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SAP invests in latest startup fund raised by High-Tech Gründerfonds

Team rowing boat in bay

Committed to helping new growth businesses startup and scale, we are pleased to continue our productive cooperation with High-Tech Gründerfonds. SAP will be an investor in their 4th fund. With this new investment, SAP champions the strong development of vibrant start-up ecosystems to ultimately provide our customers with the best startup innovation to run at their best.

With their funds, investors and personal commitment, the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) contributes significantly to the consistent development of the start-up ecosystem in Germany and across Europe. Until recently, the public–private partnership initiative had successfully launched a total of three funds, financing more than 650 companies, of which more than 150 have been successfully sold or floated on the stock exchange. In addition to seed investments, over 4 billion euros of private funds have flowed into HTGF portfolio companies through follow-up financing. HTGF is now introducing a 4th fund, supporting growth businesses in the areas of Industrial Tech, Digital Tech, Chemicals and Life Sciences with an increased focus on sustainability.

For the past ten years, our cooperation has unlocked access to both our networks and expertise on startups for reciprocal knowledge transfer and sourcing activities. The result has proven value for SAP, HGTF and connected startups. High-Tech Gründerfonds has invested in startups from SAP.iO programs, while HTGF portfolio companies have joined SAP.iO Foundry programs with five of them also being available on the SAP Store.

Exemplary, Datarade was part of the SAP.iO Foundry program in Berlin in 2018 and received seed investment from HTGF later in 2020. The startup has since partnered with SAP to empower customers to easily discover, evaluate, and access external data from commercial data providers. 4tiitoo received investment by HTGF in 2014 and was then introduced to SAP.iO in 2018. The startup participated in our Industry 4.0 program in the same year; their AI-based solution for easy eye control of computers was piloted by both SAP and with several SAP customers and is being offered on the SAP Store. In 2020, they secured Series B funding.

SAP.iO is offering startups the fastest way to scale with SAP – while enabling customers to access innovation complementing SAP solutions.

“We are therefore looking forward to our continued fruitful cooperation with HTGF and seeing our community of founders and startups grow”, Alexa Gorman, SVP, SAP.iO, said. “Our renewed support for the High-Tech Gründerfonds emphasizes our joint belief in a promising future for entrepreneurialism.”

Read the investment announcement by High-Tech Gründerfonds here and find more on our proven cooperation in this interview with Alexa Gorman, Global Head of SAP.iO Foundries and Intrapreneurship.

Did you catch all our latest SAP.iO Venture Studio highlights?

SAP.iO sign

January — March 2022 | Achievements & News from SAP.iO Venture Studio

SAP.iO Venture Studio drives a new era of organic growth at SAP. It empowers entrepreneurial teams inside SAP to turn innovative ideas into profitable businesses and invests in these new employee-led ventures who are focused on solving some of the biggest problems in enterprise business processes. SAP.iO Venture Studio helps start and scale new ventures by providing design, and development and sales support. Find out more on sap.io/studio.

Brilliant Hire by SAP

Brilliant Hire by SAP intelligently matches candidates with a personalized shortlist of jobs on your careers page based on what really matters to them, using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

  • It is no news that artificial intelligence is valuable in the job market, but with the great reshuffle what role will AI play? Read about Brilliant Hire by SAP’s inclusive hiring solution and their focus on skills here.
  • To get to know the venture better, Brilliant Hire by SAP released a Lip Sync video. Check out the video here and learn what Brilliant Hire by SAP does.
  • Brilliant Hire by SAP keeps growing and is now looking for a Developer Node.js, SQL, React/Value and a Senior Integration Engineer. Find all open positions here.

More on this venture on https://www.brillianthire.io/

EverLoop by SAP

EverLoop by SAP aims to empower every business on the planet to achieve zero waste by being a sustainability solution that connects stakeholders across the waste value chain to enable the circular economy, with transparency and traceability.

  • EverLoop by SAP reached a major milestone in March: The venture celebrated their first anniversary on March 1. A lot has happened for the founding team in one year at the SAP.iO Venture Studio. Read all about it here or watch the video here.
  • And there is more great news: EverLoop by SAP shared their journey with the “Intrapreneurship Conclave 2022” and talked about what it’s like being a founder of an employee-led venture. Along the way the venture was announced the winners of the Star Intrapreneurship Award and the runner-up in the category breakthrough ideas for social impact.

More on this venture on https://www.ever-loop.io/

Feather by SAP

Feather by SAP is an end-to-end recommerce solution that support brands and retailers that want to accelerate the shift from linear to circular business by taking ownership over their recommerce activities. Facilitate the in-house business processes, capture data, engage with the shopper, and own the end-to-end product life cycle.

  • Looking for a new way of retail sustainability? Feather by SAP and its end-to-end re-commerce solution helps retailers to shift to circulars business models. Learn more about taking ownership of one’s re-commerce activities here.
  • Women founders often face more challenges when getting started and securing capital. Read the ventures General Manager Joanna Maryewska’s thoughts about how corporates can support women entrepreneurs here.
  • The venture is successfully growing and is now looking for a Senior Fullstack Developer and a Front End Engineer. Find all open positions on SAP.iO.

More on this venture on https://www.featherbysap.io/

GreenToken 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.

  • The venture recently published a white paper on material traceability for increased circularity in the chemical industry. Read here how with end-to-end traceability and transparency the solution can increase sustainability in many raw material supply chains.
  • SAP and Unilever announced the successful pilot of the GreenToken by SAP solution to further increase traceability and transparency in Unilever’s global supply chain. Check out this milestone here and learn about the great coverage the news already got in magazines like Supply Chain DigitalFood Logistics and TechTarget.
  • With so many great achievements no wonder the employee-led venture has already been part of the SAP.iO Venture Studio portfolio for two years. Find their anniversary post here.

