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SAP.iO Foundry Paris launches new startup program on “Future of Retail and Consumer Products”

September 21, 2022 – SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) has launched a new startup accelerator program focused on the “Future of Retail and Consumer Products” at SAP.iO Foundry Paris. 12 international startups were selected by a jury of SAP experts, partners, customers and investment funds to join the program. These startups were recognized as pioneers in this year’s chosen field, a theme that is more topical than ever with the upheavals in customer habits and the customer journey due to effects of the pandemic and the accelerated digitalization of all businesses.  

SAP.iO Foundry Paris, SAP’s equity-free startup accelerator in France, has already helped more than 65 growth businesses develop their business or their solution. The Foundry’s efforts helped meet France’s overall startup investment goal set at the #ChooseFrance summit, France’s flagship forum for economic attractiveness. 

“SAP.iO is committed to accelerating startups to help customers run at their best. For this program, our focus is on retail, addressing the traceability and authenticity of products as well as offering consumers an improved and differentiating purchasing experience”, said Odilia von Zitzewitz, Interim Lead at SAP.iO Foundry Paris. “We are very proud to accompany this new class of startups and help them scale their innovations.” 

Over the next five months, the startups will have access to personalized mentoring from SAP France executives, exposure to SAP® technology and application programming interfaces (APIs), as well as opportunities to collaborate with SAP customers around the world. 

The following startups are participating in the latest SAP.iO Foundry Paris program: 

  1. Sorga Technology supports retail brands in their digital innovation by offering a low-energy solution ensuring the transparency and traceability of their products.
  2. Arianee provides businesses with simple solutions for building direct relationships with consumers, respectful of user data and independent of large technology platforms.
  3. CollectID can be used to guarantee product authenticity, improve the physical experience and establish a direct communication channel between brands. The solution guarantees the authenticity and uniqueness of products while bringing brands closer to their customers.
  4. DIAKSE develops and markets a solution for creating virtual showrooms in the metaverse with one objective: to enable brands to better communicate about their products and thus help them increase their sales.
  5. Foodetective is a management platform and infrastructure (API) for the F&B industry. Companies use Foodetective to automate operations, simplify administration, increase online revenues and accelerate new business opportunities.
  6. LIVEBUY GmbH is an online shopping solution for leading retailers that provides both the technology and the right creators to build a successful content platform within online shops.
  7. Priceloop has developed an AI to facilitate and automate the pricing process, offering the best prices taking into account all the essential parameters.
  8. Replika Software is a turnkey social selling solution. It enables brands to activate a network of social sellers with a turnkey business to inspire on social media, sell online and connect with customers.
  9. Shopreme GmbH is developing a technology called “Scan & Go” that brings the benefits of online shopping to real shops including speed, ease of payment, personalized recommendations, shared shopping lists, and more.
  10. SmartPixels provides a 3D product configuration and visualization tool to help fashion and luxury brands create personalized and interactive experiences online and in-store.
  11. SMARTZER LTD’s platform is used by brands to transform their videos and live streams into interactive and actionable experiences, allowing them to get direct ROI from content and measure detailed data from video interactions.
  12. YZR automates and accelerates all of its customers’ text data projects with a powerful solution based on automatic language processing.

If you want to learn more about this program, check out the SAP.iO Foundry Paris website or get in touch with the team.

About SAP.iO
SAP.iO delivers new partnerships and products for SAP by accelerating and scaling startup innovation as well as incubating employee ventures. SAP.iO brings together innovators from every region, industry, and line of business to transform how businesses run. Since 2017, SAP.iO has helped 450+ external startups and internal ventures accelerate their growth while enabling thousands of SAP customers to access innovation. For more information, visit http://sap.io/.

SAP.iO Foundries Sustainability Spotlight: Inspectorio Modernizes Manufacturing Inspections

The collapse of the garment factory in Bangladesh that killed more than 1100 people was a wake-up call to the manufacturing and inspection industries. The brothers behind Inspectorio are pioneering software to ensure transparency and worker safety.

