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These SAP.iO startups deliver personalized and holistic experiences for consumers on SAP Store

Shifting consumer values are driving new innovations to market at a speed like never before. Consumer Products companies must be able to serve consumers by orchestrating an ecosystem that delivers personalized experiences in the service of achieving an outcome, all at the most favorable cost.

To help drive their own innovation efforts, consumer products companies are increasingly looking to startups and new technologies to fuel future growth. By collaborating with startups to address the industry’s most pressing challenges with innovative solutions through SAP.iO, SAP is dedicated to empowering its customers to continue to thrive as prominent industry leaders. The seven startups that participated in SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv’s consumer products cohort last year are now all available on SAP Store in the latest set of solutions for SAP customers.

“We chose these seven companies to join SAP’s partner ecosystem as a result of due diligence and close collaboration with the industry and product teams at SAP. These startup offerings that are available on SAP Store provide critical solutions to the biggest challenges in the consumer products industry, helping SAP customers best utilize their existing data in order to improve the consumer experience,” said Inbar Yacoby, Program Manager, SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv.

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SAP.iO Startups Deliver Personalized and Holistic Experiences for Consumers on SAP Store

Shifting consumer values are driving new innovations to market at a speed like never before. Consumer products companies must be able to serve consumers by orchestrating an ecosystem that delivers personalized experiences in the service of achieving an outcome, all at the most favorable cost.

To help drive their own innovation efforts, consumer products companies are increasingly looking to startups and new technologies to fuel future growth. By collaborating with startups to address the industry’s most pressing challenges with innovative solutions through SAP.iO, SAP is dedicated to empowering its customers to continue to thrive as prominent industry leaders. The seven startups that participated in SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv’s consumer products cohort last year are now all available on SAP Store in the latest set of solutions for SAP customers.“

We chose these seven companies to join SAP’s partner ecosystem as a result of due diligence and close collaboration with the industry and product teams at SAP. These startup offerings that are available on SAP Store provide critical solutions to the biggest challenges in the consumer products industry, helping SAP customers best utilize their existing data in order to improve the consumer experience,” said Inbar Yacoby, Program Manager, SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv.

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With Stylumia, Real-Time Data Intelligence Powers Competitive Retail Advantage

Consumer fashion may be among the most unpredictable markets on the planet, but one startup in India has created a demand sensing platform based on artificial intelligence (AI) that combines the brilliance of data scientists with seasoned industry experts to ferret out trends with uncanny accuracy. The idea is to close the gap between supply and demand.

“We help companies create demand-driven fashion forecasts from consumer data across a holistic value chain,” Ganesh Subramanian, founder and CEO at Stylumia, said. “Our demand sensing engine collects and analyzes publicly available global data to rank product trends, providing fashion designers, retail buyers, and merchandisers with a much deeper understanding of real-time consumer demand signals.”

More Profitable and Sustainable Business

Forecasting fickle consumer appetites for unseen products has long stymied the most experienced minds in the fashion world. Stylumia can reveal breaking trends, allowing people to make design and merchandising decisions perfectly in sync. This can reduce under- and overbuying.

According to Subramanian, the typical Stylumia customer has improved the prediction accuracy of style and color levels by up to 30% and increased sales and revenue between 25% to 50%, compared to the performance of products not designed and merchandized using the platform. Customers have also reduced excess inventory and carbon footprint levels by an aggregated average of up to 40%.

“When products are selling well, companies have less stock and are able to lower their carbon footprint because they’re using fewer resources while generating the same amount of revenue,” he said. “Since our founding, we have reduced the number of garments that our customers have produced by over 60 million while their sales and profits have grown.”

Consumer Intelligence Research on Steroids

From its headquarters in India to hubs in Australia, the U.S., and the UK, Stylumia’s teams work with fashion, sports, and lifestyle brands that represent companies of all sizes worldwide.

Instead of brainstorming solely by intuition, designers and buyers log in to their personalized portal to storyboard ideas using Stylumia’s AI-fueled algorithm or their own images for design inspiration. As they select colors, materials, patterns, and other product features, Stylumia instantly surfaces trending demands against the designer’s ideas. They can view similar products, see where selling levels are highest, and save and share their ideas with colleagues.

For retail merchandisers, the tool improves forecast accuracy for better assortment planning down to the local level. They can see which sizes, colors, and styles are most popular by geography. Subramanian added that the platform is not just for large consumer brands.