More on this venture on https://www.green-token.io/

Paid Promptly by SAP

Paid Promptly by SAP drives cash into your business faster by automating receivable processes. Deliver a seamless, personalized, customer experience through Paid Promptly’s automated communication solution, beginning when an invoice is first released until payment is received.

More on this venture on https://www.paidpromptly.io/

Source Agent by SAP

Great sourcing shouldn’t be a secret. Source Agent by SAP gives you the insights and strategies to address spend intelligently and wow your stakeholders. Identify sourcing opportunities by aligning your spend to current market intelligence. Receive a targeted sourcing strategy and supplier recommendations based on your data and requirements for each spend category. Quickly convert strategies and plans into eSourcing event prep and execution.

  • And we had another birthday at the SAP.iO Venture Studio: Source Agent by SAP turned one on March 1 as well. Read all about their experiences during their first year here and watch the video here.
  • Join the team as a Senior Software Engineer and apply now on SAP.iO.

More on this venture on https://www.sourceagent.io/

One year as a venture: EverLoop by SAP

Just about one year ago, the SAP.iO Venture Studio welcomed a new venture to their team: EverLoop by SAP. With this milestone just passing, we thought it would be great to talk to the growing team, give a little recap of the past 365 days and take a peek into their future.

The first 365 days

Founding a venture within a large corporation requires ambition, an innovative spirit and persistence. EverLoop by SAP unites those qualities. Building a B2B sustainability waste management solution, the teams’ goal is to empower businesses to achieve zero waste. The solution digitalizes the complete disposal process and helps businesses track and trace e-waste from the time it’s identified until it has been fully recycled or refurbished. And they have already come a long way.

Starting an employee-led startup within SAP, the team went through a six-week accelerator program in 2020 and received funding at the beginning of 2021. Looking back at the past year, the venture had some big achievements.

“For me, bringing our product to life by releasing the EverLoop alpha product version with eight pilot customers was the biggest achievement in 2021,” said Kiruthika S, Co-founder, and Head of Product at EverLoop by SAP. Ajit Chandran, Co-founder, General Manager, and Head of Business, added “It was when two large enterprises accepted a pilot with us within a week of releasing our first alpha version and of course when an article on our venture was published in one of the leading newspapers in India.”

Challenges and learnings along the way

When putting a vision into action, it is most likely that you will encounter some challenges that need to be tackled. “One of our biggest challenges was to coordinate work and communication with the team,” explained developer Prasanna Nandalal. “Planning your own workday but also aligning your timeline with the timelines of other team members needed some practice.”

Finding oneself in this new environment can be an adjustment. “Working at EverLoop by SAP, I experienced working in a fast-paced and agile start-up environment. This has helped me for my personal and professional development,” said Nishanth Nimbalkar, developer. “I have learned to be a team player and adapted to the challenges of remote working.”

After one year as a venture, the team has probably a pretty good idea of what went great and what needs more attention or adjustment. “Starting a venture is like growing a plant. You have to sow the seed, nurture it daily under the right conditions and hopefully after a while, you can reap the fruits,” said Kiruthika about her learning of the past 12 months. “Each day started like a new day with new challenges, but as a team we found a way to solve them.”

A peek into the future

The EverLoop by SAP plant is starting with follow-on funding in its second year, and we are excited to see the constant development of their e-waste solution and how customers can benefit from it. “Always expect the unexpected from EverLoop by SAP,” promised Ajit. “More features, more automation, more transparency and everything that’s going to make e-waste disposal simple, easy, and transparent.”

Now that the venture team has found their flow, it looks back on an eventful year. “We had a great learning phase and already found many ways to improve our solution,” summarizes Kiruthika. And Ajit reminisces how much of hard work there was behind the scenes by the whole team during their first year:

“All that work pays off when your customer tells you how useful
the product is. That smile that comes on your face — that says it all.”

Well, we can’t wait to see those smiles in EverLoop by SAP’s second year with the SAP.iO Venture Studio and are already curious to learn more about their future achievements.

Happy 1st anniversary, EverLoop by SAP!

About EverLoop by SAP

EverLoop by SAP helps every business to achieve zero waste by connecting stakeholders across the e-waste value chain. By simplifying and connecting organizations, EverLoop by SAP extends the life cycle of used electronic products and opens doors too for enterprises to new sustainable networks. To learn more about the future’s marketplace for electronics manufacturers and e-waste recyclers, go to www.ever-loop.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. Find out more on www.sap.io/studio/

Celebrating twelve months of Source Agent by SAP

Last spring, the SAP.iO Venture Studio welcomed a new employee-led venture to their portfolio: Source Agent by SAP. Time flies and with this big achievement just flying by, we wanted to talk to the growing team about their first year together and take a peek into its plans for the coming months.

The first 365 days

Starting a business is often a huge step. With just an idea and a vision starting to build from scratch requires great determination — but also handling a lot of uncertainty. However, it is an even greater feeling if one manages to build something that actually works. Transforming strategic sourcing for businesses into a web-based process that supports sourcing managers in their procurement strategy had been on Travis Mattern and Will Caseber’s mind for a while. It ultimately resulted in launching their journey as co-founders of their own venture, Source Agent by SAP, in 2021. They have since come a long way.

After participating in the six-month SAP.iO Intrapreneurship program, the two founders secured funding and started their branding process. Since then, the founding duo behind Source Agent by SAP hired their first employees, built a website and stepped up their social media presence, established a go-to-market approach, and built their concierge delivery model for opportunity assessments with help from the SAP.iO Venture Studio, SAP’s in-house incubator for employee-led ventures.

