As competition for top talent in every industry heats up, an award-winning AI assistant named Olivia is stepping in to help recruiters and job candidates speed past antiquated hiring norms. The brainchild of Aaron Matos, co-founder and CEO of Paradox, Olivia is entirely mobile and relies on text messaging to compress the timespan between screening qualified people and hiring dates. “The assistant’s job is to get work done, and that’s what Olivia focuses on,” said Matos. “This frees up the recruiter’s time for more valuable responsibilities, like talking face-to-face with qualified candidates.”
SAP announced the launch of the first SAP.iO Foundry in Asia: SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo. Over the next 12 weeks, SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo will accelerate five business-to-business (B2B) Japanese technology startups, providing them access to curated mentorship, exposure to SAP technology and application programmable interfaces (APIs), and opportunities to collaborate with SAP customers. Unique to SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo, the cohort also will have access to the newly opened SAP Leonardo Experience Center and Inspired.Lab.
Back in January, we wrote about SAP when the German software giant and maker of enterprise software announced the launch of its SAP.iO No Boundaries initiative to fund and incubate startups led by women and minorities. Now SAP.io is expanding into Asia. SAP announced the launch of its first SAP.iO Foundry in Asia called SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo. Over the next 12 weeks, SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo will accelerate five business-to-business (B2B) Japanese technology startups, providing them access to curated mentorship, exposure to SAP® technology and application programmable interfaces (APIs), and opportunities to collaborate with SAP customers. Unique to SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo, the cohort also will have access to the newly opened SAP Leonardo Experience Center and Inspired.Lab.
The first SAP.iO Foundry in Asia has launched: SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo. Over the next 12 weeks, SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo will accelerate five business-to-business (B2B) Japanese technology startups, providing them access to curated mentorship, exposure to SAP technology and application programmable interfaces (APIs), and opportunities to collaborate with SAP customers. Unique to SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo, the cohort also will have access to the newly opened SAP Leonardo Experience Center and Inspired.Lab.
SAP.iO is SAP’s strategic business unit dedicating to driving startup innovation and new business models for SAP. SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo is the eighth location of SAP’s global network of top-tier startup programs, which include foundries and accelerators that enable startups to build innovative software to deliver value for SAP customers.
The first SAP.iO Foundry Tokyo cohort includes the following startups:
- InstaVR: Provides a no-coding, web browser–based interactive authoring tool capable of creating, distributing and analyzing a 360-degree view of content.
- ZENKIGEN: Provides an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered online platform that enables both live and recorded video interviews, while offering sentiment analysis of a candidate’s voice. This allows efficient recruitment and analysis of facial expressions for real-time interview coaching.
- fuzed.link: Provides a B2B lead generation tool based on social media content that allows companies to build content-driven landing pages for social media traffic.
- estie: Provides a real estate technology platform that offers interactive mapping. Using AI and machine learning algorithms, estie unleashes the potential of Big Data to simplify office search for tenants and analytics for institutional investors.
- Innovia: Provides a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that helps manufacturers effectively develop and manage the skills of manufacturing workers to improve productivity and efficiency while ensuring International Standards Organization (ISO) compliance.
H&M, Target, PVH Corp, Microsoft, Waste Management and others have collaborated on CircularID, an initiative designed to promote circularity by creating a new standard for communicating information about fashion products. The project would provide access to information such as materials, origin, authenticity, price, style and recycling instructions that stay with goods throughout their life.
CircularID™ is a Digital Identity standard that enables products to consistently communicate and share information about themselves essential for identification and management of the products and materials in the circular economy.
Personalized career development is no longer a perk for the privileged few at the top. An intelligent mentoring app called Ellen matches mentors and mentees from all levels of the organization. Launched by San Francisco-based NextPlay.ai, the Ellen app is popular with a growing number of major companies worldwide, including in the U.S. and Asia. NextPlay.ai was among the HR startups that recently participated in the SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco.
Fondée en 2016, la start-up Wakeo qui promet de fluidifier la logistique des grands groupes, lève 1,8 million d’euros auprès notamment de 50 Partners et de Techstars. Elle compte multiplier son équipe par deux.
More than 130 attendees, including VCs, SAP customers and partners, and SAP senior executives attended Demo Day and heard pitches from the 7 HR SAP.iO startups.
In 2017, SAP.iO, an open innovation model enabling visionary startups to use the power of SAP data, APIs, platform technologies and new business models, launched its two components, the SAP.iO Fund, and SAP.iO Foundries. The SAP.iO Fund invests in external, early-stage enterprise software startups that enable SAP customers to realize the new, highly incremental value to investments in SAP solutions. The SAP.iO Foundries are SAP’s global network of top-tier startup programs, including accelerators that enable startups to build innovative software that delivers value for SAP customers.
