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Innovating Retail Sustainability with Startups leveraging SAP.iO

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This week at the SAP Digital NRF Experience Chantal Emmanuel, CTO and Co-founder of Limeloop, and Kange Kaneene, Vice President SAP.iO Foundries North America sat down with Megan Meany to discuss how Limeloop is innovating to save waste from packages associated with online shopping via reusable packaging paired with a shipping platform that provides reverse logistics, security and more.

Catch the interview here!

Sustainable Retail Business Solutions from SAP Showcased During NRF 2022

The retail industry’s $3.9 trillion contribution to the U.S. annual GDP makes it the nation’s leading industry for private sector employment and uniquely positioned to address climate change.

As recently as the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) meetings, the National Retail Federation (NRF) stated, “Retailers will continue inventing and implementing pragmatic climate change solutions because the needs identified at COP26 demand nothing less.”

To help retailers digitally transform to make their businesses sustainable, SAP is featuring a number of offerings, including these:

  • The new SAP Intelligent Returns Management solution was built to optimize the returns process for the retail industry. The solution uses routing and dispositioning decisions driven by artificial intelligence (AI) to guide products from customers’ hands to the final dispositioning steps, ultimately maximizing customer experience and company margins while also mitigating waste.
  • The recently updated SAP Assortment Planning application now offers advanced category management capabilities. It uses customer data science, assortment strategies, business rules and AI to plan space-aware, localized assortments with a user experience designed for the needs of today’s category manager. Customer-centric, relevant assortments increase customer loyalty, boost profitability and support a more sustainable supply chain.
  • The SAP.iO Foundries program is a network of startup companies with integrations to SAP solutions, including:
    • Algramooffering a circular platform that encourages consumers to buy in a more convenient, affordable way with zero waste and connects people, brands and retailers in an engaging way to change consumption habits
    • EcoCarthelping thousands of e-commerce brands offer carbon-neutral products
    • Everledgerleveraging blockchain and the Internet of Things to offer transparency into supply chains for clarity on quality, origin, sustainability footprint and compliance standards
    • EVRYTHNGhelping customers run their businesses differently with real-time data intelligence from each of their products end to end, from factory to consumer and beyond
    • Inspectoriowith a dynamic and risk-assessment-based quality compliance program that provides digitalization, automation, transparency and traceability
    • LimeLoop, offering a platform for sustainable shipping including reusable packaging, real-time tracking and predictive analytics
    • Specright, providing a purpose-built platform for specification management that fundamentally changes how brands, suppliers, manufacturers and retailers manage data and collaborate to bring products to market

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EPA Invests in Rheaply to Enhance Material Recycling

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently selected 30 small businesses to receive part of a $3 million investment to help develop new technologies to address environmental and public health concerns. Among the recipients was Chicago-based startup Rheaply.

Rheaply is based on the concept of circular economies, where waste or excesses resources are repurposed, significantly reducing waste. An example of a circular economy is a furniture designer repurposing wood scraps into other products instead of chucking the waste into the garbage and it ending up in a landfill.

Launched in 2016, Rheaply offers a SaaS platform that not only functions as an asset manager but also allows companies to publicly post assets they no longer need. With the platform, businesses can sell, share and rent unwanted assets with other businesses. A feature on the software also allows companies to request specific assets.

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Cogniac Visual Intelligence From Cogniac Corporation Available As Part Of SAP’s Industry Cloud Portfolio

Cogniac Corporation, a San Jose, California-based provider of enterprise-class artificial intelligence (AI) image and video analysis, announced that its Cogniac Visual Intelligence offering is now part of SAP’s industry cloud portfolio for the travel and transportation industry. The solution integrates with SAP S/4HANA and SAP Intelligent Asset Management solutions including SAP Predictive Asset Insights and is available on SAP Store.

Through its SAP partnership, Cogniac Corporation offers solutions to enterprise customers across the broad logistics sector, focusing on fleet and infrastructure management of rail, metro, ports, airports, and road transport. Cogniac’s platform provides effective AI vision at enterprise scale providing SAP’s industry cloud portfolio and intelligent suite a no-code / low-code AI vision solution for customers seeking to improve and optimize the efficacy and safety of their logistics and transportation operations. Cogniac’s technology can be deployed to meet customer needs within SAP S/4HANA and SAP Predictive Asset Insights solutions, leveraging the strengths of AI vision in predictive analysis, failure and anomaly detection, and optimization of maintenance scheduling and execution.

