Our team, the SAP Design and Co-Innovation Center (DCC), hosted the first startup forum in South Germany at the AppHaus Heidelberg, jointly organized by the SAP Startup Focus Program, SAP University Alliances and Mannheim University. This event has been part of a worldwide series of events supporting the collaboration of SAP with young companies. So far, 1,200 startups are engaged with SAP globally. Gary Parnell, Lead Startup Outreach & Engagement EMEA, SAP Startup Focus, stressed the importance of the focus on startups as they offer fresh ideas from people who have grown up with technology.
Innovation Must Be Successful
The agenda featured talks about entrepreneurship as well as discussions around the needs and gaps in the IT industry and where big data is heading. “Innovation is more than an idea implemented into an invention. It must be successful”, outlined Dr. Carsten Hahn, Director of Research & Innovation at SAP. Design Thinking is one approach to test feasibility and viability. “The AppHaus with its unique atmosphere is the perfect place to test business models”, said Dr. Daniel Herzig, director of SearchHaus, one of the startups participating in the forum. He had already attended a bootcamp at the AppHaus where he could experience creativity and vividness with the team of the Design and Co-Innovation Center in an open-minded environment.
SAP HANA Accelerates Businesses
Eight IT-based startups presented their ideas for the implementation of SAP HANA within their company to solve big-data challenges. SAP HANA is the only in-memory innovation platform for real-time business available in the market. Each 4-minute long pitch was followed by a 1-minute Q&A session about how SAP HANA can be leveraged to enable or accelerate the business model.
Dr. Vishal Sikka, former member of the Executive Board of SAP AG, invited the forum members to join d-code for the awards presentation. D-code is a global IT conference series hosted at SAP locations around the world, with 6,000 developers and technology professionals gathering at the SAP Arena in Mannheim. The winning startup companies will benefit from free SAP HANA test and development licenses for up to one year. They will also profit from the $405 USD startup venture fund from SAP Ventures. Four judges evaluated the startups with regards to their innovative solutions. Snowcap received the Best Big Data Solution Award for web mining. eiKard, active in contact and business data management, was presented the Most Innovative Solution Award. The People’s Choice Award was handed over to Contagt, which offers indoor navigation analytics. To identify the winner of this category, forum attendees could support their favorite startup with 1 million Euros play money.