“We’re democratizing intelligence for small and midsize companies that can use these insights for their growth too, bringing the right products to the right geographies at the right time,” he said.

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Cogniac Announces Visual Operations Intelligence Platform for Cloud-based Solutions from SAP

 Cogniac Corporation (“Cogniac”) today announced that its Visual Operations Intelligence platform is now available on SAP® Store. Cogniac’s AI, machine vision platform complements the industry cloud portfolio from SAP for automotive and industrial machinery and components industries and integrates with SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud, delivering an AI-based approach to customers looking to extract value from their visual data.

“Today marks an important moment in Cogniac’s growth,” said Vahan Tchakerian, chief partnership officer at Cogniac. “Through our valuable experience in the SAP.iO Foundries program and our partnership with SAP, businesses that use SAP solutions will now have access to Cogniac technology. By offering our platform on SAP Store, we are able to scale more efficiently and deliver exceptional performance in the manufacturing and industrial sectors.”

Cogniac’s Visual Operations Intelligence platform uses no-code AI, enabling companies to maximize the value of their visual data. By integrating with SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud, capabilities of the Cogniac platform are now accessible within the solution’s architecture, providing advanced AI machine vision technology across a variety of industries.

For customers in the automotive, rail, manufacturing, government, logistics, packaging and kitting, and safety and security industries, Cogniac’s AI machine vision platform drives significant process improvements. Through better defect detection, safer operations and increased efficiencies, Cogniac supports many customers looking to achieve Industry 4.0 standards, reduce costs, and optimize their processes.

Building on the Intelligent Enterprise strategy, SAP is expanding its vertical solutions with an ecosystem of industry cloud applications. These solutions complement the existing SAP portfolio to extend the value of joint customer investments.

“The Visual Operations Intelligence platform developed by Cogniac complements our portfolio and enables an AI-based approach to customers looking to extract value from their visual data,” commented Stefan Krauss, SVP General Manager Discrete Industries and Energy and Natural Resources at SAP. “This is a prime example of how co-innovation between our organizations can deliver value for customers. We look forward to continued collaboration with Cogniac to create innovative cloud solutions and applications for customers who want to drive cost-effective and sustainable growth in their industry.”

SAP recently brought together SAP Store and SAP App Center into one single marketplace at store.sap.com. It delivers a simplified and connected digital customer experience for finding, trying, buying, and renewing more than 1,800 solutions from SAP and its partners. There, customers can find the SAP solutions and SAP-validated partner apps they need to grow their business. And for each purchase made via SAP Store, SAP will plant a tree.

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SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv announced 7 startups to joint its next program with Publicis Sapient

SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv launched yesterday its startup accelerator program focused on consumer engagement, together with the digital business transformation company Publicis Sapient. Seven startups have been selected to join the program, all are focused on developing advanced marketing and commerce solutions to help brands improve their consumer engagement.

“Recent year events and new market challenges in the Consumer Industries, emphasized the importance of expanding our partner portfolio in the e-commerce and marketing domains, and led us to launch a dedicated program with that focus.” says Lior Weizman, Director of SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv. “After screening startups from more than 30 countries, 7 startups originating from Israel, US, Poland and UK were selected. The selected startups present advanced capabilities in their fields and have a strong track record of success, will enable SAP’s clients to engage in new ways with their customers.”

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SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv Joins Publicis Sapient to Accelerate Consumer Engagement Startups

 SAP has teamed up with digital business transformation company Publicis Sapient to launch a consumer engagement–focused startup accelerator program at SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv. Seven startups have been selected for the program focusing on advanced marketing and commerce solutions to help brands improve their consumer engagement.

“In the consumer industries’ ever-changing environment, it’s critical to connect our industry cloud customers with innovative startups to deliver modular and easy-to-use solutions,” SAP Industries & Customer Advisory President Peter Maier said. “Thanks to SAP.iO, we have been able to successfully support our customers’ transformation journeys by providing the widest range of solutions available to support their unique industry requirements.”

SAP and Publicis Sapient will work closely with the selected startups to drive their joint customer-innovation initiatives, which include new solutions for personalized marketing content and offers, product discovery and trial, social engagement, consumer segmentation, and direct-to-consumer business models. The startups will also explore integrations with the omnichannel customer engagement platform from Emarsys, now an SAP company.