“Our continued partnership with SAP represents an exciting opportunity to bring our AI vision platform to a global and diverse audience,” said Vahan Tchakerian, Chief Partnership Officer at Cogniac. “The Cogniac platform is purpose-built for scale, ease of integration, and real-world applicability. We believe our platform is an excellent fit for the SAP ecosystem and their customers, and we’re thrilled to be building upon a strong partnership.”

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The Business of Marketing Featuring Eric Allen, CEO of LISNR

During this episode, you will hear from Eric Allen, CEO of LISNR, the leading ultrasonic proximity platform enabling secure and seamless data transmission via a secure and scalable software solution. Learn how they leverage technology to drive growth and business transformation and what they see are some of the biggest future obstacles that they will have to overcome.

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Mercaux Named a Top Retail Tech Startup for 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic put retailers in a challenging and unchartered situation to navigate. Businesses everywhere have had to learn how to stay afloat while keeping up to date with government guidelines – taking care of both customer safety and satisfaction with the service provided.

In many ways, retail tech has become crucial in fostering retailers’ relationships with their customers, helping businesses to operate in innovative, socially-distanced ways throughout 2020-2021. Celebrating this area of tech, TechRound have created our list of the top retail tech startups for 2021.

Top Retail Tech Startups 2021:

  • Stint – Founded by Sam and Sol Schlagman
  • Mercaux – Founded by Olga Kotsur and Alexey Petrov
  • Futr – Founded by Andrew Wilkins and Lee Skyrme
  • Tire Agent – Founded by Jared Kugel
  • AfterShip – Founded by Andrew Chan, Dante Tsang and Teddy Chan
  • SellersFunding – Founded by Alessandro Rodrigues Novaes, Fabio D. Knijnik and Ricardo Pero
  • JTB Custom – Founded by Jud Barr
  • SharpEnd – Founded by Cameron Worth
  • SalesDuo – Founded by Arjun Narayan
  • Perfitly – Founded by Dave Sharma and Raghav Sharma
  • Oriient – Founded by Mickey Balter & Amiram Frish
  • Loyalize – Founded by David John
  • Edgify – Founded by Ofri Ben-Porat and Nadav Israel
  • Wevat – Founded by Raphael Chow
  • Soundtrack Your Brand – Founded by Ola Sars
  • eDesk – Founded by Ray Nolan
  • Farly – Founded by Farleigh Hungerford
  • Swift – Founded by Lorenzo Alessi
  • Swapi – Founded by Pete Howroyd

Mercaux, an SAP.iO startup participant, is on a mission to help re-invent physical retail stores by connecting them to the digital world. It’s new generation modular in-store platform connects stores to all the backend systems that ecommerce currently benefits from (such as order management, customer relationship management, product information management and payments), in addition to ecommerce itself. It then surfaces all this rich information into the hands of store associates through the Mercaux app, which is displayed on tablet or smartphone devices. This then allows the store associate to facilitate a much improved shopping experience by using assisted selling, digital styling, and mobile payment solutions to serve the customer.

Original article found here…

Stephanie Benedetto of Queen of Raw named a B2G 2021 Global Woman Supply Chain Leader in Sustainability

Stephanie Benedetto of Queen of Raw named a B2G 2021 Global Woman Supply Chain Leader in Sustainability alongside leaders from IBM, McDonalds, and Southwest Airlines.

An annual event, The Global Women Supply Chain Leaders Awards 2021 is here again. It is a celebration of women and achievement, honouring supply chain’s most accomplished female executives and next generational leaders. Women have worked hard to steadily carve their niche in the traditionally male-dominated supply chain industry.

Do not miss this opportunity to engage in new insights, participate in a wide-ranging and thought-provoking panel discussion, keynote & live Q&As, networking with peers and experts to further inspire and drive on key supply chain topics and themes related to women’s empowerment, equality, and excellence.

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The Business of Marketing Featuring Ashley Crowder, Co-Founder and CEO at VNTANA

During this episode, you will hear from Ashley Crowder, Co-Founder and CEO at VNTANA, a SaaS platform that makes 3D asset production and distribution fast and scalable for apparel, footwear and furniture. Learn how they worked with SAP to transform their business, the major obstacles they faced as a startup in the 3D space, and how they are leveraging technology to drive their growth.

