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SAP Among the World’s Top 25 Startup-Friendly Companies and Winner of Corporate Startup Accelerator Award

WALLDORF — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced it has been recognized with a Corporate Startup Stars Award as one of the Top 25 most active companies to encourage open innovation with startups.

SAP also received a Corporate Startup Accelerator Award for its acceleration efforts and identifying worldwide best practices in corporate-startup collaboration. The announcement was made at the digital award ceremony hosted by open innovation advisory firm Mind the Bridge and the International Chamber of Commerce, on December 15.

Engaging with early stage startups is an important aspect of SAP’s holistic open innovation approach to remain agile and resilient in today’s global marketplace. This includes dedicated programs within SAP’s early stage venture arm SAP.iO to scout and accelerate new ideas and talent inside and outside of the company.

“At SAP, we know that we can mutually benefit from outside-in perspectives to inspire innovation and drive business impact for our customers,” said Juergen Mueller, chief technology officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE. “Since 2017, we have helped scale more than 270 promising startups across all lines of business and industries in nine locations across the globe. Providing them with the access and resources they need to build on SAP solutions complements our portfolio and internal innovation efforts, which enables our customers to gain even more value from their SAP investments.”

For the fifth year, startups have been asked to nominate the companies that are most active and friendly in working with small businesses. Started in 2016 under the European Commission’s Startup Europe Partnership initiative, the Corporate Startup Stars Awards have been scaled to include corporations and startups worldwide through the partnership between Mind the Bridge and the International Chamber of Commerce.

“SAP has consistently proven to be one of the most startup-friendly corporations worldwide by engaging with startups in multiple modes, ranging from acceleration and partnerships to investments and acquisitions,” said Alberto Onetti, chairman, Mind the Bridge. “We appreciate the approach SAP.iO has taken and its recent evolution. The combination of startup and employee-driven innovation and the renewed focus on scaling companies makes SAP.iO a benchmark globally for rethinking and optimizing the corporate accelerator model.”

To learn more about how SAP is helping innovators inside and outside of SAP build products, find customers and change industries, please visit SAP.iO.

Visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @SAPNews.

Media Contact:
Lesa Beber, +1 (650) 390-1629, lesa.beber@sap.com, ET
SAP Press Roompress@sap.com

Moments of Opportunity and Innovation in the Consumer Products Industry

With the support of the latest startup innovations, consumer products companies are thriving and exceeding consumer expectations in moments of opportunity, now detailed in a new report by SAP.

The consumer products industry has had to move quickly to respond to the various implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. The digital transformation of all industries has been accelerated due to challenges such as radical demand shifts, supply chain reconfiguration, seasonal workforce interruptions, and the repurposing of manufacturing capacity.

The cascade of new trends from within the consumer products industry, coupled with the need to rethink consumer engagement, strengthens the need for consumer products companies to cultivate innovation coming from startups and new technologies.

New Wave in Consumer Products

Five key trends are fueling a new wave of innovation in the consumer products industry.

  1. There has been an increase in venture capital funding for consumer products companies, where disruptive companies are entering the market at a rapid pace, leading established players to question old operating models.
  2. More and more consumers – specifically Millennials and Generation Z – are emphasizing the importance of reducing the environmental impact of their consumption habits and are willing to pay more for organic and all-natural products.
  3. There has been a shift in which types of companies are dominating the market. Whereas previous industry leaders were companies with the most resources and highest manufacturing capacity, today the companies with the most innovative ideas and talent are entering and leading the market at an unprecedented pace.
  4. There has been a sharp decline in the cost of resources in various categories, eliminating the cost-based barriers to market entry and allowing companies to scale like never before.
  5. Consumer products companies no longer think in terms of “moments of truth,” where there is a linear path to purchase with well-defined touch points to influence a purchase. Rather, in order to succeed, consumer products companies need to meet consumers in moments of opportunity, in which they can orchestrate an ecosystem to deliver personalized and unique experiences in service of achieving an outcome.

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Video-Powered Virtual Storefronts Fuel Next E-Commerce Boom

According to Gartner researchers, live commerce is one of the hottest digital selling trends as retailers and even business-to-business (B2B) companies engage customers with personalized sales through streaming video.