“Looking back, we did a lot in a short time with a small team. I think our biggest achievement was convincing customers to engage with us, to explore how they manage their sourcing function, and ultimately take a critical look at where they might have opportunities to save money for their organizations,” said Will, Head of Operations and Go To Market for Source Agent.

Challenges and learning along the way

Source Agent by SAP’s solution helps companies maximize the value of their eSourcing software investment and provides a holistic and personalized strategy to address spend intelligently and impress your stakeholders. The venture is currently on track to deliver a working version of their solution to help customers visualize their spend and strategically apply eSourcing in their business. But with so much work already done, what have been some of the challenges the team faced in the past year?

“With the current hot job market, hiring technical resources was — and is — very challenging,” said Travis, General Manager of Source Agent. “I did not anticipate it would take so long to find qualified resources.”

Hiring while working from home brings another challenge to the mix. However, as the old saying goes, good things take time and the team has since expanded from two co-founders to thirteen people today.

Even though Travis and Will knew the potential of their idea from day one, the true value of the approach became most apparent when talking with prospective customers.

“My greatest learning this year was the confirmation from prospects that we are bringing a new concept that is highly in demand by an underserved market.” Will said. “To give the best possible outcome, we use both the sourcing activity on the SAP Business Network and market data from our data partners. But this learning also increases the pressure for the team to move at pace.”

A peek into the future

With their first seven customers, the team is currently working hard on their solution and are eager to make moreprogress.

“We spent a lot of time in the first year establishing a brand, building a team, developing partnerships, and learning from customers via our concierge services,” Travis summarized. “We are now growing our development team to digitize our learnings and deliver on our vision of simplifying strategic sourcing.”

Thinking back about the first year of Source Agent by SAP, Travis recapped: “Our first year was stressful, yet very exciting.”

Well, we congratulate Source Agent by SAP to their first twelve months as an employee-led venture and are excited to hear about their next milestones and the ongoing partnership with the SAP.iO Venture Studio.

Happy first anniversary to Source Agent by SAP!

About Source Agent by SAP

Great sourcing shouldn’t be a secret. Source Agent by SAP gives you the insights and strategies to address spend intelligently and wow your stakeholders. Identify sourcing opportunities by aligning your spend to current market intelligence. Receive a targeted sourcing strategy and supplier recommendations based on your data and requirements for each spend category. Quickly convert strategies and plans into eSourcing event prep and execution. More on this venture on www.sourceagent.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. Find out more on www.sap.io/studio/

Did you catch all our latest SAP.iO Venture Studio highlights?

SAP.iO sign

October — December 2021 | Achievements & News from SAP.iO Venture Studio

SAP.iO Venture Studio drives a new era of organic growth at SAP. It empowers entrepreneurial teams inside SAP to turn innovative ideas into profitable businesses and invests in these new employee-led ventures who are focused on solving some of the biggest problems in enterprise business processes. SAP.iO Venture Studio helps start and scale new ventures by providing design, and development and sales support. Find out more on sap.io/studio.

Brilliant Hire by SAP

rilliant Hire by SAP intelligently matches candidates with a personalized shortlist of jobs on your careers page based on what really matters to them, using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

  • Brilliant Hire received follow-on funding! Discover what the successful validation of the venture’s three-year product roadmap means for solving customers’ challenges in recruiting.
  • Thanks to AI, Brilliant Hire by SAP is able to simplify the recruiting process as announced in SAP TechEd’s News Guide 2021. Read here how AI is at the center of recruitment processes by SAP SuccessFactors with Brilliant Hire by SAP as a major component.
  • Best-in-class organizations are increasing the use of AI throughout their recruiting process which is exactly what Brilliant Hire by SAP expected. Learn more about AI in the recruitment process and what the venture’s General Manager Jeanine LeFlore has to say on it on Forbes here.
  • As the venture continues its success story, they are now actively looking for Developers, Project Managers, Engineers, and Analysts. Find all open positions on SAP.iO.

More on this venture on https://www.brillianthire.io/

EverLoop by SAP

verLoop by SAP aims to empower every business on the planet to achieve zero waste by being a sustainability solution that connects stakeholders across the waste value chain to enable the circular economy, with transparency and traceability.

  • The venture, its business idea and product development were discussed in a feature in national newspaper Times of India: A big moment for EverLoop by SAP after two years of delivering their solution to the market and help customers managing their e-waste and achieve zero.
  • Join the team as a Developer UI and apply now on SAP.iO.

More on this venture on https://www.ever-loop.io/

Feather by SAP

eather by SAP is an end-to-end recommerce solution that support brands and retailers that want to accelerate the shift from linear to circular business by taking ownership over their recommerce activities. Facilitate the in-house business processes, capture data, engage with the shopper, and own the end-to-end product life cycle.

  • We have a new kid on the block at SAP.iO Venture Studio! Feather by SAP finalized naming and branding and has a sparkling new brand identity: Check out their website and follow on LinkedIn.
  • The official investment announcement introduced the venture and its product’s benefits for SAP customers.
  • As part of SAP’s venture arm SAP.iO, Feather by SAP was also discussed as one of SAP’s sustainability software solutions. Read more news here.
  • Do you want to shape the future of a new venture? Feather by SAP is looking for a Frontend DeveloperFull Stack DeveloperData ScientistUX Designer, and Product Owner and they have numerous fellowship positions available. Find all open positions here.

More on this venture on https://www.featherbysap.io/

GreenToken by SAP

reenToken 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.

