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Mentor Spaces Now Available on SAP Store

Mentor Spaces has announced that its community-driven mentorship platform for underrepresented talent is now available on SAP® Store, the online marketplace for SAP and partner offerings. Mentor Spaces provides mentorship technology to businesses that use SAP® SuccessFactors® solutions to scale diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

“As a participant of the HR and future of work program at SAP.iO San Francisco, we are thrilled to be continuing our partnership with SAP,” said Chris Motley, founder and CEO of Mentor Spaces. “With Mentor Spaces, human resources and DEI professionals have the opportunity to leverage the power of scalable mentorship technology to easily attract, hire and retain underrepresented talent. We are proud to be working alongside SAP to help advance the careers of underrepresented talent.”

Mentor Spaces facilitates conversations with experts aligned to one’s professional interests and goals through both Q&As and live sessions. The power of Mentor Spaces’ technology enables companies to enhance brand, engage colleagues, and mentor historically marginalized populations to cultivate diverse talent pipelines. Organizations that partner with Mentor Spaces benefit from up to a 30 percent increase in employee retention, a 50 percent decrease in time spent on admin and talent sourcing, and a significant increase in employee engagement.

SAP Store, found at store.sap.com, delivers a simplified and connected digital customer experience for finding, trying, buying and renewing approximately 2,000 solutions from SAP and its partners. There, customers can find the SAP solutions and SAP-validated solutions they need to grow their business. And for each purchase made through SAP Store, SAP will plant a tree.

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Spring 2021 Cohort Reflections: How SAP.iO Helped These Founders Start-up With SAP

This Spring, our team helped 50 startups launch partnerships with SAP. I took some time to read through notes we received from these incredible founders and am excited to amplify their experiences with SAP.iO.

Tom Coburn, CEO of Jebbit recently participated in SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv’s Consumer Engagement program and shared that “The SAP.iO accelerator program was extremely well organized and well run. It was easy for myself and my management team to participate in while very busy running our company and gave us an incredible fast track to learn more about SAP and build relationships with the right teams for us.”

Like Jebbit, many startups that go through our programs have already participated in an early-stage accelerator like TechstarsPlug and Play Accelerator and Y Combinator so they can dive right in and leverage our carefully curated paths to help them launch a successful partnership with SAP.

Vue Storefront, a Y Combinator grad, completed an integration to SAP Commerce Cloud during their time at SAP.iO. Their CEO, Patrick Friday, shared that the “SAP.iO program has given us a lighting speed introduction into the whole SAP ecosystem and connected us with the right people on their side. We had detailed workshops and ongoing Q&A sessions throughout the whole process which boosted the speed at which we are working on the integration.”

Dr. Zara Nanu, CEO of Gapsquare leveraged our network to reach new markets. She shared that “The SAP.iO Foundry has been invaluable for improving our market reach through integration, connecting us to a wider pool of customers.” Since 2017, our team has worked as the “matchmakers” of the enterprise software world to bring together startups and customers to drive innovation and we’re thrilled to see our alumni thrive.

We are proud that our programs are the fastest way for entrepreneurs to launch a partnership with SAP and Chris Motley, Founder and CEO of Mentor Spaces agrees. During SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco’s Future of Work program, Mentor Spaces built an integration to SAP SuccessFactors and launched on the SAP Store. While reflecting on his experience, Chris shared that “The SAP.iO program reduced our time to market by at least one year!”

FortressIQ also joined the 120+ startups with solutions available on the SAP Store. Through a new integration, companies are now able to combine FortressIQ’s user-level process data with SAP Process Insights system-level process data to fast-track transformation initiatives. Jay Sivachelvan commented that “SAP.iO was a game changing experience for our startup, turning what would have been a 12 month journey into a 3-month, white-glove experience.”

Interested in collaborating with SAP and our global customer base? Apply for our upcoming Fall 2021 programs today!