To be clear, these are not yesterday’s social brand ambassadors. TVPage has pioneered this latest trend, offering an artificial intelligence (AI)-based cloud platform that brings together store associates, approved influencers, and products for the most dynamic online e-commerce machine to date.

“We are at the forefront of social e-commerce, using video to put virtual yet personalized salespeople directly in the online store,” said Allon Caidar, co-founder and CEO at TVPage. “It’s a full-cycle marketing engine for customer engagement and online shopping, turning companies into their own social media destination that pops up as people search for products.”

Bustling Virtual Storefronts

Large retailers and other companies worldwide are using TVPage to replicate the kind of expert selling consumers crave. For example, when a retailer signs up, it gains a virtual storefront for its own sales associates – as well as independent influencers – all of whom serve as social brand ambassadors. Using a mobile app or web browser, these ambassadors keep consumers engaged by uploading videos, photos, and other information about products on the retailer’s website. They use social media to share their content, answer customer questions, and invite interested consumers to special online events.

“Consumers can chat with social brand ambassadors anytime to find out if a product comes in a different color or size,” Caidar said. “Ambassadors might decide to schedule beauty makeovers based on the questions they’ve received or spotlight gaming releases that reflect breaking trends. Customers can purchase products directly from their videos.”

Companies can set and monitor social ambassador metrics from one dashboard, paying their own employees based on individual performance goals. TVPage also helps its customers find and manage independent influencers, including sourcing and paying freelance social ambassadors.

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How Drones and Robotics Revolutionize Building Inspections

nderneath the gleaming surface of modern megacities is an archaic patchwork of antiquated building inspection processes long overdue for a 21st century makeover. Meet H3 Dynamics, a cloud-based inspection services platform that is using drones and ground robots as the eyes and ears of engineers currently grounded by the pandemic and long hampered by last-century norms.

“By automating and digitizing visual inspection processes, we’re creating an accessible layer of information on structures and buildings in any city or corporate location,” said Taras Wankewycz, founder and CEO of H3 Dynamics. “Organizations can track the physical conditions of urban and remote facilities with a level of safety, efficiency, and accuracy not possible before.”

Perfecting the Human Plus Machine Equation

Headquartered in Singapore, H3 Dynamics customers include companies and government agencies worldwide across a long list of sectors such as smart cities, real estate, maritime, oil and gas, utilities, renewable energy, and mining. Customers might be private equity firms that own facilities, insurance companies, site operators, safety inspection and certification organizations, or regulators involved in legislating safety mandates. H3 Dynamics also has clients that resell its digitized visual monitoring services to their own customers.

What customers have in common are hard-to-reach sites, from the tallest skyscrapers to remote industrial outposts that defy the most intrepid human being’s effort to scale. But this is not a story about machines replacing people.

Drones and ground robots, as well as people, can capture information from buildings with video and other camera images, bringing this data into the H3 Dynamics platform. The system uses technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D modeling to create an interactive map that displays defects on the scanned structure surfaces, classifying potential risks, whether aesthetic anomalies or unsafe areas that require repair. Civil engineers or other recognized industry experts review and validate the automated findings. Customers can generate a written report that details safety risks. In addition, the company has created shelter systems where drones and other robots can get batteries recharged and upload data to the H3 Dynamics cloud.

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The Eyes Have It: The Future Of Human-Machine Relations

Has this ever happened to you? Shopping for fresh vegetables at your local market when you notice that special someone across the aisle? And when your eyes lock, you know there is that kind of Mona Lisa smile directed at you behind the mask. You can’t help but feel the sparks fly and that something amazing is about to happen – just from a single look.

That’s what one company is planning to make happen in the workplace of the future. But with a twist! This kind of eye contact is all about making the daily work of employees more convenient, ergonomically-friendly, and even fun by controlling applications based on user intention – via eye tracking.

The future of human-machine interaction

Munich-based enterprise software company 4tiitoo is a leader in eye track interaction. Their mission – to make work more productive, healthy, and attractive to workers.

4tiitoo’s Natural User Interaction to all Applications software platform, or NUIA, revolutionizes the way people interact with devices by using machine learning to model eye control/tracking to predict user intention.