  • The venture looks back at a successful year with an exciting feature in SAP’s CEO opening keynote at SAPPHIRE NOW 2021, and more outings and media mentions, including:
    • Numerous LinkedIn articles and posts with over 70,500 views in total
    • Inspiring external speaking engagements
    • Features in external media articles in 2021, including Frontier Enterprise and Crypto News BTC
  • Congratulations are in order! The venture was nominated for Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award 2022 and is among the last 9 finalists. Check out the nomination video and announcement of the finalists.
  • GreenToken by SAP can also track hydrogen across supply chains to help businesses determine whether it is truly green. Need more on how on GreenToken by SAP’s supply chain solution can contribute to reducing current logistics challenges for the fuel of the future? Read more on the Wall Street Journal.

More on this venture on https://www.green-token.io/

Paid Promptly by SAP

aid Promptly by SAP drives cash into your business faster by automating receivable processes. Deliver a seamless, personalized, customer experience through Paid Pronto’s automated communication solution, beginning when an invoice is first released until payment is received.

  • Paid Promptly by SAP automates receivables to drive cash into businesses faster and sets a focus on customer correspondence. Listen to SAP’s Chief Financial Officer Luka Mucic and get a first glimpse of the importance of their work in this video
  • The venture has a big influence on SAP’s cash collection. This video shows how SAP has optimized this process with Paid Promptly by SAP.
  • Interested in working at this venture? They are looking actively for a Senior Full Stack Engineer.

More on this venture on https://www.paidpromptly.io/

Source Agent by SAP

reat sourcing shouldn’t be a secret. Source Agent by SAP gives you the insights and strategies to address spend intelligently and wow your stakeholders. Identify sourcing opportunities by aligning your spend to current market intelligence. Receive a targeted sourcing strategy and supplier recommendations based on your data and requirements for each spend category. Quickly convert strategies and plans into eSourcing event prep and execution.

  • Want more entrepreneurial insights into founding and scaling a business? The ventures’ co-founder Travis Matter and Will Caseber talked about their personal journey with Source Agent by SAP and SAP.iO. Read about their experiences here.

More on this venture on https://www.sourceagent.io/

SAP.iO Launches Future of Automotive Startup Program in Bangalore

December 9, 2021 SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) announced the launch of a new virtual startup program focused on the future of automotive at SAP.iO Foundry Bangalore. Five startups have been selected by a panel of SAP experts, partners, and customers in India to join the cohort. The SAP.iO program is designed to accelerate early-stage B2B startups that can extend SAP’s portfolio and deliver additional innovation to customers.

“With investments in electric vehicle infrastructure, digital manufacturing and direct-to-consumer distribution, the automotive industry continues to witness a massive transformation,” said Manish Prasad, Vice President, Metal, Mining & Automotive Industry at SAP Indian Subcontinent. “The SAP.iO program brings together industry and startup communities to build robust intelligent and scalable technology solutions that address current business challenges and accelerate growth and agility for the automotive sector.”

SAP.iO’s growing network of top-tier startup programs enables entrepreneurs to extend SAP’s portfolio with innovative software solutions for SAP customers. Throughout the 12-week program, the startups will gain valuable mentorship from SAP executives and leading industry experts, as well as access to SAP® technology, application programming interfaces (APIs), and opportunities to collaborate with SAP customers.

The SAP.iO Foundry Bangalore cohort includes the following startups:

  • Dave.AI is an AI-powered sales augmentation platform that helps brands drive sales with improved and interactive product discovery experiences using a virtual sales avatar.
  • Rezo.AI automates conversations over voice, emails, WhatsApp, social media, and chats using artificial intelligence for efficient and effective customer interactions.
  • Plutomen provides augmented reality and virtual reality solutions for remote assistance and collaboration to help transform the industrial frontline.
  • Electrono is a digital solutions enterprise with expertise in research infrastructure management, remote engineering, design consultancy, and Industry 4.0 solutions.
  • CamCom leverages computer vision and associated technologies to improve the visual inspection process.

About SAP.iO
SAP.iO delivers new partnerships and products for SAP by accelerating and scaling startup innovation as well as incubating employee ventures. SAP.iO brings together innovators from every region, industry, and line of business to transform how businesses run. Since 2017, SAP.iO has helped 330+ external startups and internal ventures accelerate their growth while enabling thousands of SAP customers to access innovation. For more information, visit https://sap.io/.

Dedication for progress: From employees to co-founders

A good idea is based on a combination of intuition, customer understanding and experience. Fortunately, Travis Mattern and Will Caseber have just that. While they’ve been long-time SAP employees, they have proven their entrepreneurial spirit and founded the employee-led venture Source Agent by SAP. With the upcoming Entrepreneurship Day on November 16, 2021 in the US, we thought it would be great to hear from them on their entrepreneurial journey firsthand.

Working as a senior director in the global sales operations team at SAP Ariba, Travis was not actively trying to become a founder. But this all changed when he came across an internal tool that classifies the suppliers of a company in a matter of hours. After encountering the tool, he realized its potential — especially if it could be given to customers directly. With this idea in mind, Travis entered his idea into the SAP.iO accelerator program for employees shortly before the deadline in 2020 and was accepted.

“To be honest, I really had no idea who the SAP.iO team was, what the SAP.iO Intrapreneurship program really was all about,” he said. “But when I was accepted, I learned a lot through that fast-track program and really ended up pivoting the idea through that process.”

Will Caseber joined Travis right before the accelerator program started. With more than 20 years of experience in procurement and sourcing, he was the perfect fit with the right expertise.

