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Enterprise companies are increasingly looking to startups for innovation.
The SAP Startup Focus programme saw, eight finalists — selected from 50 across Africa — pitch their ideas on how to best leverage the real-time capabilities of SAP HANA, the real-time business insight database platform. The judging panel included Kaustav Mitra, who leads the SAP Startup Focus programme, as well as senior SAP specialists based in Palo Alto, California.
SAP Startup Focus is a global effort aimed at driving adoption of the SAP HANA platform outside the traditional SAP ecosystem. The overall goal of the programme is to provide startups with all the support needed to port or build their applications for SAP HANA. Applicants had to illustrate a market for their solution, produce a business case and show how SAP HANA could support their submission.
On his first visit to South Africa, Mitra was both excited and impressed by the innovation he witnessed at the African forum.
“HANA is our gateway to the startup community and the high quality here compares with any I have encountered at other forums around the world,” he said.
Three winners were announced at the event:
- The most innovative idea award went to Chappal Waddi from Nigeria
- The best mobile solution went to Kamoeba from South Africa
- The judges’ favorite award went to another South African startup, Vertigro Asset Management
The other finalists included Navomax (Pty) Ltd (South Africa), Axis Solutions (Zimbabwe), GreenBuk Technologies (Nigeria), EPI-USE Analytics (South Africa), Shiluba-tsaka Productive (South Africa), and Expert Solutions cc (South Africa).
As an indication of the high standard of the eight proposals, all of the finalists have been invited to join a development accelerator programme. The objective of the accelerator is to build a proof of concept and, eventually, a product with explicit business value. The accelerator kicks off with an intensive boot camp on SAP HANA development topics. Once development is underway, SAP will support participants with regular architecture reviews, technical support and consulting. When startups are ready with their product, they will enter SAP’s Go-To-Market stage.
Warren McFadyen and his business partner Peter Arling from Vertigro Asset Management were particularly excited by the award. “The Big Data functionality of SAP HANA is the most suitable solution for our requirements. On top of this, being accepted to the SAP Accelerator Program is a fantastic opportunity for us as a young startup company,” says McFadyen.
The winning startups will begin the accelerator phase with a two day boot-camp session in Johannesburg in three weeks’ time to fast track them on the way to building their own HANA-based prototypes.