It was a moment of truth. In 2013, the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing more than 1100 people, injuring thousands of others and making headlines as one of the deadliest industrial disasters in history. Found in the rubble alongside bodies were tags and labels identifying well-known top clothing manufacturers. The companies generally claimed, believably, that they’d had no idea the workers had been made to work under such dangerous conditions. The accident—incongruous, inhumane, inciting disgust—shook the industry to its core.

What wasn’t so obvious: The solution.

Factory inspection and audit software provider Inspectorio, at the time, was just a twinkle in the Moncayo Castillo brothers’ eyes. Carlos, Luis and Fernando, Ecuadorian-born businessmen, had distinguished themselves in other areas, from their prestigious university educations to serial entrepreneurial track records founding companies internationally. They were well aware the supply chain issues they’d faced, however challenging and expensive, were minor compared to Rana Plaza’s human tragedy. But they believed the issues were all connected.

The inspections industry was rife with corruption and incompetence. The Moncayo Castillos had taken a step to address the problem when they’d brought inspections, which are often performed by third-party agencies, in house at Asiam, the responsible sourcing agency they co-founded in 2004. That was in 2011. The solution had been a success to the point that it led to a new Asiam division, one focused on performing inspections for other companies as well. Then one of those companies complained about an order from a manufacturer, in 2015.

The brothers found themselves unable to adequately answer this customer’s questions about why an inspection had led to subpar product quality. “The client said, ‘I need you to prove to me how your employees are performing inspections,” recalls Fernando. “But the fact is we didn’t have a tool where we could see, ‘This is the exact moment where the inspector was in this place. This is how many minutes, how many seconds they spent.’” Transparency and accountability were lacking.

It was an industry wide problem, the brothers knew. Even Asiam had been using nothing more than digital cameras, pens and paper to record information in factories and other facilities. They decided to change things for everyone—or at least give them the option to do better. The Castillo Moncayos created the Inspectorio platform initially as a simple app. Today, it’s a sophisticated software-as-a-service product used by companies including Target and Crocs to help with everything from quality control and production efficiency to meeting environmental rule standards. Instead of having information stored in separate silos by factories, suppliers, retailers, brands and inspectors, it’s all now, via the cloud, in one place. Inspectorio’s Machine Learning and AI capabilities offer analysis of the data that helps customers increase efficiency, reduce costs, and optimize eco-consciousness.

Inspectorio didn’t reach such heights on its own. The Moncayo Castillos took advantage of mentorship from Boulder-based TechStars, their VC-investors, and Apple along the way. But their recent participation in the SAP.iO Foundries cohort focused on consumer and retail sustainability was transformative.

“When we talk about brands and retailers it’s not a quality issue alone anymore that we need to be concerned with,” says Fernando. “We need to talk about responsible sourcing, and that requires companies to be compliant on the social side, the environmental side, and others. So we wanted to improve on sustainability, and SAP was already leading the way.” The brothers liked its commitment to issues like zero waste and decarbonization within its own ranks, but also the way it helps clients achieve such goals via access to tools from startups that take part in its accelerator. Such companies are featured in the SAP store.

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SAP.iO Accelerator Breeds Standout Innovation Startups

A group of startups that are part of the SAP.iO accelerator program featured prominently in the recent Innovation Path startup competition at Cloud Wars Expo:

  • The overall winner (Wisy) is an SAP.iO company
  • 3 of the top 6 were from SAP.iO
  • 11 SAP.iO companies participated

Given the success of these SAP.iO participants, I wanted to get more insights into the workings of the program. So I connected with Max Kahn, the director of SAP.iO Foundries (the startup partnership arm of the expansive program) to discuss the program, the process of identifying startups to include, as well as how SAP.iO and the startups work together to foster growth for these innovators.

SAP.iO launched in 2017 and, since then, has invested in 450 startups, 165 of which have solutions that are currently live and listed in the SAP store. More than 270 of those companies remain SAP partners.

