Alexa Gorman, senior vice president and global head of SAP.iO Foundries and Intrapreneurship at SAP, was featured earlier this year by Handelsblatt, the German business newspaper, as one of the “100 female leaders moving Germany forward.”
After years working in business development and strategy roles, Gorman took on joint responsibility for SAP’s startup acceleration programs at the start of May, along with the intrapreneurship team that supports ambitious innovators within the company.
Creating a Win-Win-Win Scenario for Customers, Startups, and SAP
The SAP.iO Foundries program was created as a strategic business unit in 2017. “We saw a need to work more closely with startups in a curated way, as startup innovation was becoming increasingly important for our customers in their digital transformation journeys,” Gorman says. “With SAP.iO Foundries, we are offering them the innovative power of pre-selected startups whose solutions can integrate seamlessly with SAP solutions. And while most of the startups are at an early stage, we do a lot of due diligence to ensure that they will be long-term, viable partners of SAP.”
Photo credit: Steven Lüdtke.
Gorman joined the team in 2017 and set up SAP.iO Foundry Berlin, the first of its kind in Europe. Located across 10 locations today, SAP.iO Foundries make up a global network of top-tier startup programs, including accelerators, that can enable startups to build and scale innovative software solutions that deliver value to SAP customers.
Over the past four years, Gorman and her team have been working with over 330 early-stage startups to bring them into the SAP ecosystem and make them the next generation of SAP partners.
“We encourage the startups to use or integrate with SAP technology and support them in doing so,” she explains. “In exchange, the startups expand their ability to scale more quickly through access to our customers and fast-track support to becoming an SAP partner. Thus, we can ensure that our customers have access to the latest and best startup innovation that increases the return on their investments in SAP.”
The SAP.iO Foundries program has received numerous awards and, most recently, took the lead in GlassDollar’s corporate-startup innovation rankings.
Currently, 135 startup solutions are available on SAP Store. “Every week, new startup solutions are being added to SAP Store where they become available to SAP’s sales teams and our customers,” Gorman says.