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If you are in the enterprise software business, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that after Disney World, one of the biggest attractions in Orlando is the SAP SAPPHIRE NOW event. With tens of thousands of customers in attendance, including some of the world’s biggest companies, and over a million sq. ft. of exhibition space, this is not your garden variety technology conference. Not bad for an event that started off with a mere 100 people over a quarter century ago, eh? While this is a marquee event for SAP customers, prospects, technologists, analysts, bloggers, influencers and others, if you are a startup that is delivering solutions to either businesses or consumers, this is an event you ought not to miss either.

**5/30 UPDATE: Joining the 'Think Like A Startup' keynote panel will be Dr. h.c. Hasso Plattner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, SAP. With his unique point of view as both a founder and a leader at a large enterprise, Dr. Plattner will certainly be offering highly insightful commentary on how to leverage the best of both worlds.

This year, in addition to the usual panoply of demos, microforums, theater sessions, keynotes and the cool-gee-whiz kind of displays, we have significantly expanded the presence of the SAP Startup Focus program at this show. All of which means that as a startup you will now have the opportunity to evangelize your message before a supremely relevant audience, at the precise point in time when they are in the market looking for solutions to help them address their core business issues. After all, these folks wouldn’t be at the show otherwise.

The footprint of the SAP Startup Focus at SAPPHIRE NOW currently looks like this:

  1. Platform & Technology campus – expert table (TC 307), manned by technical & business experts to answer questions and provide a guided tour of the SAP Startup Focus program and the over 100 validated solutions we have on tap for customers
  2. Cloud area – Microforum ("Startup Like Never Before") of 45 minutes on June 3rd, with 2 participating startups
  3. Think Like a Startup - Forum event on June 5th, with 14 sessions, including
    • 1 keynote panel (featuring Paul Walborsky, CEO of GigaOm and Prof. Josh Lerner, Head of Entrepreneurial Management at Harvard Business School)
    • 5 demo theater sessions
    • 5 main theater sessions
    • 3 microforums
    • A detailed agenda can be found here:
  4. SAP Startup Focus Awards, where awards are being awarded for the following categories:
    • Most Innovative
    • Most Transformative
    • Most Social Impact
    • Best Native HANA Application
  5. Special Interest Activity – Our startups will have a chance to meet & network with SAP colleagues, customers & partners at the IT Innovation cocktail mixer on Tuesday June 3rd
  6. Participation in a healthcare microforum in the Industry campus on Thursday, June 5th
  7. SAP HANA Unplugged - Panel Discussion with SAP Customers  on June 3rd, with 3 startups participating

You get the idea. SAPPHIRE NOW offers an amazing opportunity for startups to strut their stuff. No surprises almost 80 of them have confirmed their attendance and the numbers continue to grow. The only question now is - Will you be there?

Follow us #SAPPHIRENOW and @Sapstartups