SAP.iO, SAP’s strategic business unit that works closely with early-stage startups, made clear its commitment to inclusive entrepreneurship when it launched the SAP.iO No Boundaries initiative just over a year ago. No Boundaries offers venture capital and access to innovation for underrepresented entrepreneurs, with a goal of funding or accelerating at least 200 startups over a span of 5 years through SAP.iO Fund and Foundries. The SAP.iO Fund has committed to investing up to 40% of investible capital to inclusive entrepreneurship.
The ideal outcome of No Boundaries is that the startups will thrive in the SAP ecosystem, deliver great value to SAP customers, and as a trickling effect, other investors will see the value in these entrepreneurs and will want to support them as well. Another goal of No Boundaries is to inspire VCs and other ecosystem players to follow SAP’s lead and enable a culture of diversity.
Studies have shown that companies that have more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation (Boston Consulting Group). In 2018, companies founded solely by women received only 2.3% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups in the US (Pitchbook). Racially and ethnically diverse companies perform 50% better than companies with only diversity of gender (McKinsey).
There is clearly work to be done.