Startups by Women Get Spotlight in SAP.iO No Boundaries

Startups by women took merely 2.2 % of venture capital in 2017 according to data from PitchBook Data Inc., a financial data and software company headquartered in Seattle. It was also found that less than 13% of venture capital went to US startups with at least one female founder.

Startups by women and minority founders have been the focus of SAP.iO No Boundaries, SAP’s initiative to offer venture capital and incubation to underrepresented entrepreneurs, since its launch at the start of 2019.

Shoba Purushothaman, a founder of multiple startups in the last 18 years, is one of the women leaders that have received support from SAP. Purushothaman and her co-founders at Hardskills, an online platform that helps companies train their workforce in behavioural skills, have been one of six startups in SAP’s new B2B diversity accelerator in Berlin.

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Jung, weiß, männlich war gestern: Warum SAP bei der Startup-Förderung einen anderen Weg geht

Das Scheinwerferlicht fällt auf Rania Redas dunkelbraunes Haar, als sie die Bühne betritt, um vor knapp 400 Leuten ihr Augmented-Reality-Startup zu präsentieren. Ihr Herz rast. Auch nach 22 Jahren im Startup-Geschäft und mehr als 70 Pitches spürt sie noch den Adrenalinrausch, sagt sie. Die Zuschauer merken davon jedoch nichts: Jeder Satz sitzt perfekt, die Gesten sind routiniert. Die ägyptische Softwareentwicklerin ist eine von sechs Gründern, die an diesem Abend beim Abschlussevent von SAPs Startup-Förderprogramm „No Boundaries“ in Berlin auf der Bühne stehen.

SAP wagt mit dem Programm derzeit etwas, was in der Branche Pioniercharakter hat: eine inklusive Startup-Förderung. Mit „No Boundaries“ hat sich der deutsche Softwarekonzern das Ziel gesetzt, mindestens 40 Prozent seines Investmentfonds SAP.iO in Startups zu stecken, die von Angehörigen von Minderheiten geführt werden. Weltweit wolle man auf diese Weise bis 2025 mehr als 200 Startups an acht Standorten fördern.

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SAP.iO Foundry Berlin: Accelerator für innovative Startups

Stellen Sie sich doch unseren Lesern kurz vor

Ich bin Astrid Freier und leite seit Mai dieses Jahres den Accelerator SAP.iO Foundry  in Berlin. Es ist für mich ein Traumjob, da ich seit Jahren im Berliner Ökosystem zu Hause bin und hier nun wirkungsvoll die Brücke zwischen innovativen Startups, SAP und seinen Kunden schlagen kann. Mir macht es dabei sehr viel Spaß, mit diversen Teams zusammenarbeiten und meine verschiedenen Verbindungen aus Japan, USA etc. einzubringen.

Stellen Sie uns und unseren Lesern SAP.iO Foundry Berlin kurz vor!

Mit SAP.iO Foundry bieten wir innovativen Startups zweimal pro Jahr gründerfreundliche und equity-freie Programme. Kern dieser sind der Zugang zu unseren mehr als 400.000 Kunden und zu unseren Technologien, um die Lösungen der Startups mit SAP-Produkten zu verknüpfen. Uns ist dabei sehr wichtig, dass wir Gründerinnen und Gründer unterrepräsentierter Gruppen zu fördern. Gerade haben wir sechs großartige Startups im Programm, die von Frauen oder Angehörigen von Minderheiten mitgegründet wurden. Schon jetzt scouten wir für das nächste Programm nach innovativen Lösungen im Bereich Governance, Finance, Risk und Compliance, das am 30. September 2019 startet.

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SAP’s new incubator taps the potential of women and minority founders

For the past three months, Purushothaman and her co-founders at Hardskills — an online platform that helps companies train their workforce in behavioral skills—have been one of six startups in SAP’s new B2B diversity accelerator in Berlin. The German giant, a market leader in enterprise application software, launched the SAP.iO No Boundaries initiative in January, with the goal of incubating underrepresented entrepreneurs to drive inclusive entrepreneurship and level the playing field. It plans to boost 200 such startups by 2023.

