SAP.iO Foundry New York Launches Accelerator Program for Women and Diverse Entrepreneurs Focused on Retail, Manufacturing and Automotive Technology

NEW YORK — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) has announced the launch of the SAP.iO Foundry New York Fall 2020 virtual accelerator program with six early-stage enterprise startups led by women and/or diverse entrepreneurs. These startups are driving innovation with solutions relevant to the retail, manufacturing or automotive industries.

“Digitalization is advancing enterprise business progress more than at any other time in history,” said Vanessa Liu, head of SAP North America Foundries. “Understanding that startup innovation can drive value for our customers and partners in these industries in a post COVID-19 global society, we welcome these entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds to the SAP.iO family.”

SAP customers need to adapt quickly to market dynamics, and this requires an unparalleled commitment to digitalization. To this end, SAP.iO remains committed to its SAP.iO No Boundaries initiative, announced in early 2019, and to the belief that a healthy ecosystem includes entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds.

“We welcome this innovative group to the New York Fall 2020 cohort,” said Peter Maier, SAP president of Industries and Customer Advisory. “We are particularly looking forward to working with these companies on our industry cloud solutions for retail, manufacturing and automotive that will enable our customers to rapidly respond to new business requirements and drive cost-effective transformation and sustainable growth.”

The 12-week program will be held virtually. The new cohort includes startups using technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, 3D printing, robotic fabrication and ultrasonic to drive new business insights and capabilities. The cohort 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. The program will culminate with the Demo Day in December 2020.

The SAP.iO Foundry New York cohort includes the following startups:

  • Cogniac is an enterprise platform utilizing AI, human-computer interaction tools and large-scale data management to enable easy automation of any visual inspection task for the industrial and manufacturing industries.
  • Hero is an online shopping platform that helps retail store associates connect, through text, chat and video, with hundreds of millions of online shoppers.
  • Ivaldi provides companies with a sustainable, cost-effective digital distribution solution to identify, qualify and distribute digital spare-part files for on-demand production and distribution.
  • LISNR’s ultrasonic data-over-sound technology enables proximity verification and contactless transactions for merchants, financial service providers and automotive and transportation companies.
  • Rheaply offers an award-winning asset management and exchange platform to help customers visualize, quantify and utilize their physical assets.
  • Wise Systems is an AI-driven dispatch and routing software that helps enterprises adapt to everyday challenges, improving fleet efficiency and customer service.

To learn more about SAP.iO and how SAP is helping innovators inside and outside of SAP build products, find customers and change industries, visit SAP.iO.

VNTANA Automated 3D CMS Now Available for Trial and Purchase on SAP® App Center

VNTANA announced that its Automated 3D CMS is now available for trial and online purchase on SAP® App Center, the digital marketplace for SAP partner offerings. The company’s Automated 3D CMS integrates with SAP Commerce Cloud and delivers high quality 3D web and Augmented Reality (AR) viewer to customers.

“COVID-19 completely altered the way we interact with the world. Overnight every retailer turned into a direct-to-consumer brand whether their digital channels were ready or not,“ said VNTANA co-founder and CEO Ashley Crowder. “To capitalize on the urgent need, VNTANA’s Automated 3D CMS allows companies to take existing design files and instantly create 3D web and AR experiences while enabling global collaboration through a cloud content management system—an experience that used to take days of manual work to accomplish.”

VNTANA’s Automated 3D CMS is unifying 3D digital content across organizations by providing three key features:

  • Optimization and conversion to the needed file types for web and AR, a process that used to take days of manual work by 3D artists, but now takes minutes with VNTANA’s software, which is compatible with Browzwaer, Clo, Optitext, Roman’s CAD, and other 3D design software
  • Digital Asset Management to keep track of thousands of 3D models at scale
  • Team collaboration tools to easily share, make comments, and QA 3D models with a global team

At SAP App Center, businesses can discover approximately 1,600 innovative partner solutions that integrate with and extend SAP solutions. There, customers can find the SAP-validated partner apps they need to grow their business. And for each purchase made on SAP App Center, SAP will plant a tree. Find, try, and buy SAP partner solutions digitally at http://www.sapappcenter.com.

VNTANA is part of SAP.iO, SAP’s strategic business unit to incubate startup innovation and drive new business models for SAP. Through the SAP.iO Fund & Foundries, we helps the next wave of enterprise software innovation build products, find customers and change industries by investing in and accelerating startup innovation. The SAP.iO Fund invests in breakthrough, pathfinding early-stage (Seed to Series A) enterprise software startups who are first to capitalize on emerging trends with potential to unlock significant value for SAP and its customers. The SAP.iO Foundries are SAP’s global network of equity-free startup accelerators that help promising startups integrate with SAP solutions and accelerate their entry into a curated, inclusive ecosystem whose offerings can be easily accessed and deployed by SAP customers.