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The fashion takeaways from COP26

Just before the official launch of the climate conference, members of Prince Charles’ Sustainable Markets Initiative Fashion Taskforce — which includes the chief executives of Chloé, Mulberry, Vestiaire Collective, Selfridges and others — committed at the G20 meeting in Rome to begin using a technology they say will revolutionise transparency in the industry. The digital ID technology was enabled in part by startup Eon, and is anticipated to both inform customers of the sustainability credentials of their products and accelerate progress towards circularity.

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Conscious Fashion Campaign: NY Announces 10 Women-led Honorees

In collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships and PVBLIC Foundation, the campaign showcases women who are shaping the new era of fashion for people and the planet.

Digimarc to acquire product intelligence platform EVRYTHNG

Digital identification and detection-based solutions provider Digimarc has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire London-based IoT data and real-time insights platform EVRYTHNG in a stock transaction. According to an SEC filing, the purchase price is set at $50 million with a second tranche based on, “reaching $10 million ARR by Feb 28, 2022, for a price that will be calculated at the time on a fixed share price of ~47.5$ per share”. Additionally, Digimarc has agreed to provide EVRYTHNG with a bridge loan of up to $2 million.

Founded in 2011, chances are, something within your view right now has passed through a database or two at EVRYTHNG. Tracking and tracing everything from raw materials right on through to the recycling phase, EVRYTHNG assigns a digital twin to any physical object imaginable and provides a tremendous amount of product intelligence data, all available in a centralised location. Just a sampling of EVRYTHNG’s client list includes household names such as Ralph Lauren, Puma, Coca Cola, and ABInBev.

Now, providing accountability to that supply chain, when merged with Digimarc’s method of identification the authenticity of products and the ability of their packaging to be recycled, for example, will not only provide complete visibility but also the means to verify it.

“By combining Digimarc’s unique and advanced means of identification with the pioneer and most advanced supplier of product item business intelligence using any means of identification, we are now uniquely positioned to unlock additional solutions for our customers and enhance their Digimarc journey,” explained Digimarc CEO Riley McCormack.

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Computer vision platform Cogniac nabs $20M to bolster its customer acquisition efforts

Cogniac, a San Jose, California-based startup developing computer vision tech for task automation, today announced that it raised $20 million in a series B1 financing round led by National Grid Partners with participation from National Grid, Autotech Ventures, Cisco Investments, Energy Innovation Capital, London Technology Club, Vanedge Capital, and Wing Venture Capital. CEO Chuck Myers says that the proceeds will be put toward the expansion of Cogniac’s workforce and the ramp-up of R&D efforts to support the company’s approach to computer vision, data storage, and “human-AI interactivity.”

Computer vision is a type of AI technology that allows machines to understand, categorize, and differentiate between images. Using photos from cameras and videos as well as deep learning components, computer vision can identify and classify objects and then react to what it “sees.”

Investments in computer vision startups are on the rise as businesses embrace automation during the pandemic, which continues to place a strain on the worldwide labor market. Despite not having passed the “awareness phase,” as per one survey, the computer vision market could grow from $10.9 billion in 2019 to $17.4 billion by 2024. External investments in computer vision startups have already far exceeded the $3.5 billion McKinsey estimated in 2016.

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Algramo Recognized by Fortune Impact 20 Award

This Chilean startup, whose name is Spanish for “by the gram,” was established in 2013 by then–engineering student José Manuel Moller. Moller launched Algramo with the goal of addressing the “poverty tax” on lower-income families, who tend to pay more per ounce for nonperishable staples sold in the smaller sizes that they can afford. Algramo established vending machines in neighborhood shops in the poorer outskirts of Santiago: The dispensers offer bulk purchasing, with reusable containers that enable consumers to buy exactly the amount they want. This helps drive down the cost of packaging, which can be as much as 40% of a product’s cost.

Algramo’s business model also helps address the issue of single-use plastic waste. Consumer giant Unilever noticed, and it partnered with Algramo to develop a mobile refill system for liquid laundry detergent. Consumers can place their orders via an app and get products delivered to their doorstep. Algramo uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) tagged containers and internet of things (IoT) technology to deliver the products. The reusable container has a unique ID which allows the consumer to attach it to their account and build a digital wallet to process discounts and credits for future purchases. Algramo now has partnerships in place with Nestlé’s Purina, Colgate-Palmolive, and Walmart, to help them drive the refill revolution for products including pet food and household-cleaning staples. The company today boasts over 2,000 locations in Chile and has expanded its services to Jakarta and New York City. In July, it secured $8.5 million in funding, led by Mexico’s Dalus Capital, to help expand its footprint and enter the beverage industry.

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