“When I last worked with supplier classification as a value advisor, the process was highly manual, and it would take the better part of probably three to four weeks to complete,” Will said. “Travis made the point using this automated process as an entry to sourcing-as-a-service; with the vision of delivering and engaging with customers in a different way, a digital way that aligns with SAP’s corporate strategy. That got my attention. And that’s something that evolved throughout the entire accelerator program.”

A long way to go

Going through the accelerator program with coaching, pitches and weeks of deep focus, Travis and Will received their first investment and founded the venture Source Agent by SAP. Since then, they have worked tirelessly on transforming sourcing into a web-based purchasing process that supports buyers in their procurement strategy. Being the two people in charge of a venture was not only exciting but also challenging. Travis explained that even with the first round of funding he was constantly thinking about the next steps and how to handle the complexity of his new role.

“We have to cover all elements of the business: budgeting, branding, going-to-market, building a product, finding customers, HR, and finance,” he said. “And I am still trying to figure out the best way to build the right culture within the team. I’m constantly challenged with where to spend my time best each day.”

Will said that his biggest challenge was the lack of tangibility of their product.

“In the early stages we were pitching a dream as opposed to an actual product and that’s a challenge. But we’re living the dream now and we’re getting some traction and recently had first customer traction,” he said.

First achievements

Even though the co-founders needed to focus on many issues simultaneously, there were moments in which both could feel their progress and enjoyed the payout of their hard work. Travis felt this acutely when Source Agent by SAP went live.

“For me, a key moment was when we went live with the website, created our LinkedIn company, and updated our personal LinkedIn profiles. This was our way to tell the rest of the world: Hey, we’re doing this!” Travis said.

Co-founder Will, on the other hand, associates this feeling with when the team was able to sign their first contract.

“We have been pitching the concept for quite a few weeks but you’re still unsure whether or not they’re going to make the decision,” he said. “When they came back with a signed contract it was now very real. We have a company that’s put their trust in us and now we have to deliver.”

Personal progression

After eight months of intense work, Travis and Will are now enthusiastic co-founders with a team of eight members and their first customers. It’s not only their job description that changed but also their way of working and of appreciating what they are doing.

“I’ve noticed I’m more inspired when I enjoy the work that I’m doing and I feel like it has more purpose. It has definitely been an awesome experience,” Travis said. “We’ve got the corporate safety net but we do have the independence to run it like our own business within SAP.”

Will thinks back to the moment he recognized the importance of the team: “It’s getting your ego out of the way, and kind of focusing on the team delivery aspect and realizing that you may not be able to convince every customer to convert and take on.”

Travis’s and Will’s journey was challenging and eventful, and it still is. By staying on track with the help of the SAP.iO Venture Studio they didn’t lose sight of their goal: To simplify and automate sourcing to help all businesses run better. And with their first customers today, their dream becomes more and more reality.

Great sourcing shouldn’t be a secret. Source Agent by SAP gives you the insights and strategies to address spend intelligently and wow your stakeholders. Identify sourcing opportunities by aligning your spend to current market intelligence. Receive a targeted sourcing strategy and supplier recommendations based on your data and requirements for each spend category. Quickly convert strategies and plans into eSourcing event prep and execution. More on this venture on www.sourceagent.io/

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. Find out more on www.sap.io/studio/

How startups can help to create a positive impact on society and business

A good product is no longer enough to win a customer. Sustainability has become the new compass for companies worldwide and has gained enormous importance over the years.

“There is no doubt that sustainability is a key piece of the strategy of most successful companies moving forward, if not all of them,” said Gunther Rothermel, Head of SAP S/4HANA Sustainability.

This increased focus on sustainability has impacted both consumer behaviour and employer branding. According to a global report from The Economist Intelligence Unit and the World Wildlife Fund, global online searches for sustainable goods have increased by 71 percent increase over the last five years, triggering what’s been called an “eco-awakening.”

Not only that, but employees are placing more value on finding responsible and sustainable employers. The global pandemic has only accelerated this demand for sustainable actions, a sense of urgency for businesses to improve their sustainability credentials.

 

What customers want

For customers on their journey to build a more sustainable enterprise, there are three goals to keep in mind:

Software technology can help with these challenges by collecting, analyzing, and providing insights based on that data.

But no company, government, or country will solve the greatest challenges of our time alone. To succeed, companies need to collaborate across value chains, build alliances, and work together with governments and academia.

Global challenges require global solutions

The partnership between SAP and Accenture shows what is possible when two leading companies join forces to help their customers stay ahead of this global transformation.

Together, SAP and Accenture launched the “Sustainable Future” accelerator program with 13 selected startups from eight countries at the SAP.iO Foundries Berlin and Munich. The joint program aimed at helping early-stage B2B startups drive digital transformation and innovation in four target areas: carbon tracking and trading, resource efficiency, climate risk tracking and mitigation, and the circular economy.

“The ‘Sustainable Future’ cohort represents an innovation engine, meant to be leveraged by customers,” said Stephanie Guimbellot, Managing Director and Global SAP Sustainability Lead at Accenture, during a panel discussion at the closing Demo Day.

This collaboration is the latest in a series of initiatives from Accenture and SAP that help businesses support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and capture value from sustainability.

“We are entering the decade of action,” Guimbellot said, adding that today’s companies need to modify their business models to have a real impact on sustainability. “Technology will be an absolute must to reach the SDGs.”

This also means that startups are crucial in this process, across all industries.

“Sustainability will be an ecosystem where startups play an important role as they complement existing offerings with specialized technology,” she said.

How startups can help accelerate the sustainability journey

During the Demo Day, startups Astraea, Carbon Minds and Footprint had the chance to present their solutions and first projects with customers.