Since its launch, SAP.iO Fund and Foundries have driven early stage startup innovation helping its customers win in their markets. To date, SAP.iO has over 125 startups in more than 8 locations across 25+ industries. Last year, SAP.iO Foundry launched a demo event for nine female-led startups in New York.
Der Softwarehersteller SAP eröffnete kürzlich in München einen neuen Standort seines Startup-Accelerators SAP-Foundry. Für das Accelerator-Programm werden bis 1. Juli B2B-Startups gesucht, die E-Commerce-Lösungen oder Anwendungen für Multichannel-Kundenbindung entwickeln.
1. Ram, SAP is a purpose-led organization. What is one thing you do, in life or business, that demonstrates this?
I am often asked why we are doing this. Well, fundamental to everything we do is for our customers’ benefit, which is in turn reflected in business performance. It turns out that these groups of founders, such as women and minorities who have traditionally been ‘underinvested in’, consistently deliver high business returns, because they are building solutions that customers want. It makes sense to prioritize and emphasize our efforts and investments to support these groups – they’re doing all the right things.
As managing director of SAP.iO, I have global responsibility for supporting early-stage external startups through our unique mix of investments and incubation. As part of this, I am extremely proud to be driving SAP.iO No Boundaries, our commitment to supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs in business to business tech, through which we have pledged to support more than 200 select, high potential B2B tech startups by 2023.
Some critics ask if we have lowered the bar. My response to that is absolutely not! It simply means we need to search harder to find these entrepreneurs because they generally don’t have the access or the network to find funding or customer introductions that other groups typically enjoy. So it’s not about giving special favors, but it’s about ensuring we are able to hear their voices.
I personally know of the struggles and hurdles that women or other underrepresented entrepreneurs in tech face – in building a network, getting funding, attracting customers and being taken seriously. I personally know women who were told ‘You don’t need an investor, you need a rich boyfriend’, ‘I can’t invest in someone if they are going to have a family at some point’, or even (believe it or not) ‘You won’t date an investor? Sorry, I can’t work with you’.
As an entrepreneur and innovator, myself, this one is personal for me and we need to change the status quo!
2. Ram, who is the one person you consistently read and why?
One person who I consistently read, and follow is Horace Dediu (@asymco), author of the asymco blog and an expert on how innovations are absorbed by markets, and why some platforms end up winning. Horace combines a structured way of thinking with deep content expertise that results in foresight on how the future will evolve, including in areas such as mobile computing and the future of transport (e.g., micro-mobility, electric vehicles). He then tests these predictions over time with a rigorous, data-driven approach, but also notes: “All great insights I’ve ever seen have come from n=1 [data points]”.
I first discovered Horace in 2009 when I stumbled onto his initial blog post where he shared his predictions (starting from 2007) how Nokia / like competitors would evolve through 2014. And, as the years evolved, his predictions came to be stunningly prescient. He ended his first post in this way:
“The key takeaway from this analysis is that the industry standard product cycle for an integrated, platform-based product is 5 to 8 years and if one competitor can achieve a 2 to 3 year cycle, then the more nimble competitor can “turn inside” the industry and, within two cycles, dominate it. Although smaller competitors are able to turn product faster, they are usually unable to sustain the platform heavy lifting (which takes an order of magnitude more effort/assets).”
I think all of us at SAP can recognize parallels to what’s happening in enterprise software, and the importance for SAP to run nimble and simple. And I’ve been hooked since.
3. What is one life lesson that you’d share with your younger self.
About Ram Jambunathan
Ram is the Managing Director of SAP.iO. In this role, Ram is responsible for the SAP.iO Fund, which makes direct investments into early stage startups and the SAP.iO Foundries, a global network of top-tier, primarily zero-equity ask startup acceleration programs for startups in areas strategic to SAP. Ram has been with SAP for 10 years, leading various strategic initiatives. Before joining SAP, Ram was consultant at McKinsey & Co., a founder of T-Networks (now part of Broadcom), and a Member of Technical Research & Development at Lucent Technologies. Ram has more than 5 patents and more than 10 peer-reviewed publications, and received his doctorate in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan Ann-Arbor. In his spare time, Ram practices freestyle rapping about SAP.iO.Follow @ramjets
SAP is removing obstacles that can get in the way of a startup going from idea to real business. The technology vendor is now providing resources for would-be entrepreneurs through a startup incubator called SAP.iO. The program, which launched in 2017, offers investment and resources — technical and business — for emerging startup companies.
Originally published on Medium by Dima Durah
A typical SAP.iO Foundry program spans over 12-weeks and consists of one-on-one mentor meetings, focused workshops, executive visits, SAP customer visits, weekly status-update sessions, individual IT support and technical integration sessions (we have a dedicated expert on the team), individual business development sessions (we also have a dedicated BD expert on the team), a sprinkling of community events…all leading to Demo Day and it’s legendary after-party.