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Why We Put 137 People on Our Cover

2020 has been a tough year for everyone. To find new success on the other side of this crisis, we must work together.

Mustafa Nuur was born in Somalia but fled after terrorists killed his entrepreneurial father. He eventually settled in Lancaster, Pa., where he launched a startup called Bridge. It hosts cross-cultural experiences — ­dinners, gatherings, and so on — so that immigrants, refugees, and locals can better understand each other. “There’s nothing that can replace sitting across from someone who’s different from you and hearing their story,” he tells me.

But something would have to replace it, of course. When COVID-19 swept through America, sitting across from someone wasn’t an option. Nuur was scared. Then he had an idea. The immigrants and refugees he works with could become essential workers, helping homebound residents. For example, he has a Syrian refugee family who, just days before the lockdown, hosted a dinner in their home. One attendee was an elderly woman who lives alone. When the lockdown began, the family began delivering this woman’s groceries, running her errands, and calling daily at 6 p.m. to check in.

“It really made me think about how life should be every day,” Nuur says. “We should be having these relationships.”

I agree. And I think we can get there.

I have the privilege of meeting many entrepreneurs, which means I also witness their great collective irony. Even during good times, entrepreneurship feels lonely. We have chosen a path of self-determination, which can be maddening and isolating. And yet, here’s the crazy thing: We all deal with the same problems. Everyone has impostor syndrome. Everyone wrestles with management, or finances, or plans gone awry. We are alone together.

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S/4HANA helps Queen of Raw improve textile sustainability

Queen of Raw’s S/4HANA-based textile marketplace app is helping suppliers of the fashion industry reduce waste by keeping unused inventory out of landfills.

SAP put a stake in the ground for sustainability when it debuted its Climate 21 initiative.

The initiative, which was unveiled at Sapphire Now Reimagined in May, provides businesses with resources to build applications on SAP S/4HANA, a next-gen ERP, and SAP C/4HANA, a customer experience and e-commerce platform, that can capture and use data to further global sustainability goals.

One of Climate 21’s target areas is the retail industry. Retailers can use SAP technology to not only become more environmentally responsible, but to also derive some of the economic benefits that go along with sustainable practices, such as waste reduction and supply chain improvements.

Queen of Raw, a textile marketplace in New York, was one of the first businesses to take advantage of the program, launching the Unused Inventory Onboarding and Sales Integration app, a global textile sustainability application based on SAP S/4HANA, in August.

Waste, inefficiency in textile supply chain

Waste is a significant problem for the textile industry, making it a perfect target for sustainability efforts, said Stephanie Benedetto, co-founder and CEO of Queen of Raw.

In 2014, Benedetto, an attorney who came from a family with deep roots in the textile industry, teamed up with Phil Derasmo, a technologist in the financial industry, to find solutions to the textile sustainability and waste problem.

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SAP.iO Foundries: Healthcare Startups Transform Pandemic Response

Healthcare startups are challenging longtime industry practices and assumptions, transforming everything from patient care to organizational efficiencies.

Two entrepreneurs recently participated in the latest healthcare-focused accelerator program at SAP.iO Foundry New York and shared their respective missions to help patients and providers in a vastly changed healthcare landscape.

Real-Time Intelligence Improves Time Management

Applying computer science and systems thinking to improve people’s lives has been a central tenet of Kishau Rogers’ career as an engineer and computer scientist. The COVID-19 pandemic has only amped up the mission behind her newest venture called Time Study. More than 35 hospitals throughout the U.S. rely on the startup’s “time intelligence” cloud-based platform, which uses machine learning to track how physicians, researchers, and other healthcare employees spend their time.

“Instead of just counting hours worked, we wanted to shift the concept of timesheets to a human-centered approach, elevating opportunities to improve people’s lives at work,” Rogers said. “Many of the time management issues we were already looking at, such as data silos and complexity, have only been amplified by the pandemic.”

Time Study has helped hospitals better understand fast-changing workforce movements, whether employees were hunting for scarce personal protective equipment (PPE), jumping into different care-giving roles onsite, or providing new patient services like telehealth. Some hospitals have improved data collection and reporting times by 80 percent and increased regulatory compliance by more than 120 percent.

“Having this platform during the crisis allowed hospitals to see the immediate impact on physician satisfaction levels and performance, as well as employee activities and workflow,” Rogers explained. “Many hospitals are using this data to make resource adjustments as they uncover work performance patterns. With real-time insights, they can better align resources while meeting quality patient care and evolving compliance mandates around patient care standards and reimbursement.”

