SAP Africa Start-up Focus Program Empowers ICT Startups

CAPE TOWN, South Africa SAP Africa recently hosted the HANA Startup Forum in Cape Town, South Africa. Attended by more than 80 start-up businesses, the forum not only introduced these entrepreneurs to the SAP HANA innovation platform and its benefits to expanding businesses, but also included sessions that offered sound advice from highly successful businessmen such as Hannes van Rensburg, founder of Fundamo, which was later sold to Visa for a staggering $110m.

In the last couple of years, Big Data has gone from being a mere buzzword, to being a major influencer on how the IT departments of organisations spend their cash. Gartner estimates that Big Data will drive around $232 Billion of IT spending by 2016. Also fuelling this increase in spend, is a significant rise in investment by the venture capital community which have seen Big Data start-up companies receiving generous amounts of funding to date.

The aim of the SAP HANA Start-up Focus Programme is to equip start-up companies with the necessary resources and technology to accelerate their business traction and develop relationships in the start-up community.

The program is also used as incubation for fostering innovation outside of the traditional SAP ecosystem and to encourage ICT start-up businesses to tap into the power of the SAP HANA technology to develop their own innovative business applications and enhance existing ones to deliver unmatched business value to their customers. To date, the SAP start-up focus program has more than 1700 participating ICT start-ups globally. SAP HANA technology integrates analytics and applications on a single high velocity, in-memory computing platform with very distinct SAP HANA-based use-cases ranging from gaming, retail and finance, through to manufacturing and more.

“The SAP HANA technology is ideal because of its highly optimised engines for business functions with predictive and text analytics that feeds directly from in-memory data. These start-up businesses are set to gain a tremendous amount of business insight and value from the program including free access to SAP HANA technology, technical HANA resources expertise, marketing and sales support. SAP is very excited about the program and overwhelmed at the number interested start-ups participating in this event,” says Dr. Danie Smit, Africa Growth Plan Programme Manager at SAP Africa.

The program begins with an on-boarding and engagement of start-up businesses to give them the opportunity to learn about SAP technologies and connect with other existing SAP ventures. This will be followed by the development accelerator phase, whereby start-up businesses are provided with resources and coaching to develop building Proofs of Concept (PoC) using the SAP HANA platform. The final phase of the program is focused on market enablement with specific go-to-market actions and it is subject to the start-up businesses delivering a validated solution on SAP HANA.

“In addition to meeting the process requirements, start-ups receive access to SAP’s global customer base to sell market-ready applications to new customers worldwide, as well as the opportunity to pitch to the venture community via the SAP HANA Real Time Fund and SAP Ventures,” Smit adds.



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