Publicis Sapient, the digital transformation hub of global communication leader Publicis Groupe and an SAP customer, helped identify suitable business-to-business startups from all over the world to participate in the 12-week program. Publicis Sapient also will serve as a potential beta site for pilots and go-to-market channel for the startups.

“This strategic initiative with SAP.iO helps foster innovation in the consumer products industry, bringing fresh thinking from creative startups to support our clients in accelerating their digital transformation,” said Kristen Groh, Publicis Sapient Consumer Products Industry lead.

During the equity-free program, the startups will receive curated mentorship and access to SAP technology and application programming interfaces (APIs). Their work includes creating new partnerships and value propositions that help solve key e-commerce and marketing challenges facing consumer brands.

The following startups were selected to participate in the consumer engagement SAP.iO program:

  • Algopix provides an intelligence platform for consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, brands, e-commerce marketplaces and data companies to increase their omnichannel sales and market share and improve their e-commerce market trend visibility.
  • eStoreMedia provides an e-commerce automation suite that helps brands accelerate their online sales by combining digital shelf analytics, e-commerce research, e-content management and syndication to e-retailers.
  • Explorium offers an automated external data platform that automatically connects and matches internal data with thousands of relevant external data signals to accelerate value from advanced analytics and machine learning models.
  • Jebbit enables anyone to quickly build interactive experiences that capture first-party declared data without any line of code.
  • Mention Me is a referral marketing and customer retention platform that integrates into brands’ websites to incentivize, track and reward referrals throughout the customer experience.
  • SundaySky helps customer-centric brands deliver video-powered experiences at critical moments along customer journeys that engage, educate and inspire consumers.
  • Vue Storefront is a mobile-first e-commerce front-end platform that operates as an open source project and allows customers to build fast e-commerce websites and apps without changing the back-end platform.

SAP.iO Foundry Paris Accelerates Agribusiness Startups in New Program

SAP launched an agribusiness-focused virtual startup accelerator program at SAP.iO Foundry Paris. The eight international startups have been selected by a jury of SAP experts, partners, customers and investment funds to join the program.

As France is one of the largest agricultural powers in the world, SAP.iO Foundry Paris was a natural location for the first accelerator program from SAP.iO entirely dedicated to this industry. The selected startups specialize in procurement, supply chain, production monitoring platforms and decision support tools.

“Digital technology and collaboration are key enablers to feed the rapidly growing world population in a sustainable way,” said Anja Strothkaemper, SAP vice president of Agribusiness and Commodity Management. “Working together with startups, we can combine our innovation power and serve the evolving needs of our agribusiness customers.”

The program addresses three key industry challenges:

  • Integrating data, artificial intelligence, analytics and decision-making into agribusiness
  • Combining compliance and traceability throughout production and processing
  • Ensuring agriculture is more responsible and environmentally sensitive

Over the next 10 weeks, the startups will have access to curated mentorship from SAP executives, exposure to SAP technology and application programming interfaces (APIs), and opportunities to collaborate with SAP customers around the world.

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

  • Agrora enables processors and traders of agricultural commodities to save time on procurement and distribution processes.
  • Clarifruit offers an automated quality control platform for fast, objective and consistent fresh fruit and vegetable quality control.
  • Connecting Food uses blockchain technology and smart modules to provide transparency, traceability and digital auditing of food products.
  • GrainChain Inc. combines blockchain and Internet of Things–driven technologies to verify and auto-execute smart contracts, creating fully automated and digitalized workflows at every stage.
  • HeavyConnect develops easy-to-use mobile software that digitalizes paper-based compliance workflows in farming and processing.
  • Milk Moovement connects all players in the dairy supply chain, improving visibility and generating valuable insights across the raw milk supply chain.
  • ProcSea digitalizes seafood trading by connecting all partners on one digital platform for optimized and secured purchasing and sales processes.
  • Sencrop designs and sells connected weather forecast solutions farmers use to measure humidity, temperature, wind speed and rainfall.

To learn more about how SAP.iO is helping innovators start up and scale with SAP, please visit https://sap.io/.

With Data And Analytics, Consumer Products Companies Seize New ‘Moment Of Opportunity’

Since 2015 and the rise of e-commerce hyper scalers,  we have witnessed a fundamental shift in consumer behavior, one that has dramatically accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Bain & Company. Consumers today are increasingly making buying decisions on the values that they hold dear– health and wellness, sustainability, safety, ethically sourced materials – instead of factors like price and convenience.