This kind of hands-free eye control provides increased efficiency and a better user experience for people (like me) glued to their workplace computer by reducing mouse-click interactions.

An escape from the perpetual mouse trap

This may be hard to believe, but the humble, ever-steadfast computer mouse is now over 50 years old. And let’s be honest. It has not evolved enough to address the enormously complex and rapidly evolving human-machine computing environments.

Think about it. 4tiitoo posits that an average user like you or I will make thousands of mouse clicks, maybe even tens of thousands, in a given work week and cover several kilometers a day of mouse movement.

With 20-30% a day spent on mouse interactions, user productivity is not what it could be. Plus, that little mouse is still not the healthiest of interfaces to use in terms of repetitive motion stress.

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SAP Startup Spotlight: Supervizor

Alban Clot, co-founder and Managing Director (Sales & Operations) of Supervizor, is a graduate of ESCP Europe. Alban began his career in the consulting industry. He held several positions until he became a partner within an independent consulting firm. He then co-founded Supervizor with Cyrille de Gastines and held the position of Director of Operations. Alban is now leading all business development, marketing and operations teams and is in charge of the international expansion of Supervizor. In this interview, he talks about what his company offers and what’s next for Supervizor.

E-3 Magazine: Why did you start Supervizor to begin with?

Alban Clot: Supervizor is a financial audit and internal control software for CFOs of mid-market and large companies. They usually need to get rid of accounting errors and comply with anti-fraud regulations but rely today on inefficient manual internal controls and outdated external audits that waste time and money. Supervizor is the first automatic financial anomaly detection software dedicated to corporate finance that leverages AI to analyze 100 percent of transactions and instantly highlight anomalies and frauds, remotely and on an ongoing basis. Supervizor was created in order to resolve a pain every company encounters. The technology is the result of more than 10 years of research. The goal is to respond to a problem that companies encounter during their audit process. Indeed, the need to bring auditors to the premises and the long and costly processes are difficult for many of them. Supervizor has created a remote and automated audit solution to facilitate the audit process. After several years of use, 100 percent of the accounts analyzed revealed significant anomalies.

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SAP Startup Spotlight: RoadGoat

Kurosh Hashemi is the founder and CEO of RoadGoat. Prior to starting RoadGoat, Kurosh founded and led the Ultraviolet LED Lighting business at Philips Lighting, which was acquired by Apollo Management. Kurosh also has extensive expertise across the Internet of Things and location data. He earned his MBA at UC Berkeley, where he was a Haas Merit Scholar. In this interview, he will talk about why he founded RoadGoat, what his solution has to offer, and what’s next for the company.

E-3 Magazine: What exactly does RoadGoat offer?

Kurosh HashemiRoadGoat is a pocket travel guide. We provide user-generated data for over 4 million travel destinations – neighborhoods, towns, and cities. Travelers can use RoadGoat to figure out how safe a place is, whether an area is low-risk for COVID-19, if it is tagged for business travelers or foodies, and much more. We even provide a travel map for users that they can automatically update with all their social media accounts, business trip data, fitness trackers, Google Maps, and more. We initially started as a consumer app but we’ve now teamed up with Concur to deliver the same great experience for business travelers.

How does your solution work?

Hashemi: At the heart of our technology is a database of over 4 million travel destinations. Our users contribute meaningful insights about each of these destinations and we supplement this guidance with some more data-driven insights such as information about COVID-19, safety, when to go, budgetary ratings, and more. All that customers need to join RoadGoat is a WIFI-enabled device, as it is a completely free platform.

Why did you start RoadGoat to begin with?

Hashemi: We started RoadGoat because we felt that there was a lack of information about travel destinations. While sites like TripAdvisor, Google, and Yelp give great context about local businesses, no one is providing context about neighborhoods or towns – that’s where we come in. We help you understand if a destination is good for business travelers, nightlife, foodies, and more. Is it safe? What’s the COVID-19 situation? Is it LGBTQ+-friendly? Our users rate, rank, and tag destinations to help guide each other.