Gapsquare, a pioneer of machine learning into gender pay disparity, is acquired by XpertHR

Inequalities between women and men in the workplace have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, and are likely to persist in the near future, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). The World Economic Forum estimates globally it will take 267.6 years to close the gender gap in economic participation and opportunity.

So it’s even more crucial that the global gender and ethnicity pay gap be “squared away” by entrepreneurs passionate about the issue.

Gapsquare, a U.K. startup that’s been addressing this issue since 2017, has been among a handful of startups addressing these concerns via machine learning around the issue.

Its analytics software, which analyses and tracks pay disparity, pay equality and pay gap data, has now been acquired by XpertHR, a part of RELX, for an undisclosed sum. TechCrunch understands from sources that Gapsquare never raised institutional venture funding.

The Gapsquare platform — along with co-founders Dr. Zara Nanu and Ion Suruceanu — will be joining the XpertHR team. Gapsquare previously counted Vodafone, Condé Nast and Serco as clients, amounting to data from tens of thousands of employees.

Gapsquare’s model is to provide HR and Reward professionals with actionable insights about their company’s existing pay gaps.

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Cogniac Provides Trimac Transportation with AI Visual Operations Intelligence Platform

Cogniac Corporation (“Cogniac”), a San Jose, California-based provider of enterprise-class Artificial Intelligence (AI) image and video analysis, today announced its partnership with Trimac Transportation (“Trimac”), one of the largest transportation service companies in North America. The partnership implements Cogniac’s proprietary visual data processing platform throughout Trimac’s document identification and filing processes.

Cogniac designed, and is deploying, the document imaging solution to boost operational efficiencies within Trimac’s billing process. With 3,400 team members and more than 140 branches located throughout North America, Trimac is seeking to leverage Cogniac’s machine vision to drive efficacy in the classification and organization of the millions of documents uploaded, digitally filed, and invoiced throughout the year.

“We believe our AI vision is an excellent fit for Trimac’s unique needs in operations,” said Vahan Tchakerian, Chief Partnership Officer at Cogniac. “By utilizing our platform’s abundant collection of visual data, Trimac will be able to glean important information more quickly and efficiently from uploaded documentation. Our technology is designed to drive productivity at enterprise scale by advancing the management of operational logistics.”

Trimac’s integration of the Cogniac system will provide support and process infrastructure to allow Trimac to focus on their commitment to providing high-quality bulk shipping solutions with a secure supply chain, by accelerating the document digitization process, optimizing workflows, and allowing the company to strategically redeploy employees throughout a range of operations.

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Accredify Integrates with SAP SuccessFactors to Assist Companies in Employee COVID-19 Health Verification

Accredify, a Singapore-based firm that creates and issues verifiable documents, today announced that it has signed an agreement with multinational software corporation SAP, to be integrated as an application on its Human Resource Management System, SAP SuccessFactors, which leverages SAP.iO open innovation model to revolutionise the future of work. By integrating Accredify as an app on the SuccessFactors marketplace, clients will be able to verify an employee’s COVID health credentials through Accredify’s verification portal.

The partnership follows concerns raised amongst corporations about the provision of an affordable and efficient method to verify an employee’s COVID health status as businesses prepare to reopen physical office spaces safely.

Employees simply have to upload their COVID medical credentials such as vaccination records or swab test results into Accredify’s verification portal on the SuccessFactors platform. Employers will be notified instantaneously once a COVID medical record has been uploaded and verified, and will be able to keep track of an individual employee’s COVID medical records on the platform.

Accredify’s app will be available to all clients subscribed to the SuccessFactors platform. As Accredify’s verification portal is agnostic to the different COVID medical standards and schema issued globally, enterprises using SuccessFactors will be able to verify medical records that have been issued by healthcare providers around the world. Currently, there are more than 7,400 clients around the globe who utilise SAP’s SuccessFactors platform.

