Sometimes news unfold on April Fools Day that isn’t a joke, but real and exciting: The founders behind Green Token by SAP share their venture’s founding anniversary with other greats in the tech industry. Here are some of their highlights from their first year.
Founded on April 1, 1976, Apple most certainly wasn’t a joke. Nor was Google’s announcement in 2004, introducing the beta version of Gmail, its new — and free! — web-based email service. And of course, though hard to believe today, SAP was once also considered a start-up. When five entrepreneurs started the company on April 1 in 1972, Hasso Plattner didn’t even own a personal computer.
Today, almost all of the world’s 100 most valuable brands use SAP software and the company has grown to more than 100,000 employees. Even with its storied history and reputation in the tech industry, SAP has not strayed far from its start-up roots. Among its 100,000 employees, some continue to build products and teams from scratch through the SAP.iO Venture Studio, an organization dedicated to fostering employee-driven innovation. Since 2016, SAP has been investing in small, entrepreneurial teams to find and test new areas with products that attack some of the biggest problems in enterprise. On April 1, 2019, Green Token by SAP, a venture building a solution focusing on supply chain transparency for more ethical business, also joined the ranks of SAP’s employee-led ventures. Hear what James Veale and Nitin Jain have to say, looking back on their first 12 months and ahead as venture founders:
Exactly one year ago you started GreenToken by SAP after 18 months of evolving the idea. What happened since?
Nitin & James: “Like one-year-old humans we have learnt an incredible amount in the last 12 months and now proudly stand on our own two feet. Our memorable successes since April 1, 2019 have to be :
- Building a fantastic team of eleven passionate individuals who go above and beyond in their daily tasks to make GreenToken a success.
- Great meetings with our motivated advisory board members who have given us excellent guidance and share our drive and enthusiasm for this project.
- Our launch customers who helped us prove GreenToken at scale at the end of last year and continue to challenge us to make the product frictionless and fit for purpose.”
Biggest misconception on founding and building a venture you had so far?
Nitin & James: “One of the biggest myths we faced was ‘you all have to be based in one location for this to work.’ We have team members in APJ, Europe and North America and we and made it work! What’s more, GreenToken works with global supply chains and our globally distributed team is actually able to talk to any customer or prospect in the world in their local business hours.”
Plans for your second year as venture founders?
Nitin & James: “Our second year is shaping up to be as exciting as our first! This year we plan to release the production-ready version of GreenToken and run it at scale, we intend to expand into new industries across many different raw material supply chains, and we aim at adding new features that will give our customers meaningful insights into their raw material supply chains showing them the good actors, the risk and the blind spots. We want to enable them to make meaningful procurement decisions and help drive sustainable and circular economies. And we already hit the ground running in year 2: Watch this space and our personal LinkedIn accounts for our new initiatives in a circular economy industry.”
About Green Token by SAP
GreenToken by SAP is a supply chain solution that offers companies new levels of transparency through reliable, blockchain-based information. Gain visibility into where raw materials came from and produce products with knowledge about where and how the materials were produced, even in complex, non-batch supply chains. More on www.green-token.io
About SAP.iO Venture Studio
SAP.iO Venture Studio drives a new era of organic growth at SAP. It invests in new ventures founded by small, entrepreneurial teams inside of SAP who are focused on building the future of enterprise business processes. SAP.iO Venture Studio provides design, development, and sales support to help these ventures launch. Founding teams join the SAP.iO Venture Studio primarily through the SAP.iO Intrapreneurship and Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) programs.