Unleashing the power of Europe’s women entrepreneurs: Six ideas to drive big change

Focusing on gender diversity and developing entrepreneurial talent are among the top 10 priority areas identified in Innovate Europe: Competing for Global Innovation Leadership, a report published by Digital Europe, an initiative of the World Economic Forum to promote a pan-European approach to innovation.

At a workshop in Berlin in September 2019, over 30 European founders, investors and corporate leaders (both men and women) came together to explore the underlying underrepresentation of women as entrepreneurs and investors in Europe. The workshop was hosted jointly by the World Economic Forum and SAP. The workshop began with a panel representing the founder, investor, corporate and government perspectives, followed by a design-thinking activity in which participants were split into five idea teams, each challenged to develop one new solution leveraging their existing resources and expertise. After the workshop, the five teams continued collaboration via an online platform to further elaborate their ideas and document the first steps needed for implementation.

This paper builds on the workshop results and summarizes the big ideas that will be further explored for implementation.

Read the full report here

Fostering an Open Innovation Ecosystem to Buoy HXM

The pace of innovation for human resources (HR) is at an all-time high. Businesses and HR leaders recognize that a motivated, productive, and engaged workforce is essential to compete and succeed in today’s market. However, the old ways of managing talent are simply not as effective as they once were.

Recognizing there are challenges that require specialized solutions, the SAP.iO program helps innovators both in and outside of SAP build products, find customers, and address industry challenges. These startups push traditional thinking and processes and leverage emerging technologies to drive employee- and people-first cultures.

SAP.iO Venture Studio encourages entrepreneurs specifically inside of SAP by funding employee-led innovations. For example, Brilliant Hire by SAP leverages a network of experts to recruit at scale and bring the best candidates to in-person interviews. The solution now integrates with SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Management. FlexPay by SAP, which recently launched a beta program, allows employees to tap into their accrued earnings ahead of payday to cover unforeseen expenses and avoid costly late fees, overdraft fees and payday loans. Integrated into SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll, the solution also offers money budgeting and savings tools.

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SAP to Expand Development Center Team in Israel

German software multinational SAP SE announced this month that it was expanding its R&D center in Israel and looking to recruit some 100 big data experts, software engineers, and team leaders over the coming year.


The recruitment drive is set to bolster the SAP-Gigya team at the R&D center which currently employs over 700 people including more than 100 from Gigya, the Israeli customer identity management firm SAP acquired in 2017 for $350 million.

SAP also runs a number of other operations in Israel. Last year, SAP announced the first foundry program by its venture capital arm SAP.iO in Tel Aviv with seven local startups.

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The Rise of Customer Experience in Fintech and GRC

Debt collection and a great customer experience are two concepts not typically combined. The image of an intimidating, baseball bat-carrying debt collector is too ingrained in our cultural consciousness.

So being the “friendliest debt collectors in Europe” is quite a bold goal for troy, one of six startups invited to a dedicated financial technology (fintech) program focused on finance and governance, risk and compliance (GRC) in Berlin by the SAP.iO Foundries.

Philip Rürup, CEO of troy, makes clear that creating a friendly customer experience in debt collection is more than a marketing slogan; it is a mindset backed up by technology and proven key performance indicators (KPIs). By treating people as customers and not debtors, troy has found unique solutions to incorporate customer experience into the debt collection process. According to Rürup, this  induces people to pay their debts faster, pay more, and even pay “happily.”

“We found that 50 percent of people simply forgot to pay, or just faced a short-term bottleneck,” explained Rürup. “So, it doesn’t make sense to use heavy-handed approaches here.”

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Zippin closes Series A funding round with $12m

Retail checkout-free technology provider Zippin has concluded a Series A funding round, with $12m, taking the company’s total funding to $15m.

The latest funding round was led by Evolv Ventures, which is a Kraft Heinz-backed venture fund focused on investing in tech companies involved in transforming the food and consumer packaged goods industry.

Other investors include SAP.iO, Scrum Ventures, Arca Continental, Nomura Research Institute and NTT DOCOMO Ventures.

Zippin’s existing investors Maven Ventures, Core Ventures Group, Pear Ventures and Montage Ventures were also part of the funding round.

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Instana acquire Dublin based BeeInstant

BeeInstant has announced that it has been acquired by Instana Inc, the world’s leading provider of Automatic Application Performance Monitoring, headquartered in Chicago, U.S and Solingen, Germany. The two companies agreed to join forces to provide leading-edge solutions for serving the critical needs of application delivery teams, across several all stakeholders, from development to IT Ops, DevOps, SRE and executive management.

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A win-win situation for both parties: SAP.iO Foundry brings London & Partners on board as a mentor

SAP, the market leader in business software, has founded the SAP.iO Foundry to support young companies, in order to promote innovation both inside and outside the SAP world.

The participating teams of the global accelerator program receive cross-industry training and mentoring sessions for 12-14 weeks from internal and external experts, support for integration with SAP applications and access to SAP customers. The programmes end with a Demo Day, during which the startups present their solutions to SAP customers, partners and investors.

For the past few months, the German team from London & Partners has supported the SAP.iO Foundry program as a mentor in two German cities – Berlin and Munich. As the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency, London & Partners offers founders advice on internationalization and go-to-market strategies, set-up in London and access to the local eco-system. The mentoring sessions are the ideal first step to make it easier for young start-ups who want to expand into London to enter the local market.

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לימדו מ-סאפ: שש חברות סטארט-אפ ישראליות – שתיים מהן בהובלת נשים

הסתיים בהצלחה הסבב הראשון של SAP.iO Foundry TLV, בו השתתפו שש חברות סטארט-אפ ישראליות, בראשן של שתיים מהן עומדות נשים צעירות. 

את פני בוגרי הסבב קיבלו במסגרת “דמו דיי” אורנה קליינמן, מנכ”לית מרכז הפיתוח של סאפ בישראל וסגנית נשיאה בכירה של Technology & Innovation Cloud Experience, ורם ג’מבונטאן, ראש תחום אסטרטגיית התאגידים בסאפ העולמית.

Zippin Raises $12M Series A, Announces Cashierless “Cube” Store-in-a-Box

Zippin, a startup creating cashierless checkout experiences for retailers, announced today that it has raised a $12 million Series A round of funding led by Evolv Ventures, the venture fund backed by Kraft Heinz. Other investors include SAP.iO, Scrum Ventures, Arca Continental, and Nomura Research Institute and NTT DOCOMO Ventures from Japan.

Zippin is one of many companies looking to retrofit retailers such as supermarkets with technology to facilitate grab-and-go shopping with no checkout lines. Unlike most of its competition, Zippin doesn’t just rely on cameras and AI to keep track of what people pick up (and put back) while shopping. It also employs shelf-sensors for what it says is a more accurate analysis of what people take and keep as they walk out the door.

As part of today’s announcement, Zippin also said that it is making its technology more portable and accessible to retailers with the introduction of the Zippin Cube. The Zippin Cube is a modular, pre-fabricated cashierless store-in-a-box roughly 300 – 500 sq. ft. that can be assembled in under three weeks upon ordering.

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