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Meet the Startups

Startup Helps Enterprise Clients Discover and Acquire Talent 

Recruiting can leave even the best-staffed HR team exhausted with never ending tasks like scheduling interviews, re-scheduling, making sure documents are submitted, and answering candidate questions. The stakes are high if companies get it wrong, and the best candidates get snapped up by other companies. Hyreo created a natural language processing-enabled chatbot solution to help candidates navigate the process in a helpful, automated fashion. By including a Net Promoter Score component and analytics, recruiting teams can now understand how candidates perceive the process. “The future of HR is candidate-centric,’’ said Hyreo cofounder Arun Satyan. Hyreo layers the solution onto existing HR database systems providing the type of robust offering that enterprise customers are looking for. Selling to those enterprise customers isn’t always easy.  While Hyreo has successfully integrated their product onto multiple enterprise-grade solutions, the customers they aspire to land can still be skeptical. When one of its prospects wanted more proof of their enterprise-readiness, Hyreo turned to the connections they made through the Oracle startup program.  Oracle for Startups not only provided Hyreo with free cloud credits and robust performance but also helped when the company was in the last stages of signing a huge deal. Global financial instituition Societe Generale was interested in layering Hyreo with their existing Oracle Taleo platform. Hyreo crossed paths with the bank two years ago when the platform was still in the early stages of development.  It wasn’t long after that Satyan decided Oracle Cloud Infrastructure was the right choice for multiple reasons. “Our solution requires a high-performance computing environment for training the AI engine, and we also need a scalable infrastructure for deploying enterprise customer solutions. While testing the cloud performance, we felt that Oracle cloud was outperforming the competition on similar configurations.” “This helped position us better as a viable long-term solution and accelerated the decision in our favor,’’ Satyan said. “We’re getting excellent performance on the Oracle Cloud, getting cost savings on the first two years, and excellent support from Oracle for the migration and setting up GPUs.’’ In a test run, “the customer achieved a 20% reduction in overall recruiter effort for manual interventions and improved feedback from candidates by 55%,’’ Satyan said.  Satyan was also thrilled with the support he received from the Oracle team that is devoted to helping startups. “We migrated and transitioned the first customer instance in 4 days.” He estimates Hyreo will save about 30% in the long run, owing to “better infrastructure, performance, and optimized pricing models with discounts.” Being part of Oracle for Startups also brings benefits beyond cloud. “The focus on building and nurturing startups by providing the right kind of market positioning, technology support, and cost benefits makes Oracle for Startups one of the best (accelerator programs) globally,’’ Satyan said. 

Recruiting can leave even the best-staffed HR team exhausted with never ending tasks like scheduling interviews, re-scheduling, making sure documents are submitted, and answering candidate questions....

Meet the Startups

Startup Helps Companies Save Big Money on the Small Stuff

Enterprises market to other enterprises. Startups sell to small companies. That's the way it works, right? Not for the startups in Oracle for Startups.  Cloud startups like Yamí, GingaOne, Wevo, Circulor, NLPBots, and now Fairmarkit sell their vision and their products to midmarket and enterprise brands—in part due to their relationship with Oracle. Using low-cost, high-performance cloud computing and building innovative products that integrate neatly with enterprise apps like PeopleSoft and the Oracle CX suite, startups are scaling their business and selling big deals.  Making their enterprise connection Boston-based Fairmarkit is a shining example of a startup that is hitting the gas on growth, using enterprise integrations and relationships. They just closed a Series A round, and COO and cofounder Tarek Alaruri was recently named a Forbes 30 Under 30 in Enterprise Technology. Half of their business comes from layering their platform on to Oracle PeopleSoft ERP. The cloud platform offers customers, such as Univision, PPG, and two of the nation’s largest transit authorities a way to lower procurement costs, and save money, time and headaches. Drilling into an underserved niche Fairmarkit found a procurement niche in need of a solution – managing tail spend. Tail spend is the nonstrategic purchases, representing the 20% of the procurement process that often takes 80% of the staff's time. Think office supplies, parts, and laptops. The cloud startup uses machine learning to automate the process and tap into a broader base of vetted vendors – an excellent option for companies looking to increase the diversity of their supplier base. It also includes components that help customers analyze their spend and can be bolted on to or integrated (via API) with an existing ERP. Their customers are particularly pleased with the API Fairmarkit built to integrate with Oracle. "The information is coming right in, no risk for error, and we're not spending part of our day with tedious administrative tasks. It's tremendous," a large transit authority customer says, adding that the API integration went off without a hitch at a fraught time. "It was a limited scope, time-sensitive, pandemic-influenced upgrade." Matchmaking startups and enterprise customers Fairmarkit has been working with Oracle for Startups to expand their customer portfolio and global reach. It's an arrangement that CEO and cofounder Kevin Frechette describes as "ideal." "Oracle gives us credibility. Prospects want a trusted solution, and they don't want to rip out and replace an ERP," says Frechette, who describes his trip to OpenWorld San Francisco last year as a heady experience. "We had 80 to 90 meetings at OpenWorld and met with Oracle's Machine Learning team." Another great perk comes in the form of Brian Gruttadauria of Oracle's Cloud Business Group, who serves as a technical advisor to the company. "He's made sure we were truly enterprise-ready, up to grade across the board. He helped us think about our roadmap, how we complement Oracle, and how to position it. He's a great sounding board," Frechette says. Oracle's commitment to startups  Startups collaborating with enterprise companies will become the norm – perhaps even more so as COVID-19 takes a whack at the traditional in-person accelerator programs. "Even before COVID-19 we were committed to virtual programs that meet entrepreneurs where they are," says Jason Williamson, Vice President for Oracle for Startups and believer in personal and professional resilience.  Oracle for Startups makes it as straightforward as possible for startups like Fairmarkit to gain broad access to a global network of customers, products, and marketing ecosystems. Startups don't need an invitation, code word, or secret handshake. They just need to join us.   

Enterprises market to other enterprises. Startups sell to small companies. That's the way it works, right? Not for the startups in Oracle for Startups.  Cloud startups like Yamí, GingaOne, Wevo,...

Startup Life

The Odd Couple: How Startups Work with Corporates

We love hearing advice from successful startup founders. In a recent Q&A hosted by MassChallenge, a serial entrepreneur and an enterprise expert joined forces to share their insights and offer guidance to an audience of hopeful cloud startup founders.  Kris Robinson worked at HP and a startup before joining Oracle as a global Key Account Director. Guy Mounier cofounded Aptivio. Together, they answered startups’ burning questions about how and when startups can sell into SMBs, midmarket, and enterprise customers. Here is what we learned:  Talk to the right people Big companies are ‘thirsty for innovation," but navigating the org chart and establishing relationships at an enterprise level is "the secret sauce," said Robinson. She believes skepticism is a virtue for startups. After working with a startup, she discovered that even good conversations with people within big organizations often didn't end with a transaction. Robinson advises entrepreneurs to ask themselves, “Does this person really have the tools to make this thing happen? Are we getting the sufficient sponsorship across the organization around this business case?” Mounier, a founder himself, added that startups should look for a champion within a target enterprise, and should profile individuals in the same way they do companies. “You’re looking for someone with a level of influence - ability to influence others - who is open-minded and sufficiently curious,” he said. Understand enterprise needs It’s essential that startups show they understand their prospects' needs. Robinson said, “You have to step back and think, what am I going to sell to the company to give them an advantage in the marketplace, allow them to scale, and do something they're not able to do?”  Mounier echoed the idea, suggesting startups also understand their champion’s needs. “If you can also empathize with what an individual is going through to make change happen within an organization… you sell disruptive tech,” he explained. “Business is personal. If you do not have that champion anchoring that account - who's almost working on your side of the table with that account - it's very difficult to get through.” Market Connect can help Establishing a fruitful relationship is difficult, but the Market Connect benefits offered by Oracle for Startups can help. “Sometimes it’s easier to have a partner to help you navigate through that rather than starting from ground zero,” said Robinson. She works closely with the Oracle for Startups team to help introduce small companies to SMB, midmarket, and enterprise customers.  Mounier agrees that being acknowledged by large companies can be tough when your startup doesn't have brand recognition, but leveraging warm introductions and referrals can help. As well as finding referrals to gain high level access from personal contacts, leaning on a program like Oracle’s to form strategic partnerships is beneficial. To co-sell deals, make your partner shine  Aptivio co-sells with major vendors, including Oracle Customer Experience Cloud. “The acceleration it adds to your time-to-revenue is very noticeable because you're both telling the client, ‘I run on the marketplace, so I comply to their data security,’ [so] it's plug and play,” Mounier explained. Executives within Oracle's sales and product organizations regularly tell their clients about interesting startups that can help solve a problem or complement an existing technology stack. “So, all of a sudden, you're embedded in that brand through what you're doing via Oracle, a trusted brand.”  He added, “If you have something relevant, the Oracle account exec wants to make your product shine. They will introduce you to a client to have a demo. They want to see usage and the client be successful,” he explains. Creating connections between Oracle customers and startups is a mutually beneficial endeavor. It’s a huge win for the startup, but also for the client who gains innovative technology.   Understand your partner like you would a customer Successfully scaling startups usually have a good understanding of their target market and competitors. Robinson recommends expanding the scope of understanding to include partners. She advises startups to understand their partners to the same degree they would a customer.   She focuses on maintaining relationships across 15 unique product pillars while working within Oracle, which she describes as ‘a complicated beast.’ “Understanding where you fit [within Oracle] and where you have the best traction, and understanding where your team is driving the partnership program to do that, is a big deal,” she said. Work with your partner to reap rewards Since startups are often still finding their way into the best product/market fit, the process of extrapolating and explaining their technology and vision becomes invaluable. Mounier recalls how Aptivio made two pivots to find the best fit within Oracle’s suite of products, understanding that if the product clashed with an Oracle offering, sales teams would hesitate to evangelize the technology to their customers. On the other hand, Mounier said, “If you do something highly complementary, they'll walk you into an account where they know there is a pain point tomorrow.”  Market Connect offers introductions to startups to customers, investors, and expanded audiences. It's one of several benefits - along with free and discounted cloud, free migration, and mentorship - available to eligible startups who join Oracle for Startups. 

We love hearing advice from successful startup founders. In a recent Q&A hosted by MassChallenge, a serial entrepreneur and an enterprise expert joined forces to share their insights and offer...

Partners/Advisors

Startups' Supply Chain Questions, Answered

Supply chain technology is having a moment in 2020 – with headlines on everything from toilet paper shortages to expanding needs for PPE. We invited supply chain and manufacturing startups to pose their questions to Jon Chorley, Oracle Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of product strategy for Oracle Supply Chain Management (SCM). What happened next at the Executive Roundtable on Digitization of Manufacturing and the Supply Chain was an interactive conversation about sustainability, post-COVID supply chain innovation, and Industry 4.0. “COVID has forced people to look at supply chains," said Chorley. "You used to get blank stares from the boardroom . . . or they (saw) it as a cost center. Now they see it as critical to the business." But Chorley advises against offering a pure-play COVID solution.Instead, he encourages startups to emphasize the long-term trends that have become more prominent during the pandemic, like needs for digitization, virtualization, and e-commerce.  Chorley encouraged startups to explore sustainability. “People care, businesses care. If you are perceived as not caring, you can’t hire the best talent. Young people in particular want to work for companies that share their values." He pointed out the work of Oracle for Startups members Circulor (supply chain traceability) and Oceanworks (a global marketplace for recycled ocean plastic materials and products). And he made a pitch for a kind of open-source solution to traceability of components. “A more common platform is needed,’’ he said.   Industry 4.0 Chorley provided a brief overview of where the Industry 4.0 movement is and what specific niches are particularly compelling. Green solutions that reduce water consumption in manufacturing and the supply chain would make sense, given water demand is projected to exceed supply by 40% a decade from now.  3D printing, custom manufacturing processes, and anything that reduces greenhouse gases will also grow in popularity.   While new AI-based products and solutions are popping up daily, he was quick to note that one of the biggest hurdles to adoption is taking it out of the experimental stage and making it operational . “The challenge for most businesses is how to adopt that technology, make it more consumable without the need for it to be a science project or employ incredibly hard to hire data scientists.” “The opportunity is to be able to deliver it in such a way that the average business can consume and use it that information effectively within their business.’’   Tips on selling into enterprise companies Participants were eager to understand how to position a product and work with a company like Oracle to co-sell into larger companies.  Chorley said partners and enterprises need to understand how startups approach a problem, so sharpening the messaging around that ask is critical. He advises asking these three questions:  •    Where is the value? •    What is the technology challenge of doing it? •    How is that sustainable as a business process?  Chorley encouraged startups to understand they may need to offer a proof of concept to build success within a specific micro-segment. From there, he believes startups can “land and expand” to build relationships within the ecosystem – be it a program like Oracle for Startups or another group. And he encouraged startups not to get discouraged if they’ve been introduced to Oracle salespeople who aren’t grasping what they can offer. “Sales folks want to control the sales process. You have to assure them you aren’t going to disrupt the sales process.”  In some cases though, a startup with a niche product is just what the salesperson should be looking for. Selling with a systems integrator can mean being locked into the niche add-on product the SI uses, as opposed to looking at a startup with the right product and an SI that can work with that. Chorley mentioned Oracle is working with salespeople to understand putting together “a constellation of complementary solutions that don’t upset the apple cart of the sales process.’’ Startups have the potential to be shining stars in that constellation.  Chorley’s advice resonated with the startups who joined the roundtable to glean insights on scaling up and selling their solutions into bigger customers. To join them and take advantage of opportunities like free cloud, enterprise expertise, and customer connections, join Oracle for Startups.

Supply chain technology is having a moment in 2020 – with headlines on everything from toilet paper shortages to expanding needs for PPE. We invited supply chain and manufacturing startups to pose...

Best Practices

How to Tee Up a Warm Introduction with a "Forwardable Email"

Virtual networking is more important than it has ever been. We asked Craig Cummings, serial entrepreneur, investor, and cofounder and General Partner at Moonshots Capital, for some advice. This piece originally ran on Medium. Startups who join Oracle for Startups gain opportunities to connect with mentors, analysts, and investors like Craig. Join us. — One of the most common asks of me and my business partner, Kelly Perdew, is to make a warm introduction to someone in our network. The ask is usually made by one of our Moonshots Capital portfolio company Founders who want to meet a potential customer or investor. We are, of course, happy to make these introductions. When we receive such a request, we ask for a tight, compelling “forwardable email” with relevant information so that we can quickly forward it to the person of interest. We found that without additional guidance, what we often received in return was an email the sender drafted to appear as if we had written it ourselves. This is not what we wanted, because such emails required additional work to convert the text of the email to our own tone and manner of speaking. Therefore, we developed explicit instructions for what we mean by a “forwardable email.” Here is what we now tell people to include in the forwardable email to us: Clear subject line of the email. “Introducing (the company)” plus a short attention-getting “hook” if possible. Begin with a quick thanks to me for the introduction and specify to whom you are requesting the introduction (this is also a gentle reminder to me to whom you would like to be introduced). The ask. Remember, less is more, so make the initial ask only for a quick call or meeting with the person or other appropriate person within the target company. If you are fundraising or if you are visiting the contact’s city, add those details and make them easy to find (ex: “We are currently raising our Series A and will be in Austin August 12–14. We would enjoy the opportunity to meet her or her team while in town.”). The company elevator pitch to include high level bullets referencing milestones, traction, and relevant highlights. Attach additional materials (teaser or link to pitch deck) and call out that they are attached. Send a fresh email. Do not add the forwardable email to an existing email thread. Ensure all your contact information is in your signature block, do include your mobile number. Below is an example email sent to me from Daniel Senyard, CEO of our portfolio company Shep.   —   SUBJECT: Introducing Shep — Zapier for Corporate Travel Hi Craig, Thanks for offering to intro me to Mark Volchek at Las Olas Ventures about Shep (www.sheptravel.com). Our use of using previously missing data to inform and evolve corporate travel programs, creating the “open booking and behavioral data” category in the corporate travel tech stack fits squarely into their 3 focus areas: machine intelligence, digital infrastructure, and future of work. We are currently raising a $1.25M seed bridge round with $575K already in/committed and Las Olas Ventures would be a great addition alongside our VCs like Moonshots Capital (you) and Plug and Play; and strategic angels including the ex-President of Travelocity Business, the first CEO of Sabre, one of the SoFi CoFounders, and the ex-CMO of HomeAway and Visa Europe. Shep is an award-winning startup that helps enterprises and corporate travel agencies understand, manage and support employees who search and occasionally book business travel on consumer sites like Expedia, Airbnb, and Southwest (average of 33% of the time!) instead of through their corporate booking tool (usually Concur) through an elegant, un-intrusive browser extension. Shep becomes the system of record and works within existing travel tech stacks to: Understand how much, where, and why employees are searching and booking off-channel Remind employees of policy and priorities, and nudge them to return to the booking tool Capture off-channel booking data for duty of care (safety) and analysis purposes Create more educated, empowered, and sophisticated travelers Benchmark travel programs against industry standards We are working on partnerships with 3 of the top 5 corporate travel agencies (Flight Centre already announced), and pilots with several Fortune 500 companies. I’ve attached our executive summary. Please let me know if you need anything else to make the connection. Best, Daniel   Daniel Senyard, CEO @ Shep & Complai sheptravel.com Cell: 512.XXX.XXXX “2017 Innovators You Should Know” — Business Travel News “2018 Corporate Travel Innovators List” — Skift — Daniel’s email included all the information he wished to convey to the intended recipient and helped ensure we would forward it immediately because it minimized the need for us to add lengthy context before forwarding. With the forwardable email guidelines, we thus created efficiency for ourselves and additional value for our Founders and thereby our LPs.  

Virtual networking is more important than it has ever been. We asked Craig Cummings, serial entrepreneur, investor, and cofounder and General Partner at Moonshots Capital, for some advice. This piece...

Meet the Startups

In a Battle of the Pitches, This AI Startup Swept the Board

In a battle of the pitches, one startup swept the board, winning all three accolades on offer at Oracle’s APAC Startup Idol. But the result does not tell the whole story.  Before an audience of regional APAC analysts, six cloud startups presented, and the competition was ‘exceptionally close’ according to Garrett Ilg, Executive Vice President, Head of Oracle Japan and Asia Pacific. The participants were members of Oracle for Startups based in India, Singapore, and Australia. The webinar was just one perk of the program, similar to Oracle’s Dragon’s Den event in London in February. Startups in the program benefit from deep discounts on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, marketing opportunities, and even connections to Oracle customers.  Each founder had just three minutes to impress a host of top industry analysts in virtual attendance. Founders showcased their products, and analysts got a sneak peek into the emerging technologies of the future. The winner SiteSee won all three categories: Most Creative, Best Overall Pitch, and Best Innovative Solution. The Brisbane-based startup is an automated infrastructure intelligence solution designed to enable faster and leaner 5G rollout by helping cell tower owners and operators audit towers efficiently. In order to make cell towers 5G ready, operators need to understand what’s on their existing assets, which is not an easy job when towers are tall and sometimes inaccessible, explained CEO and cofounder Lucio Piccoli. "SiteSee solves this by combining drones, 3D modeling, and AI to automate the audit process of towers,” Piccoli said. The startup uses machine learning to categorize each piece of equipment on a tower, including its position and rotation in 3D, which it calls an ‘as built’ report. “This leads to identification of lost revenue and the discovery of more revenue potential on the tower, and this is done without having anyone climb the tower,” Piccoli added.  Hot on their heels Five other startups made a stir with the analysts.  Aindra Systems is an affordable point-of-care automated cervical cancer detection system, based in Bangalore. "Our technology enables detection of critical conditions like cancer to be made available at local clinics,” said CEO Adarsh Natarajan. Its customers include NGOs and hospitals, and 1,200 patients have benefitted from its technology so far. Gnani.ai’s speech-to-text engine is backed by Samsung. The startup’s voice assistant uses neuro-linguistic programming to understand 20 languages, including multiple Indic languages and different English dialects. “We've built a set of highly accurate systems, which are the best on the market,” said CEO Ganesh Gopalan.  Hyreo is a machine learning-driven chatbot and NLP-based SaaS platform for improving candidate engagement throughout the hiring cycle. The technology increases candidate touch points by 75%, while combining conversational capabilities with data analytics to provide insights for recruitment teams. “The overall impact is enhanced employer brand and optimized hiring team efforts and costs,” says cofounder and CEO Arun Satyan. In partnership with Oracle, the startup has landed big customers, including Societé Générale. KoineArth’s secure B2B transaction platform, called marketsN, uses blockchain and AI to allow customers to integrate business networks. The aim is to reduce transaction costs and improve market efficiencies. Built to be compatible with widely used ERPs and CRMs, “it’s the future of digital supply chains,” said KoineArth CEO Praphul Chandra. Param uses blockchain to capture the complete lifecycle of the commerce transaction. “It offers an elegant solution to interconnect enterprises,” said Vaideeswaran Sethuraman, Founder and CEO. The product plugs into existing ERPs. Benefits include end-to-end visibility, increased productivity, and cash flow efficiency, as well as streamlining the end-to-end supply chain process. Victory shared Each of the participating startups stand to gain from the experience. “We could introduce you to a few firms, because you are all touching demand and need that we see in our customers as we operate around the world,” Ilg said. Connecting with Oracle customers and industry analysts is just one benefit of Oracle for Startups. Why not join the program yourself and see yourself onstage for the next pitch battle?

In a battle of the pitches, one startup swept the board, winning all three accolades on offer at Oracle’s APAC Startup Idol. But the result does not tell the whole story.  Before an audience of regional...

Cloud Foundations for Startups

How Kubernetes Supports Cloud Native Startup Technology

Imagine a nondescript town where only bus service is available for travel. Sometimes, the bus gets overcrowded. Other times, there is hardly anyone in it. Privacy is non-existent, and luggage is mixed up. On bad days, the bus breaks down and brings the whole journey to a grinding halt. Then one day, the town gets a railway station. The train has multiple cars that allow the crowd to disperse. On slow days, cars can be removed and added again in the case of a spike in passengers. A group of passengers going to a common destination can be accommodated in the same car, and if a car breaks down, a new one can be attached in its place and passengers moved into it. When needed, cars can be attached to a completely different train, along with the passengers inside. The whole train is controlled by a central unit (the engine). You get the drift. The train runs similarly to how Kubernetes and containers work. The train cars are the pods that exist as standalone entities and carry a piece of an application. Passengers are the containers that carry applications along with their libraries (exemplified by the luggage in our train scenario).          Multiple containers make up an application, and these containers are controlled by a central HQ called Kubernetes.  Kubernetes is a container orchestration and management system, and belongs to the cloud-native technology stack. It rests on declarative constructs, which lists out the composition of applications interaction and management. It provides flexibility, elasticity, and easier isolation of application chunks, and startups have access to Kubernetes on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure as part of Oracle for Startups.  Under the hood with Kubernetes Kubernetes, at its heart, is an open-source orchestration platform that ensures that containers are continuously running, healthy, and available. If a container dies, another container is created in its place. It provides the application portability layer.  Kubernetes architecture is composed of: Master. Entry point for administrative tasks. Cluster. Collection of servers which perform various tasks. Node. Where the Pod runs and pulls out an image from the container image registry to launch a container. More often than not, this is a VM, managed by Kubernetes. Nodes are further divided into master (control worker nodes) and worker nodes (where the application runs). Pod. Smallest building block in Kubernetes universe that is deployed and runs on Nodes. Pods are a collection of containers that needs to clubbed together and coexist. Container. Containers are where the application is deployed, abstracted from the rest of the environment. They are lightweight but have their own filesystem, CPU, and memory.  Kubernetes ensures provisioning, scalability, and HA for the application and manages the complete lifecycle of containerized applications by automating it. It sits on top of VMs and creates a cluster of servers – virtual or physical. Kubernetes accesses the image registry like Dockers to pull out an image to spin up a container, and master orchestrates and coordinates the cluster. Nodes are where the applications are run. The greatest advantage of Kubernetes is the portability, which means a container can be deployed on any cloud. Portability prevents vendor lock-in and helps reduce the age old complaint of ‘it-works-on-my-machine.’ Development teams can also pick up whatever tools and libraries they deem necessary to build a microservice, which runs on the container and improves productivity, which is important to scaling startups.  Attributes of a pod Pods – train cars in our analogy above – are where the container is deployed. With its own unique IP address, a pod comprises one or more containers.  A pod is a single unit managed by Kubernetes.  Pod is defined by a YAML script and hosts the application instance.  A Pod typically represents a group of application containers that share CPU, networking, storage and image. The containers in a pod share the IP address of the pod.  Throughout its lifetime, each pod is tied to a node, and contains information about each container image version and how to run it.  Pods are ephemeral - they get terminated and recreated all the time. Containers Containerized applications are going to cause the next big wave in the technology ocean replacing monolithic application architecture as the de-facto architecture choice. Containers are the base unit in the Kubernetes universe and run a complete application or a piece of an application. The primary purpose of Kubernetes is to ensure that the container is healthy and running by monitoring it all the time, as the purpose of the train is to get passengers from place to place safely and efficiently. Containers are similar to VMs conceptually, but they provide virtualization of the O/S.  A single VM can host multiple containers just as a single Baremetal machine can host multiple VMs. Containers work in complete isolation as if the other containers do not exist, and perform only single tasks. This results in faster execution, lower costs, and shared storage. All that a container requires to exist is a CPU and some memory. The application code and the libraries get packaged in a Docker image, which is pulled to create containers that ensure the same behavior across all platforms or clouds. Large applications can be broken down into logical standalone pieces and run in containers. Doing so has given rise to microservices architecture. With containers, developers can package the application - along with its runtime dependencies like libraries and versions - into a manifest, which can be deployed anywhere.  A typical YAML deployment file would look something like this: apiVersion: apps/v1 kind: Deployment metadata:    name: httpd-deployment spec:    replicas: 3   selector:      matchLabels:        app: httpd   template:      metadata:        labels:          app: httpd     spec:        containers:          - image: "phx.ocir.io/gse00014407/firstrepo/httpd:latest"           imagePullPolicy: Always           name: httpd           ports:              - containerPort: 80               name: httpd               protocol: TCP       imagePullSecrets:          - name: ocirsecret Oracle Cloud Infrastructure provides Kubernetes and Container Engine for Kubernetes, which is a fully-managed, scalable, and highly available cloud service. You can also choose to build your own Kubernetes setup on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Users can access the Container Engine for Kubernetes to define and create Kubernetes clusters using the Console and the REST API. You can then access the clusters you create using the Kubernetes command-line (kubectl), the Kubernetes Dashboard, and the Kubernetes API.  

Imagine a nondescript town where only bus service is available for travel. Sometimes, the bus gets overcrowded. Other times, there is hardly anyone in it. Privacy is non-existent, and luggage is mixed...

Meet the Startups

Startup Pivots to Support Sustainable, Anti-Fragile Supply Chains

The pandemic has not slowed down startup retraced, who sells to the fashion brands that tout sustainability as a core value. The company saw a 33% increase in new customers in just one month, and the founders attribute the increase in customers to an initial slowdown in sales. While many brands saw their business slow, retraced took the breather as an opportunity to improve their offering.  "We tried to use the slower time to really focus on product development and make sure that we can fulfill the need to connect brands with their suppliers and make data collection and document collection more efficient," says Lukas Pünder, cofounder and CEO. "Because of these new features, brands are just more excited to use it."  Based in Germany, startup business retraced secured its first U.S. customers, Boyish Jeans, which joined a portfolio that also includes German brands like ArmedAngels. Retraced uses the Oracle Blockchain Platform to create a supply chain management tool that helps companies map and verify their data — including certified details about raw materials, textile manufacturers, fabric dyers, designers, craft people, factories, and sewers. As retraced gathers information, two things happen: a consumer QR code is built automatically, and brands have supply chain data they can analyze. Consumers scan the QR code to discover relevant supply chain information related to ethical sourcing and sustainability.  "There are just so many products in the market that aren't ready to use, and Oracle's was. It was comparably easy to set up and work with because of all the pre-installments," he said. The platform connects well with the Oracle Autonomous Database, which helps retraced save money and time as they scale their database needs up or down.   Blockchain and sustainability The Oracle Blockchain Platform is permission-based, which is critical for privacy and security. Some of retraced's customers share the same suppliers. Since supply chains are often seen as a competitive advantage and are kept secret hidden from the competition, the platform wouldn't work if there were any chance brands can see each other's supply chains without explicit acceptance.  A permission-based blockchain also has a much lower carbon footprint compared to public blockchains. "The public blockchain uses a lot of energy," Pünder says. "We are working in the field of sustainability, so that would be counterproductive to what we're doing." How selling shoes led to building a supply chain product Retraced's origins have nothing to do with supply chain platforms. Pünder and his cofounders initially set out to build a shoe company that produces ethically sourced, sustainable Mexican huaraches and leather boots. The online business is The Cano Shoe. They immediately encountered problems. "Manufacturing a shoe is tougher than one thinks. We made so many mistakes in the beginning," Pünder says. It was particularly difficult to trace and prove that every element of the supply chain met their requirement of ethical sourcing and sustainability. That's how retraced was born. The startup joined Oracle for Startups to help keep cloud costs low and receive support from local Oracle experts in Germany. "With coronavirus, brands realized that supply chains could be a huge problem if they're not functioning properly. A lack of insight into their supply chain can lead to big risks and huge problems," Pünder says. Countless supply chain disruptions, due to lockdowns or COVID-19 outbreaks, have shocked brands and served as a wakeup call for brands to start digitalizing their supply chains and gaining flexibility.  "You can start to connect with your suppliers, to really engage, and exchange information and data. And at the same time, of course, also manage for you, let's say a single point of truth when it comes to sustainability and this whole feat of organizing supply chains." Pünder says a product that started out as a way to document and share details on ethical and sustainable sources has evolved to help brands understand their supply chain.  

The pandemic has not slowed down startup retraced, who sells to the fashion brands that tout sustainability as a core value. The company saw a 33% increase in new customers in just one month, and the...

Partners/Advisors

Why This Ankara-Based Startup Ambassador is Enjoying Every Minute

The Oracle for Startups ambassador network includes inspiring professionals dedicated to supporting startups around the globe. Turkey-based ambassador Sinem Kaya wrote this piece.  Name: Sinem Kaya Role: Strategic Business Development Senior Manager Region: MEA and CEE  Connect on LinkedIn        Noticing Untapped Potential, Sinem Kaya Took Action   When I took on the business development role back in 2012, my initial focus was to bridge the gap between tech entrepreneurs and Oracle via demand generation activities. As the years passed, it wasn't hard to realize that Oracle is one of the best companies that is unknown among startups. Once I knew that, I knew we needed action to change the perspective that Oracle was only for enterprise companies. We did a lot of outreach with the community, and I was delighted to hear great feedback on our mentoring and upskilling efforts. No other vendors were investing the same time in startups. We gave back to the community with mentoring sessions, technical and business-focused workshops for tech entrepreneurs to ensure they kept up-to-date in the latest technologies - and kept Oracle is top of mind.  Oracle for Startups provides more resources (especially from the cloud perspective) with mentoring, migration support, and showcase opportunities. It's like the puzzle is complete with this program, which enables startups of any size to benefit from a variety of resources that we already have in our regional network. All we had to do to serve this exciting program was to activate the network that we have established over the years.  It's great identifying startups' needs and fulfilling their requirements. I have enjoyed every minute of our engagement with these startups and witnessing their growth. One of my favorite things was attending Oracle OpenWorld Dubai event. It gave some of the startups worldwide exposure, customer connect opportunities as well as amazing PR interviews. Another thing is seeing the quick migrations of data from AWS, Azure, etc. From there, they move to the next level, consuming cloud, Market Connect, earning PR. And we, as local ambassadors, coordinate with the Oracle for Startups team in a perfect way.  Exciting Developments in the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey    Our startup portfolio is great and inspiring with their solutions in agritech, fintech, insuretech, edtech, smart city, energy tech, and health tech innovations. They are migrating to us due to tech performance, cost, and security. We've also got an increasing number of women-led startups and a great number of women contributing to a startup's success. After all, great teams must be shaped with an inclusive workforce strategy.  If I were to name a few of the many startups we work with who have also been successfully braving COVID-19:  In Saudi Arabia, Edubook, provides a social learning community that offers an interactive learning experience connecting schools' administrators, students, teachers, and parents to communicate and collaborate anytime, anywhere in a safe and structured environment on both web and mobile.  In Turkey, Dusyeri Digital TV turns children's television watching and mobile device usage behaviors into useful, value-added experiences via the educational content they create. In UAE, DesignHubz is using 3D and Augmented Reality to revolutionize the way consumers buy products online. It enables brands and retailers to sell their products in 3D and AR on their websites and apps. The company provides ready-to-use 3D and AR solutions built for every category - from furniture to fashion to toys - allowing users to make much more informed decisions when doing their online shopping.  There are two environmental startups doing interesting things. In Turkey, Evreka - who won the 2019 Oracle Sustainability Innovation Award -  provides a comprehensive SaaS solution for smart waste collection and city cleaning operations. Evreka improves the whole waste process with highly innovative technology and environmentally friendly solutions with a platform that digitizes these operations with AI and machine learning to reduce costs, save time, and increase citizen satisfaction. TechShelta is based in Ghana and is maximizing the efficiency of greenhouse farming using technological innovations. There isn't much rain in Ghana, which means that the country has to import most of its food. Techshelta technology remotely controls existing manual operating systems such as irrigation, temperature, and humidity, with the help of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.  The Biggest Takeaway  Working with a number of incubators and accelerator programs across the region, as well as being involved in a growing number of government-supported entrepreneurship programs, has given my team a great experience and crossed our paths with top startups across the region. We are so proud to support their innovations to generate real business impact, and witness their tremendous growth and success. I appreciate and enjoy every minute working with all of our Oracle for Startups community members.  

The Oracle for Startups ambassador network includes inspiring professionals dedicated to supporting startups around the globe. Turkey-based ambassador Sinem Kaya wrote this piece.  Name: Sinem Kaya Role:...

Program News

Startups Access Enterprise Benefits On Demand

It’s not all about the free credits. When you sign up for Oracle for Startups, you also gain access to the Startup Portal, an exclusive resource designed with a startup's hectic schedule in mind. This is a one-stop shop to access tutorials, request a mentor, ask for migration help, and connect with other founders and Oracle experts. The Startup Portal was born when the Oracle startup program pivoted to support global startups at scale with a virtual program and virtual resources.  “We’ve been busy developing and curating many on-demand and virtual resources, and we wanted to make sure we’ve got all of these terrific benefits, support, and information in one easy-to-use platform,” says Jason Williamson, Vice President of Oracle for Startups. “We continue to refine our roadmap and roll out new features to help our startups scale and succeed.” Here’s a look at the features you’ll find in the portal. Getting Started The portal helps you start building on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure quickly. Find detailed technical information on: Getting started in the Console. How to create a Linux instance. How to create a Windows instance. How to create a Kubernetes cluster. We’ll also help you understand the Credits to Scale system that gives startups an opportunity to claim more than $10,000 in free cloud credits. We’ve even added a credit calculator to help you understand the free credits benefits. Virtual Library The newly-launched Virtual Library is a fully searchable online resource, divided into three sections to help startups make the most of their partnership with Oracle.   Develop and Integrate. General resources, guides, API references, and tutorials are at your fingertips. Whether you need to migrate a workload or discover a reference architecture, the documentation you need is here.     Explore the Program. Discover the benefits available to you as a member of Oracle for Startups.   Scale and Sell. You’ve got a great product or service. How do you reach new markets and take your business to the next level? This section offers advice from founders and Oracle experts on topics from choosing the right technology to new best practices for enterprise selling and landing VC funding over Zoom. Migration Support Discover the information you need to migrate workloads yourself, or access specialized help from our dedicated, global Enterprise Cloud Readiness (ECR) team if you need it. The ECR team supports fresh installs of traditional and cloud native infrastructure, DB migrations, object storage migration, and more!  Mentorship Request a mentor through the portal. A broad range of Oracle subject matter experts are available. Mentors represent every region of the globe, have at least 15 years of experience, and 90% serve at the director-level or above. Mentors can support founders with: Key motivations and goals. Technology expertise. Vertical expertise. Functional expertise. Access the mentor questionnaire, designed to understand your needs to align you with the best mentor, in the Portal.   Market Connect Take your startup to the next level with access to customers, products, and the Oracle marketing ecosystem. Some of the perks for qualifying startups: Customer engagements and meetings. Product team interactions. Marketing and events exposure. VC introductions and engagements. The portal includes a link to the steps startups need to take to qualify for Market Connect. Discussion Board Founding a company can be lonely work. Whether you have a technical question or want to ask other founders how they’ve approached a problem, we’ve set up a community in the Startup Portal. Within the community, you can: Ask and answer questions. Hear from Oracle experts. Be assured that the forum is moderated so the technical information is spot-on. Sign up today for Oracle for Startups, claim your $500 in free credits, and start exploring the portal.

It’s not all about the free credits. When you sign up for Oracle for Startups, you also gain access to the Startup Portal, an exclusive resource designed with a startup's hectic schedule in mind. This...

Startup Life

5 Benefits of Oracle Cloud for Startups

Today’s startups are born in the cloud. That means their choice of cloud provider is of the utmost importance. What do startups look for when evaluating cloud providers? Value, performance, and security are some of the most crucial factors—and they’re just a few of the many reasons startups choose Oracle. Here, members of the Oracle for Startups program explain why they made the decision to use Oracle Cloud and the benefits they’ve seen: Cost Savings The cost of technology infrastructure impedes startup growth. By moving to Oracle Cloud, startups can save money in this area and reinvest it back into the business. One such example is bot and AI platform provider BotSupply, which is expanding across EMEA with the help of Oracle, according to CEO and Co-Founder Asser Smidt. Oracle has some of the most transparent and value-based pricing in the market, said Smidt, whose company joined the startup program in April 2018. “I know exactly what I'm paying for—no surprises,” he said. Scalability Another way startups can save money in the cloud is by avoiding spend on unused infrastructure. The cloud allows companies to scale up or down to meet fluctuating customer demand, paying only for the resources they use. And Oracle Cloud allows companies to do so reliably, with performance, availability, and manageability backed by enterprise service-level agreements. "We process billions of data points daily and we can't afford any latency or downtime," said Guy Mounier, CEO and cofounder of sales development startup AptivIO, which joined the startup program in July 2019. "Oracle Cloud gives us the assurance we need to deliver value to our customers and to keep innovating with confidence." Security Earning and keeping customers' trust is essential for startup growth. Partnering with Oracle, which has more than 40 years of enterprise expertise, gives startups an additional level of credibility when talking to prospects and working with customers. And the security-first architecture of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure supports that, according to Mark Ross, cofounder of high-performance computing (HPC) startup GridMarkets, which joined the startup program in January 2019. “We can now say GridMarkets is backed by the highly secure and highly robust Oracle Cloud, and that’s helping to open even more doors for us across the globe,” he said. Openness Modern developers rely on a variety of platforms, languages, and services to build their applications. If their cloud of choice doesn’t support their tools of choice, it can cause major headaches. Openness and open source support are important factors for startups that have migrated to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. "One of the key reasons we were excited to move from AWS to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure was Oracle's renewed focus on utilizing, and contributing to, open source projects," said Jonathan Girven, CTO of video collaboration platform provider Sauce. Sauce became a member of Oracle for Startups in July 2018, and Oracle acquired the company in April 2020. High-Performance Computing The cloud allows startups to compete against large enterprises in fields that involve the storage, processing, and analysis of massive amounts of data. Think biomedical research, video streaming, and advanced engineering. But not all clouds are equal when it comes to HPC. Startups in the Oracle for Startups program, such as analytics platform provider Kinetica, which joined in August 2019, have chosen Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to meet their heavy HPC demands. "Oracle has world-class GPU instances that deliver power, performance, and scalability," said Daniel Raskin, CMO of Kinetica. Learn more about how Oracle helps startups.

Today’s startups are born in the cloud. That means their choice of cloud provider is of the utmost importance. What do startups look for when evaluating cloud providers? Value, performance, and...

Meet the Startups

The Cloud Startup Driving Supply Chain Transparency Forward with Blockchain

Sustainability and ethics matter more and more to consumers, whether we’re buying an apple or a new car. Finding the weakest links in a supply chain is complex, especially for brands that make complicated products like vehicles. Circulor is here to help. The London-based cloud startup specializes in tracking raw materials, using blockchain and artificial intelligence to help businesses map even the most intricate supply chains. The startup provides ‘traceability-as-a-service’ to verify responsible sourcing, underpin effective recycling, and improve efficiency.  The technology is already a hit with automotive companies. Using complementary blockchain technology from Circulor and Oracle, manufacturers can have full insight into their vehicle parts supply chain to offer safety to drivers, miners, and the environment. “Circulor chose the Oracle Blockchain platform. Our experience was that it was very easy to architect the solution, and simple and fast to deploy,” explained cofounder Veera Johnson. Watch her in this video and learn how Circulor manages to trace cobalt from car batteries all the way back to the source.   Circulor is a member of Oracle for Startups. Join today and take advantage of benefits from business support to free cloud credits to use on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. 

Sustainability and ethics matter more and more to consumers, whether we’re buying an apple or a new car. Finding the weakest links in a supply chain is complex, especially for brands that make...