Astraea hails from Charlottesville and leverages unique big data from air quality sensors to geospatial analysis for real-time insights and workflow automation toward climate risk tracking and mitigation. In a first integration case with SAP’s Industry Cloud for Agriculture, Astraea will focus on providing satellite-derived data and indexes by field to enable seasonal planning on field level reflecting upcoming growing cycles.

Founded in Cologne, Carbons Minds provides integrated capabilities for holistic steering and reporting that helps companies measure, reduce, and offset CO2 emissions across their supply chain. The team is currently planning a project with a global pharmaceutical company to identify emission hotspots, find efficient mitigation options, and support the sustainable product development.

The third startup which showcased its superpower at the Demo Day was Berlin-based Footprint. Their software allows online shoppers to measure their feet with their smartphones and order the right shoe size, reducing returns, costs, and emissions. As part of their SAP.iO journey, Footprint is exploring collaboration opportunities with a German shoe and fashion retailer in SAP Commerce Cloud.

Check out the other ten startups that were part of the “Sustainable Future” program:

Stay tuned for more exciting customer projects and integrations coming out of this cohort. If you are a startup and want to participate in one of the upcoming SAP.iO programs, learn more and apply now!

About SAP.iO
To learn more about how SAP.iO is helping innovators start up and scale with SAP, please visit https://sap.io/.

Did you catch all our latest SAP.iO Venture Studio highlights?

July — September 2021 | Achievements & News from 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. Find more on sap.io/studio.

Autumn is upon us which means another three months have passed! Despite the summer break in many regions of the world, SAP employees have continued to take charge of their venture, pursued the freedom to shape their own strategy and taken their own decisions, also accelerating their own personal growth. Find the highlights of recent events and developments below:

 

The SAP.iO Venture Studio has welcomed a new venture to their portfolio. Yet to be named, it already had its first outing back at SAP’s customer flagship event.

We’ll share more on the venture soon!

Brilliant Hire by SAP

Brilliant Hire by SAP intelligently matches candidates with a personalized shortlist of jobs on your careers page based on what really matters to them, using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

  • Brilliant Hire is now live on the SAP Store!
  • Despite already having mentioned their latest video in last quarter’s edition, we nevertheless wanted to highlight it once more. Watch and read how their product elevates the candidate experience with smart job matching.

More on this venture on https://www.brillianthire.io/

GreenToken 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.

  • After featuring prominently in the global opening CEO keynote at SAPPHIRE 2021 and announcing their collaboration with Eastman Chemicals, the partners got together for yet another project, in the form of a 24-hour hackathon. Read more on the event in this blog post on LinkedIn: 24 hour Hackathon delivers cool consumer ‘App’​
  • Further, Eastman also strengthened their commitment to GreenToken and a more sustainable future by mentioning the venture in their quarterly update for investors: “In addition, we continue to drive the circular economy platform from every angle, including digital. We are proud to highlight our collaboration with SAP GreenToken technology. The Eastman and SAP collaboration will leverage the blockchain-based platform of GreenToken to provide visibility through the value chain of sustainable products, such as the specialty plastics produced with Eastman’s molecular recycling technologies. Through data transparency enabled by blockchain, the platform is designed to give brands and consumers traceable information of sustainable attributes of products, including their percentage of certified recycled content.”

More on this venture on http://www.green-token.io/

Paid Promptly by SAP

Paid Promptly by SAP drives cash into your business faster by automating receivable processes. Deliver a seamless, personalized, customer experience through Paid Pronto’s automated communication solution, beginning when an invoice is first released until payment is received.

  • Brilliant Hire has a new General Manager! Paul Parter has taken over the task from Erin Dierker who is on to a new academic chapter at Stanford Business School. We’re wishing both all the best!

More on this venture on https://www.paidpromptly.io/

EverLoop by SAP

EverLoop by SAP aims to empower every business on the planet to achieve zero waste by being a sustainability solution that connects stakeholders across the waste value chain to enable the circular economy, with transparency and traceability.

  • Read here about the founders’ journey and how they developed an idea that was initially discussed over coffee into a product!
  • The team will be from now also sharing updates on their LinkedIn channel, so don’t forget to follow them on their journey of enabling the circular economy through transparent and easy e-waste disposal and recycling management.

More on this venture on https://everloopbysap.webflow.io/

SourceAgent by SAP

Great sourcing shouldn’t be a secret. Source Agent by SAP gives you the insights and strategies to address spend intelligently and wow your stakeholders. Identify sourcing opportunities by aligning your spend to current market intelligence. Receive a targeted sourcing strategy and supplier recommendations based on your data and requirements for each spend category. Quickly convert strategies and plans into eSourcing event prep and execution.

  • The venture celebrated their six months anniversary on September 1! If you need a throwback, re-read their investment announcement from our 2020/2021 cohort here.
  • The team will be from now also sharing updates on their LinkedIn channel, so don’t forget to follow them on their journey of building the future of sourcing.
  • Their pilot program is currently open. Visit their website or email sourceagent@sap.com to learn more.

More on this venture on https://www.sourceagent.io/

Starting a corporate venture: From idea to funding

Co-Founders of EverLoop by SAP

Sometimes the best ideas just come from chatting over a coffee: The founders behind EverLoop by SAP share insights on how they started their business, what hurdles they had to overcome along the way and what makes a successful team.

Co-Founders of EverLoop by SAP

When and how did you know you had a viable idea for a start-up?

So, you have a problem to solve. Now what?

Which difficulties did you have to overcome in your first months as co-founders?

What plans do you have for the future?

About EverLoop by SAP

About SAP.iO Venture Studio

 

Did you catch all our latest SAP.iO Venture Studio highlights?

April — June 2021 | Achievements & News from 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. Find more on sap.io/studio.