“People are our business and core to the success of any organisations globally. Every employee experience matters, and more so as we are returning to the new normal. Workplace health and safety management measures will be top of mind, and companies who are intending to enhance existing policies or implement new processes will need to leverage technology to enable a seamless, exceptional employee experience,” said Eileen Chua, Managing Director, SAP Asia Pte. Ltd., Singapore.

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EON announces strategic investment from SML — ushering in a new era for connected products across fashion retail

Fashion retail’s leading Connected Product Cloud, EON, has redefined the competitive landscape in retail when it revealed that SML, one of the world’s largest retail technology companies, has participated in the company’s recent $2.1 million investment round.

For EON, a software company that enables brands to connect to their products through Digital IDs, the strategic investment and partnership of SML, who pioneered retail’s existing product identification systems, is a powerful signal to the industry. Many of retail’s largest brands are already digitizing their products on the EON Cloud, which provides the technology essential to connect directly to customers through each product, and scale new applications, business models and services. Now backed by SML, EON is well-positioned to usher in a new era of retail – connecting brands and customers in ways never-before-possible and powering industry’s at-scale transformation to sustainable and circular commerce.

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Customer Experience Is Key As Consumers Share More Online Reviews

While many things changed in 2020, in the e-commerce industry things may have shifted particularly drastically, with an impressive spike in online shopping on a global scale. Pandemic lockdowns catalyzed a process that was already underway in pre-Covid times — the transition from in-store to online shopping.

As consumers get increasingly more comfortable with researching and purchasing products online, they are also becoming more used to expressing their feedback through online product reviews and social media. Recent research indicates that in 2020 there was a surge in product reviews in multiple markets; more on that to follow.

What does this change mean for e-commerce companies? How can businesses leverage this change? In this article, I’ll share a bit about what our company noticed while doing research on the beauty industry and what I think e-commerce executives can do to make sure their brands stay relevant.

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Sedna banks $34M for a platform that parses large volumes of email and chat to automatically action items within them

Many have tried to do away with it, but email refuses to die … although in the process it might be (figuratively speaking) killing some of us with the workload it brings on to triage and use it. A startup called Sedna has built a system to help with that — specifically for enterprise and other business customers — by “reading” the text of emails and chats, and automatically actioning items within them so that you don’t have to. Today, it’s announcing funding of $34 million to expand its work.

The funding, a Series B, is being led by Insight Partners, with Stride.VC, Chalfen Ventures and the SAP.iO fund (part of SAP) also participating. The funding will be used to continue building out more data science around Sedna’s core functionality, with the aim of moving into a wider set of verticals over time. Currently its main business is in the area of supply chain players, with Glencore, Norden and Bunge among its customers. Other customers in areas like finance include the neobank Starling. London-based Sedna is not disclosing valuation.

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Mentor Spaces Raises $2.5M to Bring More Diverse Talent Into the Workplace

Denver-based startup Mentor Spaces announced the closing of its $2.5 million seed funding round. The American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact led the round, with participation from several others.

Mentor Spaces launched in 2020 in order to bring more diversity into the workplace. Countless companies pledged to do better in their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts last year. But saying you’ll do something and actually doing it are two separate things. Underrepresented groups can be excluded from the workplace not because the intent to hire them isn’t there, but instead because of what Mentor Spaces calls the “network gap.”

As Mentor Spaces points out, research shows that location, education and prior employment can make a person 12x more likely to be given a certain opportunity. Because of this, marginalized groups must work much harder to secure the same opportunities as non-marginalized folks, or risk remaining on the margins.

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Mentor Spaces Raises $2.5MM to Advance the Careers of Underrepresented Talent Through Mentorship

Mentor Spaces, a community-driven mentorship platform helping companies scale their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, today announced it has raised $2.5MM in a seed round of funding. The American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact(AmFam Institute) led the round, with participation from ECMC, Portfolia, Rethink Education, Service Provider Capital, and The Social Entrepreneurs’ Fund.