Best Practices

Startups Prepare for Ups and Downs with Autoscaling

Autoscaling, in brick and mortar industry terms, is dynamic capacity planning. It is an extremely efficient and cost-effective method of handling workloads that do not yet exist. It removes inefficiencies from the system as well as helping to get a grip on capital expenditures. Autoscaling works on the Instance pool concept. Resources are made available per current requirements with provision to add more automatically when the utilization increases, and deactivate additional resources when utilization decreases. Autoscaling provides the application with much-needed elasticity to the application and handles the occasional surge in traffic. Autoscaling for infrastructure services Most platform services offered on Oracle Cloud include in-built elasticity or autoscaling, but what about infrastructure services? Imagine a company like video conferencing service Zoom, whose CPU utilization went through the roof during the global Covid-19 lockdown. If they were an on-premise hosting company, they would have been frantically buying expensive servers to meet the suddenly expanding load. But when the loads go down, they would be stuck with extra hardware.  Movie theaters are another example. Demand is normally steady, until a huge number of patrons log onto the website to buy tickets during the holiday season or before a hotly anticipated blockbuster gets released. Both examples show the benefits of autoscaling, which is designed to manage these kinds of situations. With autoscaling, there is no need to buy any expensive hardware or create VMs from the image manually. Simply configure the autoscaling feature of Oracle Cloud and remove any bottlenecks related to load. Then set up appropriate scaling limits with a minimum number of instances and incremental/decremental value. Define the scheduling type and policies. That’s it. Since compute time is charged only for the instances that are attached to the instance pool, the application is only using as many instances as are required at a given time, optimizing costs and resource utilization.  How to approach autoscaling as a startup Plan your current capacity in the cloud and create a pool of instances to handle any spike in a workload whenever needed. The cloud resources remain available but do not cost money until used. Once the peak capacity period passes by, the added machines are terminated while the system goes back to original capacity status. The new instances are added as per the memory or CPU utilization threshold. Autoscaling scales up or scales down the resources that get attached to the application stack based upon predefined criteria. Autoscaling saves capital expenditure and protects the system from going down because of unmanageable loads on the resources. Autoscaling simplifies scalability as the Oracle cloud handles all the demand by horizontal scaling, adding resources, or removing resources as per run time utilization without any human inputs or monitoring. Setting up autoscaling in the Oracle Cloud console  Autoscaling is one of the key Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offerings. This quick video will walk you through the setup.    Step by Step Instructions 1.    Set up the server which you want to scale up and down based upon utilization. 2.    Create instance configuration of this server. (This action is akin to taking a snapshot of the instance; the scaled-up instances will always be created from this image.)               3. Create instance pool from instance configuration.  4.   Create autoscaling configuration from instance pool. 5. Create and define load balancer. When new instances are added to the pool, this defines how the load will be shared. 6.    Define instance pool. (Attach instance configuration here, define a maximum number of instances to start with, and attach the Load Balancer.) 7.    Define Autoscaling configuration. At this point, you determine whether to make this time-based vs. metric- or performance-based. You can also configure the cool-down period, scale in and out quantum, etc. 8.    You are now all set to face any expected or unexpected spike in load. More considerations For a project like this to be successful, you need to do a few things first. Benchmark before building autoscaling to understand the needs of the load. Define scaling conditions diligently. Keep all the variable components stored in other places and not in the compute machines. Keep Database server isolated from the instance pool. Ensure you have enough limit of CPUs for scaling out. The server settings need to be managed as a code. Test it before deploying it in Production. For more information on autoscaling, please check out the video. And remember, as part of the Oracle startup program we are happy to help with migrations that include autoscaling. Enrolled startups can request migration support in the Startup Portal.   

Autoscaling, in brick and mortar industry terms, is dynamic capacity planning. It is an extremely efficient and cost-effective method of handling workloads that do not yet exist. It...

Meet the Startups

Holler.Live Rethinks Customer Feedback

Customer experience startup holler.live believes that democratizing public opinion benefits shoppers and businesses. CEO Rado Raykov joined cohosts Michael Hickins and Barbara Darrow on Stories from the Cloud last month to discuss how holler.live is disrupting the market research industry by using automation to offer brands real-time data, and the 'halo effect' they experience using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Stories From the Cloud · Holler If You Hear Me A member of Oracle for Startups, holler.live disrupts the traditional approach to market research using automated steps to deliver real-time insights. For example, shoppers who rated a product highly might be asked why and rewarded with a discount code, while those who experienced an issue are invited to provide feedback. Customers can provide targeted feedback through an intuitive, accessible platform while companies gain valuable insights that inform product and service improvements.  Raykov shares his experience working with various cloud providers’ startup programs, and how Oracle for Startups ‘seduced’ holler.live with outreach and support, but sealed the partnership with technology. “We found out that Oracle’s IT or Cloud offering has been severely overlooked,” he says. “We find it to be very robust…We’ve had zero problems so far running on Oracle Cloud.”  Listen here for more insight into how companies refine their approach to customer feedback and how AI is changing the conversation between companies and users. Do you have a cloud startup? Check out Oracle for Startups and experience how enterprise infrastructure and expertise can support your scale. 

Customer experience startup holler.live believes that democratizing public opinion benefits shoppers and businesses. CEO Rado Raykov joined cohosts Michael Hickins and Barbara Darrow on Stories from...

Startup Life

These Startup Pitches Were So Good, Judges Couldn't Choose One Winner

It was a battle of the pitches. Before an audience of global analysts, six startups presented and two walked away with kudos for ‘Most Innovative.’  The participants were members of Oracle for Startups, and the webinar was just one perk of the program, similar to our Dragon’s Den event in London in February. Each founder had just three minutes to impress a host of top analysts in virtual attendance, enabling founders to show how they are pushing innovation forward, and analysts to get a sneak peek into the future. Most Innovative: Rocketmat and Supermoney  Rocketmat uses machine learning to enable human resources departments to fairly find and retain the best talent for companies. Its CEO and Cofounder, Pedro Lombardo, described the innovation as ‘a brain that you can put in existing AI.’  He believes that recruiter tools such as assessments and semantic search are outdated, and that adding AI to several points from ‘hire to retire’ helps with talent retention. “Our solutions range from our recruiting robot Sophia, to ranking candidates against future KPIs in selection and working with the internal company talent management,” he said. In the last 100 days, many healthcare customers are using Rocketmat’s services in response to COVID-19. “Helping those companies recruit very much needed doctors and nurses gave us great press in Brazil,” Lombardo said. He believes Rocketmat saves its customers time and money in selecting candidates. “But the most important and the foremost benefit is equal opportunities. Everybody gets their shot by our algorithms,” he added. Supermoney is a blockchain business making it easy for its customers to build its own blockchain solutions. The technology is based on the Oracle Blockchain platform, which is a wrapper around hyperledger fabric that is the leading enterprise blockchain protocol.  “The magic that we bring is in the form of 40 smart contracts – the thing that does stuff in the blockchain – and we provide access to our smart contracts via a suite of APIs,” Joel Smalley, CEO of the London-based fintech explained. There are also user interface templates for iOS and Android, making it easy to build blockchain products to take care of payments and contracts, for example. “Our biggest win at the moment is a partnership with HSBC, which has agreed to provide the payment structure for all of our solutions and ... we have some big names in automotive finance too,” he said.  Supermoney is currently building on its success by engineering a front, middle, and back-office system for the insurance industry and has some ‘significant’ companies on-board. Most Creative: Airfluencers Airfluencers was awarded ‘Most Creative,’ and not just because CEO Rodrigo Soriano began his pitch with a Black Mirror clip. “Anyone who’s a content creator needs to know how much they are worth when they post something. Any content has a price and metrics behind it. Our goal is to provide companies and marketing departments with all the information they need to create the most trustworthy content,” he said. Soriano believes that influencers are the future. His company uses proprietary algorithms to estimate an influencer’s reach and value. The startup has 150 global clients so far and Soriano said the company’s benchmarks are “way, way higher than traditional media” in Brazil, sometimes exceeding 20 times traditional digital The startup has two products. The first, a dashboard for marketing departments, allows them to run campaigns end-to-end – from discovery to predictive analysis and measurement. The second product is an analytics app for influencers so they can provide better content to their clients.  “Basically, we’re linking B2B with B2C and creating a huge, huge database of content and people where marketing depts can maximize,” Soriano said. “Social media and anybody who creates content is a target for us and we have probably the largest database in Latin America of influencers. We’re pretty happy with it.” Best Overall Pitch: Complete Intelligence  Complete Intelligence CEO Tony Nash won ‘Best Overall Pitch.’ Packing plenty of examples into his three-minute presentation, he adeptly explained how Complete Intelligence is a cloud containerized platform for forecasting costs and revenues for better decisions.  The Texas-based startup overcomes the problem of inaccurate forecasts for costs and revenues by enabling customers to be specific. “In many cases, we’re significantly better than consensus forecasts,” he said. The company’s products, CostFlow and RevenueFlow, provide context for companies during forecasting with a hierarchical view down to component level, where a CEO can manage the pipeline for procurement.  “We take in data from ERP systems and procurement systems and process it on our platform for highly accurate context,” he added.   Finally, drawing on a real client with $2bn of revenue, Nash showed how Complete Intelligence can save millions on cost lines while adding millions in cash flow.  “So, this might seem like a very specific forecasting problem, but it leads to a better valuation for manufacturing firms,” he concluded. The Best of the Rest Analysts were also impressed with BotSupply and Gridmarkets’ pitches.  Francesco Stasi, CEO of BotSupply, explained how using Oracle’s chatbot platform, the Copenhagen-based firm helps customers build chatbots in up to 27 languages. He highlighted how relationships with Oracle’s sales reps can lead to a better product and big customers.  GridMarkets cofounder Mark Ross explained how his startup simplifies and accelerates computationally demanding workloads such as animation rendering, visual effects, and molecular simulations for drug discovery. He explained how the product saves costs and is integrated into the end user’s software and sets up in seconds. “There are no special skills and training required. Our pricing is competitive as we leverage the highly secure Oracle capacity,” he said. The startup has acquired more than 3,000 customers in over 90 countries including Fox Studios, the BBC, and Facebook.

It was a battle of the pitches. Before an audience of global analysts, six startups presented and two walked away with kudos for ‘Most Innovative.’  The participants were members of Oracle for Startups,...

Meet the Startups

A Fintech's Cloud Migration Journey 

Ahmed Abbas Mohammad's only regret about migrating his peer-to-peer lending platform's data is that he didn't do it sooner.  Reliability and Support Mohammad is CEO of Mawlny, a Saudi Arabia-based financial technology fintech that links borrowers and lenders in a compliant manner. "We provide borrowers with a low-profit rate and assist them in building up a good credit history," the CEO explains. "We also allow lenders to invest their excess liquidity within the platform to receive high Islamic short-term returns." "As a fintech startup, we are looking for reliable infrastructure and a powerful and secure database," Mohammad says. Oracle's new cloud region in Jeddah spurred him to look at Oracle for Startups and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.  The fintech wanted support for setting up the cloud infrastructure as they migrated. "Oracle gave us experts we trust," he said, citing a smooth and easy migration. "The startup program and the support team are great."  "Everything set up brilliantly." Oracle’s cloud native technology can be developed once and then run anywhere, which means startups are not stifled by vendor lock-in. To move Mawlny onto Oracle Cloud, the technical team dedicated to startups took a snapshot of the fintech's other service providers' servers and then created architecture from the image.  "We mapped each service that Mawlny was using with Oracle Cloud services," says Vikas Raina, who headed the Oracle effort. From there, his team created secure tunnels to migrate data to Oracle Cloud. The team completed the migration in less than two weeks.   After the move, Mawlny adapted quickly. The console's design mirrors what other cloud providers offer, flattening the learning curve. "It was easy to navigate, and everything set up brilliantly. We know we can get help from Oracle, and that's really helpful," Mohammad says.  Mawlny wanted OCI because of the database automation component and its reliable network infrastructure, but Mohammad had concerns. "We were a little concerned about was how much it would cost us to set up the network infrastructure, security, and load balance and to maintain it for the first year and second year," he says. But, as a member of Oracle for Startups, Mawlny received free credits and a 70% discount for two years.  A local data center and more Mawlny isn't the only Middle Eastern startup to test out Oracle Cloud – currently, there are 44 in the program. They are in good company, Oracle is the cloud vendor of choice for 54% of companies in the region. Plus, with 87% of the top companies by revenue using Oracle products, opportunities for expansion, integration, and enterprise scale are growing in the Gulf.   Oracle's commitment to Saudi Arabia was an important consideration for Mohammad and Mawlny. Oracle recently became the first public cloud provider with a cloud region operational and three more planned in the region, so customers can continue to meet business continuity needs and regional compliance requirements. Offering startups cloud at a 70% discount and a local team to support their scale meant Mawlny could meet Saudi compliance standard without slowing down innovation.

Ahmed Abbas Mohammad's only regret about migrating his peer-to-peer lending platform's data is that he didn't do it sooner.  Reliability and Support Mohammad is CEO of Mawlny, a Saudi Arabia-based...

Best Practices

Claiming the Empty Playground in a Post-COVID World

This post was written by Michael Dermer of The Lonely Entrepreneur and cohost of the upcoming live session called "How to Drive Interest in a Hyper-Competitive Climate."  Watch the webinar replay.  Many opportunities will emerge post-COVID. There will be new innovations in online learning, events, and social activities. There will be opportunities in the home office market like never before. Childcare services will undergo massive innovation to serve new work models.   The greatest risk (and the greatest opportunity) in a post-COVID world is finding the right playground. What do I mean by that? It’s about finding a space that isn’t too cluttered with competitors. You can find your own swing or a prime spot on the climbing wall.  I know more about this crisis than most. If you don’t know my story, I saw the business I built for 10 years nearly get destroyed overnight by the 2008 financial crisis. The specific things we did during the crisis became the difference between success and failure. My story had a happy ending: we went on to sell the company that is considered a pioneer in the health rewards movement. And it led me to create The Lonely Entrepreneur, a non-profit with a mission to empower entrepreneurs.   There are many challenges that will be faced by companies in a post-pandemic world. But we believe the most significant ones – for entrepreneurs especially – will be competition. Prior to COVID-19, the world was hypercompetitive. Every buyer – whether it was a consumer or a business – believed that virtually everything could be bought for free. This is not completely true of course. But don’t we all believe that regardless of what we are buying, there is probably a free version out there.    After COVID, this competition will intensify. With so many companies and individuals competing for scarcer dollars, it will be increasingly difficult for one provider of a product or service to stand out from the crowd. And here is the reality – anyone that is trying to compete on price will lose. If the tendency to find and use the ‘free version’ was prevalent before COVID, it will be even more so going forward. So how do you compete with free?  You don’t.  As Matthew Broderick said in the movie War Games, “the only way to win is not to play the game.”  We have all heard the cliché “sell on value, not on price.”  While true, in a post-COVID world, the stakes will be even higher.   So, what are the things that companies must do in a post-COVID world? Find a Playground Where No One Else is Playing We believe that traditional unique selling propositions will fall on deaf ears. Every company will have to find their own niche  – a market, a positioning approach, or a segment where they are the only game in town.    Take my old business – rewards for healthy behavior. At the time we started our company, there were tons of points and loyalty programs. All we did was find a playground – rewards for healthcare – where no one else was playing. And once we did, we defined the rules for how the product should be bought, priced, and delivered. All others, including the major loyalty companies running the credit card, bank, hotel, and airline loyalty programs, were now competing on our set of rules if they wanted to break into the space. Define the Criteria Where You Win No one pays attention to the details. We live in such a cluttered world that there could be a million dollars in your inbox and there is a 99% chance you would never see it. If a company tries to line up its products and services against another, there is a good chance the buyer won’t even take the time to see the differences.   You have to define a criteria where you win – even (and maybe especially) if it is a criteria that no one was paying attention to.   Take Budweiser. For the 2018 Super Bowl, they ran an ad about “corn syrup.” A Medieval times soldier drove a chariot up to the Budweiser castle and proclaimed, “We have delivered your corn syrup.” The sentry from the castle retorted, “you must be mistaken, we don’t use corn syrup. You must be looking for the Miller Lite or Coors Lite castles down the road.”   Did you even know that beer had corn syrup? I didn’t. Even if you did, did you ever buy or not buy beer because it had corn syrup? I didn’t. Budweiser picked a criteria – corn syrup – that no one even cared about and made it the criteria for winning.  And in a hypercompetitive industry like beer, it made all the difference.   Entrepreneurs will have to pick (or create) a criteria they can win at. Know-How and The Risk of Not Having It Entrepreneurs are competing against a price of $0. In a post-COVID world, companies will have far fewer sales and marketing dollars to position products or services. Every vendor says it provides great service and great prices, has loyal customers, and lots of references, but businesses and consumers have largely tuned out.    What they won’t tune out is the risk of not knowing something they should know.   I once did a consulting session for about 30 international travel public relations professionals. As you may know, public relations is an incredibly competitive field. Every PR firm says they have great clients, lots of relationships, and great insights. The challenge is to win against the clutter.    I asked them if they knew that no Americans are allowed to stay overnight on the seventh floor of the Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world in Dubai. They mumbled amongst themselves and then started asking questions of each other and of me. After the chatter settled, I asked “do you know why no Americans can stay on the seventh floor?” I paused and said, “I just made that up. It isn’t true.”    But for a few minutes, everyone in the room thought I knew something they didn’t and that they would lose business if they didn’t know.    Obviously, you don’t want to make stuff up, but you do need to bring clients the knowledge they don’t have. If you do, they will walk away from a meeting thinking, “I better hire them.” Excelling in Tough Times Post-COVID, we will see changes to market dynamics like we have never seen before. But in the end, if a business does not carve its unique place in the world -- and do so in the time it takes to put on a mask -- the world will pass it by.    This is the greatest risk, and the greatest opportunity, of a post-COVID world. Watch the Replay    Michael Dermer is an author, entrepreneur authority, and the founder and CEO of The Lonely Entrepreneur.  Michael is a consultant and speaker who has keynoted over 100 events serving entrepreneurs in the United States, Mexico, China, India, the UAE, Croatia, Singapore, Spain, and Israel.

This post was written by Michael Dermer of The Lonely Entrepreneur and cohost of the upcoming live session called "How to Drive Interest in a Hyper-Competitive Climate."  Watch the webinar replay.  Many...

Cloud Foundations for Startups

Enterprise Readiness Is a Startup’s Force Multiplier

These days, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a sturdy vehicle and plenty of gas in the tank. In the case of startups, the journey to scale starts with Oracle Cloud and cloud-native technology. There is a wide array of benefits a startup can reap once they are on Oracle Cloud. Oracle for Startups was designed to help startups leverage these benefits and scale up to the next level.   To accelerate the journey, Oracle for Startups offers a pioneering benefit for member startups called "Enterprise Cloud Readiness" or ECR in short. Many startups get up and running on Oracle Cloud completely on their own, so ECR is an added benefit for those startups who appreciate more hands-on guidance. For the startups leveraging our support, the ECR team is a force multiplier.    As a technology company, Oracle provides a clear mandate for the ECR team: help startups leverage the diverse offerings within Oracle Cloud to accelerate innovation. ECR is composed of experienced Cloud Architects and Specialists and takes on the role of trusted advisor for the startup ecosystem by helping them build enterprise grade, secure, and scalable cloud architecture with superior performance. Startups come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, we work with startups that have a strong technical acumen and an abundance of resources. More often, startups join the program with a top-tier technical team that’s under-resourced, or little-to-no resourcing and limited cloud experience.  In the latter cases, the ECR team can take on the task of migrating workloads to OCI, or act as an extra pair of eyes as the startup works through the processes of setting up their cloud environments. Sometimes our involvement is as simple as providing customized Quick Start Guides, explicitly written for startups to get started on Oracle Cloud faster. ECR is not tech support. For that, we have My Oracle Support. ECR is an advisory team working with CTOs and helping startups build a world-class, enterprise-ready secure platform on Oracle Cloud, which promotes continued growth and innovation through a cost-effective and user-friendly cloud platform. The benefit of a global, virtual team extends to every startup that signs up for Oracle for Startups, and the startups rave about their experience.  Arun Satyan, founder of talent acquisition startup HYREO, shared his experience. "It was a joy to work with the Oracle cloud technical team. We had a very quick transition to Oracle Cloud. It just took 4 days from our first instance approval to application deployment for client testing. And critical to this was the kind of support we received from the Oracle global team."     ECR helps startups in a variety of ways. 1.    Analyze the startup’s current landscape and provide architectural designs and deployment plans on OCI  2.    Provide TCO beforehand 3.    Work with startups to migrate partial or complete workloads to Oracle Cloud 4.    Recommend best practices  5.    Guide startups with any technical advisory discussions 6.    Share new cloud services, especially emerging tech and cloud native 7.    Provide relevant documentation, videos, and webinars 8.    Drive access to global network of Oracle Product Managers and Product leaders   Startups can reach the global ECR team by dropping us an email. We also maintain a community message board that startups in the program use to post their queries. ECR helps startups get started on Oracle Cloud and keeps the immediate path illuminated in the startup's quest to solve complex technical challenges. Take advantage of the benefits of bespoke technical support on your path to migration, adoption, and scale. Join Oracle for Startups. 

These days, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a sturdy vehicle and plenty of gas in the tank. In the case of startups, the journey to scale starts with Oracle Cloud and cloud-native...

Meet the Startups

Podcast: Agritech Startup Outsmarts Pests with Drones and AI

Food security is a global challenge, but an Israeli startup is using computer vision and out-of-the-box hardware to help farmers stop pests and diseases threatening crops. Hear how AgroScout (a member of Oracle for Startups' global startup community) is making a difference for growers:  Stories From the Cloud · Beat The Beetles Early detection is the key to stopping bugs in their tiny tracks, yet they are hard to spot from the ground. Plants rarely offer visible signs of disease until it's too late. To solve this problem and help fight hunger, AgroScout provides remote medicine for plants using multispectral sensors to diagnose problems. Data can be collected via a mobile app or drone, with sensors analyzing light reflected from fields to pinpoint potential issues with irrigation or fertilizer.  A passing drone can blow leaves around and expose hidden bugs. A flyby just four or five feet above crops gathers valuable hi-res images and uses clever AI algorithms to detect anomalies. CEO Simcha Shore explains how AgroScout’s software and off-the-shelf technology work together to beat blights in Oracle’s ‘Stories from the Cloud’ podcast. Listen for more insight into how AgroScout is bringing high tech solutions to farms of every size, as well as how it is using the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Data Science Platform. “We've been privileged to be one of the first users of the Data Science Platform and it’s where we've been doing all the deep learning,” Shore says, adding that all the computing tech AgroScout needs is in the platform, “enabling us to do what we couldn’t do before.” “Before we could train one network one training at a time, now we have multiple trainings over different diseases all over the globe.” You can join Oracle for Startups to take advantage of free cloud, technical support, and much more.

Food security is a global challenge, but an Israeli startup is using computer vision and out-of-the-box hardware to help farmers stop pests and diseases threatening crops. Hear how AgroScout (a member...

Partners/Advisors

Ambassador: 'Startup Nation' is All About Culture and Mentality

The Oracle for Startups ambassador network includes inspiring professionals dedicated to supporting startups around the globe. This piece was written by Israel-based ambassador Asaf Sobol.  Name: Asaf Sobol     Role: Business Development, Innovation Region: EMEA - UKI Title: Senior Business Development Lead, Oracle Tech, Israel  Find him on LinkedIn _____________________________________________________________________________________   Asaf Sobol Has Been Here from the Beginning  About five years ago when I took on the business development role in Israel, I was looking for growth engines for Oracle. One of the engines I chose to focus on was innovation. I was fascinated by the potential of integrating startups with Oracle and the resulting innovation that could spin out of these collaborations. I recognized that our customers are thirsty for innovation, and collaborations between startups and Oracle can meet this need. I was one of the very first “Ambassadors” when Oracle’s startup program first launched in January 2017 as the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator. Israel was one of the first markets with the program. I helped launch that and have been working with the Oracle for Startups team since. Israel is the 'Startup Nation'  Despite being a young country, Israel has one of the most mature startup ecosystems in the world. How can a small and young (established in 1948) country from the Middle East, with only eight million people, come to be known as the Startup Nation? The short answer: a combination of mentality and culture.  After all, Israel is well accustomed to fighting for its place. But one thing I want to emphasize is the unique culture that it’s ok to fail, as long as you learn something. When this mentality is at the heart of everything you do, taking calculated risks is more common.  I'm also excited that Oracle has chosen Israel as one of its new cloud regions. As an innovation hub, Israel is more than appropriate to have its own data center. Also, the special relationship Oracle’s top leadership has with Israel is unique. The Endless Opportunities for AI/ML I’ll say AI/ML because the application is endless, and now with cloud technology we can truly embrace these like never before. I don’t think I know of any startup, no matter the LOB, that doesn’t utilize AI/ML.  BrandTotal uses AI/ML to uncover competitors' digital and social media marketing strategies. AgroScout is trying to detect early-stage crop diseases to improve crop yields, reduce pesticide use, and increase profits, all using AI/ML. And the list goes on and on. Startups and the Importance of "Being Bold"  If I had any advice for startups based on what I've seen in Israel, it is to “be bold”, as our mentor and program founder the late Reggie Bradford used to say. Taking risks is part of the DNA of startups. They always need to adjust, to be agile, take risks and learn from everybody they meet, whether that’s customers, VCs, or vendors.  Pivots are a great example. One of the early-stage startups that participated in Oracle’s startup program started as a chatbot content analyzer. They had a good use case, but I questioned if it solved a big enough problem. But the founder fascinated us and we knew they would adapt, learn and scale. They just needed a good partner by their side. This startup was Bonobo.ai and they pivoted to become a multi-channel AI interaction analyzer across all channels. They were acquired last year by Salesforce for $50M. Not bad ROI for an investment of $4.5M Witnessing Startup Wins  If I have to choose only one, I’ll go for Agroscout.  When Agroscout joined Oracle for Startups they were early stage, hadn’t raised capital, but had a great vision on saving the world from hunger. Their technology stack was at the same stage but just needed a bit more vision. With Oracle, they enjoyed many tech resources and benefits, including attending Oracle OpenWorld, which gave them worldwide exposure, as well as an amazing video shoot in Africa.  Today, they just finished a series A funding round. Their technology is even hotter, because of the coronavirus crisis and the serious shortage of food and agricultural crops expected as a result in third world countries. Startups and Oracle: Benefits  From an OCI perspective, startups get much more power and scale and at a lower cost. We are seeing many startups migrate off vendors like AWS to OCI and getting immediate benefits. With Oracle’s huge application portfolio, startups have big opportunities and advantages to integrate and jumpstart their technologies and customer growth.  And Misconceptions  Some people still think that Oracle is only a database company. We are still a database giant, but as you know, Oracle has many possible technologies, including full cloud solutions and emerging tech. The fact that data is core to our business supports innovation for customers in a world that runs on data. Learn more about Oracle for Startups.   

The Oracle for Startups ambassador network includes inspiring professionals dedicated to supporting startups around the globe. This piece was written by Israel-based ambassador Asaf Sobol.  Name: Asaf...

Best Practices

How Startups Use $500 in Free Cloud 

Startups seeking scale are quick to pivot, adapt, and take advantage of every opportunity to run more efficiently. When offered free credits, these cloud startups turned $500 into a solid foundation for expansion.   Startups that join Oracle for Startups receive $500 in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure credits. That $500 comes at a 70% discount from day one so these credits go 3x as far, and pair nicely with Oracle’s Always Free tier of services. Startups have reported up to 40% annual savings compared to AWS, and these savvy entrepreneurs are using the savings to reinvest in their startup business.  Save, Reinvest, Scale, Repeat Airfluencers is a platform that analyzes and optimizes marketing with influencers in Latin America. CEO Rodrigo Soriano was initially wary that Oracle’s startup program was ‘too good to be true,’ but has since been ‘very happy’ with the benefits of the program, which include free cloud credits.  The startup was spending around $13,000 a month with Google. With Oracle for Startups’ 70% discount, they tested the waters by migrating 1% of their workloads to Oracle. A week later, Airfluencers transferred all processing to Oracle. Soriano said, “It was easy and we were able to do it [migrate to OCI] ourselves.”  Extend the Research Runway R&D is crucial for startups seeking product/market fit, but it is often time-consuming and expensive. Supermoney CEO Joel Smalley used the money he saved by using Oracle’s free credits on research and development for his next-generation accounting ledger, which helps businesses create and manage more efficient business networks. “As an early-stage startup ostensibly pre-revenue, quite literally every penny saved extends our runway,” he explained. The London-based cloud startup spends £10,000 a month on R&D and notes the route to revenue is a very long and bumpy one when it comes to blockchain technologies. “Although the cloud credits are a small percentage of our R&D cost, it is also very reassuring that it is one cost that we don't have to worry about,” he said. Similarly, Autolomous CEO Alexander Seyf used free credits and discounts to further develop the startup’s platform, which offers digitized workflow management for cell and gene therapy manufacturers.  Expanding Product Features Startup NOIA Network works on solving the core problems of internet infrastructure. NOIA leveraged free Oracle Cloud credits to build and deploy its Distributed Autonomous Routing Protocol (DARP) agent to measure the best network path between cloud providers and the internet edges. “Gaining access to a wide range of servers globally and testing for routing improvements across each location has been very useful,” said NOIA Network CTO Jonas Simanavicius. “With Oracle’s help, more nodes in our system can receive a continuous feed of one-way latency matrices, enabling them to route around congested Internet paths.” Brazilian startup Jobecam uses AI to boost workplace diversity, and put savings to good use by creating a safer, more robust architecture for the platform.  “We need to increase our productivity quality and deliver our products to more users, but don’t have to worry about cost. That’s a great gift,” says Jobecam CTO Eugênio de Carli. Turning Savings into Scale  NOIA’s network requires strong infrastructure to operate. “Oracle's cloud credits have helped us scale that infrastructure even faster,” says Simanavicius. “We plan to take full advantage of the discounts as we move forward with the startup incubation process at Oracle.” But the free credits offer more than increased reliability. De Carli explains, “The discount enabled us to create and optimize our infrastructure. We managed to create several models until we found a suitable solution for Jobecam.” Smalley agrees on the experimental freedom provided by cloud savings, and the innovation that results from it.  “We actually experiment more and push out more prototypes to promote our business and services than we would if we were paying full price for OCI.” For Supermoney, the value of free cloud credits comes from increasing activities they would otherwise not have pursued due to cost constraints.  Join the startups who are scaling with free cloud, mentorship, and connections with Oracle for Startups.  

Startups seeking scale are quick to pivot, adapt, and take advantage of every opportunity to run more efficiently. When offered free credits, these cloud startups turned $500 into a solid foundation...

Meet the Startups

Startups Impress Analysts in the Dragon’s Den

Eight startups from Oracle for Startups caught analysts’ eyes at a Dragon’s Den-style competition at Oracle OpenWorld Europe in February.  The event brought together startups and partners to pitch a panel of IDC analysts earlier this year. The startups – all members of the Oracle startup program  – were judged on creativity, innovation, and the strength of their pitches. Presenting deep tech solutions to common customer challenges, DeepZen’s AI audiobook solution was deemed ‘most innovative.’ Join the startups using free cloud and enterprise expertise to connect with analysts, capital, and customers through Oracle for Startups.  Most Innovative DeepZen, an artificial intelligence startup business focused on publishing and producing audiobooks, was deemed the most innovative at the Dragon’s Den-style competition. The demand for audiobooks is outpacing humans’ ability to record them, according to DeepZen CEO Kerem Sozugecer. While recording an audiobook can take humans several weeks, Sozugecer says DeepZen’s AI technology can create a 10-hour audiobook in just a few hours, at a competitive price.  IDC analysts believe the product could fundamentally shift the scalability of long-form audio content at a time when the audiobook and podcast markets are growing quicker than the overall media and entertainment market. DeepZen was not the only startup to impress the judges.  Best Overall Pitch Joulica won best overall pitch with technology that streams data from platforms, virtual assistants, and AI to a real-time analytics solution that shows key performance indicators. CEO Tony McCormack highlighted Joulica’s ability to "close the chasm between the customer expectation and data processing.” Most Creative Retraced was named most creative. Founded in early 2019, Retraced has leveraged Oracle Blockchain to develop a complete product in just 12 months. The solution is attracting attention by tackling the fashion industry’s transparency crisis. The app allows customers to check a brand’s sustainability credentials, while a B2B platform supports fashion labels as they collect, analyze, and trace supply-chain information. Takeaway “The caliber of startups on the program was extremely high,” says IDC Senior Research Analyst Naima Camara in the report "Oracle for Startups: Deep Tech for Enterprise Scale."   “Despite the variety of the startups' focus areas, they were unified through their creation of deep-tech solutions that solve a recurring challenge in the market.” Read the full report.     

Eight startups from Oracle for Startups caught analysts’ eyes at a Dragon’s Den-style competition at Oracle OpenWorld Europe in February.  The event brought together startups and partners to pitch a...

Program News

Oracle Cloud and NVIDIA Give AI Startups World-Class Technology and Global Business Resources

With technologies like AI and compute-intensive applications on the rise, the need for GPU computing solutions to address big global problems and power business solutions is critical. Oracle and NVIDIA have committed to help more AI startups achieve scale and success through a collaboration between their global startup programs. Oracle for Startups and NVIDIA Inception are bringing two powerful technologies together to produce cloud computing power that is fast, scalable, and highly secure. “This is an example of a ‘world-class’ collaboration, and it aligns with our mission to help support startups across the globe with the best possible resources,” said Jason Williamson, vice president, Oracle for Startups. “As a former founder, I understand that startups need powerful partners and resources to scale and help drive innovation forward for our future.” Oracle for Startups works with technology-enabled startups worldwide providing free credits and discounts on Oracle Cloud, mentoring, migration assistance, and access to Oracle’s network of customers, product experts, and marketers. Among the benefits for startups is the option to use the new NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPU announced today and coming soon to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. NVIDIA Inception is a virtual accelerator program that supports startups harnessing GPUs for AI and data science applications during critical stages of product development, prototyping, and deployment.   Together, Oracle can accelerate AI startups with NVIDIA’s deep technical expertise and industry-leading GPU technology on Oracle Cloud. Startups can also benefit from both companies’ ability to connect them with potential customers.  Additionally, the collaboration combines Oracle’s co-selling opportunities and vast marketing and events with NVIDIA’s resources to provide startups with business-building tools essential to their growth.  Eligible NVIDIA Inception members can access Oracle for Startups program benefits including: Free Oracle Cloud credits for up to three months, and a 70% discount for up to two years on ongoing cloud services* Access to a world-class product portfolio and partner ecosystem* Access to global marketing, events, and PR resources* Engagement opportunities with Oracle’s more than 430,000 customers* Access to migration assistance  Eligible Oracle for Startups members can access NVIDIA Inception benefits including: Free credits for NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute online courses, such as the Fundamentals of Deep Learning for Computer Vision, Accelerating Data Science, and Image Classification Unlimited access to NVIDIA Developer Forum — built for technical inquiries and community engagement Preferred pricing on a wide range of NVIDIA AI technology platforms Guidance on which GPU applications and cloud instances are best suited for their needs To find out more about this collaboration or the Oracle for Startups program, please contact Lee Reeves at Lee.Reeves@oracle.com. You can also visit oracle.com/startup or find us on Twitter and Facebook.  This offer is available to startups who join Oracle for Startups after May 14, 2020. *For qualifying startups. Some restrictions apply. Full details here.    

With technologies like AI and compute-intensive applications on the rise, the need for GPU computing solutions to address big global problems and power business solutions is critical. Oracle and...

Program News

How Oracle is Showing Up for Startups

Startups are used to navigating changing markets. They are often the change agents that actually inspire markets to evolve, but right now, it’s not just venture capital or the tech scene experiencing massive shifts. Every business and every industry has felt an impact, including startups. Entrepreneurs are finding that the whole world is adjusting to a “new normal” that will inspire fresh takes and new approaches. Venture capital is not as abundant as just a few months ago, driving many to audit their operating expenses. Customers and prospects are hesitant to purchase anything, so startups are re-evaluating product-market fit.  Working with startups around the globe, we have seen how current businesses can be resourceful and resilient, and come out stronger and more sound than before. M&A activity will continue. New businesses will emerge and thrive. Oracle supports startups so they can continue to do what they do best - innovate.  Free Cloud Through June 30th  Oracle for Startups has been in the business of supporting startups since our inception. We have witnessed how the relationship between startups and the enterprise is mutually beneficial and can be a driving force for innovation and global commerce. Startups play a crucial role in the economy. That’s why we are covering the costs of our paying startups through June 30, 2020. Cash is crucial, and we want startups to keep as much of theirs as possible. We are also increasing our engagements, mentoring, credit grants, and offering other resources to help.  How It Works Startups in the program already have access to free cloud credits and a 70% discount on ongoing cloud services for up to two years. But we want to take it a step further. If a company has already used their free credits and is paying for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, we are covering their cloud bill through June 30, 2020.  Between April 1 and June 30, 2020, cloud credits will be automatically applied to offset technology costs incurred by startups in our program. Startups who join between now and June 30 and burn through their initial free credits will automatically be granted this assistance.  Startups can also apply for additional credit grants through the Startup Portal. Our team will be monitoring closely and granting credits on a case-by-case basis.  Advice, Mentorship, and Virtual Assistance  The world is weird right now, but our team and global network includes experts who have experienced and learned from crises, and are here to help. Startups can tap our Mentor and Ambassador networks for 1:1 and 1:many mentorship that offers advice, suggestions, or simply someone to talk to who has been there.  Participating startups can request a mentor through the Startup Portal.  Learn more about Oracle for Startups by tuning in to an upcoming webinar.   

Startups are used to navigating changing markets. They are often the change agents that actually inspire markets to evolve, but right now, it’s not just venture capital or the tech scene experiencing...

Startup Life

How Startups Can Sell in a Crisis

by Max Dunhill, Business Development Lead, Oracle for Startups EMEA  It’s an interesting time to be an entrepreneur, with parallels being drawn between the current economic climate and the recession of 2008. I remember vividly being a door-to-door salesman during that financial crisis. After delivering my canned pitch at the first house, I was quickly rebuffed. The potential client pointed to his yard and asked, “Kid, can’t you see the foreclosure sign? Why am I going to buy your product when I’m being forced to sell my house?” Now, like then, businesses need to stay in touch with the changing needs of their customers to remain relevant. For startups, that means opening a dialogue with prospects to understand what they need from their technology solutions.   Try a Consultative Approach Recently, I had the opportunity to connect with a cohort of 60 founders from Belgium’s largest accelerator, Startit @KBC. I shared advice from my time as a founder of an online learning platform, as well as my experience as business development lead for Oracle for Startups in EMEA.  The eye-opening experience I had at the front door of a foreclosed home caused a conscious shift away from the classic “ABC” sales role and into a more consultative approach. I now first seek to understand the customer’s pain points, so I can address them with personalized solutions.  Because people tend to buy from people, not companies, I resist the urge to rely entirely on brand and product features. Instead, I remember that I have two ears and one mouth, and try to listen twice as much as I speak. Especially during these testing times, showing your commitment to listening and understanding creates an invaluable human connection that builds relationships as well as books of business.    In addition to active listening, I work hard to establish an open line of conversation, using open-ended questions. You will know an open-ended question because they usually start with how, what, where, when, and why. Focus on getting to know the customer, rather than forcing the customer to get to know you. Once you’ve established needs and open communication, you can open the door to specifics, like product specification. If you have proven that you understand their business, a sales cycle is more likely to materialize into an opportunity, even if it takes longer than usual.  What about funding?  Investors are obviously impacted right now as well.  I admit my approach to investors has changed. As a founder, I used to idolize VCs like they were rock stars. Then I realized that often the entrepreneur is the one taking the real risk! The responsibility for finding the right fit with investors, rather than jumping at the first offer, sits heavily on the shoulders of the founder, and it’s a decision that will serve throughout the upsides and the downturns of the startup journey.  With that new understanding, I treated fundraising more like a sales and marketing funnel. I communicated my value proposition and pitch with crystal clarity, I came prepared with pitch decks and financials, and I qualified my opportunities. After all, starry eyed admiration is not a sound strategy.  While it may feel daunting to pitch in a less founder-friendly climate, the silver lining is that the increased pressure will encourage operational resilience from an early stage. Resilience, of course, will be an enormous benefit to your company as you scale.  As John Mullins from the London Business School so brilliantly quotes, “The amount of money raised at seed and series A rounds is inversely correlated with a startup’s success…Less money raised leads to more success. That is the data I stare at all the time.”  Indeed, investor money will never make a business a success on its own. It should be viewed as an accelerator of growth rather than as the ticket to growth in-and-of-itself.  Stack the Deck in Your Favor But before you go knocking on doors, consider the potential value of a partnership. This is where accelerators like StartIt@KBC and strategic partnerships like Oracle for Startups can play a valuable role. Objective third parties that are invested in startup success can provide a network of expertise to help you refine your solution and find product market fit. As terrifying as it may be to navigate a generation-defining crisis, the startups that will emerge from the other side will be far more likely to succeed. Are you up for the challenge? Connect with Max and the Oracle for Startups team on an upcoming Ask Me Anything webinar. 

by Max Dunhill, Business Development Lead, Oracle for Startups EMEA  It’s an interesting time to be an entrepreneur, with parallels being drawn between the current economic climate and the recession of...