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David and Goliath: Large firms working with tiny startups

Big multinationals are increasingly bringing startups in-house or supporting them. Now software giant SAP plans to help out 200 startups founded by women and members of underrepresented minorities worldwide by 2023. SAP.iO Foundries is a worldwide network of startup projects. It has programs in Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, New York, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Munich and Singapore. After selecting them through an application process, SAP supports young entrepreneurs with know-how and logistics.

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Ready, Set, Go: The ‘What’ and ‘Who’ of An SAP.iO Foundry Program

Originally published on Medium by Dima Durah

A typical SAP.iO Foundry program spans over 12-weeks and consists of one-on-one mentor meetings, focused workshops, executive visits, SAP customer visits, weekly status-update sessions, individual IT support and technical integration sessions (we have a dedicated expert on the team), individual business development sessions (we also have a dedicated BD expert on the team), a sprinkling of community events…all leading to Demo Day and it’s legendary after-party.

With SAP.iO Foundry, our mission is to help startups build “with” SAP, via integrations or APIs and provide startups with unprecedented exposure to SAP’s +400K customers. It’s no secret that Inclusive Entrepreneurship is high up on SAP.iO Fund and Foundries list of priorities and a big part of our mission. We want to empower women and minority entrepreneurs to build successful businesses around SAP.

We put together the #Noboundaries initiative to execute programs that can have real impact. After 3 months of planning and doubling our team size in EMEA, we’re excited to officially kickoff our Women and Diverse-led Tech Enterprise Acceleration program on Tuesday, 28 May in Berlin.

Below is an overview of what is planned for the next 12-weeks at the #FoundryBerlin.

More and more workshops, talks, and visits keep being added to the program. Our basic “programing” blocks are split into 4 segments each focused on a fundamental piece of a startup’s acceleration journey with SAP.

Are you ready for the next 12-weeks?

An overview of what the #FoundryBerlin team planned for the summer cohort

Behind this audacious plan, is a small yet effective team (small input, outsized output). The familiar faces/suspects are now joined by two new members — who have been working tirelessly to build a program that executes 1. on SAP.iO’s overarching mission and 2. adds real-value to the startups’ journey with and beyond SAP.

Our two latest additions to the team on the ground in Berlin are: Astrid Freier,SAP.iO Foundry Berlin Head and Miroslav Dimitrov, Foundry Berlin Program Manager.

We sat down with Astrid and Miroslav to find out their motives behind joining the #iOfamily and what they’re bringing to the table in terms of expertise, skills, and hidden talents.

Miroslav Dimitrov and Astrid Freier

Q. What made you decide to join the SAP.iO Foundry Berlin?

Astrid: I am a believer in the SAP.iO Foundry concept because it is a frontrunner for forward looking business models. The combination of: fund, accelerator, and the expertise of SAP and its customers with the added emphasis on “no boundaries initiative is very unique.

Miroslav:What first captured me was the mission — helping innovators inside and outside of SAP build products, find customers and change industries. It is very rare to have the opportunity to work with industry leading companies as well as small and innovative startups. Then, I got to meet the team behind this big initiative and I immediately know that I had to be part of it. Frankly, I cannot think of a better job that satisfies all my interests and at the same time gives me the opportunity to wear so many different hats.

Q. How can your unique background, set of skills, expertise, or network help the Foundries’ startups?

Astrid: I am excited to bring in my holistic view of business model and tech and financing/VC to help scale sustainable businesses.

Miroslav: My experience spans from being a consultant, helping our customers implement SAP software, to being part of the Presales Business Architect team, dedicated to advise our strategic customers in Eastern Europe with their digital transformation roadmaps and strategies. Therefore, I believe I can help them with b2b sales, business case development and GTM strategy.

Q. What is a SaaS tech trend/breakthrough you’re most excited about?

Astrid: There is still a lot of unlocked potential in AI and ML, especially when it comes to strategic customer value. If we can prove how much value was provided this will help our clients’ organizations align their marketing, sales, customer success, and product initiatives around these measurers to really drive customer value creation.