It’s been a busy three months recently! SAP employees haven taken charge of their venture, pursued the freedom to shape their own strategy and taken their own decisions, also accelerating their own personal growth. Find the highlights of recent events and developments below:

 

Brilliant Hire by SAP

Brilliant Hire by SAP intelligently matches candidates with a personalized shortlist of jobs on your careers page based on what really matters to them, using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

  • Brilliant Hire has a new General Manager! Jeanine LeFlore already shared some insights on “Busting Product Myths” in this blogpost.
  • Head of Marketing at Brilliant Hire, Katya Pokrovskaya, also shared her tips for successful startup marketing in this blogpost.
  • Did you know that 90% of candidates leave career pages without applying? Their new product video and this article explain more on how they help customers with this challenge and elevate the candidate experience.
  • Brilliant Hire’s offer to their early access program was also announced during SAPPHIRE NOW 2021. Read more in the event’s Innovation News Guide and watch their customer talk in this session on how companies can build their future together with SAP.

More on this venture on https://www.brillianthire.io/

GreenToken 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.

  • The venture turned one on April 1! Walk down memory lane with them in this blog post.
  • GreenToken was featured in the global CEO keynote of SAP’s flagship event SAPPHIRE NOW 2021. Watch their segment here. Their early access program was also announced during the event. Read more in the event’s Innovation News Guide.
  • Eastman published a press release on their collaboration with the venture to track recycled content. Together they also joined the SAP Sustainability Summit. Find the replay to their session “Material Return Loops — Accelerating Sustainability Outcomes” here.

More on this venture on http://www.green-token.io/

OwnID by SAP

OwnID by SAP enables your customers to use their phone as a key to instantly access their accounts on your website. This password–less method of login and verification grants a subtle and streamlined user experience, ensuring the highest security standards and complete privacy of every account.

More on this venture on https://www.ownid.com/

Paid Pronto by SAP

Paid Pronto by SAP drives cash into your business faster by automating receivable processes. Deliver a seamless, personalized, customer experience through Paid Pronto’s automated communication solution, beginning when an invoice is first released until payment is received.

  • General Manager Erin Dierker featured on Femventure’s podcast episode on “Founding your own business”. Listen on Apple podcasts or openSAP.
  • Team member Andrew Blum also laid out in this blogpost why receivables teams might need to look across the hall to their procurement and payables counterparts for a transformation roadmap.

More on this venture on https://www.paidpronto.io/

EverLoop by SAP

EverLoop by SAP (formerly ReLoop by SAP) aims to empower every business on the planet to achieve zero waste by being a sustainability solution that connects stakeholders across the waste value chain to enable the circular economy, with transparency and traceability.

  • EverLoop joined the SAP Sustainability Summit. Find the replay to their session ““Growth of Recommerce to Better Manage our Waste” here.
  • The venture is one out of two helping SAP and SAP customers achieve their sustainability goals. Read blog post here.
  • They also have a new website ready for you!

More on this venture on www.ever-loop.io!

SourceAgent by SAP

Great sourcing shouldn’t be a secret. Source Agent by SAP gives you the insights and strategies to address spend intelligently and wow your stakeholders. Identify sourcing opportunities by aligning your spend to current market intelligence. Receive a targeted sourcing strategy and supplier recommendations based on your data and requirements for each spend category. Quickly convert strategies and plans into eSourcing event prep and execution.

  • The venture is actively looking for customers interested in sourcing opportunity assessments (free of charge) right now. Contact them here.
  • And why not check out their new website as well?

More on this venture on https://www.sourceagent.io/

Venture Voices: Tips for successful start-up marketing

Start-up marketing, Storytelling and Co.: The Director of Product Marketing at Brilliant Hire by SAP shares some key lessons that that she has learned through the years. 

By Katya Pokrovskaya, Director of Product Marketing at Brilliant Hire by SAP 

Having recently made a career move, I joined Brilliant Hire by SAP as Director of Product Marketing just over a month ago. Brilliant Hire is an employee-led venture in the SAP.iO Venture Studio, SAP’s in-house incubator designed to build new growth businesses for the company. Having worked for a few early-stage software start-ups in the past, it feels great to be back in the innovation space. I wanted to share two tips that I believe are key in developing strong messaging and positioning for a SaaS start-up: building your story around your audience and communicating value over functionality. 

So, why does my start-up need marketing?

As a marketer, a question that I often get asked from non-marketer colleagues and friends is “Why do we even need marketing in the first place? We’re building a great product. It should sell itself”. It’s an interesting question as there’s no doubt that a great product is the foundation for the success of a business. Organizations such as Product-Led Institute have built fantastic frameworks and entire training programs on building fast-growing SaaS businesses with a product-led approach. However, as important as product is, so is getting the word out about it in a way that will resonate with your market. Marketers exist to craft a clear, compelling story and bring it to the right people at the right time – to ultimately communicate the value of your product and drive growth. 

Tip: Make your customer the hero of your (marketing) story

Who is your target audience? If you’re trying to appeal to everybody, then you’re probably not appealing to anybody. I would argue that the number one rule of marketing is this: know your audience. It starts with taking a step back from what you’re building or selling to listen and empathize with your target user and customer. Try to learn as much about them as possible to understand their unique needs and think about where you can help. Make time for qualitative research such as interviews and focus groups to build detailed buyer/user/customer persona profiles. If your product addresses a few different audiences, repeat the audience profile exercise for each one to understand all the key personas that you are positioning your product to. Ask yourself: Who are you building your product for? What problems does it solve for them? What value can it bring to their lives?   

