A group of startups that are part of the SAP.iO accelerator program featured prominently in the recent Innovation Path startup competition at Cloud Wars Expo:
- The overall winner (Wisy) is an SAP.iO company
- 3 of the top 6 were from SAP.iO
- 11 SAP.iO companies participated
Given the success of these SAP.iO participants, I wanted to get more insights into the workings of the program. So I connected with Max Kahn, the director of SAP.iO Foundries (the startup partnership arm of the expansive program) to discuss the program, the process of identifying startups to include, as well as how SAP.iO and the startups work together to foster growth for these innovators.
SAP.iO launched in 2017 and, since then, has invested in 450 startups, 165 of which have solutions that are currently live and listed in the SAP store. More than 270 of those companies remain SAP partners.
It initially included a venture capital investment arm that would contribute pre-seed and seed rounds of funding. The focus has since shifted to place greater emphasis on supporting companies in the program in other ways besides financial backing. By downplaying investments, the company avoids conflicts of interest as it continues to build out an open ecosystem of software partners.