Rogers was particularly excited about Time Study’s recently launched mobile app. In addition to selecting from time entry categories, healthcare workers can use voice notes to capture tasks in the moment, upload text messages, or time themselves as they perform activities. As the algorithm learns someone’s work patterns, people can spend less time on reporting.

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Healthcare Startups At The Center Of Data-Driven Pandemic Response

Healthcare startups are challenging longtime industry practices and assumptions, transforming everything from patient care to organizational efficiencies. Here’s how two entrepreneurs that recently participated in the latest healthcare-focused accelerator program at SAP.iO Foundry New York viewed their respective missions to help patients and providers in a vastly changed healthcare landscape.

Real-time intelligence improves time management

Applying computer science and systems thinking to improve people’s lives has been a central tenet of Kishau Rogers’ career as an engineer and computer scientist. The COVID-19 pandemic has only amped up the mission behind her newest venture called Time Study. Over 35 hospitals throughout the United States rely on the startup’s “time intelligence” cloud-based platform that uses machine learning to track how physicians, researchers, and other healthcare employees are spending their time.

”Instead of just counting hours worked, we wanted to shift the concept of timesheets to a human-centered approach, elevating opportunities to improve people’s lives at work,” said Rogers. “Many of the time management issues we were already looking at, such as data silos and complexity, have only been amplified by the pandemic.”

Time Study has helped hospitals better understand fast-changing workforce movements, whether employees were hunting for scarce PPE, jumping into different care-giving roles onsite, or providing new patient services like telehealth. Some hospitals have improved data collection and reporting times by 80 percent, and increased regulatory compliance by over 120 percent.

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Enterprise-Tech Startups Focused on Risk, Security, Attract Venture Dollars

Security startups among the most-funded in New York City’s tech scene

Risk-management and security startups are in the spotlight among venture capitalists in the wake of increased remote work and a rise in high-profile cyberattacks.

And while current lockdowns and economic conditions may interfere with traditional deal making, a recent report tracking New York City-area startups reveals a surge of new funding.

These New York startups, which include BigID Inc., Payfone Inc. and BlueVoyant, offer software for cybersecurity, data governance and other risk-management functions.

Business interest in such technologies has intensified in recent years as companies seek ways to better manage risk-and-compliance issues associated with an explosion of user data, said Ram Jambunathan, a managing director of SAP.iO, the early-stage venture-capital arm of business software maker SAP SE.

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Investing in Female Founders — Lessons from Behavioral Finance, Gender Research and Real Life Experiences

A story of a conversation between an academic researcher, VC investor, CVC investor and an entrepreneur

2019 brought more female-founded unicorns than ever before, and more new female partners at VC firms. Despite this progress, VC remains one of the most gender-skewed industries in the US. Last year, approx. 87.8% of the VC funding was raised by all male founder teams. We also see an emerging evidence that the disruption caused by COVID-19 is bound to disproportionately affect women. As reported by Pitchbook, Q1 2020 already showed a decline in share of deals with startups founded by women.

Wait… but why?

I am a nerd. I studied Finance & Accounting, I studied Psychology, and then I got an MBA. I have always been fascinated by behavioral economics and academic research proving that we are irrational in a systematic way when making decisions under uncertainty. If you haven’t read yet — Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman is a good place to start. Yes, he is that psychologist who was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Now, why it matters in VC. Mixed gender or women-led startups are not performing worse than male-led — actually it’s quite the opposite. So isn’t it rational to invest in them? From behavioral economics, we know that decisions under uncertainty are influenced by the actual framing and context. Biases and heuristics come into play when it comes to VC investing — it is no different than thinking about weighing potential gains and losses under uncertainty. So what can we actually do to help scale investments in female founders if we can’t change how we’re all wired? Let’s look at it from three different perspectives represented by (#1) a researcher, (#2) two investors, and (#3) an entrepreneur.

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Queen of Raw Among the First to Get Funding From MIT Solve

Queen of Raw, a blockchain and AI-powered platform that pairs buyers and sellers of unused fabrics, is one of three teams that has landed funding via MIT Solve, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology initiative.

Led by cofounder and chief executive officer Stephanie Benedetto, Queen of Raw is the “2019 Circular Economy Solver.” Access Afya, a Kenya-based health-care center that caters to the urban poor, and Kinedu, an app that specializes in video-based, research-supported activities for children under age four, are also receiving funding.