Startup Life

Now Is the Time to Build Your Resilience

Resilience is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, and spring back into shape; toughness, elasticity.” Psychologists say resilience is the process of adapting in the face of adversity, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress.  There is an old adage that says, “Calm seas don’t make a good sailor.” If that’s the case, then our current “turbulent seas” make now the perfect time to build your resilience as a founder and a company.  Balance the Tension Between Real and Ideal  Being a founder has taught me some big lessons, that weren’t just about running a startup, but also about the life experiences that happened in parallel. In life and business, there is a natural tension between the real and the ideal. Ideal is what our business plans account for and what our professors and business books teach us. And then there's the real—what actually happens. The 'real' is the messy, unpredictable middle.  Our job as founders is to bring the real and the ideal as close together as possible, then recognize and embrace the fact that there's always going to be tension in the middle. Struggle is going to happen, as sure as life is going to happen. Embracing this struggle is where the growth happens. The good news is, we all have the ability to grow through the struggle and develop the innate human capacity for resilience.  Face Reality and Find Your Courage Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is positive action in the face of fear. It’s a decision, it’s a mindset, and it’s key to resilience.  In 2000, I was the cofounder of a software-as-a-service application for the residential construction industry. At the same time, my wife and I were about to have our first child. Both very exciting events, both very much about creation. We went through the normal excitement and joy of being new parents with the added complexity (and exhaustion) of starting a company. I knew I needed to balance the founder role with the soon-to-be father role. Then we got some tough news. We found out that our unborn child, Anna, had spina bifida, a neural tube birth defect that's permanently disabling, and usually paralyzing.  We had our vision of the “ideal”- a new baby, a new business. Life dealt us the “real”.  Since my wife and I are both creators, we both possess a bias for action. So we went looking for a solution. We found out about an experimental surgery for kids with spina bifida at Vanderbilt University. (By “experimental,” I mean only a handful had been done before in the United States. There was almost no data to accurately support outcomes. A frightening dilemma.) We had a decision to make: do the very risky and life-threatening surgery that may give Anna a chance for a fuller life, or don’t, and one day have to explain why we didn’t have the courage to face our fears. After much prayer, we moved forward. The surgery was an open-womb operation on our unborn child at around 22-weeks gestation. At that time, our baby was the size of a can of Coke. After anesthetizing the child, the surgeon opened the womb and took the amniotic fluid out, and then did a procedure to close a hole in her back exposing her spine.  After the procedure, he returned her and the fluid to the womb, and closed it up. Pretty crazy even in today’s world, and this was almost twenty years ago!  Fortunately, and thanks to an excellent team, the surgery was a success. Anna still had spina bifida, and was left with physical challenges, but to a lesser degree than without the surgery. Anna was paralyzed below the knees, but you would never know it. She developed into a very active child, and was even the point guard on her high school basketball team.  Embrace the Challenge of "The Real"  Being paralyzed at the knees means her life is different. Her life is not easy, but through her challenges she has had to pioneer new ways to get things done. (Imagine a point guard that doesn't have use of their ankles and calves, that's really hard.) She teaches us every day that what is hard brings about what is good in life.  In 2014, Anna went to Duke University to undergo another complicated surgery that would correct some of her bone growth and improve her mobility. The first surgery on her right leg went great. The second surgery on her left leg failed - catastrophically - leaving her ankle destroyed beyond repair.  That loss of her ankle meant a loss of the thing she loved most, which was sports. She was facing a leg amputation below the knee at age 15. Calling up that bias for action, we sought out a better solution, consulting with doctors across the nation from UVA, Duke, UNC, and Johns Hopkins.  The diagnosis and prognosis wasn't great; she would have to choose between no mobility or amputation. Once again, life dealt us the real when all we wanted was the ideal.  With tremendous courage and a steadfast embrace of the real, Anna opted for another radical surgery to remove what was left of her ankle, fuse her leg bones to her heel, and then extend the leg bones by almost two inches, with new orthopedic technology. Today, I am happy to share that she is doing great. She has some physical limitations, but we are super proud of her resilience and courage. She attends the University of Virginia and fulfilled her dream college experience by earning herself a spot as the only woman student manager on the defending national championship men’s basketball team (Wahoowa).  Lean into the Hard Times  What does my daughter Anna’s struggle with spina bifida have to do with startups? Why tell this story? Because the message to entrepreneurs is the same: I hope that you’ll embrace the hard things. If you do, the perseverance and resilience it will develop will pay off in your career and your life.  When you hear the famous founder stories, you never hear about an easy, breezy path. Great success is almost always a struggle. But successful people – just like Anna – are some of the most resilient people on the planet.  So that brings us to our current global struggle, and what probably feels like insurmountable difficulties for founders and startups. These are unprecedented times, with generation-defining challenges. But I encourage you to hold on, don’t give up, and grow through this adversity. Take time to be reflective on your experience. Seek out the good in the bad, because it’s inside the storm where you learn, grow, refine, and define yourself. The tension is where great ideas and creativity come from, and where resilience grows. 

Resilience is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, and spring back into shape; toughness, elasticity.” Psychologists say resilience is the process...

Program News

Portal Enhancements Deliver Customers and Marketing Resources On Demand

by Nadeen Khoury, Oracle for Startups The Startup Portal serves as the “center of the universe” for our virtual program.  The addition of a user-friendly Market Connect section last month has made the universe a whole lot brighter.   Members of Oracle for Startups have access to this exclusive online portal for on-demand resources including migration support, additional free cloud credits, mentorship, and now Market Connect benefits like customer engagements and marketing exposure.  Market Connect allows qualifying startups to level up their engagement and gain access to Oracle’s broad network of customers, products, and marketing ecosystems. Startups have already gained serious value from their experience with Market Connect, as they tap into the resources, connections, and exposure that help them scale their technology and their business.   "With the new online Market Connect process, we were able to complete all the requirements to qualify inside the Startup Portal through a series of steps," said Rodrigo Soriano, CEO and founder of Airfluencers. "This makes the process simple and easy, and qualifies us for a host of benefits including customer connections and marketing." What Startups Get from Market Connect Once they take steps to qualify, startups are connected to an ecosystem of product integrations, marketing opportunities, and customers with opportunities for the following:  •    Customer engagements/meetings •    Product team interactions •    Marketing and events exposure •    Blogs, social media, PR, and AR •    VC introductions and engagements How to Qualify  Complete Startup Profile: Enter company information in the Startup Portal.  Begin Using Oracle Cloud: Activate Oracle Cloud account and use $500 in free credits.  Submit a Case Study: Write and submit a customer case study based on a sample template. Submit Reference Architecture: Provide a document illustrating reference architecture. Integration Strategy: Explain product integration strategy with an Oracle product solution, if applicable. Submit Two-Minute Elevator Pitch: Upload a video that shows why Oracle customers, partners, and product teams should be excited about your solution.  Upload Vector Logos: Upload scalable vector artwork of your logos.   Startups who complete all the steps are eligible for Market Connect benefits. This is an automated process and the steps don’t have to occur in order. Candidates are reviewed regularly and can be activated for benefits at any time.* For more information, check out our Market Connect information sheet.  “Our team is always looking for ways to enhance the portal so we can keep delivering more resources and value for the startups in the program,” says Oracle for Startups VP Jason Williamson. “This latest enhancement gives the startups an automated, on-demand way to earn benefits including attending and speaking at virtual and on-site events, PR and media opportunities, and introductions to Oracle’s enterprise customers.”   Current members of Oracle for Startups can access the virtual experience today by logging in to the Startup Portal and navigating to the Market Connect section.  If you are a startup interested in tapping into the benefits of  our program, learn more about Oracle for Startups and sign up today.  *Completion of the steps does not guarantee all benefits. All submissions must be approved by our team.

by Nadeen Khoury, Oracle for Startups The Startup Portal serves as the “center of the universe” for our virtual program.  The addition of a user-friendly Market Connect section last month has made the...

Meet the Startups

Startups Step Up with Free Resources and Virtual Technology

[Editor's Note: We continue to add new startups to this running list. It was last updated on April 14, 2020.]  Startups are known to be adaptive, innovative, and agile. When there’s a crisis or disruption, these up-and-coming businesses are quick with a solution, and this situation is no different. Despite being hit hard themselves, startups are stepping up to help by offering their virtual technologies and resources for free. Among them, we are proud to share, are several cloud startups from the Oracle for Startups community.  Here is a running list of some of the startups who are putting their ingenuity and inspiration into action. Disinfection and Cleaning with Award-Winning SaaS Evreka Evreka is a SaaS company focused on improving waste collection and cleaning operations by providing high technology and environmentally friendly solutions. An Oracle Sustainability Innovation Award winner, Evreka digitalizes and optimizes waste collection and cleaning processes, thus reducing costs, saving time and increasing public satisfaction.   “In light of our global experience in urban cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization, and by being aware that we all have responsibilities for a livable and sustainable world, we will provide our process management and tracking in disinfection operations technology completely free of charge to all relevant institutions and organizations,” said Umutcan Duman, CEO and cofounder of Evreka. “We want to contribute with solidarity to increase and strengthen the fight against the virus.” To access Evreka’s free solution, click here: wecare.evreka.co/covid19/  To learn more about Evreka, click here: https://www.evreka.co  Extending Help to Farmers and Growers  AgroScout AgroScout's software solution enables growers and farmers to turn a low-cost commercial drone into a digital agronomist, providing pinpoint detection of disease and pests, thereby protecting crops and increasing yield. During this economic crisis, AgroScout is offering its solution at discounted rates and including free use of a drone for 2 weeks in the case of growers who do not already own one, so the grower can try out the system without any cost. “In these challenging times, we don’t want to ask farmers to put their hand into their pockets unless they are 100% positive it’s going to help them out,” said Simcha Shore, CEO of AgroScout.  “In addition to our discounted offerings, we are also providing online demonstrations so growers can be acquainted with the system and understand the benefits.”   The solution accurately and autonomously detects, identifies, and monitors diseases, pests, and other agronomic problems in the field. Data is uploaded to the cloud and analyzed by AgroScout’s deep learning algorithms with the goal of sending growers accurate crop stress statuses, disease, and pinpointed pest locations, accompanied by treatment recommendation, directly to their computer or mobile device.  You can take advantage of AgroScout’s current offers here or by emailing sales@agro-scout.com Patient Triage Via Mobile App w3.care Brazilian startup w3.care is focused on mobile emergency care through telemedicine and artificial intelligence solutions for ambulances, rescues, and healthcare units. The startup has developed a new and free service, TeleCOVID, which helps identify potential patients and calculates their severity into low- and high-risk profiles. Low risk profiles receive care instructions and best-practice procedures, as well as connections with medical professionals. In the case of high risk, the TeleCOVID will start the medical tele-orientation using the w3.care platform, which is HIPAA and HL7 compliant, to help better connect high-risk patients to immediate care. (No personally identifiable information is used during the process.)  “Telemedicine is critical right now and the ability to help triage via TeleCOVID is helping the general population and the many medical doctors and organizations we are working with,” said Jamil Cade, MD and CEO of w3.care.  “We are helping medical professionals to tele-triage, tele-orientate, tele-monitor and use real-time data visualization to battle this pandemic.” To access information on this free service, visit their website.  Real-time, Active Analytics Helping on the Front Lines  Kinetica Kinetica is providing free access to its Active Analytics Platform for researchers, data scientists, and academics trying to analyze the impact of COVID-19. Kinetica helps organizations build real-time active analytical applications that react instantly to changing conditions. The platform leverages powerful GPUs to process and visualize complex streaming, historical, and location data at scale—layering on machine learning—to deliver real-time information for insight-driven actions and results.   “Our hearts go out to all those affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. I believe it is our duty to do all we can for the safety of our community,” said Kinetica CEO Paul Appleby. “Kinetica was founded on the idea that data can change the world. By providing our analytics platform for free we will help provide critical, real-time information to protect the most vulnerable, assist emergency responders, better care for the sick, and find a solution against this terrible virus.” Use this form to provide a basic overview of your project, and access the platform free. Throwing Studios and Artists a Lifeline GridMarkets GridMarkets, a cloud rendering and simulation company for studios, animation/visual effects, and other industries, is providing its service at a significant discount (and in some cases, at no cost) to studios and freelance artists in need. GridMarkets' "COVID-19 Relief Program" (powered by Oracle's VMs) can help studios and freelance graphic artists in many ways, including: •    Enabling studios to continue work so they can preserve their cash and business •    Providing a lifeline to the artistic community •    Bootstrapping a freelance business (if they have been laid off by their studios) •    Helping professionals refresh their artistic "reels" •    Creating helpful community VFX 3D tutorials "Visual effects studios and freelance 3D artists, who produce the world's visual content, are being crushed by COVID-19.  Demand is down and anyone fortunate enough to have a project is now, understandably, ultra-budget sensitive,” said cofounder Mark Ross.  “Our visual effects cloud-based rendering and simulation service, powered and secured by Oracle, can be up and running for a studio or freelancer in minutes with no special skills required.  We have cut our prices and made grants available as a way of giving back to the artistic community in their hour of need.” Learn more about GridMarkets' COVID-19 Relief Program on their webpage. Helping Navigate Volatility in Markets and Supply Chains Complete Intelligence With economies around the would essentially being put on pause, there is a new level of uncertainty in markets and supply chains. As a result, manufacturers are quickly trying to pivot and make adjustments on the fly. Complete Intelligence is offering a free report and consultation call to help businesses adjust to volatility in markets and supply chains. "We've seen a big shift in how category managers and planning managers are looking at their supply chains,” said Tony Nash, CEO and founder.  “With entire economies being shut down with coronavirus, companies are taking a closer look at the concentration of supply chains by region. Our AI/ML software helps companies easily visualize their supply chains, and helps them pivot quickly." With Complete Intelligence, businesses can easily visualize their cost data, make predictions and plans, all in the context of a global economy. The company uses more than 15 billion data points in their AI/ML tool, so planning teams can see their cost projections in the context of market influences. Contact Tony Nash at tnash@completeintel.com for more information. Keep your storytelling fresh – even while working from home Sauce Video is paramount to brand storytelling, but creating great, engaging content when you can’t send out video crews or get face-to-face is a problem. Sauce's platform allows businesses to keep engaging with their audience, by transforming every organization's community into a video creation team. The London-based startup enables video creation leveraging smartphone cameras, so anyone can become part of the film crew. The result is authentic user-generated content.  With features for editing, subtitling, and music – the platform is collaborative, fast, and robust.  “We’ve received an uptick in organizations needing advice and direction around video creation,” said Sauce cofounder Priya Shah. “We want to meet their needs with advice and technology resources so they can keep their video content and storytelling fresh and constant—even while we are all working from home.” Contact Priya at priya@sauce.video for advice on capturing great video, even when your whole team is at home. Chatbots triage customer service calls  BotSupply BotSupply is a conversational AI company that helps organizations create engaging and relevant customer experiences using their bot platform. Today, the cutting-edge startup is providing its AI platform for free to public and non-profit healthcare organizations so they can do what they do best: save lives. Triage and response teams across industries are being overloaded with customer calls. As call volume increases, so do wait times. Chatbots help these organizations provide information in a timely manner, automating the most repetitive queries and routing only the most critical ones to human agents. "The beauty of chatbots is that they are so flexible and easy to implement that you can respond to any crisis in a matter of hours, not weeks. This is something other communication tools simply can't do,” said BotSupply cofounder Francesco Stasi. “We are happy to offer these resources free while many are in need.” To get started, contact Francesco at francesco@botsupply.ai Mapping services for governments, healthcare, startups TravelTime TravelTime’s platform processes maps and data from across the globe and delivers optimized travel time mapping, so you know what’s reachable in minutes, not miles. Today, TravelTime is offering its data and mapping services to governments, charities, health services, and NGOs for free. The startup is also covering mapping and data costs for other startups and small businesses.  “Although the current situation is disrupting our personal lives, our technology remains as solid and stable as always and so it is business as (un)usual for us,” said TravelTime cofounder Charlie Davies. “There is no time limit on this, there is no contract, there is no assumption for future use. We want to repurpose our data and services to help. Lots of people have helped us along our way, now it's our turn to try and do the same for others.” Any government, charity, health service, or NGO that is actively helping to address the crisis can get unlimited free access to data to help them plan their responses, including: •          Arranging visits to vulnerable patients •          Mapping the right locations for testing centers •          Communicating to the public which test centers are right for them Small businesses and startups can also take advantage of these services. Access the request form here. With virtual-AI platform, HR recruiting keeps pace Jobecam Brazilian-based Jobecam is offering free access to its virtual recruitment platform so human resource teams can continue recruiting. Jobecam is a 100% digital recruiting experience that brings agility, accessibility, and diversity through AI-driven video technology. A pioneer in video blind interviews, Jobecam’s solution improves the recruiting experience and makes it virtual in a time when face-to-face meetings aren’t possible. “In this moment of uncertainty and social isolation, we all need to come together and help,” said Jobecam COO Thereza Bukow.  “By making our solution free, we enable businesses to be more agile in their recruitment process and deliver a better experience that is secure and modern.” Jobecam’s solution offers: •          Registration of unlimited job posts •          Automatic screening of candidates •          Recorded video interviews •          AI-based intelligent rankings •          Live interview room, cultural matching, and video curriculum Contact Jobecam by emailing cammila@jobecam.com or thereza.bukow@jobecam.com. Real-time employee feedback that’s simple and meaningful  Holler Live Dutch startup Holler Live is offering their real-time feedback solution free to human resource managers, so employees can provide their opinions and feedback on various topics, including how they are adapting during this time.  “Employees across the world are working from home—many for the first time. Holler provides an easy way for employees to voice their opinions and feedback—allowing human resource managers to better understand how staff are handling the changes and challenges of remote working during this difficult time,” said CEO Rado Raykov. With one swipe, Holler Live allows people to express their opinion in an easy and universally understandable way. Holler Live partners get specific and user-permissioned alerts, permitting them to promptly respond in real-time to the opinions of their target audience, whether it’s employees, customers, or other stakeholders. To access Holler Live’s free solution, please email rado@holler.live or sign up here.  Watch a video of the mobile employee engagement solution. Keeping media rolling with AI-powered content tools aiconix German startup aiconix is offering its multilingual transcription and subtitling solutions for free and discounted rates. An AI-powered media and content creation platform, the technology enables media and entertainment professionals to produce better content more efficiently by automating routine workflows and creating new content from large amounts of unstructured audio-visual data. “In these days, where everybody communicates online, it should be essential to reach also those who need barrier-free access, and provide searchability in audio and video files,” said CEO and cofounder Eugen L. Gross.  “We want to provide our live transcription and live subtitling feature for free for the next three months to those who need it like hospitals, authorities and NGOs.” From press conferences to media content, aiconix’s transcription and subtitle services can plug into any data stream in multiple languages allowing organizations to quickly repurpose and disseminate valuable content. The platform enables automated subtitling of videos, semantic text analysis, transcription of audio, automated recognition of faces and local celebrities, label detection, and much more.  Contact aiconix to access your discount and get started:  Live@aiconix.ai or contact form. Startups are also reducing operating costs by taking advantage of free and discounted cloud with Oracle for Startups. Startups can also get help with migrating to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and with marketing. Learn more and join them at oracle.com/startup  

[Editor's Note: We continue to add new startups to this running list. It was last updated on April 14, 2020.]  Startups are known to be adaptive, innovative, and agile. When there’s a crisis or...

Cloud Foundations for Startups

Startups Meet Enterprise Security Demands for Customers

Security is a critical consideration for businesses of every size. Startups can earn and keep their customers' trust with good data practices and technology that enables security at every turn.  By providing secure and scalable cloud resources, Oracle helps startups prove their credibility to enterprise customers.  Startups partner with Oracle for many reasons. Cost savings, connections to enterprise tools, and a global network of customers mean startups can grow both their technology and their business. GridMarkets founder Mark Ross cited trust and name recognition as a major reason he chose to partner with Oracle.   Molecula founder and CEO Higinio (H.O.) Maycotte cites credibility, “We wanted that instant credibility you get with Oracle.” Molecula has since leveraged Oracle’s big footprint to gain global exposure.    Ultimately, startups need to meet their customers’ demand for technology that is secure and safe, and facilitate trustworthy partnerships. Startups are finding that Oracle provides the extra boost of credibility they couldn’t quite earn on their own as a new brand in their space, and the enhanced trust strengthens their current relationships and opens doors to new opportunities.  Hear from six founders and CTOs on how their partnership with Oracle for Startups and move to Oracle Cloud is helping them deliver trust and security for their customers.  Protecting Privacy “Oracle Cloud infrastructure is extremely solid, so we can be certain our customer’s data is always safe and private—that’s all taken care of.”  -Francesco Stasi, cofounder, BotSupply Meeting Customers Where They Are “Originally, we migrated our Data Virtualization platform to OCI because our customer base trusted Oracle for their most important data infrastructure and application needs, and it was important for our business to meet customers where they were already doing business. Eventually we realized that there was much more to OCI than brand agency and have received great ROI from our decision.”  – HO Maycotte, CEO and founder, Molecula Opening Doors “The Oracle brand stands for trust. That credibility is helping us grow from a technology and customer standpoint. We can now say GridMarkets is backed by the highly secure and highly robust Oracle Cloud and that’s helping to open even more doors for us across the globe.”  - Mark Ross, cofounder, GridMarkets Building Connected Experiences “We wanted to find a platform that was native to what most of our clients are using and trust, so we can better maintain our service to clients.  As we have potential clients that come to us that are using Oracle, having our software on OCI will make it easier for us to deploy and scale. A seamless client experience is a critical success factor for us.”  – Tony Nash, CEO & founder, Complete Intelligence Delivering Security at the Highest Level “Running on Oracle Cloud is a big win for us, as we need scale and power with the highest levels of data security. We are collaborating from both a business and technology perspective to build a better future.”  – Zara Nanu, CEO & founder, Gapsquare More than a Trusted Name When security is everything, startups trust Oracle to offer a competitive advantage. Start today with free cloud and discover why startups are making the migration to Oracle Cloud.  [This is the fifth blog in a five-part series exploring why startups are migrating from other cloud providers to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Read the previous installment here: Startups Find Scale and Stability with Oracle Cloud.]  

Security is a critical consideration for businesses of every size. Startups can earn and keep their customers' trust with good data practices and technology that enables security at every turn.  By...

Cloud Foundations for Startups

Startups Find Scale and Stability on Oracle Cloud 

Among the many benefits of cloud computing, the ability to scale resources up or down based on demand is one of the most impactful, especially for startups. This scalability gives companies the performance they need, when they need it, to meet the fluctuating demands of their startup business.  Beyond flexible scale, startups depend on a cloud’s stability to protect against latency or downtimes that affect performance for customers.  A growing number of developers and startups are running their mission-critical applications and database workloads on Oracle Cloud, and they are finding unmatched performance, reduced costs, and the strongest SLAs in the industry. Oracle is actually the only IaaS cloud provider to guarantee performance, availability, and manageability with an enterprise cloud service level agreement.   Hear directly from founders and CTOs on their experience with scale and stability with Oracle Cloud.   Innovating with Confidence, Not Latency  “We had downtime and lots of latency on Azure—on a pretty regular basis—and with Oracle we have been pleasantly surprised by the robustness, scalability and reliability. We process billions of data points daily and we can’t afford any latency or downtime. Oracle Cloud gives us the assurance we need to deliver value to our customers and to keep innovating with confidence.”   - Guy Mounier, CEO and cofounder, AptivIO   Delivering Excellence to Customers  “The Oracle for Startups program was fundamental for us to guarantee a structure of excellence for our portfolio projects, bringing stability and better positioning to our customers.” - Renata Fernandes, CEO, Aurea Robotics   Faster Deployment  “Having the ability to deploy our applications faster and with minimal downtime is a must these days, and Oracle (OCI) offers automation tools that facilitate this task, to develop and deploy our solution with CI/CD pipeline.”  - Dr. Abdulrahman Alsultan, CEO and founder, Awini App   Delivery without Disruptions “Because OCI offers services that connect everything from edge to core, like FastConnect, it is very easy for us to deploy our infrastructure without having to disrupt our clients day-to-day operations.  - HO Maycotte, CEO and founder, Molecula   Meeting High Expectations Anytime  “Two things that really matter to us are stability and support. Our global enterprise clients expect rock solid performance from the Sauce platform 24-7. Stability is Oracle's bread and butter, and their support team has been passing that invaluable knowledge on to us since day one.”  - Jonathan Girven, CTO and cofounder, Sauce   Scale, Stability, and Support  “The level of attention and support is off the charts, plus the technology that Oracle offers is in line with the best in the market. The benefits are in infrastructure, scalability, technology access and networking. We are very happy with the Oracle partnership.”  - Rodrigo Soriano, CEO and founder, Airfluencers   Startups Scale with Free Cloud  If you’re a startup founder or CTO, scale and stability have to be a top priority. Start today with free cloud and discover why so many startups are making the migration to Oracle Cloud.  [This is the fourth blog in a five-part series exploring why startups are migrating from other cloud providers to Oracle Cloud infrastructure. Read the previous installment: An Open and Connected Platform for Startups.]

Among the many benefits of cloud computing, the ability to scale resources up or down based on demand is one of the most impactful, especially for startups. This scalability gives companies...

Cloud Foundations for Startups

An Open and Connected Platform for Startups

Developers want choice when creating, not headaches with IT operations and vendor lock-in.   Open source and open standards—with languages, databases, and compute shapes—are a critical consideration for startups as they select cloud providers, especially as more and more companies consider a multi-cloud approach.  A recent report cited openness as a developer’s top reason for choosing a cloud. We are seeing that play out in real time. Startups who migrate to Oracle Cloud cite open source and openness as a deciding factor. ' Here, five startups share why an open platform, coupled with industry-leading IaaS, PaaS and SaaS solutions, makes Oracle their preferred cloud provider.    Flexibility and Ease  “The technology that Oracle offers is in line with the best in the market and gives us the flexibility we need to create and innovate. We started by transferring 1% to Oracle Cloud. Then a week later we transferred all processing to Oracle. It was easy and we were able to do it [migrate to OCI] ourselves.” - Rodrigo Soriano, CEO and Founder, Airfluencers    Seamless Integrations “How everything seamlessly all integrates with the Oracle Analytics Cloud and capabilities is hugely beneficial for us and requires very low engineering on our part.” - Amro Shihadah, Founder and COO, IDenTV   Focus on Product Differentiators “One of the key reasons we were excited to move from AWS to OCI was Oracle's renewed focus on utilising, and contributing to, open source projects. Our technology stack at Sauce has always been powered by open source technologies like Kubernetes and Istio. This has allowed us to focus on our core product differentiators, the things that really impact our customers, rather than reinventing the wheel.” - Jonathan Girven, Co-Founder and CTO, Sauce    Efficient Ops and Onboards  “We found that the openness of the platform is very important. We wanted to change our solution architecture from VM-based to containers-based architecture, as the latter provides more control and efficient operations. And Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) provides managed Kubernetes services, which gave us the freedom to design our solution the way we see fit and helps new members on our team to get on board easily and fast. And Oracle Cloud did not disappoint regarding this point.” - Dr. Abdulrahman Alsultan, Founder and CEO, Awini App   Enabling a Multi-Cloud Future  “While other clouds are building out roadmaps to lock-in customers, one of Oracle's biggest opportunities is leveraging its strength in Software-Defined-Networking (SDN) to power the emerging, global cloud environment. Erasing the lines between clouds will become a number one priority in the next five years and Oracle could emerge the neutral leader in this space and continue to dominate in both database and applications.” - HO Maycotte, CEO and founder, Molecula Startups don’t have to get locked in and limited by their cloud provider. Start today with free cloud and discover why so many startups are making the migration to Oracle Cloud.  [This is the third blog in a five-part series exploring why startups are migrating from other cloud providers to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Read the previous installment: Startups Save Money by Migrating to Oracle.]

Developers want choice when creating, not headaches with IT operations and vendor lock-in.   Open source and open standards—with languages, databases, and compute shapes—are a critical consideration...

Cloud Foundations for Startups

Startups Save Money by Migrating to Oracle

Smart allocation of capital matters to all businesses, but especially to growing startups where every dollar counts. Saving money on capital-intensive costs like technology infrastructure is super important, particularly when those savings can be reinvested back into the company to increase efficiencies and maximize profits. When cost savings come with a better performing product, that’s a price-performance ratio that’ll make your CFO and investors smile. Consider Snap Tech founder and CEO Jenny Griffiths. She migrated her cloud startup to Oracle and saved enough on hosting costs to re-allocate into scale.  “We moved all our hosting to Oracle Cloud using managed Kubernetes and saved 40% of our hosting costs,” she said. “We reinvested that cost savings into GPU shapes and have been able to deliver technology we never could have dreamed of. Oracle Cloud is instrumental in helping us scale and innovate.”  Jenny’s experience is not an anomaly. Here, six more startups discuss their successful migrations to Oracle Cloud and how they have saved costs and re-invested capital to scale their cloud startups.    Storage Savings for Data-Intensive Solutions “As you scale, it’s crucial you don’t incur costs to move data. Oracle allows 10 terabytes free and then goes to a fraction of the costs of AWS, which is huge for a growing startup. You can’t underestimate the storage cost advantage with Oracle.” – Amro Shihadah, Founder and COO, IDenTV   Cost-Performance That Outpaces the Competition “Our Data Virtualization platform runs on bare-metal and we find that OCI's infrastructure outperforms the others in pure cost/performance by a wide margin. We have documented how our open source platform, Pilosa, benchmarks against the other clouds and Oracle shines.” – HO Maycotte, Founder and CEO, Molecula   Clear, Competitive Pricing Structure “We found that the price structure on OCI is clear and offers a competitive price compared to other cloud providers. And Oracle Cloud was easy to learn and intuitive, as our cloud engineer has been able to pick it up quite fast and deploy our solution in record time.” – Dr. Abdulrahman Alsultan, Founder and CEO, Awini App   Savings = Reinvestment and Scale  “Oracle has by far the most transparent and value-based pricing in the market. I know exactly what I’m paying for – no surprises. We have saved around 40% of our costs and are able to reinvest that back into the business. And we are scaling across EMEA, and that’s basically all because of Oracle.” –Asser Smidt, CEO and Cofounder, BotSupply   Lower Engineering Costs with Fewer “Ghost” Chases  “The Transmute team found hosting Private Ethereum Networks to be much easier to use on Oracle Blockchain platform over Azure Kubernetes Engine. The experience was also significantly less expensive when accounting for all the engineering time spent chasing infrastructure ghosts.” – Karyl Fowler, CEO and Cofounder, Transmute   Exclusive Pricing for Startups  “The startup program is delivering incredible value for us. It starts with the 70% discount for two years, which is a smart equity-free investment in our development, but the value extends beyond that. Oracle Cloud gives us the assurance we need to deliver value to our customers and to keep innovating with confidence.” – Guy Mounier, Cofounder and CEO, AptivIO   Start with Free Cloud  Interested in better performance and savings from your cloud? Start today with free cloud and discover why so many startups are making the migration to Oracle.  [This is the second blog in a five-part series exploring why startups are migrating from other cloud providers to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Read the first installment: Startups Are Migrating to Oracle for Superior High Performance Computing.]

Smart allocation of capital matters to all businesses, but especially to growing startups where every dollar counts. Saving money on capital-intensive costs like technology infrastructure is super...

Meet the Startups

Startups Complete the Vision of Enterprise CX

All startups have a wishlist of customers they would love to work with. With that in mind, Oracle for Startups matches innovative startups with customers who leverage startup technology to enhance the offerings of enterprise suites. For example, Brazilian companies Yamí and GingaOne tapped into the benefits of Oracle's startup program to ultimately connect with motorcycle manufacturer Yamaha. These cloud startups have enjoyed a boost in exposure and greater selling power as a result, while Yamaha uses emerging technology to deliver a fresh customer experience.mo The Startup Connecting Sellers to Buyers Yamí creates products to help e-commerce companies sell more without a massive outlay. Its SaaS platform integrates with Oracle Commerce Cloud and turns any e-commerce site into a marketplace, connecting sellers with buyers and making it easy for companies to manage product catalogs, logistics, pricing, and ordering. “Our great differential is our flexibility," says Yamí CEO Rafael Bertolli. "We can adapt our panel to behave as a white-label architecture or even for franchise and distributor control.”  Customers can find their nearest retailer and save money on shipping charges, while sellers save time and money by letting the software handle split payments and other typically manual, error-prone procedures. “Our affiliate solution also boosts sales, allowing sellers to create advertising URLs...When they drive a sale, this assigns commission directly to the seller,” he adds. Partnership and Integration   Yamí benefits from the Oracle for Startups partnership through customer introductions, technology, and market and events exposure. The cloud startup attended “Pausa no Expediente,” a monthly local meetup which connects startups to sales teams so they can share experiences and explore joint opportunities.  Yamí is also working with Yamaha as a result of the partnership. Bertolli continues, “Being part of the Oracle ecosystem brings along a high level of network and business opportunities. The Yamaha project was only possible through the partnership with Oracle.”  Yamaha connected Yamí's marketplace to their dealer ERP management system to connect the backend with customer experience efforts, and it paid off.   “Without Yamí, the customer experience would not happen. We had to integrate all the systems involved across the dealerships, with resource constraints, and Yamí had a professional solution that made our lives easier,” says Ricardo Susini, Commercial Director of Yamaha Motorcycles Group in Brazil. "An Ocean of Opportunities"  The Yamaha project is a strong reference and marketplace architecture in the Oracle ecosystem, giving Yamí “a huge and successful business case,” Bertolli says. Plus, the Oracle partnership has allowed Yamí to work with more customers including Loungerie, Lunelli, BMG Bank, 3 Hearts, Onofre, and MRV.  “The Oracle program has given us a visibility in the market that we weren't expecting. We are being invited to participate in several projects as a marketplace engine. These invitations give us the opportunity to introduce and offer different solutions of ours,” Bertolli says.  Yamí is the only Brazilian company that’s able to turn any website using Oracle e-commerce solutions into a marketplace, which opens the door to new customer connections. “Oracle for Startups has exceeded our expectations. Yamí is being invited to discuss projects with many different Oracle customers,” Bertolli says. He adds, “We have an ocean of opportunities to explore.”  GingaOne Brings CX to Life  Fellow Brazilian startup GingaOne offers educational and sales products such as Ginga Sales Force Solution, which it describes as an all-in-one solution for sales forces of all sizes that enhances productivity, generates detailed data and reports, and supports marketing presentations. GingaOne capitalized on its relationship with Oracle for Startups by participating at Oracle events, such as ‘Oracle Startup Power,’ and connecting with customers including Yamaha.  The digital mobile loyalty and engagement solution is part of Yamaha's BLU CLUB application and extends the Yamaha customer journey, as customers tap the techRead the Case Study between and after purchases.  According to Yamaha's Susini, “GingaOne’s solution is bringing our new BLU CLUB application to life, allowing us to engage and drive value to our customers well past the purchase phase, building loyalty between our customers and the Yamaha brand." Winning Collaborations Yamaha chose Oracle’s Commerce Cloud and Oracle Marketing Cloud to help reverse a trend of declining motorcycle sales. It also leveraged Oracle to connect with the two startups, enabling the company to create a digital customer experience and connected ecosystem. Access to startup technology allowed Yamaha to deliver ongoing value and engagement for their customers and dealerships. “Partnering with Oracle for Startups connected us with Yamí and GingaOne allowing us to complete our big vision, with Oracle at the center,” says Susini. Luiz Fernando of the Innovation Projects team at Yamaha Motorcycles Group in Brazil adds, “Oracle was flexible and reasonable, understanding the maturity curve of the project, and collaborating together with us. Connecting us with the startups helped us really deliver on our vision. It’s the people that matter more than anything. Partners need to listen, collaborate and have the tenacity to find a winning solution for all.” To join Yamí and the other global startups who are scaling their technology and their business with Oracle, join us and start with free cloud today.    Read how startups help optimize Yamaha's customer experience.   

All startups have a wishlist of customers they would love to work with. With that in mind, Oracle for Startupsmatches innovative startups with customers who leverage startup technology to enhance the...

Startup Life

3 Essential Cloud Considerations for Startups

This piece was written by Max Dunhill and originally ran on Medium as: Why I am so excited to have joined the Oracle for Startups team.  If I could rewind the clock on my journey as a startup founder, one of the main things I would change would be to build on Oracle. Given how hyperbolic this claim might sound, I’m going to spend the rest of this article unpacking it, focusing on considerations of security, cost and scale. These considerations will explain why I encourage more companies to build with Oracle's startup program. One Word: Security Uncertainty has defined the five years I have spent as a startup founder. Had I built on Oracle, I now know that I could have reduced some of this uncertainty. As an example, building a data-driven marketplace for tutoring required choosing a PaaS provider through which to manage the app’s deployment. This led to security considerations. What I thought were best practices were followed: developer accounts were secured with 2FA, user passwords were not stored in plain text, and passwords were reset at regular intervals. Beyond this, a more thorough security infrastructure felt like a luxury that I could purchase at a later date through an expensive third party consultant who could come in, complete an audit, and further tighten the company’s security. What’s more, I often asked myself: who would want to target an early stage company such as mine when there are so many better funded and better publicized companies out there? As it turns out, this assumption cost College Connections £20,000 in equity investment, which could have been avoided working with a cloud provider like Oracle. The cost of my assumption was exposed when it became apparent that an administrative third party involved in formalizing the equity investment of the company that I was running had been breached. Attackers were able to intercept correspondence discussing this particular investor’s contribution to the round, spoof my company email address, and divert the funds to a bank account which they controlled. This was due to misconfigured SPF records. Prior to this, auditing the MX records of the company was towards the very bottom of the list of priorities of the tech team. I had personally configured these when I registered the domain, using an online tutorial which seemed reliable. Lessons Learned Had I built on Oracle, I could have had access to pre-built security policies and templates, which are point-and-click, and would not have required me to either be an expert or hire in an expensive consultant to do this security work for me. What’s more, beyond DNS records, from a cloud security perspective more generally, Oracle customers can enforce consistent secure policies and controls across environments, which frees up database administrators from things like tuning and patching databases. Given that the back-end developers also wore the hat of database administrators, such security resources as offered by Oracle would have been invaluable. Indeed, they would have ensured consistent security, without needing a dedicated administrator to manage the database, freeing up tech talent to work on innovative code commits for the platform. Beyond this, I could have had access to self-driving, self-securing and self-repairing autonomous databases through their Oracle Autonomous Database Platform. As a tutoring company, College Connections works with sensitive data from parents and students. Oracle’s Autonomous DB would have provided me with greater peace of mind that this data was secure. Cost Transparency (and Savings)  Costs are another reason why, if I could turn back the clocks on my journey as a startup founder, I would build my startup infrastructure with Oracle. I vividly remember the first month I launched a forum for educational resources addressed at an audience of parents and students. This required setting up a LAMP stack on another IaaS provider. With zero transparency surrounding the pricing of the various virtual machines I was presented with, I naively decided to purchase the largest instance. At the time, I was not overly familiar with elastic systems, and thought to myself: “It’s the cloud, how expensive can a resource be if I don’t fully utilize it? I’ll buy this one so that when traffic picks up, I don’t have to worry about coming up and upgrading the server. The reason I don’t see any prices quoted is because I’ll only be billed for what I use.” At the end of that billing cycle, I found out that I had been wrong to assume this. Very, very wrong. Indeed, even though I had only marginal traffic to the forum in that first month of purchase of that instance, I was billed for all of its capacity, at a cost which was four times higher than my company’s cloud budget at the time! Oracle offers a truly transparent pricing model around their cloud products for startups, which means that I could have avoided this costly mistake had I built from day one on Oracle. What’s more, they offer significant free cloud credits, which would have taken pressure off my company’s cash flow at the time. Delivering on the Promise of Scale The final reason why I wish I had built on Oracle is how much Oracle can contribute to a company’s quest for scale. Indeed, what I find rather unique about Oracle’s offering to startups is the contribution they offer to early stage companies’ business development pipeline. With decades of experience in enterprise sales, Oracle has a vast wealth of knowledge about what it takes to effectively sell solutions to companies. Through Oracle's startup program, they offer access to this knowledge to founders through mentorship. What’s more, for those companies that make the switch to Oracle as their cloud partner and meet certain requirements, there is the opportunity (for companies that are ready for it) to sell to Oracle customers! This opportunity, which at first I felt sounded too good to be true, is a testament to the commitment that the company has to contributing to the startup ecosystem, and a tremendous opportunity for B2B companies especially. Conclusion Through my journey as a founder, I learned through painful trial and error the importance of picking a secure, transparent cloud partner to act as a backbone to my startup business. Because of their attention to security, cost and scale, I feel a personal sense of frustration at not having built on Oracle from day one. However, this sense of frustration is amply outweighed by the excitement I have at the opportunity to make more early stage companies aware of what Oracle for Startups can bring them.            Max Dunhill is an entrepreneur, Business Development Lead for    Oracle for Startups in EMEA, and an Ironman 70.3 Triathlete.  

This piece was written by Max Dunhill and originally ran on Medium as: Why I am so excited to have joined the Oracle for Startups team.  If I could rewind the clock on my journey as a startup...

