Middle East Innovators Supported with Launch of SAP Startup Focus Program in MENA

Technology Startups Gain Access to Tools and Support and Address More than 250,000 SAP Customers;
Middle East and Africa’s ICT Market to Touch USD 270 Billion by 2017; IDC

DUBAI, United Arab EmiratesSAP has launched its SAP Startup Focus Program in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in order to support young Middle East technology entrepreneurs to grow their innovative business plans.

In the Middle East and North Africa, there is an increasing demand for innovative solutions that can analyze data from sensors, mobile devices, and objects connected to the Internet. In this emerging Internet of Things era, there will be a potential “value at stake” of USD 14.4 trillion, according to a report by SAP and Stephenson Strategies.

Demonstrating the growing market for technology startups in the region, the Middle East and Africa’s combined ICT market is set to reach USD 270 billion in 2015. The UAE in particular has a strong opportunity with IT spend growing at 6 percent CAGR to top USD 8 billion by 2017, according to research firm IDC.

Supporting startups to develop a variety of customer-centric applications across Big Data and Analytics on the SAP HANA cloud platform, the SAP Training and Development Institute (SAP TDI) has launched the first-ever SAP Startup Focus event in the MENA region, at the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Center (DTEC) with over 200 attendees.

During the two-day launch event, entrepreneurs gained insights from successful startup founders, interacted with media on evangelizing their startups, and had the opportunity to pitch to venture capitalists. Promising entrepreneurs also learned operational details on running their startup, and gained coding skills on SAP HANA.

As part of the 12-month SAP Startup Focus Program, startups in the region can now develop new applications on the SAP HANA real-time analytics platform. Selected startups can gain access to free tools, support, and expert training, and access to more than 250,000 SAP customers worldwide.

Globally, the SAP Startup Focus Program counts more than 2,000 startups in 57 countries that have produced more than 175 production-ready solutions across 22 industries and nine lines of business.

“The Middle East and North Africa is home to some of the world’s most tech-savvy minds, and yet many struggle to find productive employment. By launching SAP Startup Focus Program in MENA, we are enabling the region’s technology innovators to enhance their skills on one of the industry’s leading Big and Smart Data analytics platforms, and fuel the region’s entrepreneurial spirit,” said Marita Mitschein, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, SAP Training and Development Institute.

“Within five years, I’m convinced the next disruptive startup will come from the Middle East and North Africa,” added Marita Mitschein.

Photo Captions:

[SAP – Startup Focus – 1 and 2.jpg] Middle East technology entrepreneurs attended the regional launch of SAP Startup Focus Program to grow their innovative business plans.

[SAP – Startup Focus – Marita Mitschein.jpg] (center) Marita Mitschein, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, SAP Training and Development Institute, talks to entrepreneurs at the SAP Startup Focus Program.

About SAP
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 258,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com

About SAP Training and Development Institute
Founded in November 2012, the SAP Training and Development Institute (SAP TDI) strives to support in the creation of sustainable work possibilities by boosting the business system knowledge and entrepreneurial mindset of students, young graduates, and the experienced workforce in the region. The SAP Training and Development Institute offers a host of programs tailored to bring SAP business skills to those who have a cultural and social understanding of a local region. SAP TDI’s initiatives help talented minds not only to find jobs but also to establish their own companies by nurturing their entrepreneurial mindset. Furthermore, SAP TDI serves as Think Tank for knowledge exchange, co-creation and co-innovation. Showing the value of SAP TDI, the organization recently passed the milestone of having built skills and knowledge in the region with an In Country Value (ICV) of US$70m across MENA.

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Media contacts
Husain Al Tamimi, SAP +971 56 6811641, husain.tamimi@sap.com
Claire McPeak, SAP, +971 4 330 1777, c.mcpeak@sap.com
Steve Baron, Wallis Marketing Consultants, +971 4390 1950, sap@wallis-mc.com