It initially included a venture capital investment arm that would contribute pre-seed and seed rounds of funding. The focus has since shifted to place greater emphasis on supporting companies in the program in other ways besides financial backing. By downplaying investments, the company avoids conflicts of interest as it continues to build out an open ecosystem of software partners.

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Cookie Apocalypse or Golden Opportunity?

How to Win in the Era of Consumer-First Privacy Regulations and Changes

“How to succeed in the ‘New Era of Data Privacy’?” — it’s a pressing concern for brand leaders around the world. In many ways, third-party cookies were the foundation of the web as we know it today. But that bedrock is giving way, thanks to rising global concern and scrutiny over data protection, stricter governance (GDPR, CCPA, PIPL, LGPD), and the ensuing policy reforms (kicked off by internet giants Apple and Google, who are phasing out cookies). Simultaneously, as noted by Forbes, we’re facing new frontiers with the vast amounts of consumer data generated and the technologies to leverage it. So with the entire industry on shaky ground, what should marketers be doing now?

This exact topic was the focus of a panel I moderated last month, at the Viva Technology conference in Paris. For the session, I was joined by experts Taylor Donnell (Vice President of Content & Partner Marketing at Jebbit) and Kris Dimitroff (Global Head of Technology Partnerships at Emarsys, an SAP company). Following are selected questions and answers from that panel discussion.

[A short background before starting: Jebbit is an SAP partner and SAP.iO Foundry graduate. Jebbit’s solution empowers businesses to securely and transparently collect first- and zero-party data from their customers via interactive quizzes, and it’s integrated with SAP Emarsys and SAP Customer Data Cloud. Emarsys is an industry-leading customer engagement platform trusted by innovative brands across the globe and was acquired by SAP in 2020.]

Taylor, before we jump into challenges, can you please explain what is “Zero-party data”?

Taylor Donnell: We often associate first-party data with consumer’s behavioral and transactional data. What they clicked or swiped-up on, opened, viewed, and purchased. First-party data is incredibly valuable for brands but with it, comes inferences and assumptions. It’s hard to know for sure if a consumer was shopping for themselves. Was that golf club they just bought for themselves or for their dad as a Father’s Day gift? Zero-party data differs from first-party data because it’s explicit. It’s data that’s coming directly from the consumer as they raise their hand and self-declare that these are my interests and preferences.

Zero-party data is important because it gives the user control over the data they share, or don’t share with a business about their preferences, needs, motivations, intentions, and more. They opt-in to engage and share more information about themselves versus all of these things running in the background that are tracking them.

Often, businesses try to collect consumer preference data using traditional survey tools which aren’t all that engaging for consumers, often include too many questions, and are one-way, meaning the brand wants to take inventory of how consumers feel about their brand. This results in low engagement and even lower completion rates.

Taylor, how can Jebbit help brands to “win in the era of consumer-first privacy regulations and changes”?

Taylor Donnell: GDPR and CCPA were the first big changes — requiring businesses to be crystal clear about the data they were collecting and how it was being used, and even giving users the ability to enact their right to be forgotten so that the business didn’t share or sell their data.

And more recently, Apple and Google have made significant changes to protect consumer’s privacy but [at the same time] are impacting bottom-line revenue and market share for businesses and brands.

By using Jebbit, our clients can create beautiful, interactive quizzes and experiences that capture zero-party data at scale and that look/feel like the brand running the experience (without touching a line of code). For example, a retail or beauty brand might create a “Find the right product for you” quiz and embed it right on their homepage. Consumers answer 5-7 questions and get matched to only the most relevant products, based on what they told the brand as they engaged.

We’re experts––with the expertise built into the software––at capturing and sustaining user attention. The proof here being [that] our average experience completion rate is 85% or more. So we have businesses capturing hundreds of millions of these attributes, and some far less but focusing only on the attributes that matter most to power more relevant interactions with their consumers.

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Case Study: givvable completes SAP’s accelerator program, SAP.iO Foundry

Digital Nation Australia spoke to Frances Atkins, director and co-founder of givvable about how SAP’s accelerator helped the business to accelerate growth across new markets.