Startup Life

How to Meet Your Startup's Match

In Hollywood romantic comedies, fate often has a way of helping a perfect couple get together against all odds – think Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks at the top of the Empire State Building in the emotional peak of Sleepless in Seattle. In the world of startup business, building lasting relationships can be just as tricky. Meet your match  At Oracle for Startups, we can sense when a startup and an enterprise customer are destined to click.  So whether you are a startup looking for a boost or an Oracle customer looking for the next best thing in your industry, we can help you meet your match. In honor of Valentine’s Day, please enjoy these recent meet-cutes facilitated by Oracle’s startup program.  Fueling the spark Brazilian startup Yamí offers a SaaS platform that turns any e-commerce site into a marketplace, and recently connected with motorcycle manufacturer Yamaha through an introduction during an Oracle sales cycle.  “Being part of the Oracle ecosystem brings along a high-level network and business opportunities. The Yamaha project was only possible through the partnership with Oracle,” says Yamí CEO Rafael Bertolli. Yamaha felt the love, too, and is now using Yamí to support their expanded digital customer experience. Hoping for the real deal Airfluencers provides a platform to analyze and manage marketing with influencers, making it easier for brands to get exposure on social media platforms. Through partnership with Oracle's startup program, Airfluencers connected with HOPE Lingerie. “HOPE was the first client we met with Oracle and we closed a deal within 72 hours,” said CEO Rodrigo Soriano.  Soriano admits the Oracle for Startups program seemed “too good to be true” at first blush, but since joining, the company has taken advantage of free cloud and has had meetings to discuss integrations with Oracle’s SaaS marketing automation and loyalty products.   Getting better together  Aurea Robotics creates tailored automation solutions that work for small companies, letting humans do creative work while robots carry out necessary tasks. The result is higher accuracy at a lower cost. The cloud startup connected with new business thanks to Oracle.  So far, Aurea has met with customers including Bradesco, Seguradora and Zurich Santander, and gained exposure while participating in November’s FutureCom event in San Francisco. CEO Renata Fernandes says, “We have synergy and we understand that together we are stronger and with greater market penetration power offering the best solution to problems with the best team.”  Making meaningful connections  Fairmarkit uses Oracle’s sandboxes to test and build integrations, but the CEO of the tail spend management platform that uses machine learning to increase procurement control says the biggest benefit to being part of the Oracle for Startups program is the networking. “One big perk has been that the Oracle team has introduced us to many Fortune 500 companies, including inviting us to exclusive events to meet prospective customers,” explains CEO and founder Tarek Alaruri. They just "clicked" SCADAfence – an Israeli security platform built to keep complex operational technology (OT) networks running smoothly - integrated with Oracle’s OT industrial platforms and intends to build a product designed to help customers adopt industrial OT security.  A partnership with Oracle connected the startup business with industry leaders to help shape its future in the IoT space, while also identifying what challenges its customers face when adapting to cloud environments in their manufacturing facilities. A relationship that makes cents NotifyVisitors offers SMEs affordable tools to deliver targeted messages to the right customers at the right time, from push notifications and chatbots. The customer experience startup met with sales and delivery teams to discover the needs of Oracle customers and add desirable features to its offerings. The company was then ready to make customer connections at Oracle events, including with one of the leading banks in India. The bank had already approved policy for Oracle infrastructure, opening the door to NotifyVisitors as they complied with the infrastructure policies and hosted their solution on the bank’s Oracle Cloud instance.   Startups not only get free cloud credits and a 70% discount from day one, but also access to expert mentorship and connections into Oracle product development and sales teams. What's not to love? 

In Hollywood romantic comedies, fate often has a way of helping a perfect couple get together against all odds – think Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks at the top of the Empire State Building in the...

Best Practices

5 Things We Learned About Scale at Startup Grind

Startup Grind’s global conference consistently ranks as one of my favorite events of the year. This year’s Global 2020 didn’t disappoint with its all-star lineup, insightful sessions, and plenty of networking opportunities. The theme of “Learn. Build. Scale.” was on full display as more than 10,000 attendees learned how to build their solutions and scale their businesses and startup infrastructure.  With the likes of Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures, Frederic Kerrest of Okta, and Eric Sager of Plaid in attendance, there was no shortage of top-notch takeaways. I’ve tried to capture some of the wisest insights, informed by my own experiences as a veteran entrepreneur and corporate executive, into these five essential pieces of advice.   Prioritize partnerships Corporates can be a startup’s greatest growth hack. Startups limit themselves when they think about corporate partners only in terms of VC – just checks and capital. Corporations can be the strategic partners that help startups generate market awareness, reach new customers, and enhance their technologies.  By partnering with larger, more established companies, startups tap into a wealth of resources like engineering and product development, as well as the expertise of business and technology mentors. For example, Oracle for Startups gives growing companies access to marketing opportunities, global customer meetings, and deep discounts on cloud solutions, without taking any equity. (Check it out and start with $500 in free cloud.)   Find your voice Your story is secret weapon, learn to leverage it. We all know that storytelling is crucial. Trouble is, most aren’t doing it well. Telling a good story means really understanding what makes you unique, then packaging it into a digestible and relatable narrative.  No one actually likes to be pitched. Strive to make a connection through the human mechanism of storytelling, and make sure the moral of the story is that your solution solves a pain point. This core story can then be adapted and tweaked to resonate with many vital audiences, from VCs to media to customers to future employees.  Think like a futurist Constantly be learning, asking, seeing what’s next. This sounds obvious, but so often founders get mired in the daily grind and forget to look up and around corners. This isn’t a founder-only responsibility. Make this a priority for everyone in your company.  Encourage curiosity. Constantly evaluate. Read everything. Think about adjacent markets and technologies. Focus on what you’re doing with a constant eye towards how to get better and adapt for changes. Be like Shigero Miyamoto, who used futurist thinking to transform a playing card and novelty company into a video game juggernaut. You may not know his name, but you are probably aware of his legacy as the man who brought us Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. from his role as a developer for Nintendo.  Build a team that embraces individuality  Build diversity into your team from the start. Founders often hire people just like themselves. It’s a common and often unconscious mistake, but founders can benefit by hiring people with different backgrounds.  Successful startups hire people who bring a diversity of ideas, backgrounds, and skillsets. Embracing our differences widens our point of view and expands our ability to see around corners and what’s next (see “Think like a futurist” above). Fresh perspectives can challenge the status quo and help founders embrace new approaches to common problems.  Future-proof your technology You might be a 3-person startup today, but you will experience growth. Stay ready by making sure your cloud architecture is robust enough to future-proof your startup when it’s time to scale fast, reliably and efficiently.  Take it from a technical founder that found this out the hard way. Start with a cloud solution that can handle your current workloads but can scale up and down without surprises, adapt, and be flexible enough for your growing and ever-changing cloud startup.   

Startup Grind’s global conference consistently ranks as one of my favorite events of the year. This year’s Global 2020 didn’t disappoint with its all-star lineup, insightful sessions, and plenty of...

Cloud Foundations for Startups

Startups Are Migrating to Oracle for Superior High Performance Computing

Oracle for Startups is a hotspot for startups that need blazing performance from their cloud.  With data source quantity and volume exploding, high performance computing (HPC) is what startups need to deliver innovation in fields from biomedical advances to protecting fragile ecosystems. Expanding beyond the traditional definitions of HPC, environments that deal with massive amounts of data, active real-time analysis, and immense computational power require a high performance cloud.  Through the Oracle startup program, startups are discovering that Oracle Cloud Infrastructure outperforms other clouds, in many cases by a wide enough margin to make the move to Oracle.  Molecula is one of many cloud startups migrating from AWS and other cloud providers to Oracle Cloud to satisfy their growing HPC needs. When asked if he’d recommend Oracle Cloud for startups, founder and CEO HO Maycotte responded with an immediate “yes.” He continued, “especially if you are in the data, analytics or machine learning space.” In today’s multi-cloud world, startups see Oracle as an essential part of their solution.  Here, five cloud startup founders weigh in on their successful migration to Oracle Cloud.   HPC Processes Massive Amounts of Data  “High performance computing is vital to our business. We have to process massive amounts of streaming data in real-time and Oracle Cloud has allowed us to do that more efficiently. Oracle was 2.7x faster in training a large convolutional neural network (CNN) than AWS…and VMs and GPUs on Oracle are world-class.” - Amro Shihadah, Founder and COO, IDenTV   Computer Vision Algorithms at Global Scale “We moved to Oracle because we needed to scale-up and go global. We need storage but also the computing and processing in the cloud to support our computer vision algorithms for thousands of images. And we need the support of the AI team to use the Oracle platform to its edge. We’re getting all that.”  -Simcha Shore, Founder and CEO, AgroScout   Machine Learning Creates Voice Content Fast “We are highly dependent on high performance computing because we are a machine learning company. There’s lots of video, animations and advertisements that need voiceovers. We are able to create voice very quickly. And we are doing it on Oracle Cloud and its GPU service.” - Kerem Sozugecer, CTO and Cofounder, DeepZen   Real-Time Streaming Video Anywhere “We utilize Oracle Cloud and the power of NVIDIA GPUs to create and transcode video content. This means that when a user uploads a video into the Sauce platform, we can be streaming it to their collaborators on any device, anywhere in the world, in just moments. This is huge advantage for us.” - Jonathan Girven, Cofounder and CTO, Sauce   Power to Solve Complex Global Problems “Oracle has world-class GPU instances that deliver power, performance and scalability. This type of compute power enables our solution to work with researchers and organizations worldwide to tackle big, complex problems.” - Daniel Raskin, CMO, Kinetica   More Speed, Lower Costs What could your startup business accomplish with more speed and power at a lower cost?  Does your startup need HPC resources? Start today with free cloud and discover why so many startup businesses are making the move to Oracle Cloud through Oracle's startup program.  [This is the first blog in a five-part series exploring why startups are migrating from other cloud providers to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Read the next installment: Startups Save Money by Migrating to Oracle.]

Oracle for Startups is a hotspot for startups that need blazing performance from their cloud.  With data source quantity and volume exploding, high performance computing (HPC) is what startups need to...

Meet the Startups

The Startup Demystifying Influencer Marketing for Brands

Startups know that connecting with new customers isn’t easy. But just 72 hours after an introduction from Oracle, Airfluencers landed a contract with a brand that is a household name in its home country of Brazil.   Initially wary that Oracle’s startup program was ‘too good to be true,’ the influencer-marketing startup is ‘very happy’ with the benefits, including access to Oracle technology, expertise and customers. Searching for influence Airfluencers markets itself as “the most complete platform in Latin America to find, analyze and manage marketing with influencers,” and has around 100 customers including Unilever, American Airlines, Santander, and WPP. But it wasn’t an overnight success. The cloud startup is Rodrigo Soriano’s fourth. The CEO has previously launched a business social network, ticketing platform, and then a social listening startup, which later pivoted to Airfluencers. “We were ahead of the curve and learned a lot with our mistakes," he says of his earlier businesses. After a year of struggling to sell social analysis software, Airfluencers turned its attention to selling social media reports to meet demand from clients struggling to select appropriate influencers. “We sold these reports for a year but it wasn’t sustainable with all the research we did with influencers,” says Soriano. So the company created a database showing the performance and qualitative data of three to four million influencers in Brazil, which became its first product. “We coded and placed it in the market in just four months,” he adds. The problem with social media Approximately 3.5 billion people around the world use social media, and have no doubt come across influencers – the users who create content to demonstrate their credibility in a specific subject matter. Since 84% of consumers buy products based on recommendations, social media influencers wield immense power to influence consumer opinions.  Businesses have become increasingly aware of this power, and 90% of marketing professionals think influencer marketing is effective in raising brand awareness, but it can be hard for marketing departments to decide which influencers to work with, based on their reach and connection with different demographics.  “One of the main problems is the lack of metrics and measurement when selecting, dealing and analyzing campaigns with influencers,” Soriano says. He also believes that limited knowledge of the influencer market poses a risk for brands, who could damage their reputation by working with a disreputable influencer. How it works now Airfluencers makes it easy for brands to pick the best influencer to work with. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to process millions of social profiles every day, along with hundreds of search filters, producing an internal metric that evaluates the quality of a social media profile’s engagement. The algorithm does this by aggregating many metrics into one "AirScore" that goes from 0 to 1000. The 'Discovery' tool can be used to find, manage, and analyze the best influencers using predictive analysis over this score, giving brands a safe haven when building their media plan.  From simple discovery to optimization, the startup created a management platform where about 150 clients are now running and measuring campaigns. Most recently, Airfluencers launched the first metrics platform for Instagram stories in Latin America. “Video is the future and Instagram Stories is huge in Brazil,” Soriano notes. Giving hope to traditional brands Established companies sometimes struggle to harness the brave new world of social media and its influencer universe. Oracle introduced Airfluencers to Commerce Cloud customer HOPE Lingerie, a well-known lingerie business in Brazil. According to Soriano, the family-run company was spending money building relationships with influencers and running digital collaborations with little (if any) information about them. “We found information about an influencer they were working with… that showed the person lacked some important metrics, and they [HOPE Lingerie] realized they needed to make better decisions and rely on information to achieve better results. HOPE was the first client we met with Oracle and we closed the deal within 72 hours,” he says. HOPE Lingerie has been able to search for and analyze potential influencers. Plus, with Airfluencers' metrics on their side, they are positioned to make better deals with their collaborators. "Through the Campaign Analytics, Hope has the ability to measure the results - in detail - of every influencer contracted,” Soriano explains. Too good to be true?  The startup was initially skeptical about Oracle for Startups “because it seemed too good to be true,” Soriano admits. “But the benefits we can highlight are: being mentored by outstanding professionals, key connections with key market people and access to the best technology for our business.” Beyond the HOPE Lingerie introduction, Airfluencers has had several meetings to discuss integrations with both marketing automation and customer loyalty solutions. “It is beneficial for us because our platform can be used by Oracle clients, who will have a solution to search, compare, and analyze campaigns with digital influencers, which is a big trend today and a top demand in marketing and brand structures,” he adds. Airfluencers joined Oracle for Startups and quickly took advantage of $500 in free cloud. They were spending around $13,000 a month with Google, but got a 70% discount with Oracle’s startup program. “We started by transferring 1%, then a week later we transferred all processing to Oracle. It was easy and we were able to do it [migrate to OCI] ourselves,” Soriano says. Soriano believes other startups should “jump in” to Oracle for Startups. “The level of attention and support is of the charts, plus the technology that Oracle offers is in line with the best in the market. The benefits are in infrastructure, scalability, technology access and networking. It's a can't miss opportunity.”  

Startups know that connecting with new customers isn’t easy. But just 72 hours after an introduction from Oracle, Airfluencers landed a contract with a brand that is a household name in its...

Startup Life

Bookworms, boost your brainpower with these founder favorites

Step (or click) into a bookstore and you’ll notice the business section is full of promises. Each title is a siren song, luring readers to crack the spine and discover the true secret of success. Which authors and titles are actually worthy of a founder's precious time?  Entrepreneurs and staff from Oracle for Startups have chosen their favorite reads to help build your business and get you inspired to take on the world. (More of a listener? Check out founder's favorite podcasts instead.) A best seller from Silicon Valley The Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle is CEO Gilbert Verdian's pick of business books. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller offers lessons from legendary coach Bill Campbell, who mentored some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. “It shows that with the right mentors and ecosystem you can focus on your people to create value,” says Verdian of cloud startup Quant Network. Starting with the self John Eberhardt, CEO of blockchain startup bluField, believes in focusing on improving himself along with his business. “The books that have helped me most with business are books that have helped me to center my thoughts, energy and expectations.” Eberhardt recommends The Power of Now; The Seat of the Soul; Super Attractor and The Untethered Soul. Biographies from the best (and richest) Reading the stories of some of the world’s most successful businesspeople is a source of inspiration for Prashant Surana, the co-founder of Indian blockchain startup Snapper. His favorites include The Snowball, which details Warren Buffett’s philosophy, as well as biographies about Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and Donald Trump. He is also a fan of Peter Thiel’s Zero to One, in which the man behind some of the most successful tech firms shares lessons he has learned.   Blockchain bibles Blockchain for Business comes highly recommended by Igor Chugunov, CEO of blockchain startup Credits. He also recently enjoyed Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and The Circle of Profit by Anik Singal. “I’m not looking for step-by-step instructions in books, I’m more interested in how the authors think and how they operate in certain situations. This allows me to look more broadly at the working process itself and find more flexible approaches,” he says. Future Gazing Sometimes it’s good to take a break from the daily grind and use literature for escapism. “I’ve been obsessed with Iain M Banks’ futuristic vision for some time and his ability to imagine in intricate and logical detail a future that doesn’t exist, but is a logical progression from the present based on presumed technological advancement and societal change,” says Gavin Cunningham, CEO of Constellation Group. He’s not the only entrepreneur who is a fan of Banks’ novels as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are reported to be avid readers of his fiction too. Reading is a favorite pastime of many founders who join Oracle's startup program. To join them, and claim free cloud as well as a seat at the enterprise table, check out Oracle for Startups today. 

Step (or click) into a bookstore and you’ll notice the business section is full of promises. Each title is a siren song, luring readers to crack the spine and discover the true secret of success....

Meet the Startups

Small companies save costs and minimize errors with robots

Think of automation and you might imagine self-driving cars or a factory filled with high tech bots, but Brazilian cloud startup Aurea Robotics creates tailored automation solutions that work for small companies, letting humans do creative work while robots carry out necessary tasks. The result is higher accuracy at a lower cost.  Hacking productivity with robots The human resource is a funny thing. Wildly creative but easily distracted, the human is not always the most effective at handling repetitive tasks at scale. Aurea Robotics was founded in 2016 in response to this simple problem of resource allocation – let the robots do the simple operational tasks so humans can be free to create. Tapping robots to do simple jobs freed up humans for more high-value tasks and reduced mistakes. Plus, humans can’t keep up the speed and efficiency of a virtual team when accounting for operational costs like maintaining payroll, turnover, and software licenses. “What we do is train our robot so that it literally mimics what a person does,” says CEO Renata Fernandes, who was recently profiled in Startup Grind's Startup Spotlight series. “It’s fully customizable for the client and carries out tasks in the same way as a human, lowering costs across all areas of the company, and achieving great performance.” It’s been two years since food company Delirio Tropical installed the Aurea Robotics technology to handle everything from data entry to managing suppliers and inventory as well as sending alerts. Within six months, it processed 43,707 invoices and reduced lead times from 10 minutes to 40 seconds, which saved the company nine administrative salaries. The AI framework was developed with the purpose of making a very expensive technology accessible to everyone. Fernandes continues, “We are able to serve companies of any industry and any size because we have a business model (SaaS) that truly meets our client's budget.” A mutual understanding  Aurea Robotics has connected with new business, thanks to its relationship with Oracle's startup program. “We have synergy and we understand that together we are stronger, and with greater market penetration power offering the best solution to problems, with the best team,” Fernandes says.  After taking advantage of free cloud, the startup business has met with customers including Bradesco, Seguradora and Zurich Santander, and gained exposure while participating in November’s FutureCom event in San Francisco. “The Oracle for Startups program was fundamental for us to guarantee a structure of excellence for our portfolio projects, while their differentiated pricing for startups allows us to offer quality and security of large companies, bringing stability and better positioning to our customers,” Fernandes says. The robots are working Aurea’s robots are integrated into ERP software and web apps – with or without API – including virtual environments such as Citric and VMWare. They can perform tasks such as data entry or extraction, report writing, analysis of data in a database, predictive analysis, generating and processing invoices, as well as customer and payroll management. Aurea Robotics also created a robot for ICATU Insurance that can handle pension contracts generated online and integrate with legacy systems and external suppliers. It’s expected to cut the time it takes to complete the end-to-end process by 22 days and bring 55% ROI in the first 12 months. The future “In the future, we strive for organic growth with a team that is increasingly committed to the company's purpose,” Fernandes says. “We make robots to deliver a reality where people think and robots do.” Want to experience growth like Aurea Robotics? Start today with free cloud and discover scale with Oracle for Startups.  

Think of automation and you might imagine self-driving cars or a factory filled with high tech bots, but Brazilian cloud startup Aurea Robotics creates tailored automation solutions that work for...

Best Practices

5 Predictions for Startups in 2020

A version of this piece originally ran on Startup Grind's Medium page.  Shift from traditional “incubators” to a focus on virtual support via corporates While there has always been a focus on helping startups and entrepreneurs through traditional accelerators, you’ll see an increase in collaboration between startups and corporations. Regional incubators will continue to pop up, and they will have short lives (well-established firms notwithstanding). Instead, there will be a focus on virtual acceleration and collaboration. Much like what we see from Coursera and Udemy for education, we will see more virtual offerings for incubation and acceleration. Corporations across the globe have launched virtual startup programs and innovation hubs to connect and support startups.  As Steve Case’s “Rise of the Rest” mantra underscores, great ideas and technological solutions can happen anywhere across the globe. No longer limited to the traditional hotspots of San Francisco, Boston, London, and Tel Aviv, we are seeing solutions pop up everywhere. That’s why you’ll see the strong uptick in “virtual” programs to meet and reach those entrepreneurs with the resources they need regardless of where they live.      Startups can tap Oracle's startup program for free cloud,  Dual-class, super-voting shares fade away with tech startups The last few years have seen a rise in dual-class shares particularly with technology startups. These are shares that give founders super-voting rights. Mark Zuckerberg’s class-B shares give him 60% control. That means Zuck controls everything at Facebook. This scenario played out during the recent WeWork debacle with Softbank having to buy out founder Adam Neumann to the tune of $1.7 billion.  As noted in a recent Vox article: “Companies like Facebook are basically putting in place a share structure that is a bulwark against management change,” said Amy Borrus, the deputy director of the Council of Institutional Investors (CII).   Dual-class shares aren’t going away altogether. It will take some time to come to fruition, but this year we will see the earliest stage deals set this up. All-powerful, all-ruling founders will gradually give way to more structured and equitable governance.   Female founders finally break the 2% threshold and get real VC traction Here are two key facts in our industry: first, there are more opportunities to access funding than at any other time in history. Second, report after report shows that companies with women in leadership positions experience better innovation, increase productivity, and improve financial results. Still, women are still getting a paltry amount of venture funding (hovering around the 2% figure for years) according to data from PitchBook (and others). 2020 is the year we finally see real growth pushing that 2% to at least 8%. That’s not anywhere near where it should be—it could take 10 years to see parity—but at least we’ll start to see upward traction. I see the wave building across the industry from conferences to boardrooms to the startups working with Oracle.  Some of the strongest, most insightful cloud startups in our program are led by female founders. Each of them cite access to capital as a major hurdle in starting and growing their businesses, which is a shame because companies like Snap Tech, Transmute, Jobecam, Gapsquare and others are solving big global problems and helping both the enterprise and our society advance. Explosive growth in environmental and agricultural tech 2020 will bring tremendous growth in solutions solving for environmental and agricultural advancements. Our societal and human needs are pushing the urgency. There is also a tension with how social enterprise and impact funds are realized. AgriTech and environmental tech will be where this happens.   We are already seeing this in Oracle for Startups. Kinetica, a platform for active analytics and real-time insights, is partnering with the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) to protect the fragile ecosystems and waters around the San Francisco Bay. In the realm of food production in an increasingly unstable climate, LettUsGrow helps indoor farms thrive to produce healthy, sustainable, and safe food. TechShelta provides technological support to greenhouse farmers in Ghana and across Africa to help optimize production. Agroscout uses drone technology and real-time data to give farmers better ways to plant, irrigate, rotate, nurture, and maximize crops for better food production.  A return to fiscal responsibility and sound board governance Private companies with inflated unicorn values got a reality check in the public markets in 2019. Lyft and Uber felt it on the largest scale, but it’s happened at all stages, as companies prioritized growth ahead of fiscal fundamentals. WeWork imploded because calling yourself a technology company when you aren’t doesn’t actually produce a scalable $40 billion-dollar business, just an illusion of one. The growth-at-all-cost mantra isn’t paying off.  The market will continue to return to fundamentals, fiscal responsibly, and sound board governance.  Founder equity at the early stage will be structured so that board involvement will have more oversight. For example, founder’s equity at the angel round will be forced into the option pool as they have to earn it out. You’ll see SoftBank and VisionFund tweak their mega-funding, grow-at-all-cost strategy and evolve towards more fiscal responsibility. Masayoshi Son will still be the maverick risk-taker, but I’m betting VisionFund 2 doesn’t get off the ground. The original fund needs the focus, and investors will demand it. 

A version of this piece originally ran on Startup Grind's Medium page.  Shift from traditional “incubators” to a focus on virtual support via corporates While there has always been a focus on helping...

Best Practices

Leave these 5 habits in 2019

2019 was awesome.  Oracle for Startups changed its name and went truly global to serve even more cloud startups around the world. We worked with exciting new businesses that are bringing game-changing technology to verticals that support environmental stewardship, enterprise sales, even Santa Claus! It was a year of growth, new experiences, and lessons learned, so we're ringing in the New Year by sharing some of our favorite advice from friends and founders from the Oracle startup program.  These are the habits we are leaving in 2019 so we can make 2020 the best year yet for Oracle, startups, and our customers.  Inattention to Detail Brand and Creative Director for Oracle for Startups Tracy Sword has something to say to the startup founders who get so caught up building their businesses that they let the "little things" slip through the cracks: "Remember that every interaction with your company is part of your brand experience. Even little mistakes can erode your credibility." For anything public facing, Sword encourages hypervigilance. "Focus on quality and pay attention to detail," she says. "Fix those broken links on your website and correct those spelling errors. Treat every interaction as though it’s the only interaction your audience will have with your brand."  So ditch that "Coming Soon" placeholder on your website, hire a copy editor for your collateral, and remember that modern business is all about the customer experience.  Me, me, me mentality  “Be customer-centric” is the advice that Gavin Cunningham is bringing into 2020, citing the example of the many blockchain startups and AI technologies hitting the scene. While there is plenty of money being raised, the Constellation Group CEO thinks some startups fall into the trap of building ‘evangelistic technology’ rather than actually responding to customers' needs. Stay connected to your mission statement and remember why you show up for work every day.  Complacency "The advice I was given by a mentor was ‘always ask for more responsibility, be accountable and deliver it,’” says Gilbert Verdian, CEO of Quant Network. He received these life-changing words of wisdom when he was gathering work experience in the sorting room at Lexis Nexus during his final year of school. “I’ve done that throughout my career,” he says, noting that it has helped him reach the C-level and could help others fulfill their ambitions as well.   Burnout  Bragging about being busy is so last year, but startups inevitably have a lot going on at all times. It takes discipline and a commitment to standing firm to avoid burning out. “Knowing how to say ‘no’ is a complicated but totally necessary task,” says Rafael Bertolli. As CEO of cloud startup Yamí, he has learned the importance of owning your choices and protecting your time. He wants others to know: “Saying no doesn’t mean you’re not being a friend or being a helpful person. You are just making your own choices, electing to move forward with what is in your reach and related to your goals, meeting your business objectives without losing focus.” This is especially great advice for the extra-ambitious entrepreneur set, but we can all benefit from some self-compassion in the long run.  Going it alone  2020 is primed to be the best year yet for your startup business. Oracle for Startups is here to help you scale, with cost-saving cloud infrastructure, a dedicated global team, and a network of customers looking to partner with startups like yours. Get started with free cloud now! 

2019 was awesome.  Oracle for Startups changed its name and went truly global to serve even more cloud startups around the world. We worked with exciting new businesses that are bringing game-changing...

Meet the Startups

The Startup Behind the NORAD Santa Tracker is joining Oracle for Startups

The NORAD Tracks Santa ® website has become a holiday tradition, with more than 20 million excited children and parents flocking to the site every Christmas Eve to keep tabs on Santa’s path around the world. As if that’s not exciting enough, the cloud startup that helps power the world-famous Santa Tracker is joining Oracle for Startups.  Cesium, a complete platform for 3D geospatial data, has joined Oracle's startup program to scale their business and technical capabilities. The startup’s platform handles optimization, visualization, and analytics for organizations worldwide. Since 2012, the fast-growing cloud startup’s technology has enabled a world-class 3D experience for watching Santa’s journey.  Cesium powers the Santa Tracker Built on Cesium’s open-source 3D mapping library, CesiumJS shows Santa’s current position on a 3D globe with realistic global terrain, oceans, and imagery. CesiumJS was founded with roots in the aerospace industry, so accuracy and precision were a top priority from day one.  The technology works like a video game. A virtual earth is composed of several pieces: a map of the stars, lighting from the sun, satellite imagery of the land and sea, and a 3D representation of terrain features. Billboards indicate locations that Santa has already visited, while camera flights smoothly transition the view as users interact, watching videos of Santa in flight, or diving into information about the areas he has already visited. Cesium adds a model of Santa Claus and updates his position as they get updates from NORAD’s network of Santa-tracking sensors. Learn more about the technical side of the Santa Tracker on Cesium's blog.  How Cesium unlocks 3D data “3D geospatial data is all around us—and it’s being collected at astonishing rates, every second of every day, by sensors on satellites, aircraft, cars, drones, and more. Yet the vast majority goes unused,” said Cesium CEO Patrick Cozzi. “We want to unleash the power of this 3D content to create new and exciting solutions for organizations and industries worldwide.”  The startup is unlocking the potential of 3D geospatial data, helping developers and data providers build dynamic 3D geospatial applications, and Santa Claus is not the only big name to leverage the startup technology. Red Bull uses Cesium for its Red Bull X-Alps 2019 race, allowing fans to follow the race online, including athletes’ GPS positions and detailed statistics. Lockheed Martin implemented Cesium for the National Geospatial Agency (NGA) GEOINT Visualization Services (GVS) and the Map of the World (MoW) Viewer. Cesium worked with Uber to enhance the platform’s visualization data capabilities and to support 3D Tiles and massive 3D geospatial datasets—making 3D geospatial data more accessible and usable. Why Cesium chose Oracle for Startups Cesium was drawn to the resources Oracle's startup program can uniquely provide. The startup believes that Oracle’s industry teams, global customers and cloud computing solutions can boost its growth and revenue. “From a strategic business perspective, this partnership makes perfect sense and comes at a pivotal time for our growth,” said Cozzi. “Cesium aligns well with Oracle’s government and commercial users, and together we can help Oracle customers achieve new and unique 3D geospatial solutions.” Cozzi continues, “3D geospatial datasets are among the biggest of the big data so we have to build everything with performance in mind. Oracle has enterprise-proven cloud computing, and parallel programming that will help us continue to achieve peak performance and ease-of-use for developers and data providers worldwide.” Stay tuned for updates on Cesium and Oracle next year. We are looking forward to doing some big and disruptive things together.  Join Cesium and start building for the enterprise with free cloud from Oracle for Startups.     

The NORAD Tracks Santa ® website has become a holiday tradition, with more than 20 million excited children and parents flocking to the site every Christmas Eve to keep tabs on Santa’s path around...

Partners/Advisors

Drones And Artificial Intelligence Help Combat The San Francisco Bay’s Trash Problem

This article was written by Sasha Banks-Louie and was originally published in Forbes. Ever since the industrial chemist Leo Baekeland began synthesizing phenol and formaldehyde in 1907, the world has developed a love-hate relationship with the resulting polymer: plastic. While plastic is convenient, durable, and cheap, 50% of all plastics (about 150 million tons every year, worldwide) are used only once and then thrown away. Even for those who dutifully recycle our plastic water bottles and sandwich bags, we’re only tackling a small part of the problem. That’s because heavy winds and rain carry huge amounts of plastic waste along city streets and into the stormwater system, where it likely flows directly into creeks, rivers, bays, and eventually the ocean, with no treatment to filter out plastics. “Considering the size of the problem, there’s relatively limited infrastructure in place to capture and treat stormwater,” says Tony Hale, program director for environmental informatics at the nonprofit San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI). That’s where SFEI is looking to use research and data—and most recently, drones—to make a difference. In addition to sending out crews of people on foot to count and collect trash in local waterways, SFEI began using camera-equipped drones to assess that waste on a much larger scale. “Most ground crews working for stormwater programs monitor trash once a year, twice if we’re lucky,” Hale says. “So what we can learn about trash and its impact on communities is limited by the number of people we can afford to send out.” With drone photography, “we can track all of the trash in a creek, river, or stream, examine how it’s distributed, and then apply machine-learning algorithms to analyze those images as often as we want,” Hale says. The drone research is part of a new project by SFEI and its sister organization Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, through funding from the Ocean Protection Council, to validate trash-monitoring methods, and produce a trash-monitoring playbook that community cleanup groups, municipal programs, environmental agencies, and ecologists can learn from and put to use. The effort studies initiatives such as plastic bag bans to urban rain gardens. “Our mission is to help city planners find the best ways to filter their stormwater and stop contaminants such as trash and plastics from entering their protected wetlands and public waterways,” Hale says. Deep-Learning Cleanup Crew By sending drones over the San Francisco Bay and neighboring tributaries, SFEI collected some 35,000 images in its initial foray. “Covering so much ground so quickly was amazing,” Hale reflects. But his excitement soon faded, as the reality of crunching so much data in a reasonable amount of time set in: “It took us almost a month to process these images.” Using 2,000 annotations to describe various trash particles, Hale and his team were training an open-source TensorFlow machine-learning algorithm to identify the type, quantity, and location of each particle of trash depicted in those 35,000 images. To speed up the analysis, SFEI partnered with Kinetica, a data analytics startup that participates in the Oracle for Startups program. It put SFEI’s trash-detection model into a Docker container and then brought it into Kinetica’s “active analytics” workbench, says Kinetica CMO Daniel Raskin. Using a Python API, Kinetica then streamed the images into a table, where they could be stored, categorized, and labeled. “We’re not just ingesting these images and distributing them inside our platform” Raskin says. “We’re also running SFEI’s trash-detection model to classify all of the images as they hit our database.”  This gives SFEI more than just a giant image catalog. The California water-quality watchdog can now visualize each of the 35,000 images based on its geographical location and trash profile. Initially, Kinetica ran SFEI’s deployment from a distributed CPU framework, on its own 4-core machine, using managed Kubernetes. “It took us about 10 days to run the entire simulation,” says Nick Alonso, a solution engineer at Kinetica who works on the SFEI project. Even after moving the application to a server using a single GPU—processors that are well suited to machine learning work—the simulation still took the better part of a week. Kinetica then decided to run SFEI’s entire workload on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, using eight V100 GPUs. “We’re no longer talking about days to run this simulation,” Alonso says. “We’re doing it in hours—about 18 hours and 26 minutes, to be exact.”

This article was written by Sasha Banks-Louie and was originally published in Forbes. Ever since the industrial chemist Leo Baekeland began synthesizing phenol and formaldehyde in 1907, the world...

Best Practices

Lessons in Scale with Duel Founder Paul Archer

This piece was written by Duel Founder and Brand Advocacy expert Paul Archer. It was originally posted in May 2018, and has been updated slightly to reflect program updates.  Accelerators are everywhere these days. Some are fantastic, some less so. Some of these are with corporates, others not. Would I recommend them to other startup founders? Well, it all really depends on the match between the startup, the corporation, and the stage of your company. Last year, the team at Oracle’s startup program asked me to write a blog on why people should join their startup program. However, I've actually written one that focuses a lot on why startups shouldn't join. In our case, it all worked out fantastically and it could be the same for you, but every business is different and corporate accelerators are not for everyone. Hopefully, this will help you decide if they are for you. My experience with Duel My company, Duel, joined the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator (now Oracle for Startups) in September 2017. And it started slowly. We were still working on how to position our new proposition after a pivot, and the brand-new team at the Oracle accelerator were still working out how to navigate the rest of their corporation to add value to us. It took us a good while to penetrate the right parts of the Oracle business (which in startup time is forever). Today, however, we are integrated into Oracle’s product solution and on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace. Oracle salespeople selling their Customer Experience Cloud solutions can also use a product demo that heavily features Duel. So that’s great exposure.  We even got to meet the big man, Larry Ellison, during the Founder to Founder event while attending Oracle OpenWorld.  Last year, I was lucky enough to be a key part of a keynote for Oracle’s Modern Customer Experience conference in Chicago. I found myself discussing our vision in front of 3,000 potential clients of ours and getting visibility across the whole of Oracle (check it out here). It’s all well and good for us, but can it be replicated? Should YOU join a corporate accelerator? Now be warned, the vast majority of corporate accelerators are probably a massive waste of time. The most valuable resource a founder has is time. A large organisation operates completely differently to a business that only has six months worth of runway to prove the concept before becoming profitable, getting more funding… or dying. They plan with time periods measuring in years, not months or even weeks in some cases. This means everyone at the corporate will take a meeting - even introduce you to other important employees - but you could spend a year doing that with an organisation like Oracle and only scratch the surface. The decision to join one of these programs could potentially make the company, but it could also break it too, so choose wisely as it could be life or death.  Keep it in mind that negotiating this relationship requires a founder or highly skilled salesperson to navigate the complex org chart. Ask yourself: is this the best use of my limited resources and time? Enterprise sales people are often your most expensive resource, so is this person better used selling to real clients and making revenue, or selling to a partner to get clients down the line? The crucial point is that you don’t have the time or resources to maintain focus on both your partner and other clients. The partner has to have a valuable enough distribution network to ensure penetrating it is worth your time. When to do it The biggest thing that is often overlooked about joining an accelerator or corporate startup program - on both sides - is whether now is the right time for the startup. A founder’s job is to focus entirely on finding product-market fit.  If you haven’t found product-market fit, or you’re ‘pre-chasm,’ then a corporate accelerator is probably not the right environment for you. Martin Casado at Andreessen Horowitz outlines this predicament far better than I ever could in this comprehensive blog. We had already had an experience of joining an accelerator when we didn’t have product-market fit, and the result was countless very exciting meetings which went nowhere. Massive companies often take 12 months to do a single deal. When you only have 10 months of burn to prove product-market fit, the wise founder avoids these highly exciting, yet generally pointless conversations early in the company life. When we eventually joined Oracle’s program it was probably still a little too early, but only just as we reached the right ‘time’ during the process. However, if we had joined it three months previously, we may not even be here today. Another point is if you don’t have your first key reference clients, finding them through corporate accelerators can be challenging. Clients gained through major partnerships are likely high-value enterprise companies - perfect dream clients for scaling businesses, but not perfect for those vital early, slightly forgiving reference clients. Which means that corporate partnerships open up access to enterprise clients and countless leads that you could simply never achieve yourself, but only if the time is right. How to penetrate the giant So, if that fits your bill, let me explain how we penetrated Oracle so deeply. It took a lot of hard work, both from our very patient team and the fantastic folks at Oracle. What I like about their approach is that the Oracle startup team saw themselves primarily as a barrier to protect us and navigate us across Oracle, as well as facilitators for the right kind of conversations. The most successful thing we did was to get buy-in from all layers of the sales organisation by working on showing how integrating with our software would help Oracle make more sales. It sounds simple, but the ‘what’s in it for me’ factor can often be lost when pitching people on your super-amazing new widget as you can end up forgetting that they are a channel, not a client. We then did this from the top down, engaging with all levels, running demos and getting people excited about the product and how it would help them make more sales. The final thing we did was to appoint a champion from within the company. This is the difference between a CRM full of contacts and a concerted effort to drive every person in the corporate in the same direction. Ideally, it's someone who can see the opportunity the partnership can provide their team, but also see how it can advance their career if the project is successful. The key thing to remember is that people in the large company don’t owe you anything. You may be part of their big fancy accelerator, but in a large organisation, many people won’t know about the program. At the end of the day, it all comes down to whether what you do helps each individual to achieve their personal goals. Go all in Go all in, or don’t play at all. We committed huge amounts of our resources to developing for the Oracle platforms and meeting every single person in the company we possibly could. We flew around the world, we spoke at conferences, we met partners. Everything. This is incredibly hard work, but without this, we never would have been able to penetrate Oracle so deeply. Say no If left to its own devices, a large corporate can bleed startups dry. Oracle has 140,000 employees and we only had 10, so learning to pick and choose the right opportunities is key. Especially as everybody will want to spend time with the new cool innovative thing, and remember, they always have much more time than you. And just like they don’t owe you anything, you don’t owe them anything, so say no to things that are not part of your core strategy. It’s hard, but it is the only way you can make it work. You will be presented with countless opportunities and you have to filter aggressively or drown. Once you’ve mastered this, you’ll be on track to turning your corporate accelerator into a major channel for what you do. The take Don’t join a corporate accelerator if you’re too early and still working on your focus.  Do join if you know where you’re going, the time is right and you are laser-focused on the enterprise market. If this is the case, joining an accelerator that takes advantage of vast global resources and expertise of someone like Oracle could end up being the beginning of the most successful partnership you’ll have in the life of the company.    

This piece was written by Duel Founder and Brand Advocacy expert Paul Archer. It was originally posted in May 2018, and has been updated slightly to reflect program updates.  Accelerators are...

Startup Life

Listen Up, Multitaskers. These Are Founders' Favorite Podcasts

Entrepreneurs are famously overextended. Building a new business requires so much time and energy, it's a wonder founders have time to eat, much less take time for learning and development. But savvy multitaskers know, this is where the mighty podcast shines. Podcasts are a great way to stay up to date, hear fresh perspectives and get advice from experts from the comfort of your car, kitchen or even shower.  With more than 750,000 to choose from, it’s hard to pick the best. Naturally, the OracleNext Podcast is a local favorite, especially episodes featuring startups like BotSupply and idenTV. Once you've listened to those, add these entrepreneur favorites (handpicked by founders from Oracle for Startups) to your playlist.  For top tech news The Harvard Business Review is an authoritative and well-respected publication, but if you don’t have time to pick up a copy, you can keep up with hot business topics with one of its three podcasts: Women at Work, Dear HBR, or Gilbert Verdian’s favorite, the HBR IdeaCast. The Quant Network founder and CEO says, “It provides a good mix of business and technology,” which is exactly what entrepreneurs need as they navigate relationships with technology leaders and potential customers via Oracle for Startups. A well-being check-up  “I meditate daily,” says John Eberhardt, CEO of bluField. He also listens to the Startup Therapy podcast, which offers 'the no BS version of startup life' and tackles the sensitive topic of well-being for entrepreneurs, who notoriously struggle with work/life balance. Episodes include discussions about loneliness, the value of freedom and how to get people to take you seriously. Decrypting blockchain news An avid consumer of podcasts, Snapper cofounder Prashant Surana uses them to stay up to date with crypto and blockchain news. His favorites include Off the Chain, which features lessons from some of the most respected names in crypto and Wall Street, and Unchained, in which Forbes’ Laura Shin asks tough questions of the decentralized internet industry's heavyweights.  Tips from top performers “There are plenty of fascinating and insightful interviews on the Tim Ferriss podcast,” says Charles Holmes, Director of North East. A popular choice, this one is the #1 business podcast on Apple’s platform. In each episode, Tim examines leaders from multiple disciplines, from sports to business, to discover what makes them tick and, hopefully, reveal the secrets of their success. He gets into favorite books, morning routines, management tricks and exercise habits. Podcasts are the busy entrepreneur's not-so-secret weapon for keeping up with news and personal development. Another secret weapon? Hacking their growth by partnering with a team that is dedicated to startup success, Oracle for Startups. 

