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Smau Berlin 2022 | Interview with Azadeh Ghahghaie, SAP

At Smau Berlin we have interviewed Azadeh Ghahghaie, Director of SAP, about company’s open innovation activities. “At my company, at SAP we define open innovation in a interlocking three-way situation for us, as a corporation for start ups that we work with and also for customers. We work with external innovation and Start up in a very early stage to bring them to our partner ecosystem work, with them on use cases and try to delivery external value extra value to our customers

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Inspiring Innovators: Rashi Gupta Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist, On Wearing Multiple Hats

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 Rashi Gupta

Earning her PhD from the University of Helsinki for data science, Rashi Gupta’s experience equips her for her role as an entrepreneur. Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist at, she finds herself taking on multiple functions. Rashi focuses on data science, but she also plays a significant role in sales as the product is very analytical and she thrives on pitching the product. If that’s not all, she currently assists with deliveries, among other tasks. She embodies the idea that you have to wear multiple hats on your journey to entrepreneurial success as a founder. In doing so, she is well on her way to becoming a disruptor in the contact center industry.

Rezo’s AI-Powered Contact Center augments human agents by automating repetitive processes, allowing them to focus on high-value tasks and enhancing customer experience. Rashi founded with her husband, Manish Gupta, who she says challenges her every day, “he has pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of, he always encourages me to make the next right move. You need someone to push you, and that helped us get to the next level.” Rashi credits that support and their teamwork at Rezo as part of the reason for their success.

“I was working with a large contact center, and I saw how things happened on the floor. With limited information about the end customers, the callers use to drive conversations taking time while details are checked on multiple 3rd party systems. This led to delay and frustration at the customers end, there was a clear need for process automation. That’s when I realized it was time to elevate the customer experience to the next level.”

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


Jasmine Crowe: What Can We Do To Tackle Food Waste And Hunger?

Social entrepreneur Jasmine Crowe has one mission: feed more, waste less. Her company Goodr is tackling food waste and getting food to those who need it most.

Jasmine Crowe is a social entrepreneur and the founder of Goodr, a startup based in Atlanta, Georgia that is leveraging technology to combat hunger and food waste.

Goodr collects surplus food from organizations like Turner Broadcasting Systems, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and others, and redirects that food to nonprofits who distribute the food to people experiencing food insecurity. The company also works directly with cities and governments to purchase quality food for certain communities.

Crowe has collected and donated more than two million food items worldwide and fed more than 80,000 people through the Sunday Soul Homeless feeding initiative as well. The initiative started out as formal pop-up dinners for the homeless community of Atlanta.

Click here to listen to Part 3 of TED Radio Hour episode The Food Connection

Mind the Chat with Alexa Gorman – SAP, SAP.iO

Mind the Bridge and the International Chamber of Commerce recently awarded SAP as a TOP 25 Corporate Startup Stars last December. Indeed, with a hundred thousand employees, the B2B SaaS technology giant outperforms the majority of Fortune 500 corporations on the implementation of their Open Innovation programs and creates win-win-win relationships with startups, SAP’s clients and of course SAP.

In this Mind the Chat, we had the joy to sit down with Alexa Gorman, SVP and head of SAP.iO foundries in EMEA. Alexa joined SAP in 1999 in the retail space and led various teams and initiatives from marketing to strategy in both New York and Paris before finally joining in Berlin, in 2017.

During the conversation, we covered the multiple areas of activities that SAP undertakes in the world of startups, namely SAP.iO, Sapphire Ventures, SAP’s Intrapreneurship program – SAP.iO Venture Studio, and the University Alliances. We took a deep dive into the structure of the SAP.iO, its Foundries, and the growing number of SAP’s innovation outposts around the world.


SAP.iO is part of the New Ventures and Technology group that reports directly to the CTO office. The role of SAP.iO is to manage both startup-driven innovation and acceleration, as well as employee-driven innovation and acceleration.

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Blank Canvas: Fashion Forward Featuring EON

From footwear to jeans to high fashion, the industry is making positive environmental changes due to pressure from passionate consumers who are demanding change. With profiles of companies such as Allbirds, Adidas, Levi’s, and Gucci, plus interviews with supermodel Karlie Kloss and CEO Natasha Franck, the show takes an in-depth look at how the fashion business is changing.

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Asia Berlin Summit: Female Entrepreneurship Panel- The Founding Gap

Recently the Asia Berlin Summit hosted a panel discussion called Exploring the impact of family, restrictions, support systems and gender bias on women founders. Panelists included: Aimie-Sarah Carstensen (Founder, ArtNight), Dr. Alexander Hirschfeld (Female Founders Monitor), Chanyu Xu (Founder & CEO,, Alexa Gorman (SVP and Head of SAP.iO EMEA Foundries), Caecilia Chu (Founder, YouTrip), with Moderator: Elain Tse (COO,

Watch Panel Discussion Here…

How Olivia by Paradox Improved BOK’s Recruiting Process

In a bid to modernise their recruiting process, BOK Financial needed to find a solution that could easily integrate with its existing SAP SuccessFactors tech stack. According to Maciel, the company needed an intelligent solution that could automate administrative work so that its recruiters—what BOK Financial refers to as talent advisors—can focus their time and efforts on more strategic, value-adding work.

The financial institution was experiencing several challenges within its recruitment process, namely:

  • manual administrative tasks were weighing recruiters down
  • candidate expectations were growing—the company needed to match these expectations to keep up with demands
  • candidate foot traffic was increasing and the company felt that its talent advisory team’s ability to keep up was lacking

More importantly, BOK Financial needed a flexible solution. Maciel said it was important for them that the solution can be customised to the way they do business and the way they acquire talent. The company wanted a solution that aligned with its relationship-based business model. Maciel explained,

“We were focused on shifting our time from transactional recruiting to what we call talent advisory. So with the increased traffic on our career site, as well as in our recruiter inboxes, we needed a seamless candidate experience that really aligned with the rest of our business model. The focus for us was engagement through real-time communications.”

Through the SAP App Center, the company found the solution they required. With Olivia by Paradox, Maciel said that BOK Financial was able to transform candidate experience and engagement. She said that the SAP-validated solution enabled them to mirror the positive experience BOK Financial’s customers had with the experiences of its candidates:

“Olivia really helped us transform the way talent explored our jobs, the way they engage with us—providing the same experience that our consumers have come to expect.”

Another positive outcome the company was able to achieve was the increase in the completion rates of candidates who come into BOK Financial’s career site and converse with Olivia—up to 10% according to Maciel. 

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