Supplier sustainability data platform givvable has integrated into SAP’s Data Warehouse Cloud Marketplace after completing the corporate’s accelerator program, SAP.iO Foundry.

Digital Nation Australia spoke to Frances Atkins, director and co-founder of givvable about how SAP’s accelerator helped the business to accelerate growth across new markets.

According to Atkins, givvable’s mission to help businesses translate their sustainability targets for procurement and sourcing was aligned to SAP’s recognition of the role of data in the shift to sustainable business.

“If a business has set a science based target, we help them to identify the suppliers in their supply chain who have also set science based targets or have credentials around climate action. For example, they may be climate neutral, certified, or climate positive. Or they’re taking actions to reduce their emissions year on year,” said Atkins.

“When you’re talking about thousands of suppliers and you’re talking about the breadth of sustainability targets, we knew that data was going to inform all of this.”

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Inspiring Innovators: Chris Motley Founder & CEO Mentor Spaces, On remembering “Who do you do this for?”

At SAP.iO, we work with innovative people and new technologies that positively impact our world every day, and we think it’s time to share their stories with you! In our series, “Inspiring Innovators,” we get to hear how founders, CEOs, and presidents of cutting-edge startup technologies overcame, thrived, and pursued their goals. SAP.iO’s Alexa Gorman sat down to discuss the road to success and lessons learned with some of our most inspiring startup founders.

Meet Chris

Chris Motley grew up on the South Side of Chicago and was fortunate to be a part of organizations that helped put him on a path to access educational opportunities. That access led to graduation from Columbia University with a B.A. in History, and the Kellogg School of Management, with an MBA in Entrepreneurship. Chris founded a global textile manufacturing business where he spent six years leading its expansion into Ghana, Africa, and building its apparel division.

When we asked Chris about what he wanted to be when he grew up, he smiled and listed all the things he thought he might be, ranging from a basketball player to a judge. The takeaway was that Chris wanted to be the things he was exposed to as a child. What he saw, the people he met, and his connections contributed to his journey and gave him a unique way of looking at the world. He would come to learn how important all this was, and it would guide his future focus and desire to give back.

Previously, Chris spent four years at Goldman Sachs as a Commodities and Interest Rate product trader. Upon reflection on his journey, he thought about what people do when they are not exposed or have access to the same opportunities he was afforded. How do you reach your potential if you are not exposed to opportunities? How does one find support, mentors, and resources to learn about what could be?

When Chris asked these questions, he realized there was a need to provide these resources on a much larger scale. After learning a lot on Wall Street and building a company in Ghana, now was the time to launch Mentor Spaces to address the need in the marketplace for mentorship of underrepresented populations. Mentor Spaces is a venture-backed, community-driven mentorship platform designed to help companies scale DEI efforts while advancing the careers of underrepresented talent. The platform facilitates career conversations between employees and prospective candidates to streamline diverse talent acquisition and retention. This technology allows you to have conversations with people who can help you get where you want to go.

“What I found as we did a tremendous amount of research, in addition to my personal story, was that part of the issue is a lack of confidence among underrepresented populations, and part of that lack of confidence is driven by simply not knowing people and vetted resources that would help. We concluded that mentorship is a good way to build confidence and expand one’s network, and what’s unique about our approach is that we look at mentorship as a strategy that helps our customers accomplish their goals. Most companies have shifted to focus on a strategy around talent attraction, advancement, and retention.”

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SAP doubles its commitment to innovation in Latin America

The company concludes the third phase of expansion of SAP Labs in São Leopoldo, Brazil, and announces SAP.iO Foundry, the first initiative in the region to strengthen support for start-ups.

Miami, USA.  June 20, 2022 – To celebrate its 50 years of global innovation and 28 years of commitment to the development of Latin American companies, SAP announced two relevant investments to promote innovation further in the region.

The first initiative has to do with the third expansion of SAP Labs Latin America, its innovation, research and development center that has been in operation for 16 years and is located in São Leopoldo, in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil. With an investment of 35 million euros, the new unit built in this center will add about 850 people to its campus, reaching a total of 2,000 employees with 20 different nationalities. The expansion will also create 200 indirect jobs.