Entrepreneurs are famously overextended. Building a new business requires so much time and energy, it's a wonder founders have time to eat, much less take time for learning and development. But savvy...

Startup Life

This Thanksgiving, Dig In to Advice from Successful Startups

Like a delicious Thanksgiving meal, good advice is best when shared. Dig in to this healthy portion of helpful hints from founders, CEOs and members of the Oracle for Startups team.  Work smart ‘Never give up’ is probably one of the first pieces of advice we receive as a child, and one that stands us in good stead for the rest of our lives. It’s a message that John Mark Eberhardt, CEO of bluField thinks is important to pass on. He was also told, “work smart so you don’t have to work hard,” which is sage advice for entrepreneurs trying to maintain the ever crucial work/life balance, including spending time with family and friends this Thanksgiving. Live by a code “The most important piece of business advice I’m grateful for is to follow ethical business practices no matter what,” says Prashant Surana, co-founder of Snapper. He adds, “As a company and as people, we always stand for who we are. Respect is your true net worth.”  Surana was told that one bad call can ruin your reputation, and tells fellow entrepreneurs they should always be ethical and give back selflessly. Know your market “The best advice we received was to understand what the market wants and not what books drive, because there is always a lot of pressure for every small business to become a product-focused startup,” says Renata Fernandes, CEO of Aurea Robotics. The Brazilian startup chose not to create a product, but a ‘framework’ to help it meet “100% of the customer’s needs.” She believes this approach sets Aurea Robotics apart from its competitors. Stick with it Oracle for Startups' Principal Cloud Architect Siva Kulasekaran shares what he calls "life-changing" advice from his father. "He said to pursue things that you start for at least 18 days continuously to make it a habit. You’ll then start loving things that you actually do, and it increased self-discipline in work and personal life."  Feel free to pass this advice along like a steaming bowl of mashed potatoes. Happy Thanksgiving from Oracle for Startups.   

Like a delicious Thanksgiving meal, good advice is best when shared. Dig in to this healthy portion of helpful hints from founders, CEOs and members of the Oracle for Startups team.  Work smart‘Never...

Best Practices

Oracle, Startups, and the Age of the Great Collaborator

This article was written by Oracle for Startups ambassador Dr. Paul Campbell.          In 1686, Edward Lloyd opened Lloyd's Coffee House in the heart of London. This historic coffee shop was more than the best place in the city to get a cup of coffee, it was a place where entrepreneurs and business leaders converged. Lloyd's was a repository of industry news and relevant information. It was a place to share and build on innovative ideas with likeminded professionals. In fact, it was this entrepreneurial environment that birthed the modern-day insurance industry.    So, what made Lloyd's Coffee House so unique that it become a hotbed of innovation? Was there something special about the coffee? What history has shown us is that Lloyd intentionally created a platform for collaboration - one which fostered community, leveraged the collective genius of the many, and dared to dream the impossible. In other words, this was a mini Silicon Valley before there was a Silicon Valley.  Let's unpack three ways that Oracle for Startups can help modern founders recreate the Lloyd's experience.   Join A Community of Collaborators   Have you ever met a self-made millionaire who was truly self-made? I haven’t. Nor have I met anyone who was truly a “lone innovator.” Why do so many founders feel the need to assume the persona of a rugged individualist?  Perhaps it is because when we think about many of the world-renowned startups, we can only bring to mind their larger-than-life, charismatic leaders. Ask them to share their secrets to achievement, however, and they will quickly dismiss the myth of rugged individualism, inevitably listing a group of contributors to whom they say they owe their success. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the self-made professional who carries the business from startup to IPO, rather it is a group of contributors with a dissatisfaction with the status quo and a shared vision of what the world could be.  Contributors could be part of the co-founding team or your company’s board of advisors, or they may come in the form of local startup communities. By joining Oracle for Startups, founders leverage the experience, skills, and talents of experienced mentors and ambassadors who can help navigate Oracle and the wider market. These talented individuals help founders engage with Oracle’s technology and ecosystem to build scalable, enterprise-ready applications. Additionally, there are opportunities to engage with and learn from other founders in the program—especially during the many Oracle and third-party events that bring startups in the program together.    Beta Test in World-Class Style   As a founder, many of the ideas you create through mashups - combining various ideas, disciplines, and previous innovations to come up with new game-changing products and services - may be considered contrarian. As such, it is extremely beneficial to have a platform that can help refine your ideas until product/market fit becomes more obvious for your minimum viable product (MVP).  Consider this: fifteen years ago if I had told you that one day you and your family would be jumping in a stranger’s car at the airport, and this stranger would then drop you off to stay at another stranger’s house for your family vacation, you would have thought I had lost my natural mind.  In Oracle’s startup program, founders can flush out contrarian ideas like those brought to market by Uber and Airbnb, by testing, learning and iterating on Oracle’s world-class cloud infrastructure and solutions. In addition to the program’s free credits and 70% discount, founders get access to the free cloud tier that provides an environment for users to build and work at no cost—forever. That allows startups and developers to work on applications in development before they pay to run them in production.    Network Effect After coming up with contrarian ideas, the next hardest thing to do as a founder is achieving mass adoption of your product. As founders gain further qualification through deeper engagement within our program with opportunities such as presenting at events (i.e. Oracle Open World), they can Blitzscal their startups to mass adoption through the network effect by graphing into Oracle’s global community of users, customers, and partners. Additionally, startups benefit from marketing expertise and exposure such as blogs, podcasts, social media and engagement interactions with global media and analysts.  Together, these opportunities give startups a business boost and network effect they simply can’t get on their own.   Don’t Go It Alone Stepping out on a crazy new adventure to create a startup doesn’t mean you need to do it alone. Collaboration creates abundance while the lone individualist only knows scarcity. The bottom line is that the greatest poverty that one can experience is the poverty of relationship.    Join Oracle for Startups to receive free Oracle Cloud credits plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.

This article was written by Oracle for Startups ambassador Dr. Paul Campbell.         In 1686, Edward Lloyd opened Lloyd's Coffee House in the heart of London. This historic coffee shop was more than...

Startup Life

Lessons in Scale with CEO Zak MacRunnels

Opportunities are only as good as your ability to take advantage of them. In the case of Oracle for Startups, opportunities to up-level your business are around every corner. Founders who join the program learn quickly that to maximize their time in the program, they’ll need to prioritize the opportunities that come their way. From access to enterprise-scale technology to introductions into new markets, savvy founders like Zak MacRunnels of Reconstruct leverage connections with Oracle to scale their solutions and their business. MacRunnels made the most his time with Oracle for Startups by leveraging scale of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and strong connections with construction and engineering business units. This is his advice for getting the most out of the partnership with Oracle.   Put In The Time “Make the effort to spend time in-person with Oracle personnel. Oracle people are generous with their time and truly want companies in the startup program to be successful. Put in the time. The ROI is invaluable.” Dedicate The Resources “Dedicate a multi-faceted team to work with Oracle. Oracle is global so there is no way one person can manage the relationship. You need to set up a small org chart that will be able to allocate specific resources, skills, time and travel to get the most out of working with Oracle.” Be Ready For The Marketing Boost "Practice public speaking and blogging because Oracle’s marketing, events and promotions can really amplify your messaging across the globe. In less than one year in partnership with Oracle, we spoke on four continents; we were featured in an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal; published on Oracle blogs; featured with PR and media, including on various TV/media networks; and were invited to a happy hour at Larry Ellison's house. And we the relationship is still rolling!" To join Zak and growth-hack your startup through a partnership with Oracle, join Oracle for Startups.

Opportunities are only as good as your ability to take advantage of them. In the case of Oracle for Startups, opportunities to up-level your business are around every corner. Founders who join the...

Meet the Startups

Oracle Helps This AI Startup Get Indian Rail Travel On The Right Track

In India, 40% of the 750 million train tickets booked annually are booked on waitlist. ConfirmTkt uses AI to confirm and book a ticket, even if all the trains are on waitlist. Four million monthly users and growing fast, taking the headache out of booking a trip Oracle Cloud enabling better performance at lower costs, allowing startup to scale and reinvest savings back into their growing company. Every day, around 23 million people travel across India’s vast railway network, making it just the ticket for ambitious startups looking to exploit Indian Railways’ active passenger booking platform and increasingly digitized ecosystem. ConfirmTkt is on track to change the way people book train tickets in India. Having been founded as the result of a bad journey in 2015, it now has more than 4 million monthly users. The start of the journey Its founders, Dinesh Kumar Kotha and Sripad Vaidya, found it impossible to book tickets reliably for their monthly trip from Hyderabad to Bangalore. In India, a certain number of tickets are released for a particular train and people can go on a waiting list to try and secure one if they have not been lucky enough to buy one immediately. If someone cancels, another person can buy a ticket. They found themselves on waitlist frequently and discovered a pattern in their tickets changing status and being confirmed. “We thought of applying same logic for all trains and had to collect a lot of data to launch a prediction platform for waitlisted tickets,” Kotha explains. ConfirmTkt and Oracle for Startups As a partner in Oracle for Startups, ConfirmTkt received free credits and now gets a 70% discount on Oracle Cloud, slashing the infrastructure cost of scaling a business.  Kotha says the credits and steep discount has enabled the company to invest the money it has saved in building its team and technology resources. “Being part of the Oracle for Startups program has helped ConfirmTkt to scale rapidly,” Kotha says. “We became a paid customer of Oracle and it’s been good. We’ve found it highly reliable over our last year of use,” he adds. Oracle has recently launched an Indian data center in Mumbai, making its services even easier to access for startups in India. “The latency is less so customers won’t find any network issues and our platform is fast and efficient,” Kotha says. How ConfirmTkt works Around 40% of the 750 million tickets booked annually are booked on waitlist, meaning customers face an anxious wait to see whether they will be able to buy a ticket and travel. To solve this frustrating problem, CornfirmTkt’s booking platform provides users with a confirmed ticket for their chosen route, even if all the trains are on waitlist. It does this by predicting the status on waitlisted tickets using historical data and machine learning with 92% accuracy. “It’s a good number, and accuracy levels are continuously improving,” Kotha says. “You search a ticket and it gives you all possible options, he explains. “First ConfirmTkt gives you the probability or confirmation chances for all trains, second it tries to check if alternates are available for the route and third it tries to combine multiple trains and buses, for example, to give you a confirmed ticket to travel.” Essentially, the algorithms break journeys into little pieces then checks if tickets are available for the different parts. For example, if a customer is looking to travel from Bangalore to Hyderabad, they can use the service to see all the trains available. If all of them are on waitlist (and therefore it’s uncertain whether the customer will be able to travel if travellers don’t cancel), ConfirmTkt shows which trains have a high chance of confirmation, based on historical data, and book that train for a customer. If all of them have a low chance of confirmation, it checks if alternative tickets are available on the same train from a nearby station. Next it checks for combination of alternative modes of transport such as buses. The trains and buses suggested can be booked from the platform, giving customers the best chance of getting to their destination. The startup’s aim is that even customers who log onto the platform at the last minute can leave with a confirmed ticket. For the first three years the startup didn’t monetise its technology and instead built its user base. It now has 4 million monthly users, who use the startup’s app or website to allocate a seat and work out the best connections to make, taking the headache out of booking a trip. ConfirmTkt earns approximately 4% commission on the tickets sold via its platform, meaning it nets around ₹400,000 ($5,626.80) of the ₹10 million ($140,670) of tickets it sells daily. The benefits The biggest benefit to users is removing the stress and uncertainty of arriving at a train station only to find their tickets are not confirmed and they need to postpone their journey. It’s an offering that’s in demand, as around 10% of tickets are booked using alternate options, increasing to 20% during peak seasons. ConfirmTkt is also in the process of rolling out its technology to travel agents, meaning it will increase its customer base across sections of the population without internet access. The online platform also lets travellers who are on the Web track their train in real-time, even when they are offline, as ConfirmTkt uses information generated from mobile towers along the train line. The next leg ConfirmTkt is building a voice solution so that the next generation of users will be able to search for and book tickets by talking to the app. This is all the more impressive as it will be able to understand its customers’ needs in multiple languages, as India has 22 official languages. The startup is also looking to increase bookings by five times in next 12 months, in part by rolling out its technology to traditional travel agents in order to capture a new audience without internet access. Currently, 100 travel agents are using its technology, but ConfirmTkt is targeting 2,000 travel agents by the end of this year alone, showcasing its ambitious growth plans and thirst to shake up the rail industry in its homeland. Join ConfirmTkt and start your journey to scale with Oracle for Startups.

In India, 40% of the 750 million train tickets booked annually are booked on waitlist. ConfirmTkt uses AI to confirm and book a ticket, even if all the trains are on waitlist. Four million monthly users...

Meet the Startups

Startup AptivIO Partners with Oracle to Supercharge the Enterprise Selling Process

AptivIO uses AI and real-time market data to automate and enhance the sales process They joined Oracle for Startups because of technology, but they’re staying for the revenue-generating opportunities Oracle Cloud is proving more robust, scalable and reliable than Azure How far can you get into your day before hearing or reading the word “autonomous”? 30 minutes? An hour? From vehicles to chatbots to intelligent applications, autonomous is everywhere, but autonomous sales development? That’s new. One startup is applying AI to supercharge the entire sales process – from identifying prospects to monitoring sales pipeline risk. And they partner with Oracle for Startups to help drive growth and innovation. AptivIO is an Autonomous Sales Development platform that’s equal parts intelligent market analytics powerhouse and automated lead generation. AptivIO’s platform constantly ingests massive amounts of global market data to produce strong signals around prospects and customers, across the entire buying stage, producing highly tailored and personalized results. With the explosion of data, it’s impossible to make fully formed decisions without AI and machine learning. AptivIO is a prime example of AI enhancing - not replacing - humans. “Intelligent automation is able to process massive amounts of data humans simply can’t, and turn it into contextually relevant and timely insights,” said Guy Mounier, cofounder and CEO of AptivIO. “Building trusted relationships, personal engagements, and closing deals are where humans shine and thrive. We free up sales experts to focus on the human element.” Complementary, Not Competitive AptivIO doesn’t compete with today’s CRM or marketing automation tools, they complement them. In fact, partners like CRM vendors lead their go-to-market strategy – a key reason they partnered with Oracle.   The two-year old startup got its start from the cofounders’ experience in fintech and continuous risk monitoring. For years, real-time market data services have been used to detect early warnings and anticipate trading opportunities. “We realized that compared to the financial services market, demand generation for B2B sales was crude. And we saw the opportunity for AptivIO.” AptivIO targets high-value, relationship-based sellers in enterprise technology, telcos, financial and professional services, and advanced manufacturing. “Today’s sales and marketing automation tools don’t listen to real-time market data like we do. By applying our proprietary platform across thousands of market data and customer engagement APIs, we auto-generate sales-ready leads and mitigate sales pipeline risk. So, we can enhance an organization’s existing CRM infrastructure quickly and easily.” Oracle for Startups Outshining Competitors and Delivering Real Value AptivIO’s decision to join Oracle for Startups and migrate to the Oracle Cloud was based on two main reasons: better technology and revenue-generation opportunities. “We had downtime and lots of latency on Azure—on a pretty regular basis—and with Oracle we have been pleasantly surprised by the robustness, scalability and reliability,” said Mounier. “We process billions of data points daily and we can’t afford any latency or downtime. Oracle Cloud gives us the assurance we need to deliver value to our customers and to keep innovating with confidence.” AptivIO joined the Oracle for Startups team at the recent Ascent Conference in New York City, where they were able to network and demo their solution. Mounier says opportunities Oracle provides like showcasing at events and customer introductions are invaluable. “The program is delivering incredible value for us from events to market connect opportunities. It starts with the 70% discount for two years, which is a smart equity-free investment in our development, but the value extends beyond that. I’m impressed with the amount of resources Oracle has put into the program—from the technology to the co-selling opportunities.” On the general premise that enterprises and startups don’t mix well, Guy disagrees when it comes to Oracle for Startups. “Startups are accustomed to AWS, but I’d tell startups to keep an open mind and give it [Oracle for Startups] a chance. Compared to other startup programs I have experienced, Oracle for Startups is exceeding them by a factor of 10,” he said. “You can go to Microsoft or Salesforce and you don’t get the stuff Oracle delivers—you get generic offers.” Customers Seeing Up to 30% Increases in Net New Opportunities Mounier says the “aha moments” happen for his potential customers in the very first demo. “New and relevant insights always come up during the demo—revealing pretty quickly what they’ve been missing and how easily AptivIO can fill that void. We’ve had some say it’s like a ‘magic machine’.” On average, AptivIO customers are seeing a range of 10% to 30% increase in net new opportunities added to their pipeline within the first month. Ongoing Partnership with Oracle Both Oracle and AptivIO are committed to a long-term partnership with plenty of benefits for both companies. “A year from now, we’d like to have a handful of case studies, several co-selling opportunities and the word spreading about AptivIO across Oracle and the industry,” said Mounier. “The opportunities inside a company like Oracle are incredible for a growing startup. We look forward to maximizing the opportunities and resources Oracle is providing us.” Join AptivIO and start saving on cloud with a 70% discount from day 1. Join Oracle for Startups.

AptivIO uses AI and real-time market data to automate and enhance the sales process They joined Oracle for Startups because of technology, but they’re staying for the revenue-generating opportunities Ora...

Best Practices

The Big Bang or the Slow Burn? What to Think About When You Want to Start Up

It's a very common topic of conversation when I meet people in social or professional gatherings. They ask me, “How do I start a startup?” or “Give me some cracking idea to start a startup.”  The chatter about startups is ubiquitous. Having been part of Oracle for Startups program, I have been closely associated with startups of all hues and this is what I have found during my journey. Wait…What Exactly Is A Startup? A startup is not just a euphemism for regular business at a small scale. If that was the case it would have been called small scale enterprise and not a startup. A startup by definition should either solve a problem, figure out something new and innovative or disrupt existing business by changing the paradigm of the business process. Startups need to be extremely flexible and should be able to hit the ground fast, fail quickly, learn from these failures and iterate. It Wasn’t Raining When Noah Built The Ark Always plan ahead. Any startup should have a clear-cut roadmap and business plan for marketing strategy, customer acquisition and revenue stream. The plan will change, but it must exist. Funding and acquisition by a big market player is the by-product of being a successful startup. The startup might not look feasible at first, but as long as it solves a real or perceived problem, it will gain traction. Honestly, no one knows which startup is going to be a unicorn. A few good examples would be AirBnB, Flipkart, Paypal, WeWork or even Motorola. After all, when Motorola was launching mobile phones, no one thought that cell phones would be as ubiquitous as they have become. Jitesh Nagaria, founder of dolooptech, spent 6 months planning each and every function of his startup while still working his 9 to 5. Nagaria researched and compiled information on the clinical trial space, understood the challenges and estimated initial expenses, office space and personnel needs, and AI capabilities. I’m glad to say that dolooptech joined Oracle for Startups in early days and is now experiencing success. Solutions For Pain The best startups I have worked with have found a pain point in a market and built a solution for it. The number of people or enterprises facing the problem will determine your initial market size. As the saying goes, people gladly pay for pain killers, but not for vitamins. Identify The Problem, Explain The Solution If a founder cannot explain the problem they solve and how they solve it in 2-3 minutes, then the objectives of the startup are not clear enough. To start a startup, one should first identify a problem which can be described in two quick sentences. Slack, which was founded in 2013 and is now valued at over USD 19 billion, had a very simple message when explaining their business as “a collaboration hub where you and your team can work together to get things done.” If you dive deep, Slack is much more than just a collaboration tool, but the initial messaging is clear and powerful. Uber, meanwhile, completely changed the game on how taxis could be booked. AirBnb took the idea of hospitality and moved it from the traditional hotel right into your homes. All of these had a business model which could be explained in a single bullet point on a pitch deck without any confusing jargon. Tune Into Tech An entrepreneur’s key ally is technology. Technology can help a startup scale fast and give a 360-degree view of how the business is being run, which helps the startup to continually innovate with data-driven decision making.   Uber, by definition, is a logistics company, but technology has shaped it into a huge company with a huge valuation. The right use of technology is a force multiplier which increases productivity, decreases the cost of capital expenses and opens uncharted territory. Oracle for Startups enables startups worldwide with technology, mentorship and opportunities to scale their business.  Oracle PaaS solutions help build up quick solutions without having to reinvent the wheel. Lastly, as a wise man once said, "Ideas are dime a dozen". It is the tenacity, execution and vision that takes a startup from also-ran to the stuff of legends. Discover how your startup can leverage Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and enterprise expertise through Oracle for Startups. Free cloud is just the beginning.

It's a very common topic of conversation when I meet people in social or professional gatherings. They ask me, “How do I start a startup?” or “Give me some cracking idea to start a startup.”  The...

Startup Life

11 Terrifying Truths About Running a Startup

With business stresses and the dreaded human element of a team to support, running a startup is downright scary. From cash flow woes to those technology gremlins which are known to strike at the worst possible time, worries emerge like undead hands grasping out of a grave. In honor of Halloween, founders from Oracle for Startups shared their own personal nightmare scenarios. So turn on a light, check the closet for monsters and enjoy the fearful feast – if you dare. Gruesome operations Bloody surgery appears in plenty of horror films, but thankfully it’s not those kind of operations giving Gilbert Verdian nightmares. The CEO and founder of  Quant Network, which came up with Overledger, the first blockchain operating system, says “Getting the operations, delivery, team, technology right to be able to achieve the vision you set out to achieve keeps me up at night.” He also worries about being responsible for the wellbeing of his company, staff and clients, which as every boss knows, can feel like a monstrous weight on your shoulders. Missing out on life “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy,” wrote the ‘protagonist’ of The Shining (repeatedly, maniacally). Nik Adhia, Oracle for Startups’ head of Global Operations, worries about his team working outside hours and missing out on important personal moments. “With the support of managers, everyone has a responsibility to look after themselves, set their boundaries, and ensure they can optimise for a work-hard, play-hard mentality,” he says. Scary overlords Super villains are a staple of hero and horror films alike, crafting dubious plans to bend the world to their will. For blockchain companies, overbearing regulations can feel like an antagonist to progress. At the heart of Credits’ blockchain platform is a decentralised and transparent approach to interacting with people within the financial sector. CEO Igor Chugunov says his main concern is the governing regulations of countries. “I perfectly understand that technology has its supporters and opponents, but it is extremely important for me that people preserve its fundamental principles, thereby bringing more trust to the world.” Missed messages Imagine how many horror films could have had a happy ending if the characters had just called the cops! The fear of miscommunication keeps Oracle for Startups’ Director of Global Communication Amy Sorrells up at night, because it can happen so easily. “In today’s digital age, where teams are dispersed globally and the need to move quickly is key, often communication gets lost or misconstrued or doesn’t happen at all,” she says. Sorrells believes we’re all offenders, but we must be more intentional about over-communicating. “Yes, even over-explaining isn’t bad here. Remember the power of direct communication: Get face-to-face or jump on a video call. Never forget the importance of non-verbal communication and body language,” she says. A top tip especially if you’re interviewing a vampire. Stage fright While vampires are nocturnal, Oracle for Startups events manager Simi Joshi is not. Still, she sometimes stays awake all night before important events, worrying about what could go wrong. “Even if I know I'm prepared, I can't seem to shake the anxiety. I worry about what I have to do or if I've forgotten something,” she says. To try and beat this horrible habit, she reviews her completed to-do list and listens to soothing music before bedtime. “Always keep in mind that no matter what happens, you will always have tomorrow. This one day does not define you and in the long run, it will not be a big deal.” After all, even in horror movies, the sun has to come up eventually!  Stick-in-the-mud monsters Muddy swamps can be home to plenty of horrifying monsters in movies, but sticks-in-the-mud can be worrying in business. “When creating chainlinks, you are only limited by your imagination and at North East, we pride ourselves on our abstract thinking,” says Charles Holmes, Director of the startup, which aims to assist regional companies in reducing risk when interacting with external data, keeping their nightmares at bay! “Working with people who are resistant to change and innovation has been known to keep me up at night.” Serious imbalances Fragility of balance keeps Lee Reeves, Business Development, Oracle for Startups awake at night. “In a 24-hour period, I wear multiple hats: spouse, parent, co-worker and friend, and I struggle with the complexities of each hat. I’ve learned in my 33 years is that I just can’t be all things to all people. It’s not sustainable. In this day and age, you’ll burn out, plain and simple,” he says. To do his best, Reeves tries to focus 100% of this time and energy only on things that he can control, so he can be the best version of himself. Being beaten by the enemy Entrepreneurs fear working day and night on their idea, only to find a competitor with more money and resources has done it, according to Michael Dermer, Founder and Author of The Lonely Entrepreneur. “That’s why it is not enough to find a unique selling proposition – you have to find a playground where no one else is playing – a place where you set the rules and everyone else follows,” he says. Dermer believes all entrepreneurs lose sleep wondering whether they are doing everything they can to bring their passion and idea to life like Frankenstein (but with a happy ending). A deserted landscape How many times does a baddie jump out from a deserted car lot or empty alleyway? Well, it’s not eerie landscapes keeping Dan Langton, Owner of Datatel Solutions up at night, but the problem of empty seats in the office, the “negative unemployment world in technology,” as he puts it. “Finding developers skilled enough to support our architected platform is daunting, especially in something as specialized as Blockchain,” Langton says, adding that his start-up is helping to address this problem.  A lack of security Just as inhabitants of a small town in the middle of nowhere may fear a breakout at the local high-security prison, a digital security breach is every blockchain company’s nightmare. “As you know, there’s no such thing as fool-proof security and so we are constantly engaged in ensuring that our application is as secure as it can be,” says Langton, pointing out that for companies like his, which are in the telecom and fintech industries, security is a “paramount concern,” as the safety of user data is everything. A lame party While a box office flop may keep producers of horror movies up at night, Gavin Cunningham, co-founder of Constellation Group says “building something that nobody wants” is a business nightmare. “It's like throwing a party that nobody turns up to,” he adds. Happy Halloween from Oracle for Startups. Share your business nightmares with us! #spookedstartups

With business stresses and the dreaded human element of a team to support, running a startup is downright scary. From cash flow woes to those technology gremlins which are known to strike at the worst...

Program News

First Cohort of Startups Selected for Oracle’s Blockchain and Chainlink Innovation Project

Earlier this year, we announced that Oracle for Startups was co-developing a blockchain project for selected startups through a collaboration with Chainlink, a decentralized blockchain oracle network infrastructure, and experts from Oracle Blockchain, LinkPool and Honeycomb. So why should startups care?  Two big reasons: Revenue generation and innovation. The goal of the project is to enable an ecosystem where startups can generate new revenue from smart contracts executed on the blockchain through the monetization of APIs hosted on the Oracle Cloud infrastructure and through the collaboration with Chainlink and API marketplace providers. Today, we are announcing the first cohort of 20 startups selected as part of this innovation project (see full list below). Starting with these initial 20, we’ll test and learn, develop best practices, land it, and scale it. We have committed to working with 50+ startups. These initial 20 startups are phase 1 with more startups joining in phases. The opportunities are tremendous. As a recent Gartner report noted, blockchain smart contracts can revolutionize data collection, sharing and usage, creating new data insights and giving companies an early adopter advantage. “Leaders responsible for combining technology with data strategy must deploy blockchain smart contracts now or forfeit competitive differentiation,” the report stated. Testing, learning, early adoption and bold innovation.  All principals that are core to the Oracle for Startups ethos. In fact, it’s part of the vision of every startup we work with too. Chainlink is secure-focused blockchain middleware that allows smart contracts on various networks to connect with critical resources and data needed—for both on and off-chain systems. Chainlink’s infrastructure integrated with Oracle Blockchain Platform will help provide reliable tamper-proof deterministic inputs to complex smart contracts used for enterprise applications. The Oracle for Startups team will work with the selected startups to launch Chainlink nodes in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), which will be available for integration with Oracle Blockchain Platform (OBP) smart contacts via Chainlink middleware.  From the learnings, we can generate best practices for developing smart contracts that integrate to Chainlink that will benefit the ecosystem. The ecosystem of API providers (startups) will work in concert with Chainlink node operators and smart contract developers, creating a network of mutually interested entities. Neutral third-party API marketplace providers like LinkPool and Honeycomb will act as the catalyst by providing services that will cultivate interest and build “chainlinks” between API providers (startups), independent Chainlink node operators, and smart contract developers. We are excited to get started with these initial 20 startups and continue to scale the project. We are hopeful for strong results that drive revenue generation and bold innovation for all. Stay tuned. We’ll keep you posted. •    Agropacking Solutions (Brazil) •    AtCash (US) •    bluField (US) •    CashPundit (India) •    Constellation Group (UK) •    Credits (US) •    Crowdz (US) •    CyNation (UK) •    DriveOn (Brazil) •    Gravel Coin (Brazil) •    Insolar (Switzerland) •    Ld8a (UK) •    LotsApp (Brazil) •    MaxCentive (US) •    MonoChain (UK) •    North East (UK) •    Quant Network (UK) •    retraced (Germany) •    Snapper Future Tech (India) •    WorldLaw (US) Discover how your startup can leverage Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and enterprise expertise through Oracle for Startups. Free cloud is just the beginning.

Earlier this year, we announced that Oracle for Startups was co-developing a blockchain project for selected startups through a collaboration with Chainlink, a decentralized blockchain oracle network...

Startup Life

Larry Ellison Goes Face-to-Face with Founders from Oracle for Startups

For the third year in a row, founders from Oracle for Startups were treated to an exclusive and intimate event with Larry Ellison, the CTO and founder of Oracle. Hosted at Ellison’s San Francisco home, the Founder to Founder event has become an Oracle for Startups tradition that is the ultimate cherry on top of a jam-packed, week-long Oracle OpenWorld. It’s no typical fireside chat in a sterile hotel ballroom, with more than 20 founders welcomed into Ellison’s home to enjoy appetizers, drinks and conversation among his curated art collection and stunning views of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. But the best part was the almost two hours Larry spent discussing everything from the state of entrepreneurship to artificial intelligence and his desire to cure cancer…and just about everything else in between. Access to Founder to Founder is an exclusive benefit for the entrepreneurs who have joined Oracle for Startups, but we’ll go ahead and share some of our favorite wisdom from Larry. It was hard to narrow down, but here are our top takeaways: On The State Of Entrepreneurship Today “I think the scale of the problems that entrepreneurs have worked on and solved has always been enormous…I’m not sure entrepreneurship in its grandest sense has changed very much. I think what has changed is it’s now global…There are just so many more entrepreneurs today. Gender participation has changed radically. National participation has changed radically. I think entrepreneurs are the change agents in our world.”     On Working Hard And What Inspires Him “I do not burn out from hard work though. Some days I feel like I get tired. I get tired from hard work but I don't get burned out. You get burned out from losing. Nothing burns you out faster than losing. Nothing strengthens your resolve and motivation more than winning.”   On The New Oracle Mission Statement “It was important to engage our employees, as well as our customers, that we were doing something good. We wanted to put together a mission statement that would inspire our employees. That they were involved in something that was large and important and worth doing. It had to be related to our business and we're in the business of managing data and so the mission had to acknowledge that's what we do every day. We protect your data. We make it easy to access and help you look at your data in new ways, to unlock endless possibilities. The fact that information can inform and inspire our actions.”   On The Importance On AI For The Enterprise And Oracle “I think machine learning, the latest iterations of AI, are probably the most important new technology, certainly in the last 10 years. It is what separates the second-generation cloud from the first-generation cloud. I mean autonomous database would not be autonomous without AI, without machine learning, the autonomous operating system, autonomous driving, computer vision, Alexa, you name it. We have machine learning tools built into our cloud. It's built into all of our applications. It's built into our database, the operating system. I don't know if it's the most important new technology for computers ever… but it may be.”   On Founders In Our Program “Picking Up The Torch” And Leading Innovation Today “Thank you for picking up the torch and solving problems other people hadn't solved before, hiring people, changing their lives, changing the lives of their families. I think sometimes we don't realize just the scope of what we do as we pursue our goals, the positive ways that we impact the people around us. Thank you for being a leader and taking full advantage of the opportunity.”   On Being “A Smart Ass” And Founders Needing To Grow And Mature “I know in my youth I've said some ridiculous things, just because I knew it would just piss everybody off. I was a smart ass. But it turns out it's cheap thrills and it's not worth it. It really isn't worth it. You have to behave in a humane way or people aren't going to like you, and it's very useful as an entrepreneur or in life, for people to like you. It's not a good strategy as a leader. It's not a good strategy as a person. It's just a really bad idea. It took me a while to get over it.”   The Most Important Thing To Scaling A Successful Business “Entrepreneurs usually start out with a good idea and are driven or passionate. We can do this and then we build a team and we go do it. And we have to inspire them with the belief that what we want to do is possible. That's how it all begins. Then sometimes it starts getting big. You actually solve the problem. You actually have a business and you have a running business and all of a sudden, you have to hire managers and you have to let go of certain parts of the business... I think the most important thing about scaling ... I think the people who scale successfully have one critical skill. They can identify and attract really good people.”   On What Else He’d Like To Accomplish In His Lifetime “I have been working for a very long time on trying to design small molecule drugs that treat certain types of cancers. Cancer is a whole family of diseases. I mean it's a disease of DNA. It's a disease of pathways. It's very complicated. I would just like, before I die, to have our team design one effective cancer fighting drug. That's what I want to do.”   Why He Is Still Working And The Importance Of Winning As A Team “Why am I still here at Oracle? I want to win. I love the people I work with. I want to win as a team. I love being on a winning team. Winning alone is okay, better than losing, but winning as a team, going to the locker room and hug and all that stuff, it's the best. I love the people I work with. I admire them. I think they are smart. I think they are honorable. I think we are tackling some really hard problems. I think it's very satisfying to solve those problems. We are building something together. It's a good way to live.” Discover how your startup can leverage Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and enterprise expertise through Oracle for Startups. Free cloud is just the beginning.

For the third year in a row, founders from Oracle for Startups were treated to an exclusive and intimate event with Larry Ellison, the CTO and founder of Oracle. Hosted at Ellison’s San Francisco...

Program News

What Oracle's "Always Free" Announcement Means for Startups

Oracle for Startups offers $500 of free cloud credits and a 70% discount for 2 years. And it’s not just for fun. We dish out the freebies because we want to prove to startups and developers that Oracle Cloud services are worth a look. And as startups explore Oracle’s product stack, they also experience that Oracle is a strategic ally on their path to scale. So the announcement of the new “Always Free” services at OpenWorld in September might have raised some questions about where our program and offerings fit. After all, getting startups interested in the possibilities of Oracle Cloud was our thing. But the Oracle Cloud “Always Free” services are just an added bonus on top of what Oracle for Startups offers. Always Free offers services like Autonomous Database for free for an unlimited time, which is pretty incredible in a tech world dominated by time-limited free trials. Beyond just free database, Always Free also includes two Compute VMs, 100GB block volume, 10GB object storage, 10GB archive storage, and a 10Mbps load balancer. Always Free is a great resource for anyone who wants to dabble, build, and test in Oracle Cloud before scaling. The scaling part is where Oracle for Startups comes in. First, startups who join Oracle for Startups receive $500 of free cloud credits (the regular Free Trial offers $300) at a 70% discount, with opportunities to apply for more as you burn. Going forward, these startups will also get Always Free services. Most importantly, Oracle for Startups is about more than cloud technology. Startups who engage with this program get exposed to opportunities to build their business as well as their technology. For instance, Oracle for Startups routinely puts exciting new companies onstage at global events or features them on digital channels for a worldwide audience. We connect founders and CTOs with product leaders, experienced mentors and press. And startups who participate in Oracle for Startups have been introduced to enterprise prospects within Oracle’s base of 430,000 customers. While the Free Tier is a great offer, Oracle for Startups is a true business-building partnership.    So come for the cloud, stay for the scale provided by a global, dedicated team. To claim your free cloud credits and start exploring Oracle Cloud, join Oracle for Startups today. Startups can take advantage of both the Free Tier and Oracle for Startups  If you are already a member of our Oracle for Startups program, the Always Free services are now available within your service console.  

Oracle for Startups offers $500 of free cloud credits and a 70% discount for 2 years. And it’s not just for fun. We dish out the freebies because we want to prove to startups and developers...

Meet the Startups

Meet the Startups Pushing Customer Service Forward

With the ability to buy products and have them land on your doorstep overnight, or get answers from a brand online within seconds, customer expectations have never been higher. And there’s a new generation of startups developing fresh and innovative technologies to help companies satisfy their customers and keep them coming back for more. Here are three customer service-orientated startups part of the Oracle for Startups program. Snap Tech Online shopping has given us more choice when it comes to fashion than ever before, but finding the perfect item of clothing online can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Snap Tech uses visual search technology to remove this frustration for shoppers. Users of the UK startup’s website and app can take a photo of clothes they like and use its clever algorithms to find similar items for sale from 250 retailers’ online catalogues that suit their style and budget. The start-up’s code is also used by major magazines to help their readers buy featured products more easily. Snap Tech works with retailers and publishers to achieve two main goals: to make the consumer online shopping experience as satisfying as shopping in the real world; and ultimately to add to their bottom line through increasing conversions or providing brand-new revenue streams based on existing content. You can read more about Snap Tech and how it works with Oracle for Startups here. Jatana We’ve all had online orders that have gone AWOL or aren’t quite what we expected, only to have to spend ages resolving the situation with a shop. But Jatana is making life easier for customers. Its artificial intelligence platform provides support teams with tools that cut costs, increase efficiency, and automate repetitive processes. Using artificial intelligence, the platform leverages deep learning algorithms to understand customers’ intent and instantly trigger automated actions. The result is a cost-effective solution that unlocks ROI and helps brands deliver greater customer experiences at scale through automation. Jatana has already demonstrated it’s possible to reduce the average response time by 40%. You can read more about Jatana’s technology here. Jubi.ai Many of us dread dealing with banks, but India-based startup Jubi.ai is making life easier for customers by creating voice and chat-based intuitive bots for some of the largest financial services and fintech businesses in India, and they are set to roll out globally soon. The company’s do-it-yourself super-bot creator allows any business to create a helpful bot without writing one line of code. These bots are used to power conversational automation of customer service, online lead generation and digital sales for large NBFCs, mutual fund houses, insurance companies and fintech businesses including some of the country’s largest banks. Read more about how Jubi.ai is revolutionizing fintech, here. Visit our website to learn more about the startups working with Oracle to deliver modern business solutions in efficiency and beyond.

With the ability to buy products and have them land on your doorstep overnight, or get answers from a brand online within seconds, customer expectations have never been higher. And there’s a new...

Meet the Startups

The Startups Making Businesses More Efficient at TechSparks Bengaluru

All businesses want to streamline their operations and increase efficiency. Now there are high tech products to help and they are showcased at TechSparks in Bengaluru. The companies showing off their solutions are part of Oracle for Startups and offer everything from cloud-based cash flow management tools to artificially intelligent software able to predict future events. So there’s an innovative solution for every business. The CFM helping CFOs look like superstars CashPundit is a cloud-based Cash Flow Management (CFM) solution that helps CFOs manage cash flow more easily and identify potential shortfalls in balances. The platform integrates with ERPs and directly imports required data, automating the process of collections and CFM. In short, it makes the job of CFOs look effortless, while simplifying their business lives. The startup’s CEO, Govindraj Muthyalu, credits the firm’s partnership with Oracle for many of its successes. “Our business is accelerating in large part due to the benefits of running on Oracle Cloud, connection to enterprise customers, and world-class mentoring,” he says. You can read more about the startup here. Using AI to solve transportation problems ConfirmTkt is on track to change the way people book train tickets in India. It solves a frustrating problem of booking ‘waitlisted’ tickets by predicting the status on waitlisted tickets using historical data and machine learning with 94% accuracy. This enables customers to book a place on trains most likely to travel to their chosen destination, making the process more efficient. Being part of the Oracle for Startups program has helped ConfirmTkt to scale rapidly. The company receives cloud credits, which co-founder Dinesh Kumar Kotha says has saved the startup considerable costs on cloud infrastructure. The big data analytics platform predicting future incidents IQLect’s big data analytics platform offers businesses a window into the future. It uses predictive and real-time data analytics to monitor and predict user and machine behavior. This means it can track events, recognize patterns and predict future incidents, allowing companies to act immediately and boost efficiency by up to 80%. The platform is plug-and-play and enables businesses to apply it to almost any data spread and then choose from a selection of customisable apps, to get insights in real-time at low cost. Identifying growth opportunities using AI Qument Technologies offers businesses AI and machine learning services designed to optimize operational efficiency and identify growth opportunities. Its tool is capable of analyzing large qualities of data and applying machine learning to look for patterns around the data, with the aim of helping business leaders make important decisions about how best to thrive. The product is currently being used by multiple companies in the restaurant, retail and hospitality trades. Building custom enterprise bots for business NLPBots is an artificially intelligent neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) platform, enabling businesses to build saleable enterprise bots. The platform is able to manage data sources, extract and validate data, define business rules, then train and generate a bot that can be deployed across different channels and networks. For example, bots can assist employees in getting support or help customers with product support problems around the clock. They can also build powerful NLS systems across data sources to get insights to help with marketing, and even help automate recruiting new employees. We wish all attending startups the best of luck at TechSparks in Bengaluru. Visit our website to learn more about the startups working with Oracle to deliver modern business solutions in efficiency and beyond.