“As one of the largest mentorship communities for underrepresented students and professionals, funds from this round will enhance our ability to support our clients’ goals to efficiently build diverse talent pipelines through a mentorship-centered strategy,” said Chris Motley, founder and CEO, Mentor Spaces. “As a Black founder, raising institutional capital is not easy, and our team is thrilled at the positive response that the market has shown to our unique approach to solve one of the biggest challenges talent acquisition leaders face today.”

While LinkedIn’s research shows that one’s location, education, and employment can give individuals a 12-fold advantage in gaining access to opportunity, underrepresented professionals without confidence and social capital are at a significant disadvantage when pursuing new job opportunities. Many mentorship solutions in the market don’t address the key issues caused by this “network gap,” further limiting opportunities for underrepresented students and professionals. Recent studies also show that Black employees are leaving early-career jobs in droves due to the lack of support and visibility to opportunities at their organizations.

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How SAP.iO Drives Innovation and Growth for Startups and Customers Around the World

Since 2017, SAP.iO has helped more than 300+ external startups and internal ventures accelerate their growth while enabling thousands of SAP’s customers to access innovation. With over 20 years of experience in business development and strategy in the tech industry, it would be hard to find someone more qualified to lead the company’s early-stage startup acceleration and incubation programs across the world than Alexa Gorman.

To officially kick off the second season of The Business of Marketing Podcast, Adweek’s Chief Innovation Officer Toby Daniels sat down with SAP.iO’s SVP, Global Head of Foundries and Intrapreneurship to discuss her career at SAP that spans over two decades, how SAP.IO works with startups to develop marketing strategies to drive business transformation and their commitment to inclusivity by pledging to accelerate 200+ startups from underrepresented founders.

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Investors, Innovators, Influencers – Kange Kaneene, Vice President, SAP.iO Foundries North America – SAP

Tell us about the professional journey that took you where you are today. What major lessons did you learn along the way?

In high school before I went to college, I did not know what to study, so my dad suggested computer science. He made that suggestion because in high school I would spend a lot of time at the house talking to my friends on AOL instant messenger and he assumed I had a love for computers. I don’t think he knew I was actually just chatting with friends. I had never heard of computer science before, so I was willing to enroll in the introductory computer science class during the first semester freshman year at university. What I liked about the class was it helped me lean into my creativity side. Back then we would literally start with a black screen and then type sophisticated text and generate a computer program. I loved how programming allowed us to create something from nothing. The course also helped me learn how to have a very structured way of thinking. In programming, one needs to consider all details for any computer program to be successful. After surviving the introductory class, I decided to major in computer science. To be honest it was an extremely challenging journey. First of all, my academic advisor literally told me he didn’t think computer science was a good fit for me. I remember being so angry he would make such a statement without even knowing me and that frustration fueled my motivation to graduate with a computer science degree. Each course was harder than the previous and sometimes I would work on computer programs for 12 hours straight. I think that is how I developed a work hard, play hard personality. Many weekends I would literally be at the library all day and then come back in the evening and take shots with my roommates before going out only to wake up in the morning and study some more.

Close to graduation I was interviewing for typical software engineering roles at companies like Microsoft, Merrill Lynch and Cerner. One day I saw a poster for a corporate presentation for Bain and Company serving free catering from Panera Bread. Back then most corporate presentations served pizza, so I was over the moon for an opportunity for Panera and registered for the presentation. Before then I had never heard of consulting. However, the presenter explained opportunities to work on distinct projects for several industries, travel and interact with external clients. I realized a consulting job was a better fit for my personality than the software engineering roles I was applying for. However, after such a challenging college experience with computer science I was not comfortable completely throwing away my computer science knowledge. Therefore, I targeted tech consulting firms and ending up at a supply chain tech consulting firm called Manhattan Associate in Atlanta.

I had never lived in a proper city before and I did not know anyone in Atlanta so I was extremely scared. However, I reached out to my network to introduce me to people they knew in Atlanta, signed up for networking events etc. and before I knew it Atlanta was my home. That was the first time I was truly independent financially and socially and it was an amazing feeling. I had to reinvent myself several more times in my career as I moved around to new places such as New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and Singapore.