The São Leopoldo site is the first and only SAP Labs center in Latin America, and one of the company’s 14 in the world, designed to support the growing demand of companies for innovative cloud solutions.

The purpose of SAP Labs is to develop solutions with the highest standards to help organizations address major business challenges, including sustainability programs that enable them to measure the impact of their initiatives, management and control of energy consumption, waste management, producer responsibility policies, and high-capacity cloud management technologies.

“In addition to helping companies in the region on their digital transformation journey, another great contribution of SAP Labs is that it supports them in the design of their sustainability strategies, working with experts from around the world to create agile and powerful technologies that have sustainable drivers at the center of everything,” said Dennison John, president of SAP Labs Latin America.

Furthermore, the company announces the launch of the first SAP.iO Foundry in the region to accelerate start-ups across all lines of business and industries. The accelerator will also be based in São Leopoldo, with a virtual presence throughout the region.

SAP.iO Foundries is the company’s global network of external start-up accelerators with no capital demand. It provides technical and marketing support to help new companies become part of a curated ecosystem: its offerings become easily accessible to SAP customers.

“This launch is a turning point in our commitment to innovation in Latin America,” said Cristina Palmaka, president of SAP Latin America and the Caribbean. “All over the world, SAP.iO Foundries enhance the innovative impact of start-ups, offering expertise and insights, multiplying their chances of success. In a region like ours, with so many entrepreneurs, this new support will make a huge difference.”

The first call to take part in the SAP.iO Foundry will be launched in September 2022 and will focus on one of the most thriving industries in the region: sustainability in agriculture. Start-ups that wish to apply for SAP.iO Foundry can do so here until July 22.

Since its launch in 2017, SAP.iO Foundries have contributed to the acceleration of more than 400 startups around the world through its 10 funds in strategic cities such as San Francisco, New York, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Tel Aviv, Singapore, Tokyo, Bangalore, Shanghai, and now São Leopoldo.

About SAP

SAP’s strategy is to help every business run as an intelligent, sustainable enterprise. As a market leader in enterprise application software, we help companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: SAP customers generate 87% of total global commerce. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables business and public customers across 25 industries globally to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com, our press room, http://news.sap.com/latinamerica, or follow us on Twitter @SAPNoticiasLAC.

5 companies leveraging startup innovation to improve their customer experience

Providing a top-notch customer experience is critical for competing in today’s market. By better understanding their customers, companies can provide personalized experiences that exceed expectations.  

To date, over 150+ startup solutions in SAP’s partner ecosystem have built integrations to help SAP customers expand the capabilities of solutions in their SAP landscape including SAP Customer Data Platform, SAP Commerce Cloud and more. 

Here are 5 impressive stories highlighting companies that are working with startups to provide world-class customer experiences. 

 


Deli Home & Expivi: Improving customer experience while delivering bespoke products at scale

Deli Home, an international supplier for DIY products, needed a solution to help their customers configure their timber orders online that could be easily integrated with their retail website and ERP system powering their business. Expivi’s 3D Product Configuration solution was the perfect solution to enable customers to order custom-made wood panels directly from their website. 

Expivi works with 3 SAP solutions and is available on the SAP Store. 


Target & SundaySky: Providing interactive video-powered experiences to its new RedCard members 

Target worked with SundaySky to provide interactive and customized video-powered experiences to its new RedCard members at many touchpoints along the customer journey to drive relevancy and deepen their customer engagement. 

SundaySky works with SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Upscale Commerce and is available on the SAP Store. 


Signet Jewelers & Creatable: Bringing in-store associates into the online store   

Signet Jewelers is working with Creatable to empower their sales teams to sell online through personalized virtual storefronts to drive new revenue, traffic and extended consumer engagement – all integrated with their online stores powered by SAP Commerce Cloud. 

 Creatable works with Industry Cloud, SAP Commerce and is available on the SAP Store. 