The expert knowledge you gain from empathizing with your audience should be the foundation for your marketing storytelling. Think of your marketing message as a story and your customer as the hero of the story. I recently came across an interesting framework for crafting a marketing story in a great book that I’m reading: Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller.  As in any story plotline, the hero (your customer) will need to overcome a challenge or obstacle. Eventually, they meet a guide (your product/service/solution) who will offer them a plan and provide a call to action to help them solve the problem. How does your product help customers overcome a challenge and make them successful?   

Tip: Communicate value, not feature/function

In the fast-paced, information-saturated world that we live in, communicating value helps people quickly understand why they should care about your product. When creating marketing messaging for software, it can be easy to resort to listing the features and functions of the amazing SaaS product that you’re building. However, unless you’re targeting a highly technical customer, this approach most likely wouldn’t resonate with your audience. Instead, think about how you can help your customer: specific use cases for your product, the problems solved for the end-users and ultimately, the value that it brings. Even better, could you quantify the value to show things like time saved or ROI?   

Stewart Butterfield, the co-founder of Slack, once sent a memo to his team that said: “Just as much as our job is to build something genuinely useful, something which really does make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive, our job is also to understand what people think they want and then translate the value of Slack into their terms”. 

The category of company-wide messaging software wasn’t new when Slack entered the market in 2013. However, Slack was unparalleled in translating their platform’s capabilities into a clear value proposition. By positioning themselves as a replacement for email and the place “where work happens”, Slack clearly communicates how its product makes users’ working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive. The strong messaging and positioning, coupled with a fantastic product, powered Slack’s impressive hypergrowth.   

At the end of the day, customer-centric marketing that communicates clear value will make it quick and easy for your audience to understand why they should choose your product over all of the other options out there.

Check out the SAP.iO Venture Studio website to learn more about how we drive organic innovation for SAP.

About Brilliant Hire by SAP

Brilliant Hire intelligently matches candidates with a personalized shortlist of a company’s jobs based on what really matters to them. It allows the candidates to search based on their skills, interests and passions — instead of keywords.

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.

Cracking the code: From startup to scale up in enterprise software

Panel of speakers at Tech Crunch

By Ram Jambunathan

The startup journey is hard. An estimated 75% of venture-backed companies never return cash to investors; only 1% go on to become unicorns. Startup success requires brutally efficient execution and a bit of luck. My own experience as a startup founder attests to this. When we started T-Networks (now a part of Broadcom), we had to build our own semiconductor fab and packaging facility, while at the same time competing with deep-pocketed, well-established multinationals. A “pivot” in those days, should we decide we needed to change in tack (e.g., different product in different segment), was going to be a fairly difficult (if not impossible) road to travel. So, I have to say I’m excited (and perhaps even a little envious) when I see the opportunities entrepreneurs have today — to build, test, refine, and even pivot — now that the need to construct the infrastructure required to develop the actual product is removed.

Of course, there are still challenges. In enterprise software, it also requires industry expertise, access to strong networks, and an ability to reach customers — all of which pose significant barriers to many entrepreneurs who aspire to transform industries. This is where a strategic partner like SAP can help early-stage startups scale the barriers to success.

The SAP.iO Fund and SAP.iO Foundries invest in and accelerate early-stage startups at the leading edge of B2B software innovation, who leverage a combination of emerging technologies like AI or IoT, business process expertise, and new business models. We realize that agile, early-stage startups complementary to SAP can expand and enhance the SAP ecosystem and solutions, giving our customers access to relevant, cutting-edge solutions. While SAP can help startups target customer needs, connect to SAP systems, and access SAPs broad customer base.

A key challenge many startups have after finding product-market fit is scaling. This can require significant investment, especially on the customer acquisition side — from marketing to sales to customer success. But what if the right partner could help to identify and prioritize high-value prospects, make those introductions, and then even help to drive the sales process? This is the type of startup partner SAP and SAP.iO strives to be — even for early-stage startups.

Startups that SAP.iO supports receive strong and unprecedented exposure to our field and customers. We have dedicated resources on the SAP.iO team that ensure SAP.iO startups get visibility and interest from internal account teams, customers, and partners. For example, during the first half of 2019 alone, at least 150 major customers visited SAP.iO Foundries in NA and Europe to meet with the startups SAP.iO is supporting.

In particular, on the go-to-market side, startups ask about the tactical ways that SAP typically partners with startups, where the field is provided incentives to position and / or sell a startup partner’s solution. In my session today at Techcrunch Enterprise 2019, I shared the stage with 3 SAP.iO Fund startups — BigID, Medal, and Plum — who discussed the various ways they work with SAP to scale sales and deliver value to customers:

  1. CO-SELL — in this model, startups get exposure to the SAP customer base via the SAP AppCenter. SAP customers can discover, try, and buy startup solutions. Customers transact through the SAP AppCenter, on the startup partners’ contract paper. Select partners may have special pipeline generation activities supported by an SAP Business Unit.
  2. RE-SELL — in this model, startup partner solutions can be sold via the SAP Solution Extension program, where the solution is sold by the field on SAP contract paper and is also supported by dedicated partner management. This is generally reserved for more mature startups.
  3. OEM (INBOUND) — in this model, the startup solution is embedded into an SAP solution. SAP then sells the combined offering on SAP paper, with the startup receiving a license fee from SAP for using their IP.

By leveraging these types of partnerships, startups can dramatically expand their reach, pipeline, and ability to deliver value to SAP customers. It’s important to note that startups dramatically increase success working with a channel partner if they already have a successful, scalable, repeatable sales formula (or process) that they can teach to the partner. Contrary to popular startup mythology, early-stage startups can have success cracking the code with large enterprise partners — SAP.iO is proof of this.