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Inspiring Innovators: Leanne Kemp Founder and CEO of Everledger, On Transparency

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A new marketing metric: ELTV (Extended Lifetime Value) Webcast with Mention Me

In a webinar we recorded in Sep 2022, Lior Weizman of SAP.iO met with Kat Wray, Head of Partnerships at Mention Me (an SAP partner), and Nils Siméon, Key Account Executive at SAP Customer Experience, to discuss how brands should better evaluate the value of their customers and how they can even extend it.

It’s not a secret that brands today are facing real challenges with their customer acquisition. The main reasons as of now are:

1. The sunset of third-party data, with Apple iOS updates and recent regulation changes, is causing brands to take a step back in analyzing their acquisition channels.

2. Customer acquisition costs have increased dramatically and are not sustainable. With no or less past data, marketing channels must work a lot harder to get the same results.

3. On the customer side, there is a growing distrust amongst customers on how brands are using their data to target them.

For these main reasons, brands must diversify the acquisition channels they’re using, and prioritized channels that are trusted, authentic and such that capture first party data can used to scale growth. Referral marketing is a great example for such a channel. This is where customers recommend brands to their friends, and when you think about it, it’s the most trusted acquisition channel. According to Mention Me, referral marketing is now a $1 billion market, and will be a $50 billion market by 2040.

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Inspiring Innovators: Chicko Sousa Founder of GreenPlat, On No Time for Waste

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 leaders 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 Chicko Sousa

It has been said that Chico Sousa is a Mechanical Engineer by choice, but a specialist in the acceleration of clean production by nature aptly sums up his journey to entrepreneurship. Starting as a mechanical engineer working for Volvo, Chicko was assigned to projects that produced scrap materials needing to be recycled or reimagined. He left Volvo after successfully managing those projects to start a company that built recycling plants in Brazil, creating 13 new plants over 11 years before selling his company in 2013. He then came to Sao Paulo to help the municipality with public projects, generating environmental improvements in the fight against CO2 emissions and plastic use.

From there, Chicko created a YouTube series where he did interviews inside garbage trucks, much like Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”, to raise recycling awareness. The wild success of this web series helped increase the municipality’s recycling rates significantly but created new issues. They started to see problems with permits as they began selling the recycled materials. At this time, Chicko realized a need to control and manage information to produce the proper flow of materials for licensed recycling and founded the company GreenPlat in 2016.

Working with recycling technologies for over 20 years and with software for almost ten years, Chicko created GreenPlat, a clean production SaaS, which today has more than 690,000 companies registered on the platform. Since 2018, GreenPlat has been a part of the World Economic Forum in the Pioneering Technology category, as they were the first company to use blockchain technology for waste traceability. So far, 1 million tons of waste have been managed through their software; all disposed of correctly without polluting the environment. This means a cleaner and healthier environment for all and for businesses, increased visibility into recycling, compliance, and traceability.

“I think this is a worldwide situation where people are done talking and ready to act. We can see this movement, and it is encouraging. We are ready for action; there is no time for waste.”

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Inspiring Innovators: Taro Sasaki CEO and Founder of Hacobu, On being a little ‘crazy.’

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 Taro Sasaki

Taro Sasaki has always enjoyed inventing things, even from a very young age. It is no surprise that his path led him to entrepreneurship, where he uses his love of discovery and educational training to create new businesses. With a background in consulting, Taro decided he wanted a more international perspective, so he attended business school in the United States. After spending two years in the States as a consultant, he returned to Japan, where a colleague shared an opportunity for him to be the CEO of a new beauty discovery eCommerce platform. His next steps led him to launch a new company that also provided goods in the food industry. With a taste for entrepreneurship, Taro decided that he wanted to launch a business that would look to solve problems that could make a difference in his community.

With this goal in mind, Taro Sasaki founded Hacobu. Hacobu developed MOVO, a cloud-based integrated logistics solution and operations management system utilizing in-vehicle terminals. It allows users to connect with carriers and shipping companies online. The platform accumulates distribution data from various companies to optimize the physical distribution system. In doing so, saving time, money, and providing data for properly sourcing suppliers to make the process running efficiently for the end users in communities both small and large. Toyota Industries Corporation, Nestle, and Unilever are just a few companies that utilize Hacobu’s innovative technology.

“It is hard to be an entrepreneur because if you think too logically, you might not take the risk and miss something. You must apply some logic, be smart, but also something you need to be a little crazy.”