Jenny Craig & Jebbit: Using data to provide a better experience for customers 

Jenny Craig is a nutrition and weight loss company that partnered up with Jebbit to create a solution to generate engagement with their customers and allow them to understand potential customers’ intents, motivations, and desires by delivering engaging experiences. 

Jebbit works with SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement and SAP Customer Data Platform and is available on the SAP Store. 


Bose & ParcelLab: Delivering an outstanding end-to-end journey that delights customers 

Bose needed a flexible solution to meet customer demands and deliver a consistent customer experience across multiple touchpoints. They teamed up with parcelLab to design a series of fully customizable post-sales emails that provide customers with access to the latest updates on their order. By embedding the order tracking information solution directly in Bose’s website, they were able to significantly improve their search engine optimization and contribute to repeat sales.  

parcelLab works with SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Upscale Commerce and is available on the SAP Store. 


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SAP, HTGF Deepen Startup Investors Funding Alliance

High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), a venture capital investor for innovative technologies and business models, has recently added SAP as one of its key investors in its 4th fund for startups in the Industrial Tech, Digital Tech, Chemicals, and Life Sciences domains. With the shared goal of helping tech startups scale their businesses while championing sustainability, the joint investment intends to accelerate startup innovation and deliver next-gen solutions to help customers become intelligent sustainable enterprises.

HTGF has been a trusted partner of tech giant SAP– supporting startups through SAP.iO, the company’s strategic business unit focused on incubating startup innovation to help them scale and integrate their innovative solutions with SAP and, eventually, make them available on the SAP Store. In addition, the Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen-headquartered firm’s portfolio companies have participated in SAP’s accelerator programmes with five already available in SAP Store, demonstrating the two German enterprises’ mutually advantageous partnership.

Tech startups Datarade and 4tiitoo are two of the SAP.iO participants that have received funding support from HTGF. Provider of cloud-based data commerce platform Datarade joined the SAP.iO Foundry Berlin programme in 2018 and received seed investment from HTGF two years later. Similarly, 4tiitoo, a provider of AI-based solutions for intuitive eye control for smart workplaces also received HTGF financing in 2014 for the SAP.iO’s Industry 4.0 programme and later on secured Series B funding. 4tiitoo’s solution, piloted by both SAP and customers, is now available in SAP Store.

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SAP invests in latest startup fund raised by High-Tech Gründerfonds

Team rowing boat in bay

Committed to helping new growth businesses startup and scale, we are pleased to continue our productive cooperation with High-Tech Gründerfonds. SAP will be an investor in their 4th fund. With this new investment, SAP champions the strong development of vibrant start-up ecosystems to ultimately provide our customers with the best startup innovation to run at their best.

With their funds, investors and personal commitment, the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) contributes significantly to the consistent development of the start-up ecosystem in Germany and across Europe. Until recently, the public–private partnership initiative had successfully launched a total of three funds, financing more than 650 companies, of which more than 150 have been successfully sold or floated on the stock exchange. In addition to seed investments, over 4 billion euros of private funds have flowed into HTGF portfolio companies through follow-up financing. HTGF is now introducing a 4th fund, supporting growth businesses in the areas of Industrial Tech, Digital Tech, Chemicals and Life Sciences with an increased focus on sustainability.

For the past ten years, our cooperation has unlocked access to both our networks and expertise on startups for reciprocal knowledge transfer and sourcing activities. The result has proven value for SAP, HGTF and connected startups. High-Tech Gründerfonds has invested in startups from SAP.iO programs, while HTGF portfolio companies have joined SAP.iO Foundry programs with five of them also being available on the SAP Store.

Exemplary, Datarade was part of the SAP.iO Foundry program in Berlin in 2018 and received seed investment from HTGF later in 2020. The startup has since partnered with SAP to empower customers to easily discover, evaluate, and access external data from commercial data providers. 4tiitoo received investment by HTGF in 2014 and was then introduced to SAP.iO in 2018. The startup participated in our Industry 4.0 program in the same year; their AI-based solution for easy eye control of computers was piloted by both SAP and with several SAP customers and is being offered on the SAP Store. In 2020, they secured Series B funding.

