American startup Accelerators - Techstars and the European Software Giant SAP have revealed that through its SAP.iO Foundry, they will invest in at least 10 artificial intelligence (AI) startups every year.
Based in Berlin, SAP.iO is an initiative of SAP to nurture an atmosphere of products and software by working with startups and entrepreneurs.
The MNC announced the SAP.iO fund last year with a starting investment of $35 million. Under the program, SAP operates a foundry in partnership with Techstars, a worldwide network aimed at helping entrepreneurs succeed.
Alexa Gorman, global vice-president of SAP.iO Fund, said: “We are looking at enterprise applications from startups that are founded around a year ago.” Conversing over Phone with VCCircle, she added: “By restricting our focus, we can add value in terms of marketing assistance and mentorship for these startups.”
The accelerator programme is three -month programme where the selected startups interact with over 70 senior executives for mentorship and ideas, with Gorman being a mentor herself.
In 2017, the first batch of the program was selected; 10 companies were chosen with 5 Indian startups making the cut.
The SAP’s accelerator program gives prime focus on startups working in AI, machine learning and blockchain technologies along with looking at startups which are outside of the program as well.
“Not all of these companies are looking for investment,” revealed Gorman. “We will continue to work with them even after the accelerator programme. We have also made an investment outside of our accelerator programme in Bangalore-based AI startup Niki.ai.”
SAP has built an innovation center in Berlin and the SAP.iO division runs centers in Berlin, San Francis, New York and Tel Aviv.