Consulting taught me how to quickly get up to speed as I started new projects and ask the right questions to understand different management styles for each project manager I had to work with.

After a few years I wanted to try a new professional challenge, but I did not know what I wanted to do. I learned about leadership development rotational problems and figured those programs were good ways to quickly learn about different roles within a company to later decide which roles are the most interesting. After more research I understood most leadership development rotational programs recruit from full time MBA programs, so I decided to apply and ended up quitting my job and moved to NYC for school full time.

Deciding to go so business school was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I met the most interesting and diverse group of people I have ever known, I acquired essential business acumen and I went on 7 international trips that helped to broaden my perspective. I also learned to make my goals as specific as possible so that they are easy to achieve. For example, in my application I said I wanted to intern at Citibank between years 1 and 2, do a pro-bono consulting project for Alvin Ailey and join the leadership team for the Association for Hispanic and Black Business students. I am so proud to say I was able to accomplish all those goals.

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Amwell Enhances Virtual Care Platform with Two Acquisitions: SilverCloud Health and Conversa Health

Amwell, a national telehealth leader, today announced that it has signed definitive agreements to acquire SilverCloud Health, a leading digital mental health platform, and Conversa Health, a leader in automated virtual healthcare. By adding the technology of these two companies to its virtual care platform, Amwell is greatly enhancing the differentiated value it can bring to current and future clients. Each company brings unique, proven capabilities that will position Amwell to materially advance the reach and impact of care teams on patients’ lives through the use of interactive tools that strengthen the cohesion between physical and virtual care.

“We believe that future care delivery will inevitably blend in-person, virtual and digital care experiences; and as such, we are uniquely building a global platform to support such advanced, coordinated care,” said Ido Schoenberg, Chairman and Co-CEO, Amwell. “By integrating SilverCloud Health and Conversa Health into our platform we are demonstrating Amwell’s fundamental and repeatable design to continually scale digital healthcare services across the different sites of care. These acquisitions will amplify the presence and reach of care teams and reaffirm that as the needs of the healthcare marketplace evolve, so too will the Amwell platform.”

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Quickly leverage rich external data to improve decision making using Explorium

The need for companies to leverage external data is no longer a nice-to-have, but critical to success. Extracting quality data from a variety of reputable sources is extremely labor-intensive, costly, and manual. Looking to streamline and more effectively leverage external context to feed into your analytical models and improve decision making? Meet Explorium.

With Explorium, SAP Sales Cloud & Customer Data Cloud customers can tap into their first-party data and dynamically integrate it with outside sources, extracting powerful context-based signals to inform more precise acquisition, conversion and retention decisions, across channels & markets, in far less time. Explorium will help SAP customers increase revenue, streamline operations, reduce risks, and automate model performance, model prediction, and model training.

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This Is A Eureka Moment For Sustainability: Affordable Products

Once upon a time, we easily traded-off product sustainability for reasonable prices, quality, and safety. Now we expect companies to bake sustainability into business as usual, and startups like Simreka have the technology to make it happen. Its cloud-based simulation software helps manufacturers experiment faster to create more sustainable products.

“We are accelerating the design and manufacture of products that are both cost-effective and sustainable,” said Dr. Akshay Patel, co-founder and CEO at Simreka. “Companies can quickly collect and analyze data including materials, manufacturing processes, quality and performance standards, pricing, safety and compliance, and carbon emissions to simulate design options. With these insights, leaders can make product design decisions that will best meet business targets.”

Simreka’s customers are primarily consumer packaged goods (CPGs) and chemical materials manufacturers in the United States, Europe, Middle East, and Mexico. Professionals in product research and development (R&D), supply chain, materials, quality assurance, sustainability, and manufacturing operations are relying on the software’s AI-based algorithms to answer critical questions like should we develop this new product, redesign an existing one, select this particular material, or take another manufacturing approach? The company also provides data from public sources to support customer decisions.

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