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Where are they now? Revisiting the Hot 25 Startups for 2020

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to fully convey what a strange and difficult year this has been for the travel industry. While the stress of COVID-19 has permeated every sector and role, it seems particularly challenging for startups and their founders – many that ended 2019 with great momentum as part of an industry that was in the midst of record growth.

The good news is there are many travel startups that are finding ways to not just survive but in fact thrive through this extraordinary year, whether by reconfiguring budgets, pivoting their products, developing partnerships, identifying new opportunities or a combination of all four.

On Monday next week we will release our selection of the Hot 25 Startups for 2021. In preparation for that, we have checked in with the companies that made the cut one year ago – our Hot 25 for 2020. We asked them to answer two questions: 

  • Despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, what have been a few highlights of 2020 for your company (any partnerships, funding, change in strategy, pivots, etc.)
  • What are your priorities for 2021?

We heard from almost all 25.

Bacarai

  • Highlights: In the spring, we completed the SAP Concur Accelerator, which paved the way for Bacarai to be exposed to the broader business travel market. 
  • Priorities: With demand for student travel at a near standstill, we’ve turned our focus to building out more features in our platform. We don’t expect much to change in the first half of 2021 and are really looking towards the spring of 2022 for group travel to bounce back (pending a vaccine).

Hotailors

  • Highlights: We have taken advantage of the downturn in business travel and used this lull to develop our market offer, our technology, strategic framework and human capital. Just before the world went into lockdown, we were invited to join a three-month SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco acceleration program, which we completed successfully. We built an integration between our tool – which services business travel for extended workforce – with SAP Concur and SAP Fieldglass. We’ve also created new solutions to align with the new reality, such as strengthening the “duty of care” aspect of our technology. We have also been developing an AI module, which will allow a user to find a hotel that fits their preferences a lot quicker and more precisely. Our innovation has had interest from Oracle, and we will be further developing the idea using their Cloud solution. We also raised $3 million, which has given us financial security during the pandemic and has allowed us to focus on developing our innovation and technology.
  • Priorities: Our solution is part of the digital transformation in business travel – and ironically, it’s easier to introduce it when business travel isn’t taking place. We have strengthened our sales team and prepared a three-pillar sales strategy, which we are already implementing. First, our analysis shows that small- and medium-sized companies will start traveling again quicker than corporations, therefore, we have channelled our sales efforts in this direction. We are also reaching out to companies and sectors whose employees need physical meetings and hence travel right now – for example production plants and shipowners. Second, we have created an offer for TMCs that is an annual revenue share (when these customers start travelling again), which will allow TMCs to focus their energies on their core business, while their business clients in turn will gain access to the newest travel technology that will increase their safety and reduce their travel spend. The third pillar that we have been developing is channel sales, in cooperation with our strategic partners, such as SAP, EY and Oracle. We already see traction on all abovementioned fronts, which shows we have been making the right decisions. To be able to scale our business faster and take full advantage of the current situation – and with commitment from one of our strategic partners – we are looking at running an A round in 2021.

Jet-Set Offset

  • Highlights: The global pandemic highlighted the climate effects of travel, as we witnessed firsthand the drastic reductions in emissions and short-term environmental benefits when air travel halted. This has increased consumer awareness about carbon emissions from flying, and as we return to flying, Jet-Set Offset is making it easy for travelers to be climate positive. At the start of 2020, we participated in the SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco B2B travel technology accelerator, with six other early-stage enterprise startups. This led to Jet-Set Offset becoming an SAP Concur partner, and building the first enterprise carbon offset option for SAP Concur customers. Jet-Set Offset is now powering the technology and marketing behind The Good Traveler — a sustainable travel brand started by San Diego Airport Authority and now used by over 20 of the most climate-aligned airports in the country. We’re looking forward to forming even more industry partnerships as we work toward a decarbonized future for aviation. We’ve also developed a partnership with Bluesource, the leading developer of offset projects throughout North America.
  • Priorities: In 2021, our top priority is the official launch of our green flight booking technology. We’ve spent the last several months building a decision support tool for point of booking that provides eco-conscious travelers with the opportunity to book a flight based on carbon emissions — not just price and schedule. Because carbon emissions can vary by up to 20% per flight route, this technology will provide consumers with even more data to inform their travel decisions and support our growing community of sustainable travelers and businesses. The technology also offers even more opportunity for new and exciting partnerships within the aviation industry. We’re also looking forward to growing our roster of climate-focused nonprofit partners to provide even more choices to our Jet-Set Offset users, welcoming new enterprise customers as employees begin to travel again, and fundraising to accelerate our growth and develop new technologies.