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Inspiring Innovators: Riana Lynn CEO and Founder of Journey Foods, On being a serial entrepreneur

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 Riana Lynn

Starting as a biology student in college building websites on the side, Riana Lynn was unknowingly launching her journey as a serial entrepreneur. Even as a kid, she knew she wanted to work on health issues to impact her community positively. Using her background in biology, she took an interest in larger food systems and how food affects our chronic diseases. Coming from a family of food entrepreneurs and farmers, it was no surprise that Riana’s first food company became one of the top juice bars in the country. After this accomplishment, she had the opportunity to work at the White House and even spent some time in Silicon Valley working for Google.

With all this experience to pull from, Riana set her sights on a new horizon, developing solutions that solve food science and supply chain inefficiencies. Riana shared with us that consumers spend $3 trillion a year on packaged foods and that research shows evidence that eating packaged foods is related to the increase in chronic diseases and poor mental health. Confident that we could change these problems with better science and data tools, Riana founded Journey Foods.

Journey Foods is a portfolio intelligence and lifecycle management software for food development and innovation. Their approach puts nutrition and sustainability at the forefront of product development, helping formulate products according to specific consumer and company goals. To further their impressive progress, Journey Foods builds integrations with companies like SAP to drive widespread impact quickly.

“I work on solving the most significant problems in food that effect my family, our communities, and the world.”

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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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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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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

Inspiring Innovators: Dustin Feld Co-Founder & Managing Director of adiutaByte on turning science into solutions

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 Dustin Feld

When he was a child, Dustin Feld loved computers. He started programing before he learned another language, using his family’s old computer. “I can honestly say I wanted to grow up to be what I am today,” Dustin said, reflecting on what he thought he would be when he grew up.

Dustin studied mathematics and computer science at the University of Cologne, specializing in graph theory and layout, discrete mathematics, and numerics. Calling himself a “professional nerd,” Dustin focuses on efficient implementation and development of algorithms — especially mathematical optimization algorithms — in time-critical scenarios. He spent 10 years as a research assistant at Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing, then a Ph.D. student, and finally as a Post-Doc & Senior Scientist. This path set Dustin up perfectly to take on the role of algorithm lead and managing director of adiutaByte.

At adiutaByte he is responsible for the algorithmic backends and the algorithm design architecture. adiutaByte develops optimization algorithms for tour and personnel planning, digitizing processes, and reducing planning time and costs. The platform combines the best of both worlds: specialized human knowledge with algorithmic strength in mathematical optimization. A notable adiutaByte customer is the City of Berlin, which uses the technology for waste disposal and recycling, relying on adiutaByte for their optimization and powerful AI.

“We saw this crisis in the healthcare industry and knew our solution was really unique, patented worldwide, and has something special that can help in high tech areas like CPU manufacturing and here in the healthcare sector. And that’s how we started, with four founders, in one office, and with no clients, but with this inspiring core technology.”

Read more and watch highlights of Dustin and Alexa’s discussion here.

 

Inspiring Innovators: Christine Moon President & Co-Founder of BlueSpace on Staying Curious

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 very own Alexa Gorman sat down to discuss the road to success and lessons learned with some of our most inspiring startup founders. Today we spent time with Christine Moon of BlueSpace to discuss how she used curiosity as a guide throughout her entrepreneurial journey.

Meet Christine Moon

Christine Moon is a perfect example of when life takes you to a fork in the road to look at it as an opportunity. Born in South Korea, she moved to the US as a child for her dad’s work. Not able to speak English and a new culture shook up her world, and she started to look at life differently as she learned new customs. A short time later, her family moved back to South Korea, and she faced another period of readjustment. The influence of other cultures allowed Christine to be curious and learn to enjoy the ride.

In 2019, her world changed once more. Apple purchased the company where Christine was working. As part of her curious nature, she sat back and asked herself, ‘what have we learned? What do we wish we had?’ the answer to that question was certainty. She wanted the certainty to safely deploy software that allows an autonomous system to “see” the velocity of all objects in all directions and scale it across geographies. This question led to a very different approach and inspired her to start a new company, BlueSpace.

Today, Christine Moon is president and Co-founder of BlueSpace, a company leveraging 4D sensors to provide a safety layer for self-driving vehicles. Their dynamic predictive perception software allows an autonomous system to “see” the velocity of all objects in all directions and won them the 2021 NASA iTech Cycle I award. Starting with Christine’s quest for certainty, they built a company that enables safety performance independent of any training data, a technology that allows for immediate reaction to new objects and scenarios.

