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My first encounter with Startup Weekend leaders was in the fall of 2010 when SAP and Startup Weekend jointly organized SAP TechEd  2010 Innovation Weekend. Innovation Weekend was a customized version of a Startup Weekend event, e.g. Innovation Weekend events were 1.5 days (instead of 2.5) and were targeting developers from SAP Ecosystem (rather than entrepreneurs). Innovation Weekend has now evolved into InnoJam where each event combines a Design Thinking workshop where teams design solutions to a real challenge and a hackathon where the same teams hack code to realize their designed solutions. SAP organizes InnoJam events around selected technology conferences that SAP organizes or sponsors. Read more and sign-up here!

Since 2010 our collaboration with Startup Weekend was reduced to a minimum: a few colleagues attended Startup Weekend events as participants mostly. We talked a few times in 2011 and 2012 about trying to do something together, in the Bay Area or at other places, but somehow I did not feel that we were ready to go big after the Startup Weekend crowd: we had to work on our brand, messaging and technology.

And then earlier this year another window opened when Gigi met with Ludo at an SAP Startup Focus event in Palo Alto…

I guess it was “just the right time”. Developer Entrepreneurs, whom we call “Deventrepreneurs”, have now become one of SAP’s strategic target developer segments. We have a lot to offer to those entreneurship-minded developers who are thinking about, or actively involved, in the creation of a new business with a strong technical component, typically around cloud-based enterprise applications. We have technologies to build on and a large ecosystem to sell to or partner with. We want to make this known to them and the rest of the world. In parallel Ludo was much interested in creating, with SAP, an Enterprise focused Startup Weekend series because there was high demand by entrepreneurs in the Startup Weekend community. Together we figured that it could only be win-win-win, win for Startup-Weekend, win for Entrepreneurs and win for SAP.

After a few weeks of hesitation about timing and possible event locations we finally agreed to kick-off the Enterprise Focused Startup Weekend series with a first event on June 7-9 on our Palo Alto campus. SAP would be platinum sponsor of the event and besides hosting the event and opening it with an exciting keynote speaker, we would also provide technologies that participants could choose from.

Our objective is to leverage Startup Weekend’s reach to make ourselves, SAP, known in the global community of entrepreneurs as the company that can and will open the doors of the enterprise world to them.

Objective accomplished? Not yet but we made a first step in the right direction. Thx to Ludo, the great MC Lloyed and my team for having us make this step!

Check 2mns summary of Take #1 at Silicon Valley Startup Weekend Enterprise Edition – SAP Labs Palo Alto – Summary video and find familiar or new faces in this picture:

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Next step: take it with us at Enterprise focused Startup Weekend – Take #2 in Stuttgart in November 2013!

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