All businesses want to streamline their operations and increase efficiency. Now there are high tech products to help and they are showcased at TechSparks in Bengaluru. The companies showing off their...

Startup Life

Antifragile Infrastructure: Must-Ask Questions to Scale Without Surprises

This blog was originally published on Startup Grind's Medium page. Making the decision to scale your startup can be exhilarating. You can hire a bigger team, make improvements to your product, and — most importantly — help people on a larger scale. It’s amazing! Yet without a careful strategy and the right tools, your company can flounder when attempting to grow. This is one of the biggest reasons why Oracle and Microsoft recently made an announcement that surprised many: we have partnered to interconnect our respective clouds and make it easier for customers to run workloads and applications.We believe that the future is all about multi-cloud, and want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to transition into that type of workflow. Right now, organizations that implement multi-cloud strategies run workloads and applications across different cloud providers. This prevents vendor lock-in and makes integration and data exchange difficult. Thankfully, that is exactly what the Oracle-Microsoft partnership solves for. You are probably thinking right now, hold up, this is about big enterprise companies. Why should my ten-person startup care? It’s about future-proofing your startup. If your startup is scaling or readying to scale (which is almost everyone), multi-cloud will be your strategy, too. Jenny Griffiths, the CEO and founder of UK-based Snap Tech, found that it was possible to save 40% in hosting costs alone by switching to Oracle-based infrastructure. “We moved our hosting to Oracle Cloud using managed Kubernetes,” Griffiths said. “We’re delivering technology that we never could have dreamed of… Oracle is instrumental in helping us scale and innovate.” But back to the announcement for a moment. Why did these formerly intense competitors decide to shake hands and do business? Customers are beginning to demand technology with multi-cloud capabilities. It’s about flexibility, ubiquity and freedom. I believe this demand will only increase and become the standard. The partnership connects both companies’ data centers so mutual customers can more easily use cloud services from both firms, which allows clients to connect critical systems built by different vendors. This crossover makes business easier for everyone — no vendor lock-in — giving best-of-breed flexibility, performance and cost savings in the long run. Why Startups Should Care Future-proofing your startup is important — yes, especially at the early stage. In the early days of your firm, you are primarily concerned with a couple of things — get the product up and running, and make sure those early customers are having a great experience. That was my experience as founder, and that should be the focus. Anything beyond that can seem like a distraction. The challenge comes when it’s time to scale in a hurry. More specifically, CTO’s will run into the problem when they land that really big customer or lots and lots of customers. Suddenly, the design they made for their beta customer doesn’t scale well. You find yourself throwing more compute resources at and get locked into an infrastructure that is no longer fiscally reasonable and difficult to migrate away from easily. You can look at discount plans, but that requires upfront cash and sizing you don’t really need right now. The on-demand model is awesome, but can be costly, and increasingly difficult to move away from the more products you leverage. Multi-Cloud in the Wild So, what can you do now to reduce the risk of scale while maintaining the agility you enjoy today? Spend the time to model, plan and take action. And ask yourself and your team these tough but critical questions: 1) Scale Ability:What happens if you suddenly need to scale up? What does autoscaling do to your monthly bill? Can your budget handle a sudden spike in compute, storage or other services? 2) Geographic Scale:What happens if your demand needs to scale in different regions? What does that do to your bill? How much will your high availability strategy increase your bill? For some vendors (not Oracle) pricing can vary significantly by the region you have your workloads running. 3) Avoiding Lock-in:Does going up your vendor stack lock you in? If so, how difficult is it to move? 4) Managing Outages:How will you manage large outages because of mistakes your vendor makes? Can you easily reroute to another solution? 5) Integration Ease:Do your customers run applications that you need to integrate? How will the platform you are running impact the integration, performance and business partnership? If you do not have clarity on these questions (and there are many more, no doubt), or the answers make your CFO or DevOps lead nervous, now is the time to take action. A multicloud strategy can future-proof your startup and avoid many of the issues listed above. Back to the partnership example, Oracle databases, including Autonomous, can ensure your startup can scale. And accessing Oracle databases connected to Azure is a core reason how businesses use the cross-connect, allowing customers a one-stop shop for the cloud services they need to run their entire business. Why Oracle is for Startups I’m an entrepreneur that also has experience at large corporations. That experience helps running the Oracle for Startups program because I get to sit at the intersection of some pretty incredible innovations between emerging startups and big enterprise companies. We believe the startup-enterprise relationship is critical to driving future innovations. Companies within Oracle’s startup program get free credits and 70% off the platform, which allows them to reinvest those savings and accelerate their growth. This underscores our program’s prioritization of customers and innovation over profit. Cash is king at a startup and being able to get enterprise-level discount in a pay-as-you-go model is a huge benefit. Kinetica, a fast-growing active analytics platform for enterprises, realizes the power of multi-cloud and Oracle’s unique abilities: “Oracle has world-class GPU instances that deliver power, performance and scalability at a lower cost,” said Paul Appleby, CEO of Kinetica. “We see tremendous value for customers running Kinetica on Oracle Cloud.” No matter what, Oracle for Startups is dedicated to helping startups get to the next level of their business. “The partnership with Oracle has been game-changing for us. It gives us access to enterprise-grade technology as well as customers and marketing,” Peter Lilley, the cofounder of iGeolise, said. “All we have to do is concentrate on growing our business.” Interested in enterprise scale, value-priced cloud, multi-cloud strategies, and access to customers around the world? Check out Oracle for Startups to learn more.

This blog was originally published on Startup Grind's Medium page. Making the decision to scale your startup can be exhilarating. You can hire a bigger team, make improvements to your product, and —...

Meet the Startups

Employees and Businesses Can Cash in on Cheaper Business Trips

If you live out of a suitcase and commute via plane, you’ll know that organising and booking business trips can be as gruelling as the jet lag. But an AI-powered SaaS platform called Itilite is making life easier for travelling employees and bosses alike by helping companies digitize their travel. The platform is able to reduce the cost of business trips by 30% and pass half the savings onto hard-working employees. It’s a win-win. The start of the journey Travelling has always been part of Mayank Kukreja and Anish Khadiya’s professional lives. At one point Itilite’s founders were travelling for almost 200 days every year and getting increasingly fed up with planning trips offline. They noticed that corporate travel management hadn’t changed much since the 1990s, despite business trips accounting for 6% of big businesses’ budgets, and even as online booking for non-business trips became easier.  “It often includes a lot of manual intervention and offline processes that lead to a poor, inefficient and costly experience,” Kukreja says. So, the duo joined forces in 2017 to found Itilite and launch a new approach to business travel that helps companies save on travel costs while rewarding thrifty employees. How it works The platform predicts what a trip will cost (including flights, hotels and cabs) by using AI algorithms to analyse the best options. It factors in a company’s policies and budget limits, while balancing them with the travel preferences of employees. Users can pick between the different options suggested and book their trip via their company, independently, of via Itilite. If their choice is more economical than the maximum limit set by the company, and they choose to stay in a budget hotel instead of a 4-star boutique, they receive half the saving made in the form of gift vouchers upon filing their expenses via the platform on their return. “This is a win-win that saves money for the company and improves employee engagement as well,” says Kukreja. It’s possible to choose from Itilite’s personalized recommendations and book a trip in just 90 seconds, he adds. Benefits to businesses Itilite is the first smart, cost efficient and employee-friendly platform in the corporate travel market, according to its founders, and provides three key benefits: cost savings, time savings and better control for companies. “We help companies reduce cost by up to 30% by incentivising employees to save for the company,” Kukreja says. Itilite can show personalised options in real time, and 85% of users select from the recommendations that the platform provides, making it possible to book a trip in less than two minutes. “We have seen up to 97% adoption by employees, while the average in the industry is at 50%. This just shows the love we are getting from our end users,” Kukreija says. Real world usage Itilite is currently focused on the corporate travel market in India, which is estimated to be $35 billion, but its potential is huge as the global market is thought to be worth $1.3 trillion. The startup is working with more than 100 customers, including fast growing startups such as Cure.fit and Cloudnine. Itilite and Oracle Being part of Oracle for Startups has provided Itilite with market access and visibility. “Oracle has introduced us to many of their enterprise customers, including HDFC where we are running a pilot now,” Kukreja says. The startup’s offering complements Oracle’s HCM and Expense solution and Itilite is exploring whether it will be possible to offer a combination of these products to Oracle customers. “In the future, we plan to leverage our relationship for an accelerated market access as we scale up outside India as well,” Kukreja says. What’s next? Itilite plans on growing its clientele to 500 businesses by 2020. It will also establish an international presence to cater for customers with operations outside India. “With support from Oracle and our multinational customers, we see it as a natural progression in our growth journey,” Kukreja says. If your startup could benefit from enterprise scale, product integrations and access to global customers, get started with $500 in free cloud credits with Oracle for Startups today.

If you live out of a suitcase and commute via plane, you’ll know that organising and booking business trips can be as gruelling as the jet lag. But an AI-powered SaaS platform called Itilite is making...

Meet the Startups

Helping Enterprises Say Goodbye to Static Analytics and Hello to the Power of Active Analytics

You might not know the name Kinetica today. But their executives believe in the near future the name Kinetica will be synonymous with a data-driven economy. Kinetica is an active analytics platform to help companies, governments, and societies manage the make-or-break shift from using data as a passive asset into using data as an active asset.This enables organizations to build streaming, real-time analytical applications that react instantly to changing conditions. “Data thrives when it’s continuously shared so real-time, active dynamic decisions can be made and enable the data-driven economy,” said Kinetica's CEO Paul Appleby. Active analytics, he says, will be the backbone of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. And Kinetica plans to be a leading partner in that revolution. Part of the power of the Kinetica platform is the ability to use GPUs to process and visualize complex streaming, historical, and location data at scale, continuously in real-time. “Oracle has world-class GPU instances that deliver power, performance and scalability at a lower cost,” says Appleby. “Organizations building data-driven applications with the Kinetica Active Analytics Platform gain tremendous value running on Oracle Cloud.” Kinetica has ambitious goals in a competitive space where buzzwords like “real-time data” and “data-driven economy” have largely failed to deliver.  But to understand the company’s confidence and bold vision, you have to understand their unique beginning: tracking terrorists’ threats for the U.S. government. Built from the ground up to handle the complexities of today “Back in 2009, we started on this government project to track terrorist threats in real-time across numerous locations, devices and data sources—as you can imagine, it was massively complex and dynamic.  And we quickly realized the technology did not exist to do it right,” said Amit Vij, president and cofounder of Kinetica. So, Amit and his cofounder and CTO Nima Negahban started to build a high-performance, real-time analytics database that could perform with massive, complex and dynamic data sets. Big brands seeing strong results Customers across the globe are “plugging us into the middle of existing data infrastructure to turbo charge their analytics”. Executives say one way to think of Kinetica is as the “speed and intelligence layer” for your data, added Vij. Kinetica offers APIs and connectors to allow developers to build smart, active analytical applications and supports all standard front-end BI tools. This accessibility and compatibility is helping win customers. One of their automotive customers is using Kinetica to put analytics inside the car, processing huge amounts of raw streaming data from the vehicle in real-time to enable things like a dynamic driver experience.  Kinetica has an impressive roster of customers including USPS and GSK. Another customer, OVO Pay, has developed a connected vending machine that delivers real-time offers to customers based on past purchase history and other behavioral information. Other performance results include: * One large telco company realized, with its current system, it would take six years to render all their maps and location data in order to optimize their network for 5G rollout. The Kinetica platform did it in 50 minutes. * An oil exploration company dramatically increased their analytics and data science capabilities. They went from visualizing nine million data points in 2D to visualizing and analyzing 90 billion data points to create a 3D model of the earth’s crust to more accurately identify oil deposits to accelerate resource discovery. * A major global bank is modernizing their risk management system so they can move risk calculations from a batch process typically done once or twice a day to intraday, continuous analysis. This provides a better understanding of risk exposure so portfolios are prepared for unexpected market and asset volatility. * One of the world’s largest retailers uses Kinetica to make sure their stores are never out of stock. By analyzing continuous streaming inventory data from thousands of locations, the retailer can better understand changes in stock and dynamically adjust their supply chain to keep up with demand. Why partner with Oracle for Startups? Already integrated with the Oracle Analytics Cloud, Kinetica also sees value in Oracle’s business applications, where integrations have mutual benefits for Kinetica, Oracle and customers.  Kinetica is also featured on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace, making it easy for Oracle customers to start leveraging their technology.  Kinetica is currently rolling out POCs with their customers in EMEA and JAPAC so they “can test drive our platform in the Oracle Cloud.” Start exploring how you can leverage Oracle Cloud for your startup today.

You might not know the name Kinetica today. But their executives believe in the near future the name Kinetica will be synonymous with a data-driven economy. Kinetica is an active analytics platform to...

Meet the Startups

5 Startups Using AI For Altruistic Ends

By harnessing the power of technology, a raft of new startups is intent of solving some of mankind’s injustices. Tackling recruitment bias Brazilian startup Jobecam aims to beat unconscious bias in recruitment, can lead to people not getting jobs because of their race or sex. The company uses video technology and intelligent algorithms to rank suitable candidates without any influence from recruiters, making the hiring process is fairer. “We help the decision-maker to evaluate candidates just for their competences, abilities and experiences instead of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, etc,” Jobecam CEO Cammila Yochabell says, explaining that the technology saves companies time and money when it comes to finding the best candidates quickly. Solving the enterprise identity crisis Transmute, a user-centric identity management platform for enterprises, was born out of an altruistic hackathon. In 2016, thousands of refugees were pouring into Europe with no means to identify themselves, while government organizations had no integrated way to validate and track identities across the variety of disparate systems they use to manage the asylum process. So, Karyl Fowler and Orie Steele built an identity management application for refugees that was user-centric, secure and traceable and the idea led to Transmute, which now focuses on solving identity management challenges within businesses. The blockchain-based solution enables secure and automated end-to-end traceability so that unique IDs can be established for people within organisations. Making scientific progress more possible Scientific research isn’t cheap and data management adds to the expense. But Molecula – a computational analysis engine for streaming data – is helping the reduce the epic cost.  The streaming AI service empowers enterprises to understand and act on data instantly, no matter how complex, fragmented or large, by creating a scalable way to quickly query and join in massive databases, data warehouses and data streams. By moving traditional analysis and machine learning workloads to the cloud, Molecula can enable the world’s leading scientists and engineers to focus on the fundamental research needed to solve complex problems quickly and securely, without the expensive and difficult data management usually required. Making factories safer The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is expected to bring huge efficiency savings for factories, but owners are fearful of machines being hacked. However, SCADAfence's security platform is designed to keep complex operational technology (OT) networks running smoothly and securely. The software can then start to monitor the OT network activities, discovering all assets in the network and their characteristics. Through continuous monitoring, the SCADAfence algorithms offer real-time detection of malicious activities and deviations from normal behavioral profiles that could threaten the network - including cyber-attacks and non-malicious threats. This is important, because the costs associated with ransomware and downtime can run into millions of dollars. Fighting dark marketing Dark marketing campaigns target consumers across a variety of digital platforms in a more personalized and intelligent way than ever before, making a brand’s message more likely to hit home. But the lack of transparency makes it hard for rivals to communicate their own message in an equally successful way. BrandTotal shines a light on dark marketing strategies to expose the competition’s targeting, messaging, timing, spend, and creative performance so rivals can adjust their marketing strategy in real-time. It does this by harnessing the power of cyber security, machine learning and AI methodologies to reverse engineer the competition’s marketing strategy, giving its customers the edge over the competition, and consumers more satisfying and personal ads to view. Discover how your startup can leverage Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and enterprise expertise through Oracle for Startups. Free cloud is just the beginning.

By harnessing the power of technology, a raft of new startups is intent of solving some of mankind’s injustices. Tackling recruitment bias Brazilian startup Jobecam aims to beat unconscious bias in...

Startup Life

A Peek Inside the Mind (and Home) of Larry Ellison

This post was originally published on Startup Grind's Medium page. Oracle for Startups has a tradition. Each year, we invite startups to San Francisco to present their solutions at Oracle OpenWorld. Spanning three days in the fall and running concurrently with developer-focused Code One, OpenWorld convenes thousands of customers, partners and influencers in a grand showcase of new products, keynotes and vertical-specific breakout sessions. Startups traverse the planet to demonstrate their enterprise-ready solutions in transformative fields like AI, blockchain, and visual search. While networking with potential customers in a world-class city is a draw unto itself, we like to sweeten the deal by filling the startups’ schedules with customer meetings, media interviews, analyst briefings, and exclusive events like Founder to Founder. The Founder to Founder event brings startups together to discuss big ideas in entrepreneurship with the original founder, Oracle Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison. This is no typical fireside chat in a sterile hotel ballroom. Founder to Founder invites startups into Ellison’s San Francisco home to enjoy appetizers, drinks and conversation among his curated art collection and stunning views of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. And while it’s cool enough to simply sip a drink in Larry’s upscale home, the man himself has occasionally dropped by to offer candid advice for today’s entrepreneurs, gleaned from decades of success in the industry. It’s a high point in an already jam-packed week for startups attending OpenWorld. Access to Founder to Founder is an exclusive benefit for the entrepreneurs who have joined Oracle for Startups, but we’ll go ahead and share some of our favorite wisdom from Larry at last year’s event anyway. On Staying Curious "I think it's our job, as designers of our company, and imaginers of our company, to redesign the company constantly, based on what is technologically possible today that was not technologically possible yesterday. What has changed? If you don't constantly answer that question, you're going to be in trouble.... you must be willing to make a decision on Monday and then change your mind on Thursday." On Optimizing Your Life “Happiness is making progress in your life. Again, being smarter than you were (smart’s my word). Knowing things you didn’t know yesterday, being a better friend, being a better brother, being a better father, being a better boss, being a better programmer, being a better sales person. As you make progress in these things, it’s great when you notice it, and it’s maybe even better when both you and other people notice it. It’s very, very rewarding.” On Hiring “My rule for building the company … I mean, it’s just a bunch of people, right? That’s all we really are. I wanted to hire people that I enjoyed spending time with, and I thought were smart. You can’t do this by yourself. I don’t care how smart you are, or how hard you work. You can’t do everything. I used to think I was good at everything. Turned out not to be true. As founders, you must find people of diverse backgrounds that are good at the things you’re not good at.” On Making Progress and Staying Agile “Most people never finish their product before they start selling it. Even if they think they’ve finished their product. You may think you’ve finished your project, but you haven’t. You finish it while it’s installed at a customer site, or you make progress with the customer. You work with the customer, delivering value.” On Scaling the Right Way “If you measure something, it will get better. Be very careful to measure the right things. So, if you’re measuring sales, sales will get better. Measure quality, measure the right aspect s of quality, whatever you measure, that’s going to get better.” We are excited to be hosting another Founder to Founder event this year during OpenWorld, September 16–19 in San Francisco. If you are interested in joining Oracle for Startups and perhaps being one of the startups invited to a future event, go to oracle.com/startup and click “Join.”  

This post was originally published on Startup Grind's Medium page. Oracle for Startups has a tradition. Each year, we invite startups to San Francisco to present their solutions at Oracle OpenWorld....

Meet the Startups

Innovation Pays: The Five Fintech Startups Making Money More Interesting

Banks and big businesses are increasingly looking to fintechs for innovative offerings, enabling them to better fit into their customers' businesses and lives, and create personalized experiences and offerings that can grow with their users. From payment software to AI solutions, you can hear stories from the best at Sibos - the world’s premier financial services event. This year’s theme is ‘thriving in a hyper-connected world,’ which promises to recognize the challenges and opportunities that mass digitization and data-driven relationships present for finance and business. Ten enterprise cloud-ready startups are speaking, including several built on Oracle's Open Banking API system and working with Oracle for Startups. Bank for Your Life Stage As startups grow, their needs change, including what they want from financial services. Banks use Bankfi’s technology to provide business customers with the right solutions at the right stage, from self-employed individuals to SMEs and large corporations with sophisticated requirements. Bankifi’s service enables banks to create their own bundle of ‘micro services’ to combine the needs of businesses from invoicing and payments to accounting and other banking needs. At any stage, new services can be added or removed as the services are hosted and updated in the cloud. Blockchain Enables Trustworthy Transactions The potential uses of blockchain technologies are seemingly endless, from providing easy access to online payments to creating connected economies. But one of blockchain’s standout promises is to automate trust by providing an incorruptible platform for transactions. Quant’s Overledger is the world’s first blockchain operating system. It’s designed to provide any network in the world with a gateway to all other blockchains, and therefore enable companies to develop new solutions by incorporating features from multiple blockchain applications. Personalized Banking in Real Time Personal banking products are big news. Personetics is the leading provider of customer-facing AI solutions for banks, providing 65 million customers with useful extra bank services. Its Self-Driving Finance solutions lets banks learn more about their customers’ needs so they can provide more helpful insights into customers’ saving and spending habits and enable them to reach their financial goals. The service also allows banks to offer advice and simplify day-to-day money management, including automating some financial decisions. MarTech for Bankers As more banks and businesses do more deals online, standing out and engaging with customers is even more important than before. Perx Technologies offers a fully integrated SaaS solution that combines a next-gen MarTech platform with customer engagement and loyalty management. It lets marketers create personalized, revenue-generating digital experiences for consumers, boosting customer engagement up to 12x. Used by banks, it can increase engagement and revenue, while the software saves marketing teams time and effort by reducing campaign-to-market timelines from several weeks down to a few minutes. Get Everyone Paid Everyone likes being paid on time, but it’s all too easy for invoices to slip through the net, creating an annoyance for suppliers and big businesses. Previse enables large companies to pay their suppliers instantly, building trust and strengthening business relationships. It does this by using AI technology to analyze the data from the invoices that sellers send to their customers, to predict which invoices will likely go unpaid at the moment they are received. This means the rest of the invoices can be paid before they are approved, resulting in happy suppliers and businesses, which can save time and money using this technology. We wish all all attending fintech startups good luck at Sibos 2019! Visit our website to learn more about the startups working with Oracle to deliver modern business solutions in financial services and beyond. Meet the Startups. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.

Banks and big businesses are increasingly looking to fintechs for innovative offerings, enabling them to better fit into their customers' businesses and lives, and create personalized experiences and...

Meet the Startups

Brazilian Startup Uses AI to Boost Workplace Diversity

If you’ve ever got the feeling you didn’t get a job because of how you look, you’ll know how frustrating unconscious bias can be. But this could soon become a thing of the past thanks to Jobecam - a Brazilian startup using AI to eliminate bias in the recruitment process. Globally, just 15% of leadership positions are held by women according to a report by Deloitte, while in Jobecam’s home country of Brazil, black people hold a disproportionately small percentage of management positions, despite representing more than half of the population. “We live in a world with people from different ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds, but equal opportunity in the labor market is not always a reality – and we want to change that,” says Cammila Yochabell, CEO and Founder of Jobecam. The solution Jobecam was born out a frustrating job search experience that Yochabell had, when her degree in Oil & Gas put recruiters off hiring her despite a wealth of experience in HR. Later, while working as a recruitment professional, she found flaws in the hiring process that inspired her to launch Jobecam in 2016. Jobecam, the first platform for blind video interviews, uses video technology and intelligent algorithms to reduce bias during the hiring process. Instead of paper CVs, candidates apply using short videos in which their identities are obscured, and Jobecam’s tech records and transcribes what’s being said. Then, AI software ranks candidates against matching keywords and Q&A responses, all without (potentially biased) human intervention. Recruiters can watch the edited video, in which AI algorithms conceal the candidate’s identity by blurring their image and changing their voice. Only when a recruiter is satisfied with a candidate’s experience and skills, can they unblur the screen and reveal the candidate’s identity. “We help the decision-maker to evaluate candidates just for their competences, abilities and experiences instead of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, etc.” Yochabell says. “Beyond being more efficient in terms of time and cost for the recruiters, they can opt-in to activate the blind interview and bring more diversity to their companies, generating more engagement and better results in the workplace.” The results Oracle used Jobecam’s blind recruitment software for its intern program in Latin America, resulting in a more diverse intake, including more women. “Oracle already are a diverse company and we could help them - imagine what our software could do in companies without this inclusive vision.” Yochabell says. Having a more diverse workforce isn’t only good PR. Employees are 17% more engaged and willing to go the extra mile, conflicts fall by 50% and results are 60% better. Jobecam, Oracle and the future Jobecam’s business has grown more than 200% since joining Oracle’s startup program. The startup uses Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure to save videos and its API, resulting in reduced implementation time and costs. Yochabell has one big dream – to extend Jobecam’s reach. “In the future, we hope to help companies globally. Our mission is to change the world, valuing differences,” Yochabell says. Meet the startups who are changing modern business with Oracle for Startups.  

If you’ve ever got the feeling you didn’t get a job because of how you look, you’ll know how frustrating unconscious bias can be. But this could soon become a thing of the past thanks to Jobecam - a...

Meet the Startups

Clever cybersecurity startup helps make manufacturing smarter and safer

More than a century after Henry Ford installed the first moving assembly line, factories are growing smarter thanks to proliferations of sensors and connected equipment, dubbed the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Companies are keen to cash in on benefits, which include increased operational efficiency, productivity and worker safety, and the IoT budgets of large companies are expected to exceed $520bn over the next four years. However, 42% are worried about embracing IIoT technology because of security risks such as hacking, a Bain report reveals, with the costs associated with ransomware and downtime running into millions of dollars. Israeli startup SCADAfence is allowing manufacturers and big businesses to jump on the IoT bandwagon with confidence, as it’s the only security platform built to keep complex operational technology (OT) networks running smoothly as businesses embrace digital transformations, including IoT technology. Smart from the start The company was founded in 2014 in response to growth in the number of devices that are connecting to OT environments, as the IoT is more widely adopted. “We foresaw there will be more connections from the traditional or old school industrial devices into modernized IT environments. So we launched SCADAfence to enable organizations to be secure and to have full control of their OT environments as they adopt industrial IoT,” says CEO Elad Ben-Meir. How it works The software is deployed as a non-intrusive component in an OT network, by integrating with a mirroring port in network switches, so there is no impact on day-to-day operational processes. The platform algorithms are automatically configured without any input from the user or any downtime or the setup process, preventing this extra layer of technology from being intimidating to businesses. The software can then start to monitor the OT network activities, discovering all assets in the network and their characteristics. Through continuous monitoring, the SCADAfence algorithms offer real-time detection of malicious activities and deviations from normal behavioural profiles that could threaten the network - including cyber-attacks and non-malicious threats. “SCADAfence works better than all other products in our space since we do it at scale. We’re able to support smaller environments with dozens of devices and larger environments with tens of thousands of devices,” says Ben-Meir. How it’s used SCADAfence’s platform is currently being used by a global automotive company that needed to detect vulnerabilities and misconfigurations across its factory assets. Just as the business needs to produce four different cars on its production line, its networks need to be flexible. “SCADAfence’s algorithms were able to detect malicious and/or anomalous internal activities that jeopardized the operational continuity of the entire network,” Ben-Meir says, adding that the algorithms were the only ones to be able to spot constant changes to the network without sending hundreds of false positives to the security team. SCADAfence says its platform increases productivity and improves maintenance and predictive maintenance, while reducing downtime and the costs associated with ransomware or other cyber-attacks. These costs can be vast. Research in 2006 showed that an hour of downtime in the auto industry costs an average of $1,200,000, while a cyberattack cost Merck a staggering $670,000,000 in 2017. “These attacks could have been avoided if there was proper network monitoring solution in place,” Ben-Meir says. SCADAfence and Oracle SCADAfence has integrated with Oracle’s OT industrial platforms and intends to build a product designed to help customers adopt industrial OT security through it. “The correlation between operational data - such as productivity issues - and security incidents can help identify the root cause of issues and that’s how Oracle & SCADAfence can take securing OT to the next level,” Ben-Meir says. Being part of Oracle for Startups has connected the young company with industry leaders to help it shape its future in the IIoT space, while also identifying what challenges its customers face when adapting to cloud environments in their manufacturing facilities. The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has also helped SCADAfence work with organisations that have multiple facilities, helping it sell its SCADAfence MultiSite feature. The future The adoption of IoT technology has soared since the startup launched five years ago. “We’re seeing more demand from multiple industries in manufacturing like automotive, pharma, electronics, and food and beverage, as well as in chemical industries, utilities, oil and gas, as well as BMS industries such as hospitals, commercial buildings and airports,” Ben-Meir says. The startup is focusing on ensuring its platform can cope with every use case and is working with Oracle to make sure it can integrate with industry leaders. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.

More than a century after Henry Ford installed the first moving assembly line, factories are growing smarter thanks to proliferations of sensors and connected equipment, dubbed the Industrial Internet...

Startup Life

Is Over-Innovation the Real Hurdle to Scale?

This article was originally published on Startup Grinds Medium page.   One of the best parts of my job is witnessing startup founders and their teams build incredible things. These pioneers have taught me that an economy thrives when people innovate. Yet even more importantly, they know how to scale what they have created. I’ve seen this again and again within Oracle for Startups, and it never ceases to amaze me. A recent episode of Recode Decode with Kara Swisher challenged me to look at the concept of innovation more closely. Swisher was interviewing Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great, who revealed that only ten percent of innovators end up as winners in the end. “What we find is that there’s a threshold level of innovation you need to be at in any given industry, but once you get above that threshold, more and more innovation isn’t what distinguishes,” Collins said. “Far more important is your ability to scale innovation.” Those few sentences inspired me to consider a question that I’d never thought about before: What if we don’t actually need more innovation, but less? What if the real problem with innovation is over-innovation? Bringing a cannon to a gunfight Collins supported my thought process by discussing a principle he calls “fire bullets” and “fire cannonballs.” His premise is that entrepreneurs have a very limited window of opportunity for success, which he compares to having a limited amount of gunpowder on a ship. If an enemy is bearing down and you use all your gunpowder at once, you’re taking a huge risk. If you miss, you’ll end up in a sea littered with startups who made the same mistake. Alternatively, you can gain the upper hand by shooting a few bullets, recalibrating, and then firing your cannonball when the time is right. In this analogy, the ships that shoot, adjust, and wait to fire their big shot are the startups that have the wherewithal to scale. This is the difference between strategic innovation and over-innovation. Strategic innovators win in the long haul. The ongoing rivalry between Snapchat and Instagram illustrates this analogy perfectly. While Snapchat is known for constant innovation, Instagram took their concept of stories and ran with it at scale. (Founder Kevin Systrom even admitted to stealing the idea.) Despite this morally murky tactic, Instagram now has twice as many daily users as Snapchat. Friends don’t let friends overdo it Over-innovation can look like delaying a launch because you’re tweaking your tech, not making a move until the perfect moment, or focusing on the new aspects of your company without improving the old. And to put it bluntly, it kills startups. Through Oracle for Startups, we’ve seen how integrations with Oracle Cloud solutions provide a path to help startups scale without falling into the trap of over-innovation. We have three pieces of advice to help founders bring something great into the world for scale: 1) Get comfortable with really good: It’s hard for many founders to let go of perfection. But eventually, you have to let your creation loose into the wild. Tweaking it for too long will make you miss your window of opportunity to scale. 2) Listen, learn and adapt: Once your product is out in the world, be open to feedback and prepared to iterate. Thankfully, Oracle teams have incredible insights into what enterprises want. Your product iterations could lead to Oracle integrations that give your startup global scale. 3) Shift to a scale mindset: Start thinking bigger to support bigger. Can your company support and sustain scale? Do you have the right sales force? Can you handle increased customer service requests? Prepare for success, otherwise your company could go under just when the going gets good. Israeli startup SCADAfence is one example of an organization thriving with Oracle integrations. Their cyber-security industrial (IIoT) solution integrates with Oracle’s OT industrial platforms, allowing them to help companies with large-scale operational technology networks to mitigate operational threats. Oracle connected the young company with industry leaders to shape its future in the IIoT space, while also identifying challenges its customers face when adapting to cloud environments in their manufacturing facilities. Our mission at Oracle for Startups is to understand the needs of our partnered companies, scale their technology, and boost their business. As Jenny Griffiths, the founder and CEO of Snap Tech said, “Oracle’s startup program has been invaluable for Snap Tech because they understand our needs and have resources to help scale our technology and grow our business. They are a fantastic group of people truly invested in our company’s growth. Oracle is instrumental in helping us scale and innovate.” ‘Innovation’ has become one of those buzzwords that gets tossed around the boardroom, with few companies doing it well. Startups can scale, staying focused on customer needs and meaningful growth, without innovating themselves right out of business. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.

This article was originally published on Startup Grinds Medium page.   One of the best parts of my job is witnessing startup founders and their teams build incredible things. These pioneers have taught...

Meet the Startups

Brazil-based logistics company starts a blockchain reaction with Oracle

It’s hard to overstate the vastness of Brazil – a country that’s bigger than the contiguous US, twice the size of the EU and whose 12th largest state is as large as the UK. So it comes as no surprise that receiving a parcel from an online retailer might test your patience, when there is complex terrain and a rainforest standing in the way. Cloud logistics management startup Intelipost intends to make shipping easier and more cost effective for ecommerce sites operating in Brazil.  An Oracle for Startups partner since 2017, Intelipost is now using Blockchain to deliver an even more efficient package for its customers. A logistical nightmare Seven years ago, founder and CEO Stefan Rehm noticed Brazil had a logistics problem. He set up Intelipost in 2014 to help online retailers find a better way to distribute their products and offer a better customer experience in the huge country, which also suffers from a lack of investment in infrastructure and has no train network. Intelipost’s technology works its magic at the point of sale on a retailer’s website, with no extra steps for customers. Shoppers simply put in their zip code and Intelipost’s algorithms suggest the best delivery options available for each shipment, allowing the customer to choose whether they want to save more money or time. As soon as the order is competed, Intelipost helps the retailer print the shipping label, call the transporter to pick up the package, and track the shipments, sending updates along to the customer via email, SMS or WhatsApp. The customer saves time and money on their delivery, and retailers benefit from using  Intelipost too. “With one of our customers, we’ve managed to increase their shipping conversion rates by 10%. That’s a lot. And for others, we’ve reduced shipping costs by 30% by choosing the best and cheapest option and by automating all the tasks that are usually manual,” Rehm says. The complete package Intelipost was one of six startups to take part in Oracle’s first startup cloud accelerator program in Brazil and received guidance, free cloud products and networking help. Since its founding, Intelipost has doubled the size of its staff and revenue, and now counts some of the top retailers in Brazil as well as multinationals such as Nespresso and Chanel as customers. The startup’s rapid scaling is in part due to its integration with the Oracle Commerce Cloud, which makes it easier for new customers to use the solution and save their customers money and time to deployment. The company was also a beta tester and early adopter of Oracle’s Blockchain Platform.  The platform provides software and server infrastructure for companies to set up and manage networks of distributed ledgers, and use them to monitor supply chains, process business transactions and streamline existing business processes around supply chain, identity, cross-border payments, and fraud detection. Adopting the Oracle Blockchain Platform has helped position Intelipost at the cutting edge.  “We’re on the way to really implementing blockchain in our principal product, and connecting some of our ecosystem partners on that platform, as well as creating the first blockchain for logistics in Brazil,” says Rehm, who anticipates it will take 3-10 years for blockchain to find its place in the corporate world. A better future together Rehm says the partnership with Oracle has brought sales opportunities and has had a direct impact on financial results. In the coming 12-18 months, Intelipost plans on expanding across Latin America and to offline retailers too. He believes blockchain has the potential to bring companies together, accelerate business processes and lead to more data consistency. Rehm believes the real challenge of blockchain is a lack of understanding of the technology’s potential. By bringing companies together, hosting hackathons, recording podcasts and speaking at events, he hopes to spread the message of blockchain and partnerships with enterprise solutions like Oracle’s. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing exposure for your startup.

It’s hard to overstate the vastness of Brazil – a country that’s bigger than the contiguous US, twice the size of the EU and whose 12th largest state is as large as the UK. So it comes as no surprise...

Startup Life

How to Overcome Bias to Hire the Best Talent

In the latest ‘Stories from the Cloud’ podcast, Jason Williamson, Vice President of Oracle for Startups and Zara Nanu, CEO of Gapsquare, talk on the current state of diversity in business and the ways in which technology can help close the gender pay gap. Gapsquare builds software to help automate pay equality and has been part of the Oracle for Startups program since 2018. The discussion examines why hiring diverse teams are good for business. Research from both Harvard University and McKinsey have highlighted how more diverse businesses perform better. Despite these findings, unconscious bias makes hiring talent more complex. Gapsquare’s solutions help overcome these biases to hire and retain the best talent. It is possible for algorithms to actually reinforce biases through AI and machine learning, accelerating inequality. Therefore, Nanu asserts companies should be aware of existing data bias, and leverage experts to monitor the process to ensure a more equal outcome. To create a diverse and equitable workplace, leaders can also examine their own underlying principles. Williamson reflects on how his value system has been shaped by raising a daughter with special needs. “Seeing how she has had to battle to be on the same playing field as others has helped me think of this topic on a more fundamental level.” As Nanu noted, when people think of hiring, they often consider how new hires will fit in the company culture, leading people to hire someone similar to them. Gapsquare’s experts encourage hiring based on the required skills and values for the role, which can lead to a much more diverse team. Value-based hiring allows companies to bring in people with differing points of view, contributing to disruption of the status-quo and encouraging new ways of thinking.  While fundamental views can take a long time to examine and change, leaders are encouraged to let the results of a more diverse team speak for themselves. And technology can help drive towards a more diverse, fair and valuable workplace. Listen to the Stories from the Cloud podcast here.   JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.  

In the latest ‘Stories from the Cloud’ podcast, Jason Williamson, Vice President of Oracle for Startups and Zara Nanu, CEO of Gapsquare, talk on the current state of diversity in business and the ways...

Meet the Startups

Cutting Service Response Times By 40% Jatana is Empowering AI-enabled Customer Service

Online shopping makes life easier…most of time. But we’ve all had orders that have gone AWOL or aren’t quite what we expected, only to have to spend days trying to talk to an online shop and get some information to resolve the annoying situation. Jatana was started in 2017 to put an end to these frustrations and is already saving customers and businesses time and money. Its custom AI chatbots use text recognition and artificial intelligence to answer customers’ questions within seconds. What’s the problem? With global ecommerce sales predicted to top $4.88tr in 2021, you can bet there will be more unhappy and confused shoppers for brands to handle. Jatana aims to help by providing an AI-enabled customer service platform that’s capable of integrating with popular help desks, to enhance a human support team. Its ultimate goal is to help brands deliver greater customer experiences at scale by automating the support process. The startup’s software uses AI to address repetitive issues, assisting agents with suggested replies, and can even resolve simple problems without human intervention. It uses natural language processing and conversational automation processing in order to understand the content in a query or problem. It then decides on an appropriate answer in a matter of milliseconds, interfacing with the necessary backend systems, having learned how to behave from historical data. Because of this multi-layered analysis, Jatana is capable of understanding what a company’s customers are looking for and can connect to 3rd party systems to fetch the required information needed to answer questions, and automate previously manual tasks to take the strain off of human teams. Of course, some problems may be too complex for algorithms to solve alone, but the software can still suggest a template that a human agent can use to formulate a reply. Tried and tested Jatana’s customers within the ecommerce space have demonstrated that it’s possible to reduce the average response time by 40%. “You’re talking about huge numbers. There are cases where we have made up to 96-97% of specific tasks automated.” says Francesco Stasi, Founder and CEO of Jatana. Scandinavian store KitchenTime says Jatana has helped cut its response time to queries by 50% within a month, while another of its clients says its staff now have more time to create campaigns and offer personalised support to its main customers, with the AI capable of handling half of incoming queries within three months. What’s next? Stasi believes chatbot automation is still in its infancy, and will soar in the coming years as consumers get used to talking to computers. While we are currently experiencing an AI revolution, Jatana says it is going through an “educational phase” as the majority of the ecommerce industry either doesn’t know how AI could help, or has unrealistic expectations. AI technology is not yet capable of replacing a human customer service agent, but Jatana’s technology can automate the most repetitive tasks. The result is a boost to team efficiency, freeing humans up to handle more complex inquiries, as well as saving a company time and money it costs to hire and train new employees. So, despite AI scare stories, customer service jobs for humans are safe and may well become more varied and interesting as more mundane tasks are delegated to AI. Working with Oracle? Being part of Oracle for Startups has helped Jatana spread its message, while running on Oracle Cloud helps the startup feel secure and safe.  Stasi says Oracle’s large customer base has given the company a lot of visibility, while running on Oracle’s solid cloud infrastructure means Jatana can be sure its customers’ data is always safe and private, because with Oracle, “it’s all taken care of”. He says it takes time to work the partnership but it really gives them a scale that would be difficult to find without the partnership. “It’s been a great journey and we think the best is yet to come.” JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.