As businesses look for new ways to reach, engage and serve consumers, the delivery of timely, tailored and relevant experiences have become key. While this shift represents significant transformation challenges for companies, it also represents an enormous opportunity to drive the next wave of growth in consumer industries.

For over 75 years, industries have organized themselves around the concept of the “two moments of truth” – get a consumer into a store to purchase a product, and influence them to use the product. And hopefully, the cycle repeats. In this linear path to purchase with touchpoints that focused on getting consumers to complete transactions in a store, the retailers, consumer products companies and wholesalers in the value chain had well-defined and complementary roles, and all stakeholders favored economies of scale.

This is no longer the case. Today, companies are reaching consumers directly in “moments of opportunity”, requiring them to have a more holistic understanding of consumer desires. This model favors economies of speed – companies that can spot moments of consumer opportunity and organize themselves the fastest to orchestrate the delivery of experiences and products, will win.

To respond effectively to these behavior shifts, consumer products companies need to differentiate themselves as a ‘category of one’, where their business is so unique that there are no direct competitors, and these companies need to make innovative and data-centric decisions.

One example that illustrates this dramatic shift comes from a Google study.  One participant spent 73 days and made 250 touchpoints (several  blogs, merchant websites, local retailers, product reviews on YouTube) before buying a single pair of jeans. Indicative of today’s consumers, this consumer is engaged with and desires to be inspired by brands through viewing multiple options before making a selection.       

This example demonstrates the changes businesses have to make to succeed going forward. We expect that soon, 50% of consumer products industry growth will occur through a direct business model. Consumer-facing companies will need to build compelling consumer experiences based on:

  1. Consistent master and consumer data across all channels to enable a consistent and meaningful experience
  2.  Full visibility of the entire value network, from sourcing and partner networks to all consumer touchpoints, both physical and virtual, and actual consumption
  3. Live access to, and use of, both structured and unstructured data to assess demand drivers and market dynamics in real time
  4. Scaled, quantitative and qualitative analysis of consumer perception, sentiment and feedback to deliver a unified, personalized user experience

Key Technologies & Innovations

So how can companies transform and adapt quickly to meet these new expectations and needs while reaping benefits in productivity, efficiency, personalization, and profitability. With intelligent technologies that can quickly increase consumer-centricity.

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German asset monitoring start-up to expand globally with $6.35m fund

LiveEO, a German-based Earth Observation asset monitoring technology start-up, has secured €5.25 million ($6.35 million) in funding to expand its operations globally.

The Series A investment has been secured from venture capital firms btov Partners, Helen Ventures, DvH Ventures, and Motu Ventures as well as from deep technology investor Andreas Kupke.

Daniel Seidel, co-founder of LiveEO, said: “This funding round is a huge milestone for LiveEO. Over the last 3 years we’ve built up a unique technology stack to analyze earth observation data at scale and we now can realize many new revolutionary features on the basis of this tech backbone.”

LiveEO combines data acquired from satellite imagery and from other sources and then uses artificial intelligence to analyse the data to monitor critical infrastructures such as railways, electricity grids and pipelines.

The startup has plans to introduce their technology in other sectors including construction, mining, insurance, forestry, agriculture and finance.

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Digital behavioural health platform SilverCloud and HSE expand online therapy across Ireland

Digital mental health platform SilverCloud Health, with headquarters in Boston, Dublin and London is making its services available to users nationwide through Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE).

In 2018, the company partnered with the HSE on a pilot programme to offer online psychological tools for depression and anxiety to primary care psychological services and now plans to expand these services in Ireland. 

WHY IT MATTERS

The platform provides evidence-based clinical content, programmes and support for users struggling with their mental health and chronic illness.

A study by the NHS into SilverCloud showed a 50% reduction in symptoms following eight weeks of sessions and improvement in 27% of cases.

The service will also open up referrals from a larger pool of sources, including GPs and Jigsaw, the national centre for youth mental health. SilverCloud’s mental health services are used by 650,000 people globally, acquiring 30,000 new users every month and providing more than 40% of all NHS mental health services.

This surge is in part due to an increase of people seeking support with their mental health during the COVID-19 crisis.

SilverCloud has raised more than €25.5 million from investors to date. In April 2020, the company raised $16 million (€13.6m) in Series B funding to expand into all 50 US states.

Meanwhile, London-based AI digital therapy service HelloSelf raised £5.5 million in Series A funding to expand mental health provisions for post-pandemic Britain. 