With SAP.iO Foundry, our mission is to help startups build “with” SAP, via integrations or APIs and provide startups with unprecedented exposure to SAP’s +400K customers. It’s no secret that Inclusive Entrepreneurship is high up on SAP.iO Fund and Foundries list of priorities and a big part of our mission. We want to empower women and minority entrepreneurs to build successful businesses around SAP.
We put together the #Noboundaries initiative to execute programs that can have real impact. After 3 months of planning and doubling our team size in EMEA, we’re excited to officially kickoff our Women and Diverse-led Tech Enterprise Acceleration program on Tuesday, 28 May in Berlin.
Below is an overview of what is planned for the next 12-weeks at the #FoundryBerlin.
More and more workshops, talks, and visits keep being added to the program. Our basic “programing” blocks are split into 4 segments each focused on a fundamental piece of a startup’s acceleration journey with SAP.
Are you ready for the next 12-weeks?
Behind this audacious plan, is a small yet effective team (small input, outsized output). The familiar faces/suspects are now joined by two new members — who have been working tirelessly to build a program that executes 1. on SAP.iO’s overarching mission and 2. adds real-value to the startups’ journey with and beyond SAP.
We sat down with Astrid and Miroslav to find out their motives behind joining the #iOfamily and what they’re bringing to the table in terms of expertise, skills, and hidden talents.
Q. What made you decide to join the SAP.iO Foundry Berlin?
Astrid: I am a believer in the SAP.iO Foundry concept because it is a frontrunner for forward looking business models. The combination of: fund, accelerator, and the expertise of SAP and its customers with the added emphasis on “no boundaries initiative is very unique.
Miroslav:What first captured me was the mission — helping innovators inside and outside of SAP build products, find customers and change industries. It is very rare to have the opportunity to work with industry leading companies as well as small and innovative startups. Then, I got to meet the team behind this big initiative and I immediately know that I had to be part of it. Frankly, I cannot think of a better job that satisfies all my interests and at the same time gives me the opportunity to wear so many different hats.
Q. How can your unique background, set of skills, expertise, or network help the Foundries’ startups?
Astrid: I am excited to bring in my holistic view of business model and tech and financing/VC to help scale sustainable businesses.
Miroslav: My experience spans from being a consultant, helping our customers implement SAP software, to being part of the Presales Business Architect team, dedicated to advise our strategic customers in Eastern Europe with their digital transformation roadmaps and strategies. Therefore, I believe I can help them with b2b sales, business case development and GTM strategy.
Q. What is a SaaS tech trend/breakthrough you’re most excited about?
Astrid: There is still a lot of unlocked potential in AI and ML, especially when it comes to strategic customer value. If we can prove how much value was provided this will help our clients’ organizations align their marketing, sales, customer success, and product initiatives around these measurers to really drive customer value creation.
Miroslav: Not a SaaS trend, but it is tech trend I am most excited about. Quantum computing. Although in its very early stages, I believe that this emerging technology would bring incremental change to a range of industries like automotive, chemicals, pharmaceutical and financial services, to name a few. In the long run, it could make the fastest supercomputer today look like an abacus. However, there is still a (very) long way to go.
Q. Who is your role model or #lifegoals?
Astrid: Ada Lovelance Byron, a mathematician of 19th century, who worked on Charloes Babbage’s proposed mechanical general-purpose computer.
Miroslav: Fictional one — James Bond (Daniel Craig), If you think about it, he operates in startup mode — he always ends up doing 90% of the work alone and he does it in style.
Q. Name a book that influenced you beyond words?
Astrid: It is Marc Uwe Kling’s Quality Landbecause he tries to think about our digital society in a futuristic way.
Miroslav: Skin in the game. I like how Nassim Taleb is arguing for/ ‘pro’ the idea that decision makers in all fields should be more accountable of the consequences of their actions — both positive and negative.
Prior to joining SAP.iO:
Astrid established and managed the digital ecosystem for Deutsche Bank across Germany’s major startup hubs. In addition to her corporate career, Astrid is also a founder focusing on AI and ML regulatory solutions for banking and insurance industries.
Miroslav is joining us from our field organization unit. He spent 3 years at SAP Bulgaria advising our strategic customers on their transformation projects. Before his stint at SAP, Miroslav was an SAP consultant team lead and project manager working on international implementations across Europe.
Moving to the US when he was just twelve years old, from Saint Lucia, he worked hard through school and college, landing a coveted job on Wall Street. But for Rhoden, he was yet to find his true calling. “While working for one of the largest banks in the world was rewarding, it felt like something was missing, and I tried to fill the void by working harder, but it wasn’t the answer.”