Online shopping makes life easier…most of time. But we’ve all had orders that have gone AWOL or aren’t quite what we expected, only to have to spend days trying to talk to an online shop and get some...

Meet the Startups

The OpenWorld 2019 Startups Opening Our Eyes and Ears to New Technologies

It wasn’t long ago that iris recognition and talking to a computer were fantastical details in sci-fi films. Now, unlocking our phones with our eyes and asking Siri and Alexa for help are part of our everyday lives. Technology developed by the startups attending this year’s  OpenWorld in San Francisco taps into our senses to deliver some innovative benefits for companies and consumers alike. A handful of very different startups have set their sights on visual technology, from using it to equalize the job market to finding the perfect little black dress, while others have harnessed the power of sound to carve a niche in growing markets. Makes sense to us! Here’s looking at you… Snap Tech uses visual search technology to enable consumers to shop for clothes simply by taking a photograph. Its clever algorithms suggest items that are similar in colour and shape from around 250 retailers, and allow users to buy them directly from those shops’ sites. The London-based startup works with retailers and publishers to make the online shopping experience more satisfying for consumers and more profitable for businesses. A cloud rendering and simulation service company, GridMarkets delivers specialised environments for animation and visual effects creators, which is also well-suited to drug discovery and financial services. The startup integrates access to high-performance computational cloud resources into the end-users’ compute demanding applications, collaborating with leading artists from top Hollywood studios to serve customers in more than 90 countries. IDenTV utilises machine learning and AI, powered by computer vision and automated speech recognition, to convert unstructured video into searchable and actionable metadata, transforming how users understand and interact with video assets. Its Intelligent Video Platform and real time media monitoring of video, web based text, and social media is designed to provide unique insight into data and trends across the web. For example, it can be used to monitor TV and video streaming channels and provide analytics about content, analyse security videos and monitor video footage for violence, nudity or other footage deemed illicit. Jobecam uses video technology to help recruiters reduce unconscious bias during the hiring process, levelling the playing field in the job market. The platform lets users record video CVs and participate in recorded interviews. AI technology is then used to transcribe answers and rank candidates for a recruiter, who watch blurred videos of prospective hires so  employees can be chosen based on talents and experience. Sounds like a good idea Jubi.ai creates voice and chat-based intuitive bots for some of the largest financial services and fintech businesses in India (and soon, globally). Its AI platform is designed to empower support teams with tools that increase efficiency by allowing deep learning algorithms to make sense of a customer’s query and trigger automated responses. The result is a cost-effective solution that unlocks ROI and helps brands deliver greater customer experiences at scale through automation. Jatana is another startup creating custom AI chatbots using text recognition and artificial intelligence to answer customers’ questions within seconds. The company's software uses AI to address repetitive issues, assisting agents with suggested replies, and can even resolve simple problems without human intervention. It uses natural language processing to understand the content in a query or problem, then decides on an appropriate answer in a matter of milliseconds, using training from historical data. The startup's tools reduce costs, increase efficiency, and automate repetitive processes, bridging the gap between customer service and artificial intelligence. Find out more about the startups attending OpenWorld here. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.

It wasn’t long ago that iris recognition and talking to a computer were fantastical details in sci-fi films. Now, unlocking our phones with our eyes and asking Siri and Alexa for help are part of our...

Meet the Startups

A Close Look at How AI Is Transforming the In-Store Experience

This blog post was originally published on the Oracle Artificial Intelligence Blog and was written by Susana Zoghbi, CEO and Founder of Macty. In just a few years, it will be practically impossible to find a single industry left unaffected by the meteoric rise of Artificial Intelligence. This disruptive blend of computer science, statistical models, and reasoning with big data is propelling the Fourth Industrial Revolution forward and changing core industries like agriculture, energy and healthcare while also hinting at solutions to a range of modern challenges. But how is the world of retail using AI to transform the in-store environment to offer superior experiences and achieve higher revenues? Three Key Challenges for Retail Each day, millions of dollars are spent by customers around the world in brick-and-mortar retail locations. This dynamic is, of course, being challenged by the rise of e-commerce: in 2017 alone, 1.6 billion shoppers purchased goods online. Retail locations have three key challenges that must be resolved to level the playing field. Firstly, retail stores must successfully capitalize on the physical locations they own to give consumers new, fun and innovative experiences. The real-world location of retail stores is a big advantage, given the preference some consumers demonstrate for real-world experiences, where they can feel and fit products. Secondly, retail stores have to improve at blending the digital and physical worlds to offer seamless, frictionless experiences to consumers. People expect to be able to shop within multiple channels, at anytime and anywhere. Finally, retail stores have to compete when it comes to data. E-commerce stores can collect swathes of business-critical data about consumers and their habits, while many physical locations fail to glean the proper insights from in-person customers. How AI Can Help Will retail stores succeed in conquering those challenges? Their best chance is through the deployment of AI technologies. There are a range of intriguing and promising AI projects in the works, all the way from humanoid robots to no-checkout stores. At the forefront of this surge in AI technologies, we take a closer look at tools that create new shopping experiences for retail stores to engage and inspire their customers, while boosting their sales. Snap to Shop This tool allows shoppers to upload an image of an item they wish to buy, for example an outfit they like the look of, or a piece of furniture. With computer vision algorithms, the image is parsed into shop-able items and a recommendation system serves up a range of similar products within the retail store. This is a powerful opportunity for retail stores to personalize the shopping experience and offer products that really resonate with customers. Complete the Look Using this tool, customers can upload an image of an item they want to complement, for example a person already has a nice blouse, but they are looking to create the full outfit. The system will then find products, e.g., matching pants, shoes and accessories in the store that go well with the initial item. This helps retailers to increase the basket size of consumers while also inspiring cross-selling. Customer Insights A consumer insights tool is capable of conducting rich demographic analysis while also complying with GDPR and respecting the privacy of your visitors. This anonymized information can be used by stores to create a range of useful insights that can drive informed business decisions. For example, you will be able to answer questions like: What are the age and gender distributions of the people that visit the store? How do these demographics compare between different stores? What is the sentiment of shoppers throughout the store? Where do people spend more time, and where are the dead zones? This helps stores to optimize the shopping experience. Getting Started with AI For some retail stores, getting started with AI can seem like an impossible task. This is not the case, though, and the longer those businesses wait the longer they miss out on exciting opportunities that could help their business to thrive in the digital age. While each store is unique, there is a common path that stores can take to AI success. Identify the Challenge To get started, it’s important that stores begin by evaluating the specific needs that they have. This can be done by taking a detailed look at the business and how customers currently interact with the store. If a store finds, for example, that it is failing to encourage shoppers to interact with stock, it can begin to strategize on how this can be resolved. Perhaps a new piece of in-store technology – alongside a marketing push – will be able to help the store to have shoppers explore inventory in more depth. Decide on Sourcing Once the need has been accurately identified, it is time for the store to begin thinking about how the AI technology will be sourced. There are two options here: choosing a provider or developing the technology in-house. Many stores will, naturally, not have the capacities to produce in-house AI systems. If this is the case, however, this option means that stores can produce a tool that fits specifically to its direct needs. Control over the system also means that it can be tweaked and adjusted on the fly. When it comes to choosing a provider, stores have more options available than ever before. Stores that choose this path will work with a professional partner and have a sophisticated system that can be installed to boost results. Many providers will provide analytics and interfaces that are easy to understand, boosting the value of the AI system. Launch the Pilot After identifying a provider, it is time for the store to launch a pilot. This short test period will help to smoothly implement the technology, verifying its efficacy and how the system itself functions. H&M, for example, is currently trialing a smart mirror that suggests outfits for customers… and the results are looking promising so far. If the store chose to work with a provider, this pilot can act as a trial phase and the working relationship can be developed further. Based on the results of the pilot phase, a series of adjustments can be made. An Exciting Future Awaits As our common understanding of AI continues to improve and the various tools and technologies mature, transformative opportunities await sellers. Retailers share this belief too: findings from Juniper Research suggest that in retail, global spending on AI will leap from $2 billion in 2018 to an estimated $7.3 billion a year by 2022. The future looks bright and if current performance is any indication, that investment is a smart one. About Susana Zoghbi Susana Zoghbi, Co-Founder & CEO, Macty  Susana is a researcher and entrepreneur in a quest to help businesses grow with Artificial Intelligence. She received a PhD in Computer Science and her research focused on cross-modal processing of textual and visual Information.  She designed deep neural network architectures and probabilistic graphical models to understand visual and textual content from e-commerce and social media. Her work has been published in top conferences and journals in Artificial Intelligence. She has worked for NASA as a Deep Learning Researcher to automatically search for long-period comets that might impact Earth. She has also worked for Microsoft Research in Cambridge, where she focused on machine learning for optimizing environments for large scale software development. Before her PhD, she obtained two Masters degrees, one in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, where her research focused on human-robot interaction technologies, and one in Mathematical Physics, where she focused on gravitational fluctuations in Domain Wall Spacetimes. In 2014, she was granted a Google Anita Borg award for her contributions in Computer Science and her community. Follow Susana @susanazog  JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.

This blog post was originally published on the Oracle Artificial Intelligence Blog and was written by Susana Zoghbi, CEO and Founder of Macty. In just a few years, it will be practically impossible to...

Startup Life

Humanize Investors to Win Them Over

This blog post was authored by Lee Reeves, Business Development Manager, Oracle for Startups.   Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to represent Oracle for Startups at FUND Conference Chicago. FUND Chicago brings together investment-focused people, companies, and community leaders to redefine and accelerate how entrepreneurs and investors meet and grow together. We’re ALL human, no matter what title we don at work, a startup conference, or an investor pitch. Remembering that simple truth is the first step in nailing your pitch in front of investors. With that in mind, here are 7 more things you can do  to make an impact on your audience: Introduce Yourself and Your Company: Who are you and what does your company do? Be Brief: Lay out the problem and how your solution solves it. Describe the Problem – at a high level! Don’t run the risk of losing your audience by going too deep.  Keep it simple! Offer a Solution: Why are you solving this problem?  Why is it important to solve this problem right now? Explain your Goals: What do you want to accomplish?  And in what timeframe? Show How your Solution is Different: Tell them about your ‘secret sauce’, without giving away the farm! Brag a Little: What have you accomplished in the last few months?  Have you formed any strategic partnerships?  Landed a paid pilot? Share your success. Throughout your pitch, remember to own your story, and connect on a human level.  Focus on making a connection with the person first, investor second, because investors are humans too!    People invest in people.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

This blog post was authored by Lee Reeves, Business Development Manager, Oracle for Startups.   Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to represent Oracle for Startups at FUND Conference Chicago....

Fintech Startup Uses AI to Help Companies Cut Tail Spend

‘Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.’ A fintech startup is putting this old English proverb into practice by using AI to help companies cut their tail spend – the relatively small payments accounting for 20% of a company’s spend but involving 80 per cent of suppliers. Fairmarkit’s tail spend management platform uses machine learning to increase procurement control, yielding greater efficiencies and savings of 6-12%. Why is tail spend a problem? Tail spend tends to go untracked and analyzed by the majority of companies because the purchases are often too small to go through procurement and are not frequent enough to be included in catalogued systems. But of course, all these transactions add up. As well as missing out on cost savings, companies that do not have a handle on their tail spend can also incur operational risks by not noticing unknown vendors and risky transactions. This area is the easiest to hide maverick purchasing, wasteful buying and even fraud. Fairmarkit was founded in 2017 and uses machine learning technology to automate the process of analyzing tail spend. It is currently the only tool focused exclusively on this area of the payment process. How AI is solving the problem The opaque nature of tail spend makes analyzing it a daunting task for businesses. While technology exists to tackle the momentous task, it is not perfect, and problems can go undetected. Fairmarkit streamlines and optimizes sourcing and payment processes for goods and services by identifying and recommending suppliers from a company’s pre-approved vendors to participate in sourcing events, using its machine learning technology. While it first suggests known vendors, it later begins inviting vetted outside vendors to bid for business to drive extra value, and provides data to show companies top performing and most trustworthy vendors (as well as others that should be excluded from future opportunities). Fairmarkit also manages payments to tail spend suppliers and service providers to save the accounts department’s time. “By automating tail spend sourcing and vendor management tasks with Fairmarkit, a team can focus on critical strategic activities instead of manual tasks, ultimately increasing spend under management,” says Fairmarkit’s COO and Founder, Tarek Alaruri. The technology is currently being used in a wide range of sectors, including public transportation and telecoms. The company says its customers experience savings of 32% on average and a 60% reduction in the time it takes to source a purchase. Each of its customers has seen a return on its investment in just one month of use, which the company determined from the savings in spend that goes through Fairmarkit’s system. For example, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, (MBTA) which operates in the company’s home city of Boston, saved more than $100,000 every month, because the system allowed it to collect more bids than before. If financial and time savings aren’t enough, Fairmarkit says one ‘unexpected’ benefit of its tool is creating positive press for MBTA, because the public sees that the company and local government is doing its best to save taxpayer money, as well as supporting local startups. Fairmarkit and Oracle Fairmarkit uses Oracle’s sandboxes to test and build out integrations, but Aluri says the biggest benefit to being part of the Oracle for Startups program is networking. “One big perk has been that the Oracle team has introduced us to many Fortune 500 companies, including inviting us to exclusive events to meet prospective customers,” he explains. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

‘Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.’ A fintech startup is putting this old English proverb into practice by using AI to help companies cut their tail spend –...

Startup Life

Startups Can Win With the Enterprise: Here Are Six Stories How

I had the honor to be in Tel Aviv this week for meetings with startups and to speak at the TheMarker and TAU Innovation (TMTI) Summit. And I really mean honor – Israel is the Startup Nation, a country where innovation reigns supreme. I was amazed to learn first-hand all the incredible companies, developments, and the sheer pace of technology coming out of Israel. It is indeed the Startup Nation. These are the six stories that I shared with the audience at the TMTI Summit. Four are pulled straight from the startups that are innovating on Oracle Cloud through the Oracle for Startups program, and two directly from Oracle founder and CTO, Larry Ellison. Do Something Different Living in Silicon Valley, I can’t put my socks on in the morning before hearing a new mention of “innovation.”  The term has almost lost all meaning! To win with the enterprise startups must think beyond the buzzwords and actually do something different. Israeli startup BrandTotal provides an excellent example. Did you know 85% of the sponsored posts on Facebook are “dark posts”? There is a massive gap in marketing visibility across digital platforms called “dark marketing”.  BrandTotal shines a light on dark marketing, revealing hidden digital strategies – and it’s giving marketers across the globe a competitive edge. Using cyber-security techniques and machine learning, BrandTotal exposes the competition’s campaigns and delivers insights so marketers can adjust their strategies in real time.  This is a game-changer in the world of digital marketing. By doing something different, BrandTotal got Oracle’s attention. Together, we are helping enterprise marketers level-up their abilities to innovate. Reinvigorate the Sales Team Have you ever been on a website and discovered that their chat app literally does not speak your language? BotSupply saw this customer service shortcoming as an opportunity to put some spark into sales, and built the technology to do it. BotSupply extends the Oracle Digital assistant to 30+ languages using its unique natural language processing (NLP), enabling customers to easily design, build and manage bots. Their technology both enhanced Oracle’s solution and helped Oracle sales teams across the globe close deals. In fact, BotSupply is currently in 50 to 60 sales cycles with Oracle in addition to existing joint customers, and the pipeline shows no signs of slowing down. Add “road warrior” to CEO and cofounder Asser Smidt’s resume, as he has partnered with Oracle sales to meet with customers across the globe. The partnership delivers business to BotSupply and innovation for Oracle and our customers. That’s what we call a win-win-win situation. Drive ROI with Complementary Technology Startup ingenuity wins when it complements and enhances enterprise tech. Tail-spend management platform Fairmarkit knew this from the start. While tail spend accounts for only 20% of an enterprise’s annual spend, it makes up 80% of a vendor’s transactions, creating a management nightmare. Fairmarkit’s platform uses machine learning to let companies have better control of their procurement, and provide savings up to 32%.  Fairmarkit COO and cofounder Tarek Alaruri knew the importance of their technology – but more importantly the importance of creating a more complete procurement platform for Oracle customers. “Our partnership with Oracle has not only played an integral role in our growth as a startup, but it has allowed customers we share with Oracle to seamlessly add tail spend management to their overall ERP ecosystem,” said Alaruri. “Together, we are collaboratively solving big problems for our customers.” Transparency Advances Relationships According to Jenny Griffiths, Snap Tech founder and CEO: “Oracle’s startup program has been invaluable for Snap Tech because they understand our needs and have resources to help scale our technology and grow our business. They are a fantastic group of people truly invested in our company’s growth.” Well thank you, Jenny, but it’s your approach to this relationship that deserves the kudos. Not only is their technology undeniably cool, but Jenny and her team approached Oracle for Startups with openness, transparency and a collaborative spirit. Jenny and her team have developed relationships across key areas of Oracle –  from product developers to marketing and events teams.  When working with an enterprise, startups help themselves by being up front and transparent about their goals, and willing to collaborate and work hard together. Embrace Diversity Every year during Oracle OpenWorld, Larry Ellison hosts an event for the founders in our Oracle for Startups program.  It’s a truly special evening of sharing stories and lessons learned—founder to founder. The best part is we get Larry at his most candid, insightful, practical and entertaining. “You can’t do everything. I used to think I was good at everything. Turned out not to be true.  As founders, you must find people of diverse backgrounds that are good at the things you’re not good at,” he said. It’s a simple lesson, but an important reminder to embrace diversity (of backgrounds and thought) for long-term success. Stay Curious You can’t be a successful entrepreneur without a constant need to learn, progress and stay curious. This is an ongoing theme with Larry. “The old solution to customers’ problems may no longer be the best solution. When you see that, it’s an opportunity—or a threat. It’s our job as founders and developers to constantly change our companies based on technology available today that wasn’t available yesterday…be willing to make a decision on Monday and then change your mind on Thursday,” he says. Stay curious, ask questions, watch for changes in the industry, in your business, in yourself. Change may be the portal to opportunity. Startups in Israel and worldwide have embraced the opportunity to collaborate with Oracle through Oracle for Startups, and we’re honored that they have. We’ve learned as much from this diverse group of innovators as they have from us, and we can’t wait to continue to evolve with the entrepreneurs who are shaping the future of the enterprise.  JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.                   

I had the honor to be in Tel Aviv this week for meetings with startups and to speak at the TheMarker and TAU Innovation (TMTI) Summit. And I really mean honor – Israel is the Startup Nation, a country...

Startup Life

Every Startup in the Blockchain with Oracle Cloud and Chainlink

Let’s say that again. Every Startup in the Blockchain with Oracle Cloud and Chainlink. A bold statement, but being bold is a core part of the Oracle for Startups ethos. In fact, it’s part of the vision of every startup we work with too. ‘Every Startup in the Blockchain’ is the bold vision that underpinned the Oracle for Startups new initiative announced during CloudEXPO. In a session at the Silicon Valley event, we announced that Oracle for Startups is going to co-develop Chainlinks with 50 qualified startups. (join the program now to participate!). So why should startups and their customers care about this concept of Every Startup in the Blockchain? The blockchain applications include smart contracts that execute on the platform, like Oracle Blockchain Platform (a hardened and pre-assembled blockchain-as-a-service based on Hyperledger Fabric open source from Linux Foundation). Triggered by external requests, they have business logic that evaluates data and generates the next set of ledger updates.  If a blockchain can guarantee that a travel expense is within policy, for example, a smart contract can generate a payment order on an ERP system without any further approvals. Usually smart contracts evaluate the data included in the on-chain ledger and the payload included in the request, but they may also need to get data from other external or internal sources in a trusted and deterministic manner (multiple nodes executing the same smart contract gets the same response). If your startup can tell that a flight was a cheaper alternative for an employee at booking time (i.e. Smartrips), or that your inventory needs to be re-balanced across retailers (i.e. INCREFF), or how long it is going to take to deliver a package to your customer (i.e. iGeolise), you can open up additional revenue streams by selling this information to blockchain applications. What about the LINK token? Enterprises using Chainlink to call startups’ APIs through Chainlinks would pay Chainlink node operators using the LINK token. The missing piece for supplying the data to smart contracts has been decentralized middleware technology to reliably and consistently provide off-chain data to these applications running in the blockchain nodes. You don’t want to bring bad data to a blockchain party, all inputs must be evaluated by a trusted “blockchain oracle” network like Chainlink, which can then timestamp and wrap them with non-repudiable signatures before providing them to smart contracts. Sergey Nazarov, CEO of Chainlink said about the relationship, “We're excited about enabling the next generation of externally connected smart contracts together with Oracle for Startups, successfully generating an order of magnitude improvement in the usefulness and quality of the smart contracts available today.” The Oracle for Startups team will publish content about launching Chainlink nodes on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), integrating them with Oracle Blockchain Platform, and best practices for developing smart contracts that integrate to Chainlink in the coming months. The excitement from the community has been fantastic both before and after the announcement at CloudEXPO.   We’re thrilled to work with great companies like Oracle and their @oraclestartup team, which has graciously offered to support 50+ Chainlink nodes/teams that will be providing high-quality inputs and outputs into Oracle’s various blockchain environments @fribeiro1 #smartcontracts pic.twitter.com/MqFW6faS5d — Chainlink - Official Channel (@chainlink) June 25, 2019     Fernando Ribeiro & Pablo Freitas’ Oracle Chainlink Keynote is viewed 6,000 times in 6 hours as we streamed the talk live!https://t.co/qOraxQ8MnG@Oracle @ORCLBlockchain @FRibeiro1 #FinTech #Blockchain #Chainlink #Hyperledger #AI #IoT #Bitcoin #Ethereum #DigitalTransformation https://t.co/sHm2SkqYak pic.twitter.com/63gxKTkWoC — CloudEXPO ® (@CloudExpo) June 29, 2019     Oracle’s Blockchain Chainlink session received 22,000 Twitter impressions, Ribeiro session upgraded to the keynote hall @Oracle @ORCLBlockchain @fribeiro1 @chainlink @OracleStartup #AI #IoT #IIoT #FinTech #DataCenter #Blockchain #Bitcoin #ChainLink #SmartContracts #SmartCities pic.twitter.com/wFS4h5wKtR — CloudEXPO ® (@CloudExpo) June 22, 2019   Join Oracle for Startups to co-develop Chainlinks with Oracle for Startups, with free cloud credits and 70% discounts from day 1, as well as access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.

Let’s say that again. Every Startup in the Blockchain with Oracle Cloud and Chainlink. A bold statement, but being bold is a core part of the Oracle for Startups ethos. In fact, it’s part of the vision...

Partners/Advisors

The Marathon Startup - Advice on How to Ensure Longevity For Your Business From Diego Pantoja-Navajas

In 2000, Diego Pantoja-Navajas arrived at Georgia Tech from South America. In 2016, this founder and CEO sold his startup Logfire to Oracle. In this video from Oracle Academy, Diego reflects on his experiences as an entrepreneur and offers 7 pieces of advice to help build your startup. Start with a good idea and be prepared to move quickly. Successful startups begin with a strong idea and a goal in mind. Build your startup’s mission statement around the end goal, and let your passion for the original idea get you there. Remember things will move quickly - a year in the life of a startup is equivalent to 7 years in the enterprise world. Build a diverse team. At Logfire, Diego built a team of experts from all around the world. With different experiences, ideas and perspectives, the team became strong, believing there were no issues they could not solve. Brainstorm sessions get stronger when a diversity of ideas is present.   Have money on your mind. Having a profitable business is important. Focus on how you can show your traction in the market, demonstrate your business model and how your strategy makes a difference in your target market. You need to get the company to a level where it is self-sustaining and profitable. Know where to sell. Think carefully about the best markets for your startup – sometimes the biggest market isn’t always the best. Check your progress. If we are not on track, why? Don’t shy away from bad news: it won’t get better with time. The sooner you can find out where you need to adjust, the better. Have fun! Startups spend a lot of time in the office. Work hard, but find the balance. (Diego is a big proponent of a ping-pong table in the office.) Stay the course with good tech. Look for business solutions with the right technology for your business and team to set yourself up . Entrepreneurship is a marathon, every mile you achieve is great, but you know you have many more to run. There should always be new challenges on the horizon. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.  Watch the video here:  

In 2000, Diego Pantoja-Navajas arrived at Georgia Tech from South America. In 2016, this founder and CEO sold his startup Logfire to Oracle. In this video from Oracle Academy, Diego reflects on his...

Meet the Startups

How Refugees Sparked this Startup to Solve the Enterprise Identity Crisis

In the spring of 2016, technologists Karyl Fowler and Orie Steele entered Austin’s first blockchain hackathon contest aimed at solving mobility challenges which drew project topics from smart parking apps to addressing social mobility barriers. At the time, thousands of refugees were pouring into Europe with no means to identify themselves. Government organizations had no integrated way to validate and track identities across the variety of disparate systems they use to manage the asylum process, complicating an already massive humanitarian crisis. So, Fowler and Steele built an identity management application for refugees that was user-centric, secure and traceable. That application won them the hackathon... and sparked an idea that led them to found their startup Transmute, which today is focused on solving the identity crisis that plagues the enterprise.   Transmute is a user-centric identity management platform for enterprises. Think of it as an identity management application UI—that safely and securely bridges centralized and decentralized technologies. The blockchain-based solution enables secure and automated end-to-end traceability to provide for: 1.     Establishing unique identities for people, entities and things - 2.     using these IDs to create claims and verifiable credentials, 3.     and combine these to power authorized business workflows. Why Focus on Identity? So why identity? Well, as Karyl often argues, “much like the gene or the atom, identity is the basic building block from which all software applications are built.” Every single minute across the globe, millions of identities are connecting to create all manner of transactions, from basic human authentications for refugees, to logistics transactions along a complex enterprise supply chain. “Identity is the common denominator of all interactions,” said Karyl Fowler, CEO & Cofounder, Transmute. “Companies, their employees, vendors, customers and even devices must be able to efficiently establish identity, selectively and securely share parts of their identity as it relates to the transaction at hand, and defend their identities and related actions in an indisputable way.” Companies face unprecedented security challenges when it comes to centralized infrastructure, but rip-and-replace is costly and often times unfeasible. “Futhermore, existing solutions often insert more friction between companies and their customers – at a time when both building trust with customers and evolving business models to support the most connected consumers to have existed are critical to retaining market share,” says Karyl. Transmute helps solve this challenge by bridging the gap between centralized and decentralized technologies. How Transmute Benefits the Enterprise More than 80% of data breaches can be directly attributed to mismanaged identity and access. Companies need a way to continue operating at scale and achieve a complete view of their customers, partners and users – while drastically minimizing the risk of data breaches. “Companies are scrambling to find better ways to defend themselves from a data breach and comply with emerging regulations like GDPR and CA Consumer Privacy Act. Transmute customers can have confidence they are meeting current regulations…and future proofing themselves for what’s to come.” The company’s core technology, Transmute ID, augments a company’s existing infrastructure by integrating with whatever IDP and storage solution you already use, and then offering extended functionality [like automated, granular traceability and consent management] that only decentralized identities (DIDs) can offer. Fowler says that companies that empower their users with Transmute ID gain access to revenue spreads that are currently lost on administrative inefficiencies and unclear disputes of liability. Here’s how Transmute ID can benefit two key industries: Supply Chain Logistics: Supply chain and logistics industries can use managed DIDs and verifiable credentials to digitize and optimize their chains of custody. Truck drivers, shippers and carriers are required to expose a variety of identity credentials at several points across the supply chain. It’s slow, manual and massively inefficient with all parties relying on different systems to manage their part in this process. Transmute ID integrates with existing systems to create a single source of truth that spans shippers, brokers, carriers, drivers, vehicles, and devices. Health & Medical Records: The laborious medical records process can be digitized seamlessly and securely. With Transmute ID, patients can authenticate themselves digitally and manage their own health data in a secure and compliant format, while also having the ability to selectively share and revoke access to their data. Doctors and providers can do the same, including correlating identities as required to the patients they serve. Pioneering Experts at the Front Lines of Innovation There is nothing simple about innovating in this fast-moving, dynamic space. Transmute has a front-row seat as a member of the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), a consortium developing the foundations of an open, standards-based, decentralized identity ecosystem. “Two groups within DIF are developing DID Layer 2 networks for two different chains (Bitcoin and Ethereum) using the Sidetree protocol. Microsoft is primarily focused on the Bitcoin variant, while Transmute is leading the charge on developing an Ethereum version,” said Daniel Buchner, founding member of DIF and global lead for decentralized identity at Microsoft. The Partnership with Oracle Transmute joined Oracle’s startup program in the fall of 2018 and have been working closely with Oracle on the technology as well as business development and marketing ever since. “Exposure to Oracle customers was a big draw for us to the program—and it hasn’t disappointed. We recently attended Open World Singapore and it was hands down the most successful event Transmute has ever attended in terms of customer traction,” said Fowler. Transmute is leveraging several Oracle Cloud solutions including Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Blockchain and Kubernetes.  From an integration standpoint, Transmute’s solution enhances and complements Oracle’s Blockchain and Identity Management services. “We leveraged the Oracle Blockchain Platform as a rapid ideation and testing tool, resulting in 30% faster deployment. The managed blockchain-as-a-service helped our engineers focus on chaincode development, testing and integration, instead of DevOps.” Fowler says the rise of distributed ledger technology (DLT) is inevitable, and the shift to more decentralized business models is going to be as disruptive to the enterprise as the transition to cloud computing. She believes that Transmute will be leading that transition and helping enterprises across the globe solve this identity management crisis. “The team at Oracle is truly invested in our success and it shows in their committed partnership and resources. It’s refreshing to see this level of entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to startups at such a large corporation,” said Fowler. “Oracle team members have been pivotal in evolving our business model since we joined forces. We look forward to a long partnership innovating with Oracle.” JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.   

In the spring of 2016, technologists Karyl Fowler and Orie Steele entered Austin’s first blockchain hackathon contest aimed at solving mobility challenges which drew project topics from smart...

Meet the Startups

British Visual Search Startup Sets The Trend For Shopping Using Photos

Being a trend setter isn’t easy. Snap Tech was the first cross platform visual search engine for fashion when it was founded in 2011. But while trends come and go, like a good pair of jeans, the startup’s technology is still firmly in vogue and it remains at the front of the field, having helped change the way people shop on the go, and fashion editors’ habits too. A new way to shop The company was born out of computer science student Jenny Griffiths’ fascination with computer vision, as well as her frustration at not being able to afford the clothes she saw in glossy magazines on her student budget. Now, Snap Tech’s tool allows users to shop for clothes using a photo rather than words, and buy similar items to suit their budget and style, as well as making life easier for fashion editors trying to track down copycat looks. How it Works Snap Tech’s algorithms search through 250 retailers’ catalogues to return matches based on the cut, colour and texture of clothing captured in a photograph. This means scanning more than one million clothes in less than half a second and showing shoppers or editors everything in their desired shape or colour, so they can find the style they want and buy it with just a few taps. Snap Tech is the only visual search company in the fashion space that presents users with two lists of results; colour/pattern and shape, which not only sets it apart from its competitors, but offers its users more choice in the way they search. The startup licenses to two types of customers: retailers and publishers. Snap Tech has worked with big retailers to increase customer engagement and sales. It is currently partnering with affiliate networks so that when shoppers click on affiliate links, posted by an influencer or online magazine for example, they can see something similar from the same retailer if an item is out of stock. The startup is also integrating with the Oracle Commerce Cloud, and will soon be on its marketplace. Snap Tech gives editors tools to create content more quickly. Marie Claire uses Snap Tech’s software and says articles that would have taken six hours to put together can now take just one. Snap Tech recently monetized the red carpet for the BAFTAs, allowing interactive content to be generated and fans on Instagram to shop similar looks to those worn on the red carpet, within just five minutes of a star being photographed. Trend setting While mobile shopping via apps such as Instagram de rigueur, just a few years ago it was a novelty. “It’s a double-edged sword being first mover. The marketplace isn’t crowded and you’re the only person in the world who can do something, but the downside, which I didn’t appreciate at the time, is that it’s your job to do all the market education,” Jenny Griffiths, Snap Tech’s founder and CEO explains. The first six years of Snap Tech often involved meeting editors and fashion brands to tell them about the potential of using AI to find and sell clothes. While this was challenging and time consuming, it allowed the company to test its market fit, which has paid off by allowing it to scale rapidly at a time when artificial intelligence is taking off. Oracle for Startups experience Oracle is helping enable the company to scale. Snap Tech migrated to Oracle Cloud infrastructure last year and has since seen its hosting costs drop by 40%, which has allowed it to invest in GPUs, so it can do more computer vision R&D than ever before. Integrating into various Oracle product families has also enabled it to scale without the need for its own global sales teams. Snap Tech also leverages Oracle’s marketing and events for customer and marketplace exposure. From a networking and connection standpoint, Griffiths says, “It’s been insane. We’ve been at Oracle OpenWorlds and Modern Customer Experience events that have been great for meeting potential clients and key Oracle products executives—and just overall exposure.” Fashion forward The company’s ambitious mission is to change the way the world searches and while Jenny Griffiths acknowledges her team of eight is unlikely to do that alone, being part of a group of smart AI companies working in this area, whether competitors or partners, means that together, they will change consumer behaviour. “I think we’ve been a huge driver of that in the UK, and that’s something we’ve very proud of,” she adds. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

Being a trend setter isn’t easy. Snap Tech was the first cross platform visual search engine for fashion when it was founded in 2011. But while trends come and go, like a good pair of jeans,...

Startup Life

Lessons from Entrepreneurs: Jason Williamson on Embracing Adversity

Struggle is going to happen. But it’s what we do with that struggle that can define how we move forward in business and in life. Jason Williamson, Vice President of Oracle for Startups, reflects on his career as a startup founder and some of the biggest life lessons that have happened along the way. Jason explains the idea of a “natural tension” in life between the real and the ideal, and the importance of not only recognizing that tension but embracing it. He says ‘struggle and adversity reveal and refine our character.’ Struggle gives us the opportunity to learn how to do something better. Jason gives an example of his daughter, Anna, who was born with spina bifida but has overcome this struggle to play basketball. Anna is a perfect example of making joy out of adversity, and is one of Jason’s biggest inspirations.  Instead of running from struggle, he suggests thinking about how you can be joyful when you encounter struggle in your life. If you let it, overcoming struggle can encourage perseverance, which in turn will produce strength. Few stories of great founders include tales of an easy path. Instead, we hear of difficult journeys, rejections, tough choices, and how greatness arose from difficulty, rather than in spite of it. Jason points to reflection as the key to learning from the struggle. He recommends writing to understand what hard times have taught you, and what you might do differently going forward. Secondly, he encourages you to share your learnings, which leads to accountability and pulling in allies to unite behind our cause. Watch the video here:   JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

Struggle is going to happen. But it’s what we do with that struggle that can define how we move forward in business and in life. Jason Williamson, Vice President of Oracle for Startups, reflects on his...

Meet the Startups

This Indian Startup is Revolutionizing Fintech with Superbots

Making a mark in the competitive world of AI and ML is never easy. Indian startup Jubi.ai is achieving success through their superbot offerings, powering conversational automation of customer service, online lead generation and digital sales for large NBFCs, mutual fund houses, insurance companies and fintech businesses. To discuss how Jubi is expanding across India and the globe, I chatted with the 31 year-old founder and CEO Subhadeep Bhattacharya, who believes AI-led automation is the future of not just fintech, but all economies. On Revolutionizing the Industry with Superbots “If we look at businesses, there are interfaces via which any business would communicate. Decades ago, it was only the physical interface via which businesses would interact, for example – to do banking, one would have to go to a bank, to visit a doctor one would have to queue up and see the doctor. Next came telephones and people started calling, then came internet and websites and people started browsing, followed by apps. So, in this entire evolution of interfaces the next node is essentially conversational interfaces. Across customer journey and touchpoints interfaces are becoming conversational. That is a big change happening across categories and around the world.” On Consumer Demand for Conversational Interfaces   “Digital products that the end customers are loving to use are UI led. So we call these interfaces as invisible interfaces. Now this change in customer expectation is leading enterprises from different categories to deliver similar UI experiences to their customers. And this is also kind of fueling the demand. The entire customer journey is becoming UI led.” On Superbots and their Impact in India “The country will lead this conversational commerce revolution vis-a-vis other economies. In this case the fuel is the data because the ability to personalize the conversation compounds as you are exposed to more and more conversational data, and India has an inherent advantage in terms of the massive amount of data (generated by the population). Millions of people using these systems every day, in different languages and dialects. So the data generated by some of these systems is massive, thus the ability of these systems to understand the behavior and psyche enables them to customize conversations.” On the Mission of Jubi.ai “Primarily we focus on financial services, and in India no one has as many clients as we do. Financial services has always been our forte and healthcare is something we are very keen on. Currently we are working on a project with the Government of India on healthcare. The sector specific data that we are exposed to is massive. The strength of our financial AI system is massive and that is because of the data it is exposed to. Our strength stems from the depth we have in the sectors we pursue. We have now entered the middle east and Singapore market and our strategy is Financial Services and fintech first, followed by healthcare and allied industries as well.” On Working on Healthcare with the Indian Government “Information dissemination is one of the biggest responsibilities of the government, but the entire process/path is full of friction. So, we are building an information dissemination tool which is always available (24/7), proactive, across languages, across channels. Also for the provider, in this case the government, it becomes a great data/emotion/sentiment collection tool. The biggest advantage of a conversational interface over a standard web interface is that the former allows you to converse which means I as a user can say what I want to say, the way I want to say and that is enormous data. For example, our own systems have answered millions of questions over the past few months and the amount of analytics it is opening up, which we call as Deep Conversational Analytics, in itself is becoming like a business tool.” On Working with Oracle “We are working very closely with the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem India team and looking at joint go-to-market strategy, effectively talking to another State Government with Oracle. Our go-to-market strategy is going to become stronger in the next 12 months with Oracle.” JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

Making a mark in the competitive world of AI and ML is never easy. Indian startup Jubi.ai is achieving success through their superbot offerings, powering conversational automation of customer service,...

Program News

The Global Rise of the Rest is Powered by Oracle

This blog post was originally published on the Startup Grind Medium channel.   “The Rise of the Rest” is a phrase coined by Steve Case, the visionary co-founder of AOL and author of The Third Wave, to describe the emergence of innovation outside of Silicon Valley and New York. Yet this phenomenon isn’t just limited to smaller cities in the United States — widespread technological advancements are happening globally. According to a recent report by the Center for American Entrepreneurship, global venture capital deals increased 73% in seven years. Clearly, that’s a lot of new startups. Yet even though the United States remains the global leader, its percentage of the investment pie went from 95% in the mid-1990s to 50% today. That’s a 45% drop. While centers of entrepreneurship like San Francisco, Beijing, London and Tel Aviv continue to lead the startup scene, the global ecosystem is becoming much more diversified. Why is this change happening so quickly? We at Oracle believe the key reason is advancements in cloud and mobile technologies. Empowering the Next Generation of Founders From the highest ranks of our company, starting with Larry Ellison, we understand the value of supporting emerging businesses. We want to help a new generation of entrepreneurs drive the sort of innovation that builds a better world. As a result, we are dedicated to supporting and accelerating startups at scale through our Oracle for Startups program. Our goal is for every company that partners with Oracle for Startups to thrive. We want to create a network where every startup not only feels empowered to grow, but also strong enough to support each other. We see progress happening every day with the startups already in our program, from BotSupply saving 40% in costs and experiencing white-hot growthto a collaboration with the Government of Ghana to support 500 local African startups. “We moved all our hosting to Oracle Cloud using managed Kubernetes and saved 40% of our hosting costs,” Jenny Griffiths, the Founder and CEO of Snap Tech, said. “We reinvested that cost savings into GPU shapes and have been able to deliver technology we never could have dreamed of. Oracle is instrumental in helping us scale and innovate.” Startups in our program are benefitting from innovations created in this program. But so are our customers and Oracle. On our end, we want to be challenged to grow and extend beyond the boundaries of corporate innovation — creating a program that delivers value for our startups, our customers and Oracle. This virtuous cycle of innovation is exactly what we aim for. Helping Your Company Reach the World How do we help you accomplish your loftiest goals? First, by establishing a scalable, sustainable and resource-rich program. One where we don’t take equity; we create value and revenue-driving opportunities. Start with the best technology: Our startups get access to an enterprise-grade cloud solution through free credits, as well as a 70% discount. Support from products, mentors, and network: They can also tap into Oracle’s world-class product solutions; diverse and experienced mentoring; marketing, events and media exposure; and engagement opportunities with Oracle’s 430,000+ customers. Furthermore, we seek to provide technology support for their development or migration efforts. Iterate as you iterate: We constantly evaluate, learn and iterate. Our team functions like a startup inside of Oracle. We continually learn and adapt to find the right balance of speed and execution for scalable and successful growth. As the CAE report referenced above proves, entrepreneurs across the globe are driving the latest technologies that transform our businesses and communities. The “rise of the rest” is indeed a global trend — and one that we aim to support and accelerate. “The partnership with Oracle has been game-changing for us,” said Peter Lilley, cofounder of iGeolise. “It gives us access to enterprise-grade technology, as well as customers and marketing, and all we have to do is concentrate on our business. And the introductions to customers is quickly turning into real revenue possibilities.” We’re listening and we’re hereto help: you can sign up to the Oracle for Startups program and get access to our best cloud solutions (credits and 70% discounts), business enablement and marketing resources for your startup today. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

This blog post was originally published on the Startup Grind Medium channel.   “The Rise of the Rest” is a phrase coined by Steve Case, the visionary co-founder of AOL and author of The Third Wave, to...

