RetailNext Announces ShopSafe Initiative to Help Brick-and-Mortar Retailers to Reopen Safely

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the retail industry in ways no one could have imagined. A vast majority of retailers have needed to close doors, leaving many unemployed or furloughed while sales stalled. As the country begins to reopen, the retail industry is looking to stabilize and welcome shoppers back safely. It is imperative the industry keep guests and employees safe and technology can aid in this journey with transparency of crucial occupancy and shopper density metrics to help guide safer experiences in physical stores.

RetailNext, with support from a consortium of private enterprise companies, retailers, and property owners, has created ShopSafe – a not-for-profit enterprise focused on getting American retail businesses open again with infrastructure to deliver real-time occupancy data for shoppers to better understand precautionary measures in place. This free framework delivers transparency to crucial occupancy metrics to help guide safer experiences in physical stores

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Counterfeiters are taking advantage of the pandemic. Here’s how to stop them

Counterfeiters are flooding markets with fake masks, coronavirus test kits, PPE worn by frontline workers, medicine and medical equipment used for healing patients afflicted with COVID-19.

Last week, the European Anti-Fraud Office announced that they had already identified 340 companies trading in counterfeit products linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. The large majority of these fake goods are ineffective if not downright dangerous, and deceive both patients and doctors who trust that they are using genuine and effective treatments. This reduces the likelihood of patient recovery, and generally disrupts efforts to stop or slow the spread of the virus.

That counterfeiters have quickly seized on this new market opportunity shouldn’t come as a surprise. Whether a luxury handbag or watch, a medication or a bottle of wine, anything with a brand name attached to it will be counterfeited. The exterior or packaging of many counterfeits look identical to the genuine products, while the product itself is usually malfunctioning, made with inferior components, or at the very least does not adhere to proper manufacturing practices. The only challenge for counterfeiters is to insert their imitations into legitimate distribution channels without getting caught. For this reason, counterfeiters love opaque, long and complex supply chains that leave many opportunities for distributing the fakes wide open.

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Counterfeiters are taking advantage of the pandemic. Here’s how to stop them

Justin Picard Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Scantrust

Counterfeiters are flooding markets with fake masks, coronavirus test kits, PPE worn by frontline workers, medicine and medical equipment used for healing patients afflicted with COVID-19.

Last week, the European Anti-Fraud Office announced that they had already identified 340 companies trading in counterfeit products linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. The large majority of these fake goods are ineffective if not downright dangerous, and deceive both patients and doctors who trust that they are using genuine and effective treatments. This reduces the likelihood of patient recovery, and generally disrupts efforts to stop or slow the spread of the virus.

That counterfeiters have quickly seized on this new market opportunity shouldn’t come as a surprise. Whether a luxury handbag or watch, a medication or a bottle of wine, anything with a brand name attached to it will be counterfeited. The exterior or packaging of many counterfeits look identical to the genuine products, while the product itself is usually malfunctioning, made with inferior components, or at the very least does not adhere to proper manufacturing practices. The only challenge for counterfeiters is to insert their imitations into legitimate distribution channels without getting caught. For this reason, counterfeiters love opaque, long and complex supply chains that leave many opportunities for distributing the fakes wide open.

Traceability systems bring that much-needed transparency to supply chains. They rely on serialized, unique identifiers embedded in barcodes or radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags placed on product packaging during manufacturing. As goods move through supply chains, products – as well as the cases or pallets which contain them – are scanned for inspections or to add traceability data. Every new scan generates additional data points, building up the traceability history of the product. When products reach the store shelves, consumers can scan the product identifier to verify a product’s provenance, expiry date, or any other information associated with it. All these scans culminate in creating the traceability and transparency of supply chains.

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Une filière industrielle de gel hydroalcoolique créée en deux semaines

Au début du confinement, Inex Circular, TPE parisienne, sorte de « Tinder des déchets », accélérée par Antropia Essec, Polytechnique et SAP.iO, a été sollicité par l’Agence régionale de santé (ARS) et la CCI de la région Grand Est. Il faut rapidement trouver les stocks de matières premières : éthanol, alcool, peroxyde d’hydrogène, glycérol, glycérine… pour mettre en place une filière de production de gel hydroalcoolique à destination des hôpitaux. Un défi que la TPE va relever grâce à ses bases de données et son outil d’intelligence artificielle.

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How AI And “Gaze Control” Will Help Businesses Reopen Safely

Recent projections by the US federal government estimate that there will be 200,000 new coronavirus cases in the US  by June 1. At the same time, governments around the world are grappling with the complexities of safely reopening businesses, schools and other public institutions.

Technology companies are rushing into that gap with software aimed at keeping people safe, while citizens navigate a patchwork approach to easing shelter-in-place orders. One well-known approach is the use of contact-tracing apps on smart phones created by tech and telecom companies. These apps alert people if they’ve been in close proximity to an infected person.

But other technologies can help. When businesses and other institutions open up, they will need to do a lot of things differently. A new technology called “gaze control” allows people to avoid touching surfaces, like ATM display screens or subway-fare vending machine, that may be potentially contaminated with the virus. Stephan Odörfer is founder and managing director of Munich-based 4tiitoo (pronounced “42”), a startup that creates gaze control technology. Put simply, this technology lets people use their eyes to interact with computers, replacing the need to touch a keyboard, mouse or screen.

Moreover, 4tiitoo has combined gaze control with AI to analyze patterns in users’ eye movement and predict what people want to do next within a particular computer screen or application. “Gaze control allows you to do two things. It controls the computer and we can use it to get an understanding of what the user actually wants to do, “said Odörfer. “By understanding intention, we can proactively support him.”

