate leads in collaboration with SAP account teams, increased the value we gain from global events like NRF and Hannover Messe, and we improved the exposure we get from publishing content like articles, blogs and thought leadership reports. Moreover, in 2023, we were able to grow the team, expanding our presence into the APJ region. This expansion significantly enhances our ability to support partners in the APJ and China markets, fostering stronger collaborations and empowering more partners within these regions.”

– Lior Weizman

SAP.iO No Boundaries

Fast Facts

  • Launched: 2018
  • Startups Founded or Led by Underrepresented Entrepreneurs: 45%

Doubling-Down on Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Now that we have achieved our initial goal, we plan to build on our momentum. By 2028, we want 45% of our portfolio to be comprised of startups founded or led by people whose share of venture capital funding in the technology industry is proportionally less than their share of the population. This is up from 40% in 2018.

It take’s a community.

Our team continues to prove that a small input can have a big output. We’d like to acknowledge and thank our incredible community of friends, fans, fellows, interns, working students, mentors, advisors, and sponsors who collaborated with us in 2023 to drive such incredible results. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Ready to start-up with SAP in 2024?