Through the SAP Startup Studio Program Labs India has a symbiotic relationship with the startup community in India.
India, with over 5.000 technology driven product startups, is home to the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world. Centered around the three main cities of Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, and Bangalore the startup ecosystem is growing at a rapid pace, forcing the government and corporates to sit-up and take notice. Bangalore, with over 1300 startups is known as the Silicon Valley of India, and in 2016, the city was the biggest investment destination in India, accounting for more than 40% of the overall funding received by startups in India.
A rapidly growing ecosystem is helping India emerge as a key market for new technology ideas, products and services, yet leaders of these startups often need funding, office space, and mentorship from more experienced professionals to bring their ideas to life. To meet these needs and help startups accelerate their development and product launch processes, SAP Labs India launched the Startup Studio Program in Bangalore in 2016. SAP Startup Studio provides promising early and growth stage startups the opportunity to mature and expand their business in a safe, nurturing environment. As part of the 12-month program, SAP offers financial, infrastructural, and technical guidance to entrepreneurs whose developing products complement SAP offerings. (Read about the program and its launch)
Bernd Leukert, in an interview about the SAP Startup Studio to Economic Times (India’s leading business newspaper), said “They build the products, and we have the marketplace to place their products that make our solutions better and richer.”
In April, this year, SAP renewed its commitment to the startup ecosystem by onboarding sixteen new startups for the accelerator program, adding to the seven from last year. The focus continued to be on startups in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning and internet of things.
The journey of two start-ups
Ecolibrium Energy, a five-year-old startup, provides an energy analytics platform that helps businesses optimize their power consumption. Founded by Harit Soni and Chintan Soni, the startup joined the pilot batch of the program after hearing about it at a seminar in IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE). As they grew and expanded their client base, they realized that they would need a bigger partner who could help them build their product. A closer look at their clientele which includes industries and commercial buildings, both large power consumers, showed them that SAP was the common link. Joining the SAP Startup Studio, therefore, became an obvious choice. The program was an initial step into a long-term partnership, the access to customers was a useful value addition, and information about future SAP products allowed them the opportunity to integrate, and even co-innovate.
Currently, Ecolibrium Energy’s Software-as-a-Service analytics platform, SmartSense is being developed in partnership with SAP’s Co-innovation Lab (COIL). The Vodafone Internet of Things (IoT) Connectivity Platform will help Ecolibrium Energy manage a national IoT network of wireless energy monitoring devices, which promises to cut energy costs of industrial users by up to 30%. This will enable Ecolibrium Energy to go to the market with a strong proposition – that they have co-innovated with the SAP platform and it will set the tone for them to expand into a larger client base. “SAP Startup Studio has helped us create new business avenues from SAP’s customers, and a product which seamlessly integrates with the SAP Ecosystem. We are excited to continue the journey by being associated with the Co-Innovation Lab and creating cutting edge solutions in Energy Analytics and IOT with SAP”, said Harit.
The Ecolibrium Energy team is currently focusing on leveraging SAP’s current client base to expand their scale and potentially take this partnership to markets in Europe and the US.have co-innovated with the SAP platform and it will set the tone for them to expand into a larger client base.
Entropik Tech, started in 2015, were referred to the 2017 batch of the program by one of the first startups to be a part of the startup studio. They are focused on creating a bridge of emotional interactivity between humans and machines across all mediums of digital interactions through cutting edge research in new age deep tech.
Ranjan Kumar – founder and CEO, said, “We aspire for a world where technology is not just artificially intelligent but emotionally perceptive. We strongly believe in the SAP brand and see a great potential in this collaboration with SAP Startup Studio.” In their initial stage of collaboration with SAP, they have set their sights on complementing SAP´s retail analytics product with their solution Chromo. They also have plans to build on SAP’s products in the media and entertainment space. Entropik Tech sees the biggest value of the program in SAP’s business reach, and access to customers, mentors, and even investors. They were given the opportunity to talk about their offerings at SAP d-kom 2017 Bangalore, and most recently at the SAP Startup Social Event (Watch highlights). Sam Yen, Chief Design Officer, SAP, met them at the event and gave them crisp design input in terms of how they can better leverage their product. Their session at Startup Social helped them build a strong pipeline of potential customers, and over five investors have expressed interest in them.
Entropik Tech’s products are proprietary in nature allowing them to customize it per customer requirements, and they are looking forward to a long partnership with SAP.
Dilipkumar Khandelwal, MD, SAP Labs India, and EVP, Enterprise Cloud Services said, “The program offers adequate support for startups through access to product experts, and customers, to create a co-innovated product with SAP and to explore the various channels of funding. It’s exciting days ahead and we look forward to creating the next wave of disruption.”