SAP.iO is offering startups the fastest way to scale with SAP – while enabling customers to access innovation complementing SAP solutions.

“We are therefore looking forward to our continued fruitful cooperation with HTGF and seeing our community of founders and startups grow”, Alexa Gorman, SVP, SAP.iO, said. “Our renewed support for the High-Tech Gründerfonds emphasizes our joint belief in a promising future for entrepreneurialism.”

Read the investment announcement by High-Tech Gründerfonds here and find more on our proven cooperation in this interview with Alexa Gorman, Global Head of SAP.iO Foundries and Intrapreneurship.

Inspiring Innovators: Paula Paw Co-CEO of VersaFleet, On Being Tenacious

At SAP.iO, we work with innovative people and new technologies that positively impact our world every day, and we think it’s time to share their stories with you! In our series, “Inspiring Innovators,” we get to hear how founders, CEOs, and presidents of cutting-edge startup technologies overcame, thrived, and pursued their goals. SAP.iO’s Alexa Gorman sat down to discuss the road to success and lessons learned with some of our most inspiring startup founders.

Meet Paula Paw

Just four days after submitting her last exam paper, Paula Paw was offered a job at VersaFleet. Paula joined VersaFleet as a pioneering team member and played a central role in its growth journey. Graduating from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences, she started her career at VersaFleet in Sales and Marketing. Over the course of 6 years, she was promoted to Senior Sales Executive, Regional Sales Manager, Head of Sales Strategy & Operations Planning, and now leads the company as Co-Chief Executive Officer.

VersaFleet is a transport management software that optimizes route plans and fully digitalizes supply chains, all the way to the last mile. At VersaFleet, Paula now focuses on accelerating VersaFleet’s growth and synchronizing essential company functions, from sales & marketing, product design, and engineering, to finance and people operations. The company’s mission is to provide technology for all transporters — in any industry, market, or country. They built VersaFleet in hopes that the technology would enable the unsung heroes of logistics to get home in time for dinner.

“The goal for the coming years is to establish a stronger market presence so that we can serve the brands that face difficult challenges. When we help them, it will have a trickle-down effect, and the drivers will ultimately benefit; we are hoping to create a better work-life balance.”

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The Take: With Tighter Purses, VCs Look Kindly on Startups with Customers

The days of easy money for startups are waning. In the first quarter of this year, investor funding commitments were down 19% from the prior quarter, the largest percentage decline in nearly eight years, according to analytics firm CB Insights.

Inflation and rising interest rates have made money more expensive. Investors are telling startups to reduce spending to ensure that they can survive if they cannot raise more money over the next two years. That has led many in the tech space to lay off employees or reduce non-essential spending.

SAP’s Take

With the focus now on producing real business value, programs that offer immediate access to customers are more desirable to startups that need to succeed. The SAP.iO program helps new, innovative business-to-business (B2B) companies scale and grow. With access to customers and the ability to scale, startups can be more confident in securing their next round of funding.

These B2B workhorse startups are less likely to ever capture the attention of the consumer. But their ambitions are similar: to become big and successfully build better products to help their customers thrive.

“Startups are seeing the value of working with SAP,” said Alexa Gorman, senior vice president of SAP.iO, “because of the access to our customer base that we’re able to give them globally and different markets across all industries.”

Most of the participating startups are headed by founders that have deep industry expertise and have decided to make a leap out of the corporate world and launch something based on their experiences.

“What I’ve seen are VCs [venture capitalists] that are not willing to take huge bets on an unproven new way to solve the challenge that businesses are facing today,” Gorman said. “A lot of companies are being founded with customers or with a target list of potential customers before they even launch.”

SAP.iO selects startups that already have seed funding, with the sweet spot having received Series A or Series B funds. They usually have their first corporate customers, a team in place, “and they’re ready to scale, and that’s where we can help them,” Gorman said.

“They fit where we see customer demand for solutions that we don’t necessarily have in our portfolio,” Gorman explained. “So, the companies that we work with are going to be future SAP partners.”