“Be curious, and this is what I would share with my children or anyone who wants to think about this entrepreneurial journey and take the critical approach. Don’t be afraid to take a different approach to think outside of what you’re used to come up with a solution.”

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Career And Business Advice From VC Investors And A Billion-Dollar Female Founder

PS27 Ventures, an early-stage investment firm founded by Jim Stallings, hosted the Female Founders Forum on March 4, 2022, which among the speaker line up, included a panel of venture capitalists, as well as Ellen Latham, founder of Orange Theory Fitness, an exercise franchise that hit $1 billion in sales in 2018.

There were multiple takeaways specific to entrepreneurship — from what makes a good pitch deck to how to appeal to investors. However, many of the insights were also relevant for solopreneurs who don’t intend to raise money or even in-house professionals who don’t plan to start a business.

Tailor your message

“What can you do to make it easy for the investor to preview the company? Write up the email so it embeds the top 3-5 things to see right away. Make it easy to click on your website….If you’re on a pitch night, tailor to the audience. Create a 30-second, 1-minute and 5-minute elevator pitch, plus the pitch decks. You want different formats for audiences, for an initial introduction, for detailed in-person meetings. Accommodate…” — Sallie Jian, SAP.iO New York

SAP.iO is an incubator within SAP, the software company. Jian’s advice to make it easy on the investor is transferable to any relationship you’re trying to nurturecurrent boss, prospective employer, customer, colleague or other collaborator. While Jian’s example focus on good email writing (so important!), it also applies to your LinkedIn profile (include an easy way for people to get in touch) or even email signature (include your website or LinkedIn URL so people can easily learn more about you).

Creating multiple pitch formats depending on where you are is another gem applicable to both business owners and professionals. You want to have different ways of introducing yourself (the networking pitch) because, depending on the situation, you will have more or less time and your audience will want to know or need to know different things about you. Accommodating your audience, as Jian rightly puts it, is a way of showing you understand and respond to their needs.

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Black is the New Green

Black is the New Green showcases amazing black entrepreneurs, investors, and more talented individuals who share how they overcame challenges on their success. Episodes occur on Wednesday with audience Q&A.

Kange Kaneene, VP, SAP.iO Foundries North and Latin America is interviewed by foundry and influencer Michelle Taylor Willis.

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Analyst Cam: Kange Kaneene, VP SAP.iO Foundries North & Latin America

As we have moved to virtual briefings, I have increasingly been excerpting short video segments (with permission) as part of my Analyst Cam series.

This time it is Kange Kaneene, VP, SAP.iO Foundries North and Latin America

SAP.iO is SAP’s strategic business unit to incubate startup innovation and drive new business models for SAP. SAP.iO Foundries are SAP’s startup programs, including accelerators, that enable startups that can deliver value to SAP customers. Today, there are SAP.iO Foundries in 10 strategic innovation hubs, including San Francisco, New York, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Tel Aviv, Singapore , Bangalore, Shanghai and Tokyo. Each Foundry runs one to two cohorts/programs a year, incubating 15-20 startups at each location.

Kange does a really nice job summarizing in under 15 minutes their impressive track record (started in 2017, they have incubated/accelerated over 370 startups), the value proposition for SAP customers, the startups and SAP itself. She also profiles some of the recent cohorts. She would also welcome interest from startup entrepreneurs from our audience who meet their filters.

Kange has facilitated presentations for me from several of the startup in the cohorts last year which focused on sustainability. They are presenting to me over the next couple of weeks and I will profile them in this series.

Awesome to see so much global innovation.

Watch Interview Here!

Q&A: Andy Cockburn, CEO and Co-Founder, Mention Me

Andy Cockburn is CEO and Co-Founder of Mention Me, the Referral Engineering™  platform for growth-obsessed ecommerce brands. Since co-founding the business with Tim Boughton in 2013, he’s scaled it to employ more than 90 Referral Experts who have delivered more than 4 million referrals totalling £1bn in revenue for clients.

Prior to Mention Me, Andy was the UK Managing Director of HomeAway, the world’s largest market-place for holiday rentals (that floated on the NASDAQ for $3bn), and formerly the founder and CEO of Wigadoo, a technology start-up in the social payment space.

He has an MBA from INSEAD and MA from Cambridge University.

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