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New adventures within the SAP family

OK not that I don’t have many, many, many, many good things in my life but for someone like me who loves hearing about new technologies, new services and the like this one is just “ohhhh so nice!”

The other week I posted “Good things come to those who wait” into Twitter then had quite a few folks ping me via Twitter, email and others means to ask “what” I was talking about and all I could answer was “I can’t tell you yet”. The reason for this was because I was not sure if this was a public thing or a purely internal thing here at SAP.I made a trip to Walldorf this past week for some meetings regarding the up and coming SAP TechEd and SAP SAPHHIRE as well as some new ideas that were hoping to launch for the community here soon, while there Thursday night I was invited to a reception to celebrate and welcome a new group of people to a program started last year at SAP. OK I was invited the previous week so I planed things so everything worked out timing wise and I could attend the reception, the program is with SAP Ventures, the SAP venture capitalist group.

SAP Ventures helps build industry-leading companies by partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and top-tier venture capital firms. We are information technology investors who focus on enterprise products and services. In the 10 years since we were founded by Hasso Plattner, Chairman and co-Founder of SAP AG, SAP Ventures has invested in over 75 companies.Our seven person investment team has more than 60 years of combined software experience as operators, entrepreneurs, industry analysts and investors. We have over 35 years of direct investing experience. The entire team believes in involving ourselves deeply with our companies. We are open and flexible in our thinking and believe there is the potential for great companies and solutions in a wide variety of spaces. This is reflected in our willingness to investigate opportunities across all stages, industries and market segments on a global basis.

Andreas Weiskam organized the program last year and as he told me, this is to “formalize the working relationships we have with many of the experts and topic leaders within the vast SAP organization.” I’ve been helping the group off and on, as were the others for the past year with opinions and thoughts on various new technologies. That year, unknown to myself and the others, was actually something like a “test” to gage  the working relationships and this time around a select few were nominated to join as a new SAP Ventures Fellow.

The Fellowship program is a year long program where we get the opportunity to learn more about the world of Venture Capitalists as well as learn what types of things SAP, in particular look for in regards to new technologies. We’ll be given many opportunities such as seeing the process through from start to finish; looking at various companies, filtering out those which apply and which do not, researching the selected companies, a chance perhaps of even hearing the “pitch” and of course being given the chance to even explore our avenues of interest and potentially recommending companies to the group for review as well.

Their are a total of 15 Fellows in the program from around the world so I’m very excited for the chance and opportunity and look forward to seeing how things go forward from here. I’m not 100% sure on the details yet I will be having my first “1 on 1” in the next week or so and from there I will be sure to find out the who, what, where and how on moving forward. I do plan to share as much as possible as I go along, well at least those things that are for public consumption. Got a “pitch” or know someone who does? Watch this space for more to come!

This is a new adventure for me and it will be fun finding ways to combine this with my day to day job and tasks with SDN! A challenge I look very much forward to.

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