There is something magical about being around start-ups and people with an entrepreneurial mindset. Maybe it is the “can-do” attitude as if the world lies before you, and all you have to do is pick the perfect cherries and start eating. Maybe it is the youthful dynamic one feels when entering the SAP Innovation Center in Potsdam regardless of one’s own age.
I travelled to Potsdam to be part of the Innovation workshop SAP had organized in collaboration with Connected Living, an organization that offers a networking platform for member enterprises to exchange views, mutually inspire each other and develop user oriented, intuitive technologies and solutions for the connected life of the future. There was a dynamic mix of customers, start-ups, SAP and Connected Living.
Because innovation is so strategically important, SAP enables employee-driven innovation through an intrapreneuership program. SAP employees can submit their ideas, build a business within SAP and run it like a startup with end-to-end responsibility. Events like our workshop foster innovation with our customers, partners and start-ups, especially when you manage to go across industries to focus on strong use cases. Working with start-up networks helps us get the outside view, and then we create the magic ourselves through new innovative solutions that put people in the centre.
In Potsdam, I had the great pleasure to meet several start-ups within the Connected Services area. Here is a small sampling:
- Homefort, founded in 2015, offers Smart-Home-Security systems including installation, customer service, 24/7 emergency service.
- Casavi, founded in 2015, developed a specialized platform and mobile app for digital building management. Tenants use online-bulletin- boards to access important documents like rental agreements or lost and found notifications and to engage with each other as a community
- KIWI , founded in 2012, is an RFID- and smartphone-based automatic door opener which safely opens front doors via a wireless signal. With KIWI, real estate companies, service providers, and emergency services increase efficiency and reduce costs, and tenants enjoy the safe, simple and convenient comfort of just walking through their door with the transponder called KIWI KI and KIWI app
- Digimondo, a subsidiary of E.ON SE, provides a “Low Power, Long Range” (LoRA) network which is offered in most German cities. This company secures the connection between billions of objects by transferring small information packages via the international LoRaWan standard – energy saving, low communication costs and extremely high reach – being a basement or underground parking lots – securing seamless transfer of information
- Careship offers individualized services ranging from caretaking, escorting of elderly as well as home services. With their offering, they want to make it possible for people who are dependent on help to become mobile, more independent and socially active while at the same time supporting their families
Presentations by all these great companies led to a lively brainstorming session. We used Design Thinking methods to come up with new use cases, which eventually could end up being either standard solutions or custom developments.
I left the workshop feeling energized and truly amazed by the creative power that is unleashed when people collaborate on new ideas and work together to make them a reality!