With $120 billion worth of unused fabric stowed away in factories and being burned or buried, Queen of Raw works to make those sustainable materials available to people at any time and from any place. Deadstock and sustainable fabrics can be bought and sold online through its marketplace. Factories, brands and retailers post their unused fabric for resale on the platform so that purchasers can have easy access to new materials at lower price points.

rders can vary from one yard to one million yards. The company claims to have saved more than one billion gallons of water through its efforts. With the global textile market expected to hit $1.23 trillion by 2025, less than 1 percent of material used to make clothing is recycled. Queen of Raw also closed $1.5 million in seed funding Tuesday, an MIT Solve spokesman said.

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Vanessa Liu of SAP.iO Shares Global Wisdom

Vanessa Liu is a builder. She is a builder of businesses, concepts, networks and connections.

Vanessa presently leads SAP.iO Foundries in North America, which are SAP’s accelerators for B2B enterprise startups. She has earned degrees in neuroscience and law.

Early in her career, Vanessa worked in the business consulting world with McKinsey Company, which took her around the world to posts in Amsterdam, London and New York, were she presently resides. Along her dynamic career path, Vanessa developed a keen interest in media, and she has launched and invested in a number of successful media ventures, including Inside Hook and Fevo.

Vanessa is a champion for social justice and a tireless advocate for under-represented business start-ups, especially those led by women or diverse founders. With Vanessa’s diverse and fascinating background, it is no wonder she is one of the wisest people I know.

Settle in. Over the next nine minutes, you’ll discover what unique bit of wisdom Vanessa has chosen to share.

Listen Here…

HOW TO BRING A PRODUCT OR SERVICE TO MARKET IN CORONAVIRUS WORLD – VANESSA LIU INTERVIEW

Learn how to bring a new product or service to market in the age of Coronavirus with our guest today, Vanessa Liu. Vanessa graduated from both Harvard University and Harvard Law before going on to help launch multiple media and telecom startups as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. She then went on two four two more startups herself before taking on her current role running SAP.io’s Foundries program (www.SAP.io/Foundries), a no-equity accelerator for startups with a current or planned integration with SAP, 40% or more of which have female or under-represented founders.

In this episode, we cover how still-growing organizations should pivot their product, service, and/or messaging to focus on potential clients’ pain-points, and not on simply how great their product is.

Is Fashion Really Getting More Sustainable?

It’s now boast-worthy to participate in sharing-economy.

Solutions must be more than just green, which is why Stephanie Benedetto talks up financial and inventory-management benefits as she makes the case for Queen of Raw, a technology platform she cofounded in 2018 to connect people and brands with leftover fabrics—an estimated 15 percent of every production run. Queen of Raw caters to home sewers as well as big fashion companies, and Benedetto estimates that dead-stock textiles could become a $120 billion business. “It’s insane, the volume that is out there,” says Benedetto, who has listed fabrics up to a million yards long, or as short as a few yards, for a base of over 130,000 clients. “Never doubt you can change the world,” she says. “We will.”

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Building Employee Resilience During A Pandemic

Scientific data is proving to be the bedrock of workforce resiliency in a world reeling from COVID-19. Commonly misperceived as an inborn trait, resilience is actually a tangible skill that Massachusetts-based meQuilibrium is building in employees at Fortune 1000 companies worldwide.

“Every leader is talking about adaptive capacity, resilience, and agility,” said Jan Bruce, co-founder and CEO of meQuilibrium. “We are democratizing executive coaching, helping people manage the stress and burnout associated with constant transformation and rapid change.”

Managing stress with resilience

As the pandemic spreads with head-spinning speed, meQuilibrium’s interactive cloud-based platform appears ideally matched to what’s become a rightfully panicked workforce. Tracking steadily rising stress levels of employees on the meQuilibrium platform, the company sped up product updates to deliver refreshed daily tips and tool kits for managing anxiety, uncertainty, and isolation.

The startup’s worldwide customers cut across industries like pharmaceuticals, finance, telecommunications, packaged goods, and automotive. Many organizations have reported measurable benefits to date. One company reduced high anxiety by 36 percent, high stress by 27 percent, and depression by 24 percent in its large employee population.

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Why Cartier Is Excited About These 3 Brilliant Female Startups

Taking an idea and turning it into a full-fledged company is no easy feat, to say the least. Nobody can do it on their own, so access to support (or lack thereof) can make or break a business. That’s why Cartier has set out to assist female entrepreneurs in their quest to make positive impacts on the world via the Cartier Women’s Initiative, which will be awarding over $1 million in funding this year. Cartier just announced the 21 finalists for 2020, and they all have brilliant ideas to share.

Among the 21 finalists are three exceptional women from North America. First up is Stephanie Benedetto of New York City, who “buys and sells unused textiles, via the Queen of Raw marketplace, keeping them out of landfills and making the world a less wasteful place,” per a statement. The fashion industry could certainly use more help in becoming more sustainable, and Benedetto could easily become a driving force.

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