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SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv’s Second Cohort to Focus on Consumer Products Industry

SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv announced the launch of its second program, focused on startups in the consumer products industry, with a virtual kickoff event that took place on Monday. “We understand that especially now, in light of the Covid-19 crisis, even the best startups will need support in reaching global markets and we are fully committed to supporting our selected portfolio companies in doing so, together with SAP,” said Lior Weizman, director of SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv.

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SAP In Focus: Tech That Will Help Us Reopen Video

Startup CEO and SAP expert say “gaze control” and AI will help people get back to work, play and life more safely. Stephan Odörfer, founder of 4tiitoo, explains how touchless computing will protect workers. Meanwhile, David Judge, SAP’s Vice President for Intelligent Enterprise Solutions, believes the pandemic will accelerate adoption of technologies like machine learning, blockchain and IoT. Learn how these technologies will help us recover, while protecting our data privacy.

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New product displays COVID-19 stats on airline, hotel and OTA websites

Bacarai – one of PhocusWire’s Hot 25 Startups for 2020 – has developed a new API service that connects COVID-19 statistics to airport codes and hotel locations so that airlines, hotels and online travel agencies can display the data within their shopping workflows.

SmartCheck provides statistics such as total cases, new cases by day, total tests, number of people recovered and number of deaths, with data pulled from publicly available sources around the world. Airlines, hotels and OTAs can access SmartCheck via an API and then customize how the information is displayed on their sites – for example showing the trend of new cases on a line graph.

Bacarai is part of the current SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco, a B2B travel technology accelerator, and Totten says some of the SAP Concur teams are now looking at SmartCheck.

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SAP.iO Foundry Paris : « Le programme pour les start-up HR Tech est adapté avec le Covid-19 »

Sébastien Gibier, directeur de SAP.iO Foundry Paris, présente la sélection des huit start-up de la promotion Future Of Work. L’organisation a été bousculée avec la crise.

Après avoir traité la chaîne d’approvisionnement, le commerce de détail et les technologies vertes, SAP.iO Foundry Paris aborde l’angle HR Tech. Le programme d’accélération de start-up de l’éditeur de logiciels pour les entreprises (et leader européen), qui avait démarré il y a trois ans, a intégré une sélection de huit start-up (six sont françaises) dans sa promotion “Future of Work“. Sous la forme d’un programme d’accompagnement, elles vont passer plusieurs semaines à développer leurs visions business et leurs fonctions technologiques sous la houlette de SAP. Cette saison a trois particularités (deux officielles et une totalement imprévue) :
– les solutions des jeunes pousses retenues devaient compléter fonctionnellement SAP SuccessFactors, la solution RH de l’éditeur (125 millions d’utilisateurs à travers le monde) ;
– 5 partenaires clients deviennent « coproducteurs » du programme SAP.iO Foundry, c’est-à-dire qu’ils viennent chercher des start-up qui correspondent à leurs propres besoins ;
– La crise Covid-19 est survenue lors de l’activation de la promotion “Future of Work“. Ce qui a nécessité quelques adaptations dans le programme supervisé par Sébastien Gibier, directeur de SAP.iO Foundry Paris. Dans un entretien, il précise les implications de cette crise dans la feuille de route du programme initialement établie.

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What COVID-19 means for a travel startup focused on sustainability

One perhaps unintended consequence of travel coming to a near halt due to COVID-19 is the return of clearer skies and fewer carbon emissions.

For the startup Jet-Set Offset, which is a donation-based carbon offsetting tool for air travel, this is temporary good news on the sustainability front, but the startup is now reevaluating how it can help its partners amid the travel slowdown.

With Jet-Set Offset, named one of PhocusWire’s Hot 25 Startups for 2020, travelers can offset carbon emissions from flying by automatically donating one cent per mile to environmental organizations working to reduce carbon emissions.

However, “as travel has slowed or even ceased, real-time mileage-based donations to our partners are also down,” says the company’s co-founder and CEO, Anna Ford.

“These nonprofits need our help now more than ever to continue their planet-saving projects,” she says, and to that end, Jet-Set Offset has pivoted its messaging and launched a month-long campaign to celebrate April as Earth Month and allow travelers to offset carbon emissions from past flights.

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HOW TO BRING A PRODUCT OR SERVICE TO MARKET IN CORONAVIRUS WORLD – VANESSA LIU INTERVIEW

Learn how to bring a new product or service to market in the age of Coronavirus with our guest today, Vanessa Liu. Vanessa graduated from both Harvard University and Harvard Law before going on to help launch multiple media and telecom startups as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. She then went on two four two more startups herself before taking on her current role running SAP.io’s Foundries program (www.SAP.io/Foundries), a no-equity accelerator for startups with a current or planned integration with SAP, 40% or more of which have female or under-represented founders.

In this episode, we cover how still-growing organizations should pivot their product, service, and/or messaging to focus on potential clients’ pain-points, and not on simply how great their product is.

6 startup CEOs explain strategy for making sure layoffs are only ever a last resort, from slashing expenses to asking employees what kind of pay cut they can afford

As the coronavirus crisis escalated in March, Emil Mikhailov, CEO of the AI startup XIX, sent an email to his employees, warning them to prepare for a recession when their top priority will be to “to survive the storm.” 

“It’s not clear what is going to happen,” he wrote.

Then he made a vow: “We as a team will not lose anyone. We will sacrifice short-term to make sure everyone is OK.”

The downturn has upended the world of startups, many of which are scrambling for ways to cut expenses, including layoffs. But some startups are stressing the need to protect their employees’ jobs as they figured out ways to survive the downturn. 

Some CEOs and founders, like Mikhailov, have even promised not to cut anyone.

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