Boost for MENA innovators with SAP startup program launch

Technology startups gain access to tools and support, address more than 250,000 SAP customers

Tags: SAPUnited Arab Emirates
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Boost for MENA innovators with SAP startup program launch Mitschein is convinced the next disruptive startup will come from the Middle East and North Africa.
By  David Ndichu Published  October 4, 2015

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

In the Middle East and North Africa, there is an increasing demand for innovative solutions that can analyse data from sensors, mobile devices, and objects connected to the Internet, SAP notes. 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 Centre (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.

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