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Sustainable Farming: Agranimo Integrates with SAP BTP

Despite the ongoing debate of whether it’s a fruit or a vegetable, the avocado has been an export hit around the globe. Avocados are grown in the southern hemisphere but are immensely popular in countries where they cannot be harvested. There is also growing consumer awareness that intensive avocado farming leads to environmental issues in the countries of origin.

‘Driving through the rural areas of Chile, you will notice how severely the country has been going through a major drought during the last five to seven years,’ Nikita Gulin says. ‘Part of it is due to climate change, but it cannot be denied that intensive farming is adding to the problem.’ Chile’s GDP relies heavily on agriculture. Apart from avocados, food crops include blueberries, cherries, and walnuts. ‘Water efficiency is a huge topic for Chilean farmers and the country as a whole.’

For Gulin, Aganimo’s Russian-born founder and CEO, and his Chilean co-founder, CTO Sergio Esteban, this was an obvious problem to tackle.

‘In Chile, everybody knows someone working in the agricultural sector, whether it’s an uncle or the friend of a friend,’ Esteban says. ‘When we looked at the problem and solutions already available, it became clear that there was much room for improvement by means of technology – and we had the skills to do that.’

To combine their technical knowledge with research on agriculture, they made contact with academia. ‘The University of Chile immediately wanted to collaborate,’ Gulin says. Agranimo has 10 employees located in Chile, Russia, and Germany with backgrounds in technology, research, and practical experience in agriculture.

‘Chile is not the only country with this problem,’ Gulin explains, ‘It’s really all over the world – water is rare. From our first application for water efficiency, our vision grew as we expanded to more climate-related issues. Water is still one of the key components, but we are now working with any information that can be derived from climate and soil data.’

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SAP Startup Spotlight: Getting To Know SAP.iO

In every interview in our SAP Startup Spotlight series, we ask startups how the involvement of SAP.iO has impacted their journey. But what is SAP.iO, exactly?

Stephanie Horwitz is the Value Creation Manager at SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv, where she supports global B2B startups in communications, marketing, and business development opportunities. In this interview, she explains what SAP.iO is and what it has done and continues to do for startups.

E-3 Magazine: What is SAP.iO?

Stephanie Horwitz: SAP.iO is SAP’s strategic business unit to incubate, accelerate and scale startup innovation and explore new business models for the company. Since 2017, SAP.iO has helped over 300 external startups and internal ventures both start and scale their businesses while enabling SAP customers to access new products. SAP.iO Foundries are SAP’s global network of zero-cost startup accelerators that are the fastest way for founders to launch a relationship with SAP. SAP.iO Foundries provide companies with access, curated mentorship, and technical guidance to integrate with SAP solutions and accelerate their entry into an inclusive ecosystem whose offerings can be easily accessed and deployed by SAP customers. SAP.iO Foundries were formally launched in 2017 and have helped accelerate more than 270 startups across all lines of business and industries so far. SAP.iO currently has nine foundries located in San Francisco, New York, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Tel Aviv, Singapore, Tokyo, and Bangalore.

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Innovative Solutions in the Utilities Industry for a Sustainable Future

SAP’s Commitment to Sustainability Through Utilities Industry Support

Over 10 years ago, SAP made sustainability a long-term strategic goal in line with its vision of improving people’s lives and helping the world run better. SAP enables organizations to minimize the greenhouse gas footprint of their products and leads by example with a goal of being a carbon neutral company by 2023. With forty five of the fifty top utilities companies in the world running SAP solutions, SAP is a leading force in helping utilities light the way by efficiently incorporating more clean energy into the grid. As the world transitions to a more sustainable, renewable, and digital energy reality, SAP is providing the tools and empowering utilities, which are front and center in the global shift toward renewable energy resources, to successfully reinvent power generation, transmission, distribution, and retail.

Connecting Utilities with Innovative Solutions for a Successful Energy Transition

Through SAP.iO, SAP works with startups and new technologies to cultivate innovation and fuel future growth for our customers across all industries. SAP.iO Foundries is a network of nine top-tier startup programs in strategic startup ecosystems, focusing on enabling early-stage companies to form a partnership with SAP and integrate their innovative solutions with key SAP applications and platforms. During SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv’s latest accelerator program focused on solutions for the utilities industry, SAP.iO along with SAP’s Utilities business unit has been working closely with seven global startups to create joint offerings for our utilities clients to enable a smooth energy transition in an intelligent way. The startups’ solutions cover next-generation intelligent energy production, energy trading, multi-directional intelligent transmission and distribution, smart metering, and prosumers with e-homes and e-cars.

