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August 15 is really vacation time in Europe. Some would consider planning to host the forum on August 15 in Berlin somewhat risky – especially when you have to recruit 30 startups in 6 weeks. The team who all have other “day” jobs at SAP pulled out all the stops and we had a phenomenal turnout.   Thirty-five startups mostly from Germany and even one out of Austria came to participate in a day of learning and collaboration focused on big data trends and technologies. More importantly they came to present their HANA use cases and stand a chance to get into the SAP Startup Focus Program   

Day of collaboration packed with exciting agenda

Cafer Tosun, SVP and  Managing Director of SAP Innovation Center in Potsdam who sponsored the event presented the opening note to an audience of 120 invited guests comprising of start-ups, representatives from SAP Ventures & Hasso Plattner Ventures, SAP employees and invited Media.  Matthias Uflacker demo’ed the results of a HANA use case that the SAP Innovation Center has co-innovated together with BigPoint for presenting real-time offers for on-line gamers to drive revenue

The start-ups then got a brief introduction on SAP HANA from Ingo Brenckmann, Senior development manager at SAP before the 15 of the startups did a 5 minute pitch in 3 different sessions moderated by Craig Cmehil who was the official “time-keeper”. The remaining start-ups had the opportunity to present their big data solutions in the mix-it session in the afternoon. The agenda additionally featured:

  • A panel discussion by Kaustav Mitra (SAP), Stefan Herr (Ankhor) who are one of the first “graduates” of the SAP Startup Program , Rouven Westphal (Hasso Plattner Ventures) moderated by Soenke Moosmann
  • An inspiring executive note from Aiaz Kazi who re-iterated the importance of the focus progam claiming  the best ideas for HANA are sure to come from passionate entrepreneurs’
  • Startups got to engage with topic experts in intensive deep-dive discussions covering:  
    • SAP HANA by Ingo Brenckmann, Jörn Hartwig (d.Labs)
    • Startup Funding Opportunities by Rouven Westphal/Jens Schmidt-Ehmcke (HPV)
    • SAP Startup Focus Program by Kaustav Mitra and Stefan Herr
    • SAP Innovation Center by Andreas Raab, Gretta Hohl

Exciting Innovative big data use cases from Startups

The start-ups presented use cases from diverse industries such as Healthcare, Retail, Pharmaceutical, Utilities, Banking, Automotive to name just a few

  • HoneyTracks claimed that "Games are bigger than Hollywood" and presented their game analytics use case that enables personalized in-game messages to maximize revenue  
  • Pixray  has image-recognition software that can be used to protect intellectual property  of photographs, digital images, company brands on the web and already has 50 customers
  • Croking enables companies to analyze & respond to opinions or ideas from consumers on social channels
  • Plista enable personalized reading recommendations and advertisements to web visitors  
  • Conatix semi-automate market researchers work. They developed a model that "learns" & gets smarter the more it gets used to crawl web for docs
  • XQS  track and  trace drugs in pharmaceutical industry using RFID  in order to combat counterfeiting of drugs and also find "black holes"
  • SocialMeme analyze social media data and create live topic maps to enable businesses to react to impacting news  
  • VMS  find correlations between KPI's to detect inefficiencies in operational processes using granular sap data  
  • Acteno  help industrial businesses become energy efficient by enabling performance management of big volumes of smart meter data  
  • Next Audience  offer “better data than google” data  for personalized digital adverts in real-time 
  • Anfesito  presented next evolution to online banking for consumers aka “itunes for personal finances”  
  • Myspotworld   presented gaming app that allows consumers to easily identify and buy sustainable products 
  • Betterfood made the business case on optimizing the food value chain by stating that  Germany wastes 11 million tons of food per year 

Opportunities for data collection is growing especially from”internet of things” yet companies fail to maximize value from the data. Recurring themes were:

  1. Personalization – The need to provide more targeted products and services from medicine to digital messages, offers or adverts.
  2. Optimization – Find ways to reduce “waste” be it energy or food consumption or detect inefficiencies in operational processes
  3. Better response – be it protection of digital IP , react to impacting news or consumer opinion.
  4. Informed consumers –   to enable consumers to make better choices be it buying sustainable products to personal finance

Bottom line was that HANA offers startups the ability to not only analyze the data faster, initiate corrective response in real time but also scale better than they can do today!

Prominent Media Coverage


The event got great media coverage. Here are some key highlights

Social Media Buzz

The Berlin startup event was also the trending topic on twitter. Thanks to Aiaz Kazi, Hilmar Schepp and Craig Cmehill who helped drive the buzz on the social channels. 

I am already looking forward to being part of further events in the startup program!

Follow the startup conversation online #sap #startups

Ruks Omar