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SAP StartUp Studio: A garage that can transform ideas into successful companies

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SAP, the $23.3 billion market leader in Enterprise application software has upped its game in India, by bringing into its campus in Whitefield, Bengaluru, the first batch of startups that are working on core technologies like artificial intelligence and cloud-based software.  The new tenants at SAP Labs India campus will be housed at the “StartUp Studio” – a 75 seat incubation facility.  Every year, the studio will take around 10 startups, provide them with technical expertise and support and give them access to the large base of SAP customers where appropriate. . The end goal of the Studio is to fine-tune the business of these startups and take them to their next stage of growth.

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“Startup innovations are happening in India and we recognise that we have to support the Startup Policy launched by the Prime Minister this year,” says Bernd Leukert, Member of the Executive Board at SAP, Products and Innovation. He adds that the StartUp Studio will be a place where SAP executives and employees can interact with these startups and jointly share resources. SAP Labs announced at the curtain raiser event to announce the SAP Startup Studio initiative on n Thursday, 23 June, that it is even changing its HR policies to encourage its 8,000 odd employees to become entrepreneurs. Starting this year, any employee who wants to start his own company can take a two-year sabbatical from the company. “If the startup succeeds, then they can continue their business or they can come back to us,” says Dilipkumar Khandelwal, MD of SAP Labs in India. He adds that even if they fail and decided to come back to work, they will l bring back experience, which SAP can benefit from. Seven companies were selected for the accelerator programme and received an undisclosed amount in funding. These businesses serve healthcare, retail, manufacturing, Internet-of-things (IoT), and B2B commerce.

These are some of the startups that made the cut

  • CloudKare: a cloud-based interoperable electronic health record platform
  • BluBirch: an end-to-end reverse supply solution to help retailers, enterprises, and OEMs maximise value from unutilised/returned inventory
  • Niki.ai: a chat-bot concierge that accepts customer orders and fulfills it through partner merchants
  • Sellerworx: an e-commerce technology solution that helps SMEs manage online operations across marketplaces and become active on e-commerce platforms
  • Stratawiz: an app for engagement and productivity enhancement of sales teams
  • Moglix: an online marketplace for retailers, SMEs, and consumers to buy industrial products
  • Ecolibrium Energy: an energy analytics platform that helps business optimise their power consumption

There are three more startups that will make it to the Studio, and SAP Labs will name them over the next few months.

What solutions do these companies offer?

CloudKare makes healthcare efficient by removing paper from the ecosystem. All data is digitised, which makes for better engagement between patients, doctors, and hospitals. “Healthcare requires disruption in managing health records. We believe our platform can make the ecosystem robust with our technology,” says Rajat Mangla, Co-founder of CloudKare.

SAP Labs has looked at pain points that need solutions in the global e-commerce or retail business. They have roped in BluBirch, whose software manages a company’s unused IT inventory, and Ratan Tata-funded Niki.ai, which uses chat bots to close transactions. Then there is Sellerworx , which makes sellers optimise their online sales on e-commerce portals by using engagement platforms. Stratawiz is an app that enhances sales teams’ performance with themes such as gamification. SAP has also bet on Moglix, which is a market place for industrial products. “There are tens of millions of SMBs in India who can benefit from buying on our platform,” says Rahul Garg, Co-founder of Moglix. SAP’s goal is to understand how industries buy products, a process that can be integrated in to its industrial offering to SMBs going forward.

Ecolibrium Energy is another company that SAP has managed to rope in. The company allows businesses to understand energy management within a company. It is a device-and-high-end automated analytics play that provides a company insight into using their energy resources better. It complements SAP’s play in IoT and the connected world thesis. These seven startups play well into SAP’s bet on high-end data analytics, cloud, and optimisation of services on the smartphone.

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