Meet the 7 Startups Empowering SAP’s Utilities Customers to Thrive in a Renewable Energy Reality

These startups are leading the energy transition and bringing value to SAP customers while doing so!

FSIGHT offers state-of-the-art artificial intelligence software solutions that allow the end user to predict, optimize and trade energy.

Future Grid enables the renewable grid of the future to deliver safe and reliable electricity.

NET2GRID delivers a platform for utilities to gain powerful energy insights and run value-added services using machine learning algorithms on smart meter data.

Lemonbeat offers a scalable end-to-end Internet of Things–enabling solution, building a seamless experience journey from device to cloud.

OXYGEN TECHNOLOGIES provides digital value-added services to private and commercial “prosumers” with an operating system to monitor and control distributed energy devices.

Pexapark provides the operating system for post-subsidy renewable energy sales.

Raycatch’s AI-driven digital asset management system automates and optimizes solar photovoltaic plants.

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Getting Energized to Level the Playing Field

A conversation with Amanda Niklaus, PPA Transaction Manager in the renewable industry.

The Road Less Traveled

What initially drew you to the energy industry?

During my Master’s studies, there was a mining boom in Australia. A lot of money was put into energy research, particularly for oil and gas. The Head of my university department suggested that I pursue mathematical economics in energy and work with some prestigious supervisors from the industry which I did. After graduation, I worked as an economist for the government and then in investment banking where we were looking at M&A opportunities. At the time, I found working within this very male-dominated industry a bit unsettling, and left for the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) where I worked on providing training for investors and traders and we looked at battery viability for participating in different markets. A lot happened and changed over the time I worked there and that is one of the elements I like about the power market sector: it’s very dynamic, constantly evolving.

When I came back to Switzerland, I read about Pexapark. They were very new at that time and had a lot of potential. I thought it would be exciting to work with a focus in renewables and to help developing a business. I was right — it’s so far been an incredible experience to be part of and contribute to Pexapark’s development and growth.

What’s the most satisfying part of your role at Pexapark?

I really enjoy working across markets and looking at different issues, that clients are encountering or questions they are trying to answer. While our business is very specialised, I feel like a request is never ever the same. It’s always new, there is so much to learn constantly!

What’s your secret sauce that you bring to work with you each day?

A ‘can do’ attitude and resilience.


Making Strides in Renewables

What thoughts are going through your head (if any) and what are you experiencing when you find yourself to be the only woman in the room?

That’s often the case to be honest. With clients, I do not let that disturb me, I cannot. Otherwise I am going nowhere. It is of course harder to ignore for someone who works in this environment every day. There are many studies about the ‘Onlys’ — referring to the only woman in a team. A notable one is from McKinsey, showing that women in this situation often receive judgement or doubt about their own area of expertise. They feel under a constant pressure to provide a proof of competence compared to their male colleagues. The sad part is that you don’t know if it was intentional, or it is just a dynamic of the competitive environment. That is not always clear. What is clear to me — there is a way to improve the situation.A more gender- balanced team is very important and I’d like to think I try my best to influence in that direction.

Did you have any female mentors or role models? How can we facilitate more mentorship initiatives?

In my first job as an economist, I had a female mentor. Since then I have had other mentors and role models, but they haven’t been women. This might be because there are not too many women in leadership / senior positions in my industry to support other women — which is key to how women help each other to grow in other industries. Studies have shown that mentoring and networking activities designed for women are key to break through the glass ceiling and to remain in top positions. Multi-level mentorship and leadership programs are necessary in providing dynamic social support, including promoting gender awareness and building network to support sustainable career development. There are successful mentoring and leadership programs where high-potential women are trained in the company’s leader pipeline. I believe that such programs help increasing female representation at the managerial and C-level.

I am part of the Women in Wind program organised by the Global Energy Wind Council. Through this program, I was given the opportunity to mentor another participant of the program who was from the same industry. Women in Wind is a great example of a mentoring program, particularly to create a network. To be honest I wish I could also participate as a mentee and a few of us mentors from the program have said the same thing. It’s extremely helpful to be able to share experiences and have a support group and of course to network.

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