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Barack Obama, startups, their big ideas and SAP

What does Barack Obama have in common with startups and SAP you might ask? Actually nothing, except of the date – June 19th 2013. That was the day Barack Obama held a public speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. That was also the day SAP invited young entrepreneurs from across Europe to the second annual SAP Startup Forum. Despite the traffic chaos caused by Barack Obama’s visit and the hot weather, 120 participants joined SAP to learn about exciting business ideas enabled by SAP HANA.


Cafer Tosun, managing director of SAP Innovation Center in Potsdam, opened the event by greeting the invited startups, representatives of SAP Ventures and Hasso Plattner Ventures, attending journalists and SAP employees. He talked about how SAP is supporting the startups and why this is so important for the company. To support Cafer’s statement Marcus Krug demonstrated what great innovations are already being developed by startups on SAP HANA by showing a demo of Alacris’ Theranostics, one of the SAP Startup Focus Program participants, who built a virtual simulation model to predict the effect of cancer treatment based on the individual data of a patient.


The startups then received a brief introduction of SAP Startup Focus Program before the most exciting part of the event started. The use cases presented by the 32 invited startups covered a variety of industries from healthcare over to music industry, real estate, online marketing and utilities. 16 of these startups had a chance to pitch their ideas in 6 minutes to the jury panel, while the remainder pitched their use cases in the mixer session in the afternoon.

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Being a jury member was a tough job on this day… After a long discussion, the nine members of jury, among others Tim Weiss from Hasso Plattner Ventures, Joerg Sievert from SAP Ventures, Rolf Schumann, CTO SAP Germany, Sonja Cornelißen from D.Labs, decided to accept following startups in the SAP Startup Focus Program: Apaxo, Blue Cell Networks, Brand a Trend, ChargePartner, CONIS Risk Consulting, ConWeaver, Deltamethod, Echobot, EGR Energy Systems, elefunds, enercast, GoEuro, Hagleitner 360°, JC Analytics, PAYMILL, RetentionGrid, Sablono, VersionEye, yetu, yovisto und Zellkraftwerk.

Presenting all of the amazing startups in a short blog, would be inappropriate, so here is my personal top 5 pick:

  • Celonis impressed the audience with their Process Business Intelligence Solution and the advantages it brings for the customer. I have previously posted a  short blog about Celonis.
  • Elefunds revolutionizes the fundraising with its one-click-donation software that allows customers to support social projects while shopping online. The only thing a customer has to do is choose the preferred project and round up the purchase amount – as simple as that. Elefunds is already working with charities such as WWF, Aktion Deutschland hilft, Red Nose and many more.
  • Yetu is offering a platform which allows users to manage their energy usage by device and in real-time. No sensors are necessary, Yetu makes it possible due to intelligent use of data provided by smart meter. Furthermore, the platform provides peer comparisons with similar households and contextual recommendations how to save energy.
  • YOVISTO is a video search engine that automates the analysis of video data. As of now, Yovisto is specialized on educational content and allows uploading, sharing, searching within videos, tagging, adding comments and discussing uploaded videos.
  • ZELLKRAFTWERK presented “cytobot” – their life science robot that can help to find the right therapy strategy and increase the chances in fighting cancer. This is possible through comparing the patient’s medical history and tumor tissue sample with the data of other patients from the database. I have previously posted a short blog about Zellkraftwerk’s technology.

In addition, two students’ groups showcased their projects based on SAP HANA technology in the course of HANA for Humanity session. Students from FH Ludwigshafen and FH Brandenburg presented their projects in cooperation with SAP University Alliances, called the Database of Dreams and LernApp.

Afterwards, all attending startups had an opportunity to ask all burning questions and engage with topic experts in the following deep-dive sessions: KayH20130619-FB1A9549.jpg

  • SAP HANA with Ingo Brenckmann
  • SAP Developer Center with Uwe Kylau
  • Startup Funding Opportunities with Joerg Sievert (SAP Ventures) and Tim Weiss (Hasso Plattner Ventures)
  • SAP Startup Focus Program with Luisa Silva and Gary Parnell

The event received extensive coverage in the press and social media:

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I am already looking forward to learning about other new use cases and startups, aren’t you? There are multiple events taking place around the world and throughout the year, so check out other Startup Forum events. Follow the buzz on Twitter or Facebook via @SAPStartups and #sap #startups.

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