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Bringing startups together with SAP customers at SAP’s Industry Advisory Councils in 2023

By Muzna Siddiqi, Business Development Manager

SAP.iO unlocks numerous opportunities for startups in our portfolio to connect with SAP customers and expand the reach for their solutions.  One of the most sought-after experiences in 2023 was the opportunity to showcase startup innovation at one of SAP’s Industry Customer Advisory Council meetings.

This year, SAP.iO secured invites for select startups to engage directly with CIOs, CTOs and VPs of IT to highlight their innovations at SAP Industry Customer Advisory Councils for the Fashion and Consumer Products industries.  The SAP.iO team also represented select SAP.iO startups at the Industrial Manufacturing, and Aerospace & Defense Industry Council meetings. These councils meet twice a year to provide input to SAP, network with colleagues, and learn about new innovations in the market.

Fashion Industry Customer Advisory Councils

Starting off in the spring in New York City, over two dozen of SAP’s strategic customers in Fashion came together to discuss their industry’s latest innovations and pain-points, with a specific focus on sustainability, supply chain, and marketing. To showcase innovations in these areas SAP customers participated in a role-play workshop where they analyzed startups with a common challenge of sustainability in mind. SAP.iO startups, Obsess, Ecocart, and Inspectorio, were chosen to take part in the engaging workshop, where they showcased their solutions and impact on sustainability initiatives.

“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 Vibhustien, Executive Director – Global GIS Retail, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

These customers also had an opportunity to engage with Mention Me.arinaee, and YZR in Istanbul this fall. In another role-play workshop, the three startups had to make the case for why they should be selected as the top contender for a pilot at a fictitious fashion brand.  All three startups made their case and, following a brief collaborative exercise and presentation among the customer attendees, a winning team was selected.

Consumer Products Industry Customer Advisory Councils

In May of this past year at a Consumer Products Advisory Council, Wisy, an SAP.iO startup, participated in a panel discussion along with a leading consumer products company.  As part of the discussion Wisy’s CEO and Founder shared both how the company collaborates with its customers while the executive representative from the SAP customer company offered best practices for evaluating startups for potential pilots.

To round off the year, the SAP Consumer Products Customer Council also hosted a session with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), where Mention Me and ChAI showcased how they are using AI in their applications to support the needs of consumer products companies.

Industrial Manufacturing and Aerospace and Defense Customer Advisory Councils

In addition to our longstanding showcases at the Fashion & Consumer Products councils, SAP.iO had the opportunity to collaborate with two new SAP Industry Councils in 2023. We presented the concept of open innovation and how SAP is building an ecosystem of innovative startup partners relevant to Industrial Manufacturing and the Aerospace and Defense Industries. Relevant SAP.iO startups were showcased for each council laying the groundwork for exciting future collaborations in 2024.

Engage With SAP.iO in 2024

Interested in engaging with the SAP.iO team to learn more about the potential to leverage startup innovations? Reach out to Paul White, VP of Business Development, SAP.iO Foundries ( or Muzna Siddiqi, Business Development Manager for more details as to how you can engage with our startups.


Sapphire 2023 hosted 8,579 customers and partners, up 60% over 2022. The feeling of positivity was palpable concluding with a powerful keynote featuring tennis legend Serena Williams. The message across the show was consistent and focused on SAP’s strong commitment to diversity and sustainability demonstrating to the world what we stand for. Sapphire news reverberated across global tier-one publications (Bloomberg, CNBC,, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, etc.) as many focused on SAP’s Vision for Future-Proofed Business in the Age of AI Comes to Life: SAP Sapphire in 2023.


Show Highlights​


  • Alexa Gorman of SAP.iO and Alberto Rebolledo of Colgate-Palmolive presented on the  strategic focus areas for startups in 2023 and how you can pilot startup solutions to solve challenges facing your business. The Next Frontier: Augment Your SAP Solutions with Startup Innovation
  • 5,473 Total Customers Attended
  • 78% of those who attended are decision makers
  • Virtually, the event had over 208,000 unique viewers
  • SAP News generated 15,588 Total Content Views




The International SAP Conference for Utilities – Basel 2023

At IUC Basel, attendees discuss how the industry can rise to the challenge of energy security, develop winning decarbonization strategies, stabilize supply chains, and help tackle the cost-of-living crisis, whilst remaining competitive. At IUC, attendees learn from customer use cases from across the world, insights from SAP executives and solution experts, inspiring advice and guidance from guest speakers, more opportunities to grow network and learn from others within the community.