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SAP Startup Spotlight: Recotap

Recotap is an account-based marketing and advertising platform. It offers B2B marketers a better way to run personalized and multi-channel ABM campaigns. Using Recotap, marketers can make data-driven decisions to improve marketing and advertising performance and deliver better marketing ROI. In this interview, we will take a look at how Recotap works, how it is connected to SAP, and what’s next for the company.

How does Recotap work?

We offer a fully integrated and automated ABM platform that customers can use to manage their end-to-end ABM workflows. Recotap’s Identify module can help teams to quickly build the account list, which is usually a very time-consuming process. All Recotap-identified accounts come pre-loaded with purchase intent to design effective campaigns. Using our core advertising solution, marketers can precisely target their audience on social media
and major ad networks and engage them with personalized ads. They can also increase ad performance and website engagement using our smart pages module that dynamically alters web content based on the visitor profile. Lastly, Recotap can track and measure the audience interactions across ads, emails, and website activity to build an engagement score that acts as an indicator of account readiness for sales activation.

What are the customer-side requirements? Do they need special technology to use your service?

Recotap is a plug-and-play platform; if the customer has an account list, Recotap can import the data from their CRM systems. We offer out-of-the-box integration with major CRM systems, including Hubspot and Salesforce. If customers need help in building their account list, they can use the Identify module for it. They can also upload their creatives and content into Recotap and use them in advertisements.

Why did you start Recotap to begin with?

As a company, we are passionate about enabling marketing teams with relevant tools, data, and AI capabilities that can bring a significant difference to their daily job. We had a first-hand experience from our previous startups on how handicapped marketers’ roles can become in the absence of proper tools and processes, and that they often have to resort to guesswork. We want to eliminate guesswork and light up the path to success.

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With a SAP collaboration and a round A underway, Pico comes out punching from Covid-19 crisis

The Israeli startup is currently working with over 60 sports teams globally from some of the biggest leagues in the world and was selected to take part in SAP’s first-ever fan experience–focused startup accelerator program.

t is no secret that there are many tech companies that benefited from Covid-19. For Haifa-based startup Pico, which has created a technology to turn engaged, anonymous sports and entertainment fans into identifiable customer profiles to support business objectives, the pandemic has not only been good for business but has helped validate what the company has been preaching for years.”Covid-19 accelerated our growth tremendously. In the last two years we were running around with our sales pitch that you have to know who your digital fans are because most of your fans are online and not at your stadium and you don’t have data about them and need to start building this database. Now it isn’t us doing the pitch, it is the teams and the leagues doing it,” Pico CEO Asaf Nevo told CTech. “Everyone in the industry now says we have to understand who these people are. They suddenly realize there is a void, sometimes of tens of millions of fans, that they are spending tens of millions of dollars a year to engage with, but have no idea who they are. In these rough times when we don’t know when people will be back at stadiums, we have to understand who they are, start monetizing them, and begin to look at digital engagement as a new revenue stream.”Pico is currently working with over 60 sports teams globally from some of the biggest leagues in the world, including the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, German football Bundesliga clubs Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund and several NHL teams.

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How these partnerships allow businesses to address global challenges

The challenges of 2020 have led many companies to expand their opportunities by partnering with other businesses, including a competitor. Several pharmaceutical giants, for example, forged partnerships to work on vaccines for the disease, while major corporations continued to come together to use their size and scale to reduce carbon emissions.

Global enterprise software company SAP has spent the year forging partnerships to address these global issues, too. Here are examples of the challenges these businesses faced and how they are being addressed.

Queen of Raw

The Queen of Raw marketplace buys and sells sustainable textiles and deadstock, which is surplus fabrics from a production run. With the aid of an unused inventory app that leverages enterprise resource planning system SAP/4HANA, they can automate the tracking and sending of unused textiles.