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Inspiring Innovators: Daniela Schiffer Co-founder & CEO of Changers.com on nerves of steel

At SAP.iO, we work with innovative people and new technologies that positively impact our world every day, and we think it’s time to share their stories with you! In our series, “Inspiring Innovators,” we get to hear how founders, CEOs, presidents of cutting-edge startup technologies overcame, thrived, and pursued their goals. SAP.iO’s Alexa Gorman sat down to discuss the road to success and lessons learned with some of our most inspiring startup founders.

Meet Daniela Schiffer

Daniela Schiffer started studying art and worked as an artist until 2007 with the hope that art would be a tool she could use to influence change in society. After some time, she realized to achieve her goals she would need to find another way to influence behavior change. Working with an advertising agency doing a lot of communication primarily for high tech and renewable energy companies, she saw a different path forward. Daniela grew changers.com to address the issue of behavior change in terms of climate control, looking to incentivize and motivate sustainable and healthy behavior. Not a small undertaking by any means, this task takes perseverance and, at times, nerves of steel.

Today, Daniela Schiffer is Co-founder and CEO of Changers.com, a company that looks to change behavior through its CO2 Fit app. This app motivates employees to use a bicycle instead of a car, walk more often, use public transport, and participate in eco-friendly and healthy activities. Here employees learn more about waste reduction, healthy nutrition, energy-saving, and address green mobility. Changers is doing so by building an ecosystem for climate currency, meaning that by saving CO2, you earn climate coins to spend in their marketplace for products and services with partners. Changers was recognized as a EUPD TOP BRAND in workplace health promotion and by the Solarimpulse Foundation for efficient climate protection.

“I want to motivate people, not by showing them all the threats to the future, but by showing them how they can positively impact change by simple changes in behavior.”

Read more and watch highlights of Alexa and Daniela’s discussion here

Round 2: Even MORE SAP.iO Human Experience Management Startups to Keep Your Eyes on

This batch of startup solutions are helping SAP SuccessFactors HXM customers enable employees to be their best

SAP customers are changing the world of work for good with the next generation of human capital management solutions, putting people at the heart of their HR strategies. As SAP customers continue to utilize SAP SuccessFactors solutions to set up their employees for success, they can now additionally access over 25 solutions from SAP.iO startups that are integrated with SAP SuccessFactors and are available on the SAP Store for customers to discover, learn, and adopt.

Check out these Human Experience Management startups available on SAP Store that are leading the future of work and HR technology.

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Supply Chain Innovator Verusen Scores Three Awards

Verusen, the global supply chain intelligence innovator, today announced it has received three awards recognizing its leadership, accelerated growth, and positive impact on the supply chain industry.

Verusen was recognized as an Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Pacesetter, one of the city’s fastest-growing private companies. The company was ranked #16 overall and #2 in the Manufacturing / Supply Chain category. To qualify for the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Pacesetter list, companies headquartered in greater Atlanta had to have over $1 million in 2021 revenue and over 50% 2-year growth in sales.

Verusen was honored for the third year in a row as a Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Top 40 Innovative Technology Companies in Georgia for its contribution to innovation and economic growth within the state of Georgia’s technology sector.

Paul Noble, Verusen Founder and CEO, was named a Deeds, not Words Leadership Award nominee at the 2022 Supply Chain & Procurement Awards. This distinction goes to individuals who exemplify vision, inspiration, coordination, perseverance, and empathy.

“From our inception, our purpose has been to revolutionize the supply chain industry. It’s an honor to be recognized as we continue to scale and reinvent how business gets done,” said Paul Noble, Founder and CEO of Verusen. Every day, we continue to prove our value with our innovative AI platform, diverse and inclusive workplace culture, and approach to sustainability.”

Verusen leverages deep learning, artificial intelligence (AI), data harmonization, and decision support to help global brands control risk, attain supply chain resiliency, and improve economies for their operations. Verusen raised $25 million in Series B funding earlier this year after the company raised $8 million in its Series A round in the previous year.

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