SAP funds ventures to improve one billion lives in Asia Pacific Japan by 2020
By Digital News Asia September 5, 2017
- Is a crowdsourced, ground up APJ-wide initiative leveraging on SAP.iO Venture Studio methodology
- Five employee-driven ventures have been selected this year; there were three in 2016
SAP Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) reinforced its commitment to improving the lives of one billion people across APJ through an investment of 1 million euro (US$1.2 million) to One Billion Lives (1BLives) – a crowdsourced, ground up APJ-wide initiative employing the power of SAP technology to deliver sustainable, commercially-viable social impact.
In its second year running, five employee-driven ventures were selected after a rigorous review process where teams pitched their business ideas to secure support and funding.
In addition to getting access to seed money of up to €200,000 each, the five winning ventures will be guided by experts, mentored by the SAP.iO Intrapreneurship Accelerator Programme, and coached by industry specialists to successfully transform their visions into social businesses, sustainably improving lives.
SAP Asia Pacific Japan president Scott Russell (pic, above) said, “1BLives exemplifies our role as an organisation to improve the lives of the people in the communities we operate in. It is a unique space where SAP employees can act as entrepreneurs and develop sustainable social impact at scale around a cause they are personally passionate about.
“This is only the beginning and a catalyst for innovative ideas. We will support these teams with a robust framework, mentorship and technology as they engage with non-governmental organisations, partners and the broader ecosystem to validate and realise these ventures.”
The five ventures are part of an early stage social-impact incubation arm at SAP.iO whose mission is to incubate and grow the next generation of disruptive new businesses for SAP.
The venture teams are now working in the accelerate phase where they apply lean start-up methods to challenge ideas through rigorous iterations and strong mentorship. Subsequently, they build a scalable business in 1BLives and develop product-market-fit through initial implementations.
The five ventures are expected to test their ideas and go live with minimum viable product (MVP) by the end of the year.
Digital Aged Care: Rapid growth of aging populations around the world is increasing pressure on the nursing care workforce. This venture looks to leverage the Internet of Things platform that connects wearable devices and smart household devices to monitor an elderly’s condition to provide better efficiency for aged care givers. Their aim is to increase quality of health care, and enable a better functioning of the aged nursing workforce.
Accessible Eyecare: Preventable blindness is common in the rural parts of India, and it is set to rise. People are dissuaded from visiting the eye clinic due to travel time at the expense of a working day’s wage. This venture hopes to leverage SAP Leonardo to provide an intelligent mobile platform for ocular diagnosis, helping victims make earlier corrective action remotely.
Food Waste Management: The world hunger crisis can be solved with only a quarter of the food wasted each year. In urban areas, food wastage from supermarkets, restaurants and consumers is a rising problem. Kicking off in Thailand, this venture aims to create a supply chain management platform to salvage unwanted food and connect it to a demand, stemming hunger crisis for those in need.
Water Management: Non-revenue water is the water lost in cities through water supply systems between the source and the end-user; homes and establishments. This global wastage contributes to a total of US$14 billion dollars a year. This venture aims to minimise this loss in India through the use of SAP IS Utilities to attain real-time information from measuring sensors on water loss, combatting the issue of water scarcity.
Disaster Relief Network: When a disaster strikes, many organizations are mobilized but in an uncoordinated and inefficient manner, producing limited outcomes. Using SAP Ariba and SAP Hybris, this venture aims to leverage a consolidated platform to enable collaboration between all disaster relief parties increasing the effort to impact ratio, helping more people in the long run.
Maxime Pourrat, managing director, Winnow Solutions APAC, and a 1BLives judge commented, “I was impressed with the way these teams tried to engage to solve an issue. They have taken the first step to recognise that there is a problem and seeing that as an opportunity to solve this problem. It is great to see corporations like SAP rewarding employees to take action and to act as an entrepreneur.”
Another judge Grace Sai, co-founder and CEO of Impact Hub and partner at Hub Ventures Fund, added, “The 1BLives initiative is a great benchmark for big corporates like SAP and others to follow. The exploration on how to use a corporate's own talent, capital and technology to better the world and attack some of the world’s most stubborn problems, is an admirable cause.”
Leveraging on SAP.iO Venture Studio methodology, this year’s initiative has been bolstered with a stronger and more robust framework around objectives, key results, tracking of tranche funding and reporting, as well as rapid prototyping and validation.
The ventures also have access to external experts and social enterprises to validate assumptions and provide a crucial real-world perspective.
The three ventures from 1BLives 2016 are at various stages of maturity. The ventures continue to look at new avenues to stay focused on their goals of improving lives by better understanding building resiliency in earthquake-prone regions; improving lives by increasing cancer drug effectiveness in India and improving lives by increasing access to health services in The Philippines.
“1BLives is a combination of the best SAP has to offer – our values, innovation, culture and ecosystem to deliver on a better Asia Pacific Japan for tomorrow. It is a key part of our strategy to realise SAP’s full potential in this promising region,” concluded Russell.