Using a digital supply chain, unused materials are connected with brands and buyers who didn’t have access to them before. Queen of Raw has rescued over 500 tons of unused textiles and fabrics in its marketplace since the app launched, which use over 1 billion gallons of water in the production process.

The wasted opportunity of these unused deadstock fabrics became more pronounced as Covid-19 shut down textile factories globally, according to SAP. To meet demand, more buyers turned to deadstock fabrics for their supply. The number of Queen of Raw users increased by 40% from March to July, and 80% more transactions were made on Queen of Raw from the first quarter to the second quarter.

SAP started working with Queen of Raw via the SAP.iO Foundry, which helps innovators build products. The partnership accelerated the startup on its mission for a more sustainable and efficient textiles supply chain. As Covid-19 continues impacting various industries, a shift in consumer consumption is allowing Queen of Raw to ensure a more sustainable marketplace.

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La qualité de vie au travail, une opportunité grandissante pour les startups françaises ?

On ne vous apprend rien : la qualité de vie au travail, ou QVT, est devenue en quelques années un enjeu central pour les entreprises du monde entier. Alliée de la performance et de la marque employeur, elle est scrutée de près par les directions des ressources humaines pour attirer et retenir des collaborateur·rice·s talentueux. Les startups françaises sont de plus en plus nombreuses à proposer des solutions au service du bien-être de leurs salarié·e·s.

Lire la suite…

Venture capital funding bias: Why VC business-as-usual must change

Business as usual. For some, this is a welcome relief. On the contrary, for many underrepresented founders, when VCs utter that phrase, it’s not always welcome news. Venture capital funding bias is a very real, and very big problem in tech.

Quite candidly, as a first-generation immigrant and woman working with startups for over a decade, it’s very hard to overlook the fact that in 2020 women and people of color continue to be in the large minority when it comes to receiving VC (venture capital) funding and support.

This must change.

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COVID-19 Is Transforming How We Shop For Food

t’s no surprise that grocery stores have done particularly well during the pandemic. Everyone needs to eat and stock up on dry goods. What is surprising is the way the pandemic is changing our buying habits.

People are spending less time in stores, but when they do go, they buy more. There is less human contact as people shop more online and have goods delivered. And supermarkets have become more transactional with less focus on merchandising as people want to get in and out quickly.

During a discussion about the new era of grocery retail sponsored by SAP as part of the The Retail Summit, experts from a home delivery food kit business and an unmanned grocery retailer shared insights and new developments.

Corona cohorts

Robert Grieg-Gran, Co-Founder of Mindful Chef, UK’s highest rated home-delivered recipe box, recounted how the team sat down to make some strategic decisions at the start of the pandemic. Before Covid-19, the company was delivering 12,000 fresh food boxes a week, each containing 5 or 6 meals. When the crisis hit, people stopped eating out, and cooking at home was the only option. Panic buying emptied supermarket shelves, supply chains were disrupted, and competitors were closing their doors. Suddenly, Mindful Chef was delivering 35,000 boxes per week. 

“We asked ourselves, what could we do differently, so people could access fresh food when they need it most,” Grieg-Gran explained. The team was determined to keep their doors open throughout. This meant dropping the menu, increasing the supply chain lead time, and making lots of last-minute substitutions.

“Was the service amazing? No. Was the supply chain perfect? No. But we thought it was important for our customers to get something, rather than us to just shut our doors,” says the chef from Devon. “We added new packing staff, expanded our relationships with our warehouse and delivery partners to scale the business, and maintained ownership of our end-to-end fulfillment process.”

The strategy paid off. People who signed up in March have become repeat customers. “We call them our Corona Cohorts,” says Grieg-Gran with a grin. “They come back because they know they’ll get what they want. After all, food is still a very intimate thing. You’re going to put it inside your body, so you need to trust the people you buy it from.”

Technology and data analytics play a key role in the business. Mindful Chef’s customers expect the team to curate options, so they don’t have to think about what to cook. Data science makes it possible to give each customer the best recommendation because they won’t see menu options they don’t like. The company uses machine learning models to figure out what customers like based on their purchasing histories.