Miroslav: Not a SaaS trend, but it is tech trend I am most excited aboutQuantum computing. Although in its very early stages, I believe that this emerging technology would bring incremental change to a range of industries like automotive, chemicals, pharmaceutical and financial services, to name a few. In the long run, it could make the fastest supercomputer today look like an abacus. However, there is still a (very) long way to go.

Q. Who is your role model or #lifegoals?

Astrid: Ada Lovelance Byron, a mathematician of 19th century, who worked on Charloes Babbage’s proposed mechanical general-purpose computer.

Miroslav: Fictional one — James Bond (Daniel Craig), If you think about it, he operates in startup mode — he always ends up doing 90% of the work alone and he does it in style.

Q. Name a book that influenced you beyond words?

Astrid: It is Marc Uwe Kling’s Quality Landbecause he tries to think about our digital society in a futuristic way.

Miroslav: Skin in the game. I like how Nassim Taleb is arguing for/ ‘pro’ the idea that decision makers in all fields should be more accountable of the consequences of their actions — both positive and negative.

***

Prior to joining SAP.iO:

Astrid established and managed the digital ecosystem for Deutsche Bank across Germany’s major startup hubs. In addition to her corporate career, Astrid is also a founder focusing on AI and ML regulatory solutions for banking and insurance industries.

Miroslav is joining us from our field organization unit. He spent 3 years at SAP Bulgaria advising our strategic customers on their transformation projects. Before his stint at SAP, Miroslav was an SAP consultant team lead and project manager working on international implementations across Europe.

Walking the Talk: SAP Invests in Female and Diverse-Led Startups

In support of SAP’s commitment to the United Nation’s Global Goals, SAP.iO Foundries are supporting underrepresented founders in B2B tech. Meet the SAP.iO Foundry Berlin startup cohort and find out what drives them.

In January 2019, SAP announced SAP.iO No Boundaries, the first comprehensive, inclusive entrepreneurship initiative for underrepresented entrepreneurs in the business software industry, with a goal to support at least 200 startups around the world by 2023 founded or led by underrepresented entrepreneurs, including up to 40 percent of the investable capital in the SAP.iO Fund.

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SAP.io Foundry: Softwarekonzern stärkt Kontakt zu Gründerinnen

Um das eigene Produktangebot zu erweitern, setzt der Walldorfer Software-Entwickler auf Kontakte zu Start-ups. So organisieren mehrere internationale Förderprogramme des Konzerns jeweils für drei Monate Workshops und Mentoren-Treffen für junge internationale Unternehmen, die sich mit Software- und Tech-Innovationen befassen. Seit einer Woche arbeitet die sogenannte SAP.io-Foundry in Berlin mit sechs Start-ups, die speziell für Vielseitigkeit im Gründerteam stehen, wie der Konzern heute bekannt gab.
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Ein Innovationsnetzwerk für ein besseres Kundenerlebnis aufbauen

Die SAP sucht Start-ups, die E-Commerce-Lösungen oder Anwendungen für Multichannel-Kundenbindung entwickeln. Diese Lösungen werden dann über die SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory an SAP-Customer-Experience-Lösungen angebunden. Mehr zum Accelerator-Programm. Moritz Zimmermann ist seit mehr als 20 Jahren Unternehmer. Direkt nach der Uni gründete er gemeinsam mit Kollegen die Firma hybris, die auf E-Commerce- und Omnichannel-Lösungen spezialisiert ist und im Jahr 2013 von SAP übernommen wurde. Zimmermann ist bekennender Fan neuer Technologien und der Start-up-Mentalität

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Underrepresented: #womanintech Realties in Berlin Vol. 1

One of guiding principles of SAP.iO Fund and Foundry is its focus on Inclusive Entrepreneurship — which is about empowering women and minority entrepreneurs to build successful businesses around SAP. We’re proud that more than 40% of SAP.iO’s startups are founded or led by women and/or minority entrepreneurs.

But recent reports show that despite the best efforts, the ecosystem in Europe as was whole is still lagging behind.

Whilst most of us were busy with holiday shopping and wrapping up 2018, an alarming report was released on Dec 6th — to remind us of the urgent work ahead in 2019…