Show Highlights​

  • 3 SAP.iO partners hosted in the booth (LiveEO, Evolution Energie, Net2Grid)
  • SAP.iO team at the booth together with the SAP Industry Cloud for Utilities team: Séverine Kichou, Sina Fraenkle, Bianca Ruebartsch and Christopher Pfendner.
  • EDX Event – Pre-conference day on April 18th with ChargeX, H3 Dynamics, and Evolution Energie.
  • Breakout session with LiveEO on Asset Management, including APJ Customers like Endeavour Energy, Powerlink, Yemena, Enexis BV
  • Round table on main stage on Distributed Energy Resources including Net2Grid, Evolution Energie, SAP and SA Power Networks


We were thrilled to connect with industry leaders, demonstrate our startup partner solutions, and highlight how they fit seamlessly into SAP’s strategy. Take a look at the SAP.iO Thought Leadership Report created especially for this year’s event. If you missed us at the International SAP Conference
for Utilities this year, take a look at some of the show highlight here…



SAP.iO at Hannover Messe 2023​

Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial technology exhibition, featured over 4.000 exhibitors and welcomed more than 130,000 visitors this year and is a global platform for networking, knowledge exchange, and business opportunities

The SAP.iO Team, represented by Pia Krause and Lior Weizman, had a dedicated pod where they presented our startup program and showcased one of our portfolio startups each day at the SAP booth!​​

Show Highlights​

  • The SAP.iO pod hosted 5 SAP.iO Rising Stars partners, one every day.​
  • A virtual “special edition” of SAP.iO Thought Leadership Report was launched during the event.​
  • 20 pre-booked guided tours visited the SAP.iO pod with a total estimated number of 300+ people.​
  • 2 startup video interviews: Soley by industry influencer Maria Villablanca, and shyftplan by the SAP crew.​
  • 2 SAP.iO live sessions with clients & partners were presented at the SAP Live Forum Theater: shyftplan & Krones case study, and Zoovu & MAPAL case study.


“Thanks to SAP.iO we had the chance not only to present at the SAP booth for a day, but also to invite our customer Krones 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 Josten, Founder & CEO shyftplan

“For a second consecutive year, Milkman Technologies was invited by SAP to attend Hannover Messe, the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology. We had the pleasure of joining as SAP.iO Rising Stars partners, having a dedicated stand in the SAP arena, and discuss our innovation in last mile delivery and logistics to customers, partners, and experts.”Valentina Russo, Chief Marketing Officer, Milkman Technologies

“We were thrilled to be invited by SAP to participate in the Hanover Fair this year, in partnership with SAP.iO. Amplifying our presence in Hanover through the SAP.iO platform, we’ve gained invaluable visibility, connected with industry leaders, and fostered strategic relationships with high-level SAP personnel, fortifying our partnership and enhancing our potential for success in the industry.” Leonardo Batista, Tech Evangelist, nyris GmbH

“The SAP booth at Hannover Messe was a unique platform to present our company Soley and our Product Mining solution. The chance to be there and the support before and during the show from Lior, Pia and the whole SAP.iO team was outstanding and makes for a great partnership.”Dr. Maximilian Kissel, Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officer, Soley


We were thrilled to connect with industry leaders, demonstrate our startup partner solutions, and highlight how they fit seamlessly into SAP’s strategy. Take a look at the SAP.iO Thought Leadership Report created especially for this year’s event.




If you missed us at Hannover Messe this year, take a look at some of highlight here:

SXSW 2023 Conference

The SXSW Conference provides an opportunity for the global community of digital creatives to encounter cutting-edge ideas, discover new interests, and network with other professionals who share a similar appetite for forward-focused experiences. SAP.iO representatives attended the first portion of the conference that is centered around technology and the intersection between startups, investors and corporates.

Show Highlights​

SAP.iO startups featured in the following sessions:

SAP.iO team members attended many sessions to learn more about topics like responsibility in the generative AI age, simulating the world with quantum computing & AI, achieving America’s aspirations through science, technology and innovation, and Democratizing Venture Capital.


“Absolutely incredible to hear from Arati Prabhakar, from the White House office of science and technology policy to understand the ways the federal government influences infrastructure for emerging technology.” – Kange Kaneene VP, SAP.iO Foundries NA & LAC




SAP Customer Experience Live Munich

On November 4th, our organization hosted an exclusive pre-event for SAP Customer Experience Live Munich.

Held at the SAP Customer Experience Labs showroom, the “Experience: Innovation” meetup brought together diverse internal and external stakeholders, with the goal of sharing knowledge and cultivating valuable relationships around key innovation topics. We were happy to welcome over 50 attendees of customers, partners, and members of the press. The unique event was made possible by sponsor and partner Netconomy, as well as appreciated contributors SAP.iO, SAP Digital Commerce, and SAP C/4HANA Foundation.

Our program was kicked off with a rousing introduction from Eugenio Cassiano (Chief Innovation Officer at SAP CX), followed by an in-depth look at our current research and development into emerging technologies, provided by Georg Kreimer (Head of SAP CX Labs).

Next, the audience was treated to a lighthouse customer discussion between Harry Thomsen (SAP Regional President Middle & Eastern Europe) and Johannes Langguth (Senior Director, Finance Systems, Delivery Hero).

In the breakout sessions, attendees toured the SAP.iO Foundry Munich and heard pitches from startups participating in the current Commerce and Marketing accelerator program. They also learned about the progressive B2B omnichannel experiences provided by the SAP App Center, and how SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory and open source project Kyma enable easy, agile augmentation of SAP C/4HANA solutions.

Through engaging talks, inspiring showcases, and opportunities to network with like-minded peers, the “Experience: Innovation” event was a great success.

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Culture Shifting Weekend NYC

Culture Shifting Weekend NYC – offers institutional investors, social impact investors, corporate venturers, and the investment community-at-large direct face-to-face engagement with the burgeoning Black venture capitalist GP community. As our 2017 event reported, there are over 120 Black GPs currently seeking the right partners and paths forward for their funds.

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