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Startups Are Re-Defining Cybersecurity As A Driver For Growth

Imagine a world where businesses execute strategies without worrying about securing data. Now imagine a world where fast paced cybersecurity capabilities enable trusted data to become a source for growth. Guess what? Both are possible today.

A lot of ink has been spilled over data protection and now that National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is here, it’s high time we underscore the importance of secure data becoming a growth driver.

According to a 2020 Accenture report, on average, it makes sense for organizations to look beyond their four walls to protect their ecosystems since cybersecurity programs actively protect only 60 percent of an organization’s business ecosystem. Considering 40 percent of breaches come via this route, organizations don’t have the luxury of being too complacent. This may be why 2019 saw $10 billion in privacy and security company investments at an all-time high, according to Crunchbase. Let’s take a closer look at what’s driving this.

Addressing security gaps

While enterprises are overburdened with privacy laws (GDPR and CCPA), complex attacks, and increasingly sophisticated attackers, means cybersecurity startups are more proactively addressing the need for data protection. This is accomplished by providing best of breed point solutions to address security gaps not easily addressed by slower incumbent security solutions offering broader suites of often poorly integrated features. In the process, they are also helping manage enterprise IT complexities, minimize risk, comply with new regulations and allow for more nimble business processes that can expand opportunities beyond traditional industry boundaries and drive revenue growth, including the pursuit of new digital business models.

Speaking of new business models, enterprises are either already operating on-prem or considering how they can move to the cloud. By aligning with cybersecurity startups, enterprises can focus more on what they are good at while also gaining the agility to align and refine strategic planning to make a more secure transformation to the cloud.

How to thwart evolving threats

Let’s face it. Technology and the threats that often keep IT departments and executives alike up at night are both consistently evolving. As a result, cybersecurity startups often times have more laser-focus when it comes to attracting top talent to tap next-generation technologies (AI, machine learning, blockchain, etc.) to solve specific security problems which can be complimentary to existing security solutions. Thus, startups can help enterprises securely scale, be more relevant in the market and be more responsive when it comes to vulnerabilities/threats tapping the latest innovation.

Having more openness toward outside innovation in today’s volatile global economy should further validate the breadth of opportunity for cybersecurity innovation. Why? There is clearly a need for simple and effective ways to create, enforce, and monitor our security policies/controls across multi-cloud and even hybrid environments. Ideally, this functionality can help businesses aggregate vast amounts of data more quickly, remain more agile and avoid downtime which can hurt operations, reputation and revenue.

Make no mistake. We need to move the typical thought process on security away from the notion that cyberthreats are only an external issue. In fact, it’s quite the opposite case and yet another reason cybersecurity innovation must continue to evolve.

Verizon’s 2019 Insider Threat Report found that 57% of database breaches include insider threats and the majority, 61%, of those employees are not in leadership positions when they compromise customer data. This only strengthens the idea that making sure your digital operations are secure, scalable, compliant and interoperable is crucial not just your IT department but to compliance officers as well as those in sustainability, procurement, finance and strategy alike. Thus, collaborating with security startups is more important than ever in a world being forced to increasingly operate remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I would be remiss not to mention that data is increasingly valuable, and the backbone to AI, so tapping next-generation cybersecurity technologies is no longer a nice have. It’s a requirement to secure data and leverage it for growth opportunities. At least it should be for the modern enterprise that will witness over 500 billion connected things by 2030.

Impact of data and analytics

Due to the advancement of the internet of things, data is being used like never before in human history. The ability to safeguard data privacy, create new intelligent applications for IoT and also use data to predict next generation applications opens the door for startups to help manage complexities in IoT systems, especially as cloud computing moves closer and closer to edge computing.

This is why SAP.iO Foundry Berlin just kicked off its Data & Analytics cohort and why SAP.iO is proud to accelerate cybersecurity innovation through companies such as BigID, a SAP.iO Fund portfolio company focused on helping organizations know their data for privacy, protection and perspective. We have also recently welcomed LISNR, a startup focused on contactless authentication using ultrasonic sound verification, to our SAP.iO Foundry New York Fall Cohort.

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