Program News

Oracle Launches Revamped Program To Court Startups

This article was authored by Oracle Brand Contributor Sasha Banks-Louie, and originally ran in Forbes.  Oracle is rolling out a revamped program to court startups, offering free cloud credits and software discounts, plus online mentoring resources and migration assistance to startups of all sizes and stages worldwide. Unlike an earlier startup initiative that required an application and admitted a cohort of select startups for an onsite program, this effort, Oracle for Startups, lets any startup sign up online and start developing immediately. The idea is to encourage more startups like UK-based Snap Tech. Snap Tech offers visual search tools, so a shopper can upload a picture of a dress in a color they like and then search for shoes, scarves, and handbags in that same or matching shade. CEO and founder Jenny Griffiths says she moved to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure from another cloud provider and saved 40% in hosting costs alone. Snap Tech relies on computer power from Oracle Cloud to train its neural network to match millions of consumer-posted apparel images with retailers’ inventories. “We’re delivering technology that we never could have dreamed of,” Griffiths says. Once enrolled, startups gain access to a members-only portal, which offers detailed descriptions about the program’s services, hands-on development labs, and other how-to assistance for migrating an existing instance or spinning up new ones, says Jason Williamson, vice president of Oracle for Startups. By closing its onsite coworking spaces, Oracle could reallocate resources, expanding Oracle Cloud credits and offering a 70% service discount, which is good for two years from the time of enrollment. Participating startups can also apply for additional services on the portal, including access to marketing resources, such as the opportunity to participate in Oracle’s global conferences and partner events, where startups have made valuable connections with Oracle’s network of 430,000 customers. As a startup, working with Oracle “has been invaluable for Snap Tech,” Griffiths says. “We can scale our technology and grow our business. They are a fantastic group of people truly invested in our company’s growth.” Startup leaders take the stage at the Startup Grind Europe. (STARTUP GRIND)   But free credits and discounts only matter if the service helps a startup innovate new products and get them to market quickly and cheaply. Austin-based blockchain services company Transmute uses Oracle Blockchain Platform, for example, to create, secure, and integrate personal identities, business credentials, and multiple-party activities within blockchain applications for its enterprise customers. Using a cloud service “helped our engineers focus on chaincode development, testing, and integration, instead of DevOps,” says Karyl Fowler, CEO and cofounder.   In the new model, Oracle gives qualifying startups expert training, mentorship, and partners that startups’ customers will trust—all things that Higinio (H.O.) Maycotte, founder and CEO of continuous data-streaming and analytics platform Molecula, says drew him to Oracle. The access to Oracle’s technology, engineers, product marketers, and sales teams “is invaluable to us as we scale globally and continue to pioneer the data streaming space,” he says. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.   

This article was authored by Oracle Brand Contributor Sasha Banks-Louie, and originally ran in Forbes.  Oracle is rolling out a revamped program to court startups, offering free cloud credits and...

Partners/Advisors

Pumps & Pipes - Oracle Collaborative Consortium

This blog post was repurposed from Pumps & Pipes, an association of medical, energy, aerospace, academic and community professionals and leaders. On April 10, 2019, experts from the Houston’s three main Pumps & Pipes industries—energy, medicine and aerospace—met at the new Oracle Lakeshore campus in Austin, Texas, to discuss each industry’s recent challenges related to data management and inspire cross-industry collaborations. The Pumps & Pipes Oracle Collaborative Consortium brought together 45 industry and research leaders and innovators, including 21 speakers, to discuss STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) topics ranging from Pumps & Pipes staples of medicine, energy engineering and aerospace, to big data, artificial intelligence, and high-performance cloud computing. Speakers challenged the audience to work together to develop innovative data management solutions to shared problems. For instance, Bill Kline, Pumps & Pipes Founder and Director Emeritus, Retired Distinguished Lead, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company highlighted challenges in bringing health care services to remote areas in Texas in his talk, “Telemedicine Going Country.” The Aerospace Corporation’s Virginia Wotring discussed intriguing data challenges in the aerospace industry, such as sorting out the useful information in huge datasets and leveraging multimission knowledge to reduce mission degradation, improve complex data system resilience, and synergize projects.  Paul Cherukuri, Executive Director of the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering at Rice University, took us on a virtual tour to learn about the latest technologies invented and commercialized by Rice University, including DexMat, a high-performance carbon nanotube product with applications for military and aerospace. This one-of-a-kind meeting was organized by Pumps & Pipes Associate Director and Aprenda Systems Medical Director, Dr. Nicole Pardo; Pumps & Pipes Board Adviser and Sfile CEO, Frank Perez; and Oracle’s Chief Architect, US Central, Business Transformation Services,  Bernie Alen. It stands to be the first in a budding Pumps & Pipes–Oracle collaboration to bring high-performance cloud resources to the Pumps & Pipes ecosystem to create cutting-edge proof-of-concept projects that can be translated into commercial products. Bernie Alen Oracle Cloud | Chief Architect | Business Transformation Services | US Central and Canada JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.   

This blog post was repurposed from Pumps & Pipes, an association of medical, energy, aerospace, academic and community professionals and leaders. On April 10, 2019, experts from the Houston’s three...

Program News

In Case You Missed It: Updates from Oracle’s Startup Program

Our startup program has gone through some changes as we prepare ourselves to scale to engage with thousands of new startups all around the world. Read more about the importance of supporting more startups in Jason Williamson’s post ‘Oracle Helping To Enable The Rise Of The Rest. Globally.’ Supporting Ghanaian Startups #GODEP Last month we announced a new initiative in Ghana to support 500 local startups in partnership with the Government of Ghana. The project will provide access to Oracle Cloud technology, business mentoring and workshops as well as marketing and business-enablement resources. The Oracle Startup program’s mission is to enable entrepreneurs across every corner of the world, especially those in emerging markets. The Oracle Startup team and our colleagues in Oracle Africa are excited to see the outcomes from the Ghanaian startups. We headed over to Amsterdam for The Next Web, which feels like part conference, part festival. Tiffany Thompson headed up a panel focusing on collaboration between startups and corporates, examining the mechanics of how it works for both sides and what the benefits are. “When you hear the name Oracle, you may not think of an ideal cloud partner. You may not think of agility or user-friendliness. The Oracle Startup Program exists to challenge that notion, because with Oracle Gen 2 Cloud, Oracle IS for Startups.”-Tiffany Thompson, Oracle Over in San Francisco, JD Weinstein took part in a Fireside chat at 500 Startups with Michael Chen, Oracle's co-head of M&A Execution. The session shared how to prepare for M&A, strategic partnerships and go-to-market strategies.   Enjoyed this fireside chat w/ Michael Chen, Oracle's Co-head of M&A Execution at 500 Startups SF. We dove in behind the scenes of how to prepare for M&A, strategic partnerships, & go-to-market strategies. @OracleStartup @500Startups pic.twitter.com/nRmTj6yH9q — JD Weinstein (@JD_Weinstein) May 24, 2019 The F Word hit up Startup Grind Europe Conference last week after its success at the Startup Grind Global conference earlier in the year. Amy Sorrells was joined by Maren Bannon of Jane VC, Zara Nanu CEO and Founder of Gapsquare and Jenny Griffiths CEO and founder of Snap Tech. The panel explored biases of age and gender in the tech world and the steps that we can all take to overcome these biases. Check out Amy’s blog which captures some of the main ideas from the panel here.   JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

Our startup program has gone through some changes as we prepare ourselves to scale to engage with thousands of new startups all around the world. Read more about the importance of supporting...

Startup Life

The F Word Panel: Top Takeaways, Advice & Quips

“I think it'll probably take a decade to see real change. We’ve been stuck around the 2% figure of VC funding going to females for years and it’s going to take time to reach 40% or higher. And I think that one of the biggest ways to change it, in my mind, is more female investors.” – Maren Bannon, founder and partner at Jane VC @JaneVentureCap “I became a venture capitalist because I saw a need in the market for a fund focused on women. Even from my Stanford days, my cofounder and I noticed men were investing in each other. The men were asking each other to invest, they were starting businesses. And we noticed that a lot of the women in our class weren't; for some reason, it wasn’t a social norm. I think we've seen that trend continue over the past decade and that to us just felt like this huge missed opportunity.” – Maren Bannon, founder and partner at Jane VC @JaneVentureCap “Two years ago, I pitched for funding for Gapsquare and a VC told me that Gapsquare was a policy vehicle not a business. Today, Gapsquare is a growing company, and I was at Parliament in May sharing our work with policy makers. Imagine if I had let that VC sway me? Never ever let someone’s opinion deter you from what you believe. Be tenacious about your dream.” – Zara Nanu, CEO and founder of Gapsquare @ZaraNanu “The World Economic Forum predicts it’ll take 217 years to close the gender pay gap. They also predicted that by 2030, we’ll all be in self-driving cars, with automated healthcare, and living on the Red Planet. Yet while living there we will still be 200 years away from closing the gender pay gap. That’s flat-out unacceptable. We started Gapsquare to use disruptive technology to tackle inequality significantly faster and smarter.” – Zara Nanu, CEO and founder of Gapsquare @ZaraNanu “You have to have thick skin and know your strengths. I believe in authentic leadership.  You need to power through these stereotypes and prove that because you’re not the cookie cutter perceived ideal in your industry, it doesn’t make you any weaker.  I’ve managed perceived weaknesses into strengths – like being an introvert. Be authentically you. It’s your strength.” – Jenny Griffiths, CEO & founder, Snap Tech @JennySnapTech “A study looked at the difference between questions asked of men and women and after all were analyzed it was clear men were asked positive reinforcement questions while women are asked defensive questions. There are cognitive biases and blind spots we don’t even see until analyzed. The data will help us understand how we must do better as a society.” – Zara Nanu, CEO and founder of Gapsquare @ZaraNanu “A problem often faced is one of cultural apathy. You get people saying, ‘This issue is much bigger than me. There’s not much I can do. It’s cultural. It’s societal.’ But if we break the data into small manageable chunks it’s not this huge mountain to climb.” – Zara Nanu, CEO and founder of Gapsquare @ZaraNanu “It’s deeply rooted in business culture so we can’t expect it to change overnight. But we females must not operate in negativity or constantly with the proverbial chip on our shoulders. We have to be intentional and proactive but while focusing on our strengths and the positivity and value it brings. It’ll happen but transformative, substantial change always takes time. As Thomas Paine wisely said: ‘Time makes more converts than reason.’”  – Amy Sorrells, Director, Global Communications, Oracle for Startups @amyssorrells “There are some things that you can change about yourself and there are some things that you can’t.  You need to understand these and play to your strengths. Work out the skillsets you have, ones you want to develop, the ones that you can’t achieve (like being male or female), and the ones you don’t want to achieve and fundamentally disagree with.” – Jenny Griffiths, CEO & founder, Snap Tech @JennySnapTech “The biggest bias in tech that no one is talking about is ageism. Studies show that age bias is rampant in tech and it starts at the 36!  There’s no getting past the fact that tech is a young industry but our future is stronger technologically and culturally with diverse workforces and mindsets – including the “elderly” individuals that bring a wealth of experience and wisdom.” – Maren Bannon, founder and partner at Jane VC @JaneVentureCap “Ageism impacts everyone, but women bear the unfair brunt of this trend.  Jane VC’s survey of early-stage founders found the amount of capital raised by male founders peaked between ages 30 and 45. But for female founders, the amount raised doesn’t spike until the late 30s and it peaks soon after, by age 45. So, for women, this means a very narrow window in which to maximize their fundraising. Overall, the amount of venture funding raised by both male and female early-stage founders dropped by over 40% after age 50.” – Maren Bannon, founder and partner at Jane VC @JaneVentureCap “Don’t take anything personally. It’s key in life and business—especially for females. It’s simple advice, yet hard to put into practice. But it can change your life. I recommend reading The Four Agreements – and start being intentional about it in all areas of your life.” – Amy Sorrells, Director, Global Communications, Oracle for Startups @amyssorrells “Being a founder can be incredibly lonely, it’s important to have people you can rely on to share problems or to simply chat through ideas with. For some that might mean mentor/mentee relationship and for others it might be a more informal support network. – Zara Nanu, CEO and founder of Gapquare @ZaraNanu  “Set yourself time to develop the skills you know you need and want to learn – take a course, read a book, find a mentor… however you learn best. And then really, really work on promoting the skills that you have.  Put yourself in a position where these skills will get to shine.” – Jenny Griffiths, CEO & founder, Snap Tech “Over the next decade we are going to see unicorns emerge that have been built by a more diverse group of founders in terms of gender, race and geography. As we know there are huge age and gender biases in our sector but we have the power to be part of a change. It’s very exciting.” – Maren Bannon, founder and partner at Jane VC @JaneVentureCap JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

“I think it'll probably take a decade to see real change. We’ve been stuck around the 2% figure of VC funding going to females for years and it’s going to take time to reach 40% or higher. And I think...

Best Practices

Lessons from Entrepreneurs: Hire People Who are Better Than You (and other Lessons from Entrepreneur Peter Lilley)

Startup founders: serial entrepreneur Peter Lilley has some advice for you. The iGeolise co-founder and three-time entrepreneur also has decades of experience working in large corporates. Here are his top 8 tips to for making your startup a success: It’s not just the idea. It’s the work done to make it a reality. So many people talk about the lightbulb moment, when they had the idea for their startup. Anyone can have a good idea, but the work of a startup is to turn that good idea into a reality. The power of 2. Why it’s not a good idea to be a solo founder: Being a startup founder is a weight of responsibility and it can be incredibly lonely. Having a cofounder allows you to share ideas and together find the right path for your startup. Finding the Ying and Yang: As a founder you have to strike a balance of being single-mindedly determined but also cognizant of getting stuck behind a brick wall. Sometimes it’s best to push forward while other situations require a quick pivot around obstacles.   Running a startup is a constant balance of being determined and thinking smart! Hire People Better Than You: As cofounders, Peter and his cofounder Charlie did every job in the business. Doing so gave them insight into the role and what characteristics an ideal candidate would possess, so they could hire the best people for each position. Cheap hires aren’t cheap in the long run! A piece of paper won’t raise investment: Having a great idea and writing it up into a business plan won’t result in investors clamoring to fund your startup. A product, team and revenue show you mean business. Show me the money: Who’s going to pay who? Why? How often? Keeping your business relentlessly focused on the money is a key to success.  Invert the pyramid: When considering a hierarchy pyramid Peter believes the people who do the most valuable work are the people who should be at the top of the hierarchy. The management - those providing the resources - should be at the bottom, enabling their team to do their best work. Finally, do something useful, do something you enjoy and commit to it. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

Startup founders: serial entrepreneur Peter Lilley has some advice for you. The iGeolise co-founder and three-time entrepreneur also has decades of experience working in large corporates. Here are his...

Meet the Startups

Fundraising Dos & Don’ts: Why this Veteran Entrepreneur Wants His Company to Become a Verb

Zak MacRunnels has lived a mile from Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley for almost twenty-five years. It’s a fitting location for this long-time technology entrepreneur who has steered a handful of companies to successful exits. As CEO of Reconstruct, he is helping Reconstruct become a leading technology for the construction and real estate industry. We sat down with Zak to get his advice on navigating the wonderful but complex world of venture. [Reconstruct is a member of Oracle’s global startup program.]                       Q: First, congratulations on Reconstruct’s latest news, closing on your $7.7M Series A round with Cultivation Capital.  What’s the strategy for the new funds? A: In order to revolutionize the industry, our investors needed to understand real estate and construction. We get that with Cultivation Capital. Together we make it easy for construction firms and real estate developers to realize efficiencies and savings by integrating our technology into their operations. Reconstruct has roots in Silicon Valley and the Midwest, so we understand the challenges traditional industries face in adopting innovative technology. This capital allows the company to extend our lead in computer vision and machine learning and open offices in Texas, Chicago, NYC and Tokyo. Q: You’ve had a front-row seat to the changing VC landscape for the past twenty-five years. What are the biggest changes today from 5 or 10 years ago? First, there are so many more people today that call themselves “venture capitalists” that are really disguised bankers or angel investors. Today, nearly every investor thinks they are a VC. What I learned back in Stanford Business School from my professor Irv Grousbeck and John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins is that it takes more than just capital to become a venture capitalist. True venture capitalists are visionary and can see the future to solve something, not just check writers. The VC landscape is crowded and overrun with investors; navigating the sea of these “logo VCs” is more difficult today. Second, getting seed money today is significantly easier than years back—and you can get more of it, by a 10X order of magnitude. In 1996, my first startup raised a seed fund of $250k.  Two years ago, we raised $2.5M and that was considered seed. So, it’s much easier to get seed, but it’s very difficult to get to the next level—it’s a high bar to jump over to the series A level. There are a lot more good startups, and competition is making getting smart money at the Series A level much harder. Q: How can startups navigate this increasingly crowded and complex VC landscape to find the right investment partners? Focus on three things: speed dating to build your pipeline, find a shared vision, and make an emotional connection. It’s as much emotional as it is analytical. There’s so many analogies to everyday romantic relationships—finding the right one in a giant sea of options. You should think of it like speed dating in the beginning. In your first hour of discussion you need to have a “eureka” moment, a spark that demonstrates to you that this VC shares your vision and passion. If you don’t get that spark, move on. Q: Any red flags that should make founders run for the hills? When a VC says they like you and think you are great but you should change your business model...That’s a total red flag. A good partner recognizes that you had some success on which you need to build – not pivot. Second, the classic procrastinating VC. Don’t be too patient. Run from the VC that keeps saying, ‘Let’s follow up in a month and see where we go from there.’ That is a death-trap of wasted time as they keep stringing you along—and you don’t want to play that game. Remember the more they talk with you, the more they learn about your industry and that is then a free benefit to them. It’s typically much more beneficial to them and less so for you.  Don’t be this patient and create a deadline for your discussion when enough is enough. In general, I like to think about it as the Goldilocks fit: Not too hot, not too cold. For example, if a VC is overly enthusiastic and says, ‘You should forecast $50M next year, not $20M,’ those expectations are too high and your chance of missing them creates huge problems for everyone because of the expected burn associated with hitting those inflated numbers. That’s too hot. Run. And the flip side, an investor who is too cold might  say, ‘We like you and will give you a little money this quarter… and if you do well, we will give you more next quarter.’ Run. Find someone in the middle, who also shares your vision and passion. Q: Why was it important for Reconstruct to find an investor who understands the construction industry? I feel strongly about this. Life is too short. You need to find a lead investor that either has experience in your immediate market or your adjacent target market. And I think this applies to every industry and space because, if not, you are going to spend more than half of your time educating them after the investment is made. That’s wasted time. Q: What’s the biggest mistake you have made during the fundraising process and what did you learn from it? I made the mistake of not getting a lead investor with our industry’s vertical experience. Consequently, I spent every board meeting educating them about the basics of the market – so we were looking backwards as opposed to revolutionizing the future. Q: Let’s talk exit strategies. How should entrepreneurs approach IPO vs. M&A? Really simple: build the business to last. Period. Whether it’s IPO or acquisition, it has to be a business that lasts. So, stay laser focused on building your business for the long haul, be tenacious about your mission. Also think about building your strategic partners early. Most of the time, acquisitions don’t just come out of the blue; often they are part of your partnership network. Start those partnerships early in your growth. Build your business to last, and build your strategic partners along the way. Q: We have been in a bull market since early 2009. Is that coming to an end soon? If so, how can entrepreneurs prepare for a recession? I think we are still a good way away from it [recession]. I’ve been in Silicon Valley through three booms and two recessions; and the one thing that prevails in a recession is innovation and uniqueness to survive and thrive. So, from a startup perspective, it doesn’t bother me at all. Our metrics and many fundamentals are strong; I think we still have a lot of runway. When it comes, the weak copycats, and we have some of those now, won’t survive. We intend to thrive.  Q: Corporate startup programs have evolved to be more than just pure equity investment plays. Oracle’s startup program, for example, doesn’t take equity but provides startups access to Oracle technologies, global customers and marketing resources. As a member of Oracle’s startup program, what advice do you have for startups who are thinking about partnering with an enterprise like Oracle? Oracle does it the right way. You have to have the shared vision right from the start, a win-win partnership.  And the win is not always about getting funding. Oracle has all those other inherent values and deep resources. And I really think that’s the most important part. Oracle has been integral to Reconstruct’s growth trajectory through the startup program and the Construction and Engineering Units. Without the power of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Primavera P6 integration, we would not have seen such quick adoption. Startups have to be willing to invest time, resources and staff to execute and live and breathe in that alliance with a corporate partner. You get out what you put into those relationships. Q: It’s still a male-dominated VC world. What advice would you give to the female founders out there raising capital? The same advice I’d give to anyone: Stand confident in your conviction and your mission. And do not let any biases of any kind from a few bigots stop you from achieving that mission. Here’s the irony: I’m a Caucasian male and I’ve had absurd biases from venture capitalists throughout my career. I’ve been told I was too young. Then I was told I was too old. One said I was too overweight! So, I would say write off these ridiculous biases and put your time and energies in finding those good, ethical investors. It goes back to the speed dating analogy, there are good ones out there. Accept the things you can’t change and embrace who you are—stand firm in your confidence and conviction and mission—your investor match is out there. Don’t settle. Q: Where do you see Reconstruct in five years? In five years, I want to be a verb – the gold standard in the industry. A verb that everyone understands. Just like with Google or Slack people say did you Google it or Slack it? I want people to say, ‘Did you Reconstruct it?’ I want our customers to use our name like a verb—and not think of doing it any other way other than using Reconstruct. That’s the vision and the dream. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

Zak MacRunnels has lived a mile from Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley for almost twenty-five years. It’s a fitting location for this long-time technology entrepreneur who has steered a handful...

Meet the Startups

Growth of Conversational AI Startup BotSupply is White-Hot… and Getting Hotter

The growth of BotSupply is white-hot, thanks in part to Oracle. Building on top of Oracle Cloud, the Copenhagen-based startup is using its multilingual bot platform and conversational AI to help create engaging and relevant customer experiences for Oracle clients around the globe. And as a member of Oracle’s global startup program, BotSupply is tapping into resources such as customer connections, marketing and media exposure. Co-selling with Oracle, BotSupply is currently in 50 sales cycles after already landing business with Carlsberg, Reiknistofa Bankanna (RB), Sunset and others.  With technology scaling and revenue growing, the company shows no signs of slowing down. While BotSupply is making a huge impact for enterprise customers today, just a few years ago, this fast-growing startup didn’t even exist. In early 2016, BotSupply founder Asser Smidt was at another startup, using another now-ubiquitous startup’s technology, when he got the idea for what would become his startup. “Like most companies, we used Slack and we started creating these internal bots in Slack, mainly just for fun, and they got increasingly more functional and cool,” said Smidt. “It didn’t take long to realize we could make a great business.” So, he launched BotSupply in late 2016 to help brands automate engagements and service requests.  It took less than a month to land his first client. It was a question from that happy first customer that set Asser down another strategic path: Does it work in other languages? Asser quickly hired specialists in AI and data science to develop a unique natural language processing (NLP) solution to make the platform multilingual.  Now armed with a competitive conversational AI solution, BotSupply started landing clients across Denmark and growing its customer base. But to reach global scale, the company needed better technology resources and support from a proven partner.   They found that support within the Oracle for Startups Program. “Joining the Oracle startup program gave us the resources we needed to scale. The program provided premium access to Oracle technology and Oracle’s global customer base,” he said. Running on Oracle Cloud infrastructure (OCI), BotSupply is also fully integrated and compatible with the enterprise-scale Oracle Bots Platform. The integration makes launching and managing multilingual Oracle Bots secure, fast and straightforward.  Bots are now holding conversations that are contextually relevant in over 30 languages. BotSupply is filling a necessary market gap, according to Smidt, “Brands can use translation services like Google but people can tell the difference because translation services feel standard and not natural.”  He continued, “We believe adding a relevant voice and soul to conversational AI will enhance a brand’s relationship with their customers, transform their customer experience and drive business outcomes. It allows us to extend the Oracle Digital Assistant capabilities to provide even more value to Oracle’s customers.” Asser says he works with Oracle “on a daily basis” and is in about 50 sales cycles with Oracle customers. He continues to find value from using Oracle Cloud and the ongoing partnership with Oracle’s startup program. “Oracle has by far the most transparent and value-based pricing in the market. I know exactly what I’m paying for – no surprises. We have saved around 40% of our costs and are able to reinvest that back into the business,” Asser commented. He continued, “And we are scaling across EMEA, and that’s basically all because of Oracle.” Snapshot of BotSupply: BotSupply is a fast-growing startup delivering a unique bot platform, conversational UX and cutting-edge AI The platform provides the tools for brands to easily design, build, launch, and manage multilingual bots Based in Denmark, they are fully bootstrapped with 22 employees and growing Running 100% on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Solution extends the Oracle Digital Assistant language capabilities with its unique Natural Language Processing (NLP) – 30+ languages Conversational Content Management System (CMS) allows Oracle customers to easily design, build, launch, and manage bots through the Oracle Bots Platform Co-selling with Oracle; co-customers Carlsberg, Reiknistofa Bankanna (RB) and Sunset. Carlsberg launched a bot to help answer the many partner questions arising from their newly launched kegs and saw a 75% resolution rate Participating in RFPs and POCs across Oracle customers; 50 to 60 current sales cycles Featured at events including The Next Web, Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle Modern CX Showcased in front of media and analysts globally, including featured on an innovation panel for global media at Oracle OpenWorld London. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

The growth of BotSupply is white-hot, thanks in part to Oracle. Building on top of Oracle Cloud, the Copenhagen-based startup is using its multilingual bot platform and conversational AI to help...

Best Practices

Lessons from Entrepreneurs: Storytelling Isn't Just For Bedtime, It Can Be A Game Changer For Your Startup

As a startup, as an entrepreneur, as a person, it is really important to tell your story. A former CEO himself, Nik knows only too well how hard it is to differentiate your startup; there is always someone else trying to build the same thing or sell a similar product. Storytelling can help you shine and stand apart from the crowd. In this video from Oracle Academy, entrepreneur and Senior Director of Oracle for Startups, Nik Adhia shares just why storytelling is so important and how you can be compelling and memorable in sharing your stories. Nik’s 6 expert tips to tell a memorable story: The rule of 93 - It’s not about the content and what you say, it’s how you say it. Think about body language, tone of voice, and passion to help you showcase to your audience who you are. Share common experiences – This is how you capture your audience. Think about who you are and how you share you story so other people can relate to the problem you are trying to solve. Power up – Share your energy with your audience. This is not about being super extroverted, it’s about your inner energy and conveying this to your audience. Set the foundation – Your audience won’t listen to you the whole time you are talking; their minds will wander. Lay the groundwork in the first 45 seconds so they are compelled to listen further. Moving with momentum – Tailor your movements to emphasise the important points in your story. This adds gravitas to what you are saying. Have fun – you are on this mission for a reason. Enjoy the moment and the process and your audience will relate and connect to you. Whoever you are and whatever you do, stories capture our imagination and allow us to communicate in a memorable way. Watch the video here: JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

As a startup, as an entrepreneur, as a person, it is really important to tell your story. A former CEO himself, Nik knows only too well how hard it is to differentiate your startup; there is always...

Meet the Startups

Is Your Chatbot A Smooth Talker? This Indian Conversational AI is Helping Customers Make Smarter Choices

Striking up a conversation with a stranger can be  difficult.  But trade that stranger for a conversational AI assistant when you’re a customer looking for a solution and the conversation becomes a cakewalk. Buzzo.AI was founded to make conversations with AI even easier. The solution provides answers to questions and also offers recommendations based on your mood and preferences. A conversational AI assistant, Buzzo.ai uses deep insights from product descriptions and user reviews to come up with precise recommendations and answers to follow-up questions that the customer might have on any of the shortlisted choices. The assistant addresses queries related to food, travel, entertainment and shopping experiences. This is a truly smart AI voice assistant! Conversational Assistant: The New Shopping Buddy While shopping, especially for consumer electronics & other high value items, we tend to spend a lot of time researching options and reading reviews, and yet sometimes still end up with products that do not match our expectations. With smart AI assistants, consumers can avoid making wrong decisions and quickly and effortlessly identify the right choice that best maps with our specific requirements. Buzzo.ai validated the need for this solution by analyzing google search queries around shopping, talking to target audiences, and meeting with key e-commerce stakeholders. “Our conversational AI assistant functions like an unbiased expert, with in-depth knowledge of all products and user reviews. It leverages the wisdom of crowd to help you choose better,” says Buzzo.ai cofounder Pranav Tyagi. He adds, “It is this deep domain expertise within our conversational assistant that drives in-depth interactions with the end-user, which in turn helps in building a deeper understanding of the user and thereby personalizing the conversations.” The AI assistant can be deployed across multiple channels including websites, mobile apps, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, Alexa and Google Assistant. How it Works Buzzo.ai`s recommendations are driven by complex NLP, sentiment analysis and statistical interference algorithms. It scans each review available on the web and classifies the text in the review as pros and cons based on the type of words used. It then computes and assigns a reflective statistical rating between 1 (terrible) to 5 (awesome) for each aspect depending on what percentage of reviewers mention it positively or negatively compared to category averages, and the words they use. Why Buzzo.ai has collaborated with Oracle Even as a bootstrapped startup, Buzzo.ai is building web-scale conversational intelligence technology in a cost effective manner with Oracle infrastructure. Buzzo.ai has grown significantly since joining the Oracle for Startups program in 2018. “Having worked with other cloud providers, we have found Oracle Cloud to be less complex. The technical support available has been great,” says Pranav. “Currently we are using Oracle Compute Cloud and Load Balancer services. This powers our entire platform including our NLP and AI algorithms that run on vast amounts of public web data. All the client deployments of our AI Assistant are also setup on Oracle Cloud. To top it all, compared to our previous deployment, we have witnessed a significant reduction in our overall costs.” JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

Striking up a conversation with a stranger can be  difficult.  But trade that stranger for a conversational AI assistant when you’re a customer looking for a solution and the conversation becomes a...

Meet the Startups

UK Fintech Uses Machine Learning to Get Suppliers Paid Instantaneously

650 billion dollars. This is the amount of capital that is owed to small businesses but is trapped somewhere in the payment chain, with a corrosive effect on small businesses, their staff and the wider economy. Sustainably solving this problem in a way that works for suppliers and large buyers is not simple, but that is the challenge addressed by UK fintech Previse. Previse was founded by a small group of people who recognized that slow payments were damaging SMEs, large companies and the economy, and that current solutions were ineffective. This group made it their mission is get every supplier in the world paid instantly and at the fairest rate. Three years after founding, Previse has invented a solution to expedite payment to such an extent that a process that once took more than 30 days can now be instantaneous – hence the product was christened “InstantPay”. Previse’s mission to reshape global B2B commerce could unlock billions every year by cutting out the inefficiencies of payment terms. To reach its big aspirations, Previse partnered with Oracle for Starups to scale its InstantPay technology to more businesses around the world. So far, it has signed up eight multinational clients and is working with leading firms such as Oracle, NatWest and PwC. Previse gets suppliers paid instantly using machine learning technology, which analyses its clients’ ERP data to predict the few invoices which are unlikely to get paid. The rest can then be paid instantly by a funder, such as a bank. The buyer then pays the funder back on its normal payment terms. This affinity with ERP, and the value of the data embedded within it, was another reason to partner with the world’s leading ERP company. With access to the Oracle AP data Previse’s technology transforms paying an invoice into an instant data-driven action rather a process-dependent decision. As part of the Oracle for Startups program, Previse has showcased at Oracle events around the world, allowing the team to illustrate the benefits of the solution and appeal to new customers.  “Oracle has unparalleled scale, experience and expertise when it comes to delivering technology to global enterprises. It is helping us to grow and scale as we rapidly expand our client base. We’ve been blown away by the caliber of experts aligned with us with the sole focus of helping us succeed.” -Margery McConnell, Previse In terms of engineering, the team recognized the benefits of cloud services providers who subscribe to an open source philosophy rather than technology tie-ins. This approach has helped develop a cloud-agnostic design to offer agility to their architecture development. Also, using Docker and Kubernetes for the operational design targets a much lower support cost, allowing the engineering team to focus on building a platform that can scale using Oracle Cloud whilst offering each client the security level they seek. Previse’s Margery McConnell said “Oracle is perfectly placed to guide us in exploiting the whole SaaS and PaaS combination in a way that is innovative and beneficial for our mutual clients. Because the Oracle platform is based on open source software it encourages us to be cloud agnostic, which I like, so you don’t have vendor lock-in.” This is an exciting time for Previse as it looks at the extended benefits of the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem as well as scaling their platform on Oracle Cloud. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

650 billion dollars. This is the amount of capital that is owed to small businesses but is trapped somewhere in the payment chain, with a corrosive effect on small businesses, their staff and the wider...

Program News

Oracle Teams Up with the Government of Ghana to Support African Startups & Entrepreneurs

Oracle and the Government of Ghana have established a new collaborative partnership to support technology-enabled startups and entrepreneurs across Ghana. Announced during a launch event in Accra on April 4, the Ghana Oracle Digital Enterprise Program leverages resources from Oracle’s global startup program to support 500 local startups with access to Oracle Cloud technology, mentoring, workshops, marketing and business-enablement resources. Oracle’s global startup program is a unique acceleration program for startups that puts the vast technology and business resources of Oracle behind emerging businesses to help them scale and succeed. The global program, which does not take equity, serves startups at scale by enabling next-generation growth, business development, and drives cloud-based ingenuity for startups, customers, and Oracle—creating a virtuous cycle of innovation. Ghana Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said the Ghana-Oracle partnership will be a game-changer for Ghana’s digital advancement and encouraged the youth to take advantage of the new initiative: “I encourage technology enthusiasts, startups and tech companies to take advantage of all the avenues created by the government of Ghana and through this partnership with Oracle.” “We are on a journey toward increasing the application of science, technology and innovation in the development of our economy, society and our country, and it’s a priority of this government,” said Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana. “This partnership will enhance the growth of our budding technology sector and should spur a wave of innovative ideas from entrepreneurs that will provide solutions to local and global challenges and provide digital jobs for the ever-increasing young population.” A core tenet of Oracle’s startup program is to support global and diverse startups regardless of location, helping to reach and enable entrepreneurs across every corner of the world, especially those in emerging markets. “The technology and business ingenuity coming out of Africa is exciting and inspiring,” said Jason Williamson, vice president, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem. “Collaborating with the government and President Akufo-Addo is an excellent way to provide immediate impact and support for hundreds of innovators across the country of Ghana as we look to expand our commitment to more entrepreneurs and startups in Africa.” Employees from Oracle's global startup program and Oracle Africa have been working closely for months to create an initiative that leverages the best resources from Oracle’s startup program coupled with the support of the government and local innovation hubs to enable 500 emerging companies to scale and grow their businesses. “The resourcefulness, creativity, character and ingenuity of the people of Ghana is unparalleled,” said Maria Forney, Business Development Lead for Oracle’s startup program. “The opportunity to support the government’s commitment to digitizing its economy is a privilege and honor. Oracle looks forward to helping accelerate the innovation coming out of this vibrant and dynamic country. Special recognition goes to all the many Oracle employees and partners who are making this partnership possible, including: Adepegba Oduntan, Franlin Asare, Sinem Kaya, Annick Sakho, Jason Williamson, Maria Forney, Tracy Sword, Julia Allyn, Karl Cox, Tash Badenhorst, Arun Khehar, Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, Stefan Diedericks and Andrew Sordam. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

Oracle and the Government of Ghana have established a new collaborative partnership to support technology-enabled startups and entrepreneurs across Ghana. Announced during a launch event in Accra on...

Best Practices

Lessons from Entrepreneurs: Josh Baer and the Art of the Elevator Pitch

When it comes to pitching, Josh Baer is one of the best in the business. The founder of Capital Factory (the “center of gravity for entrepreneurs” in booming Austin, TX) has advised thousands of entrepreneurs in Austin and beyond. As Baer will tell you, the goal of the elevator pitch isn’t to close the deal, but to buy yourself more time to talk further. Watch as Josh shares this and more secrets on building a pitch that is both effective and memorable. Focus on the Problem:  Illustrating the problem and how your solution addresses it will get your audience to buy into the problem, so you can then present how your solution solves it. Only by understanding the problem can your audience really see the value of your solution. Tell a Story:  Human beings are programmed to respond to storytelling. The more you can make your pitch like a story the easier it will be to listen to, understand and repeat to others. Talk Like a 4th Grader:  It’s a common misconception that using technical jargon or complex words will make you appear smart; actually it’s the opposite. Use simple language to illustrate your story to convey your own understanding. If a 4th grader can understand it, everyone else can too. Kill the Closing:  The final sentence of your pitch is the soundbite that your audience will take away with them. It needs to clearly and simply sum up who you are and what you do; make it memorable! Pitch and Repeat:  This pitch is too important to your startup to not know it inside out, upside down and sideways. You need to practise. A lot. Put yourself in different settings and situations, in front of different audiences and record yourself to make sure it’s perfect when it counts. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

When it comes to pitching, Josh Baer is one of the best in the business. The founder of Capital Factory (the “center of gravity for entrepreneurs” in booming Austin, TX) has advised thousands of...

Meet the Startups

iGeolise Selected as Top Story of 2018 by Profit Magazine

Image: Profit, Editor’s Choice: The Best of 2018 Oracle’s Profit Magazine covered hundreds of innovative companies and new technologies during the past year, from emerging businesses like Stitch Fix to perennial brands like Toyota. So, when the editors of Profit set out to choose their top stories of the year it was no easy feat. We are beyond proud that a startup in our global program, iGeolise, was chosen by Profit editors as a top story of 2018 for the “Matter of Minutes” piece. “iGeolise took something common—search travel and mapping—and viewed it through a different lens, measuring by time not miles. That made all the difference,” says Profit editor-in-chief Aaron Lazenby. “New technology is making its way into the enterprise at an accelerating rate. Working closely with startups through our Oracle for Startups program allows us to embrace those disruptive technologies for our products and customers.” iGeolise joined the Oracle startup program in the summer of 2017 and have since scaled their technology, increased revenue, grown their team, earned awards and gained exposure at key global events. The fast-growing startup is also in several sales cycles with Oracle customers. iGeolise lets users plan their travel based on time rather than distance. The iGeolise TravelTime platform processes maps and data from across the globe and delivers optimized travel time mapping so you know what’s reachable in minutes, not miles. A B2B platform, their API can be integrated into an existing website or mobile application so users can search for services by time via different modes of transport. The company has a healthy customer base that continues to grow with organizations like the National Health Service (NHS), Greater London Authority, Pitney Bowes, and Dunnhumby. “The partnership with Oracle has been game-changing for us. The startup program gives us access to enterprise-grade technology, as well as customers that will boost our growth, and all we have to do is concentrate on our business,” said Peter Lilley, cofounder of iGeolise.  “And the introductions to customers is quickly turning into real revenue possibilities.” From a technology standpoint, they had very intense CPU requirements, and the high volume of map data to be processed had become a barrier to growth. “With Oracle Cloud, if a client starts doing 100 times more searches, we can easily autoscale into that. Our field sales routing tool, our geocoder, and our fast parsing—we could not have done those things at the speed we do without Oracle,” said Charlie Davies, cofounder of iGeolise. Snapshot of iGeolise iGeolise processes maps and data from across the globe and delivers optimized travel time mapping so you know what’s reachable in minutes, not miles. Their API can be integrated into an existing website or mobile application so users can search for services by time via different modes of transport. UK-based company with approximately 20 employees and growing and offices in London, Lithuania and Amsterdam iGeolise runs on the Oracle Cloud, using bare metal servers, as well as OCI Container Engine for Kubernetes to parse maps, plus a custom-built geocoder based on Oracle VM.  Oracle Cloud cut down their data processing times from weeks to hours, while making their service faster, more reliable and more efficient. The switch to Oracle Cloud has enabled iGeolise to scale their business to become a global back-end search provider with limitless capacity and on-demand scaling flexibility. Clients such as Zoopla, a property search website, report a 300% increase in conversions.  Stepstone, an employment search tool popular in the UK, report that location relevance has increased by 60%. iGeolise is engaging regularly with Oracle customers including participating in various RFPs and POCs. The company is earning media exposure in outlets such as Forbes, The Sunday Times, San Francisco Business Journal, Profit Magazine and many others. Featured at key global events including Oracle OpenWorld, Web Summit and Modern Business Experience. Winners of the Oracle Excellence Award for Sustainability Innovation 2018. Winners of the Oracle Cloud Innovation Award 2018 JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

Image: Profit, Editor’s Choice: The Best of 2018 Oracle’s Profit Magazine covered hundreds of innovative companies and new technologies during the past year, from emerging businesses like Stitch Fix...

Meet the Startups

This Startup Landed 2,000 Customers With Virtually No Marketing. Here’s How.

GridMarkets isn’t your typical startup in the sense that gaining customers has never been a challenge. Virtually all of their customers have come from word-of-mouth recommendations. They have no paid marketing to speak of. Their customers have such absolute trust in the GridMarkets solution that recommendations come organically and willingly.  To date, GridMarkets has over 2,000 customers in more than 90 countries. A quick read of their website testimonials reveals a familiar chorus of praise: fast, straight-forward, affordable, powerful, reliable, scalable and intuitive. And my personal favorite: “For ambitious projects, GridMarkets may save your a**.” How they got to 2,000+ customers boils down to one word: trust. And their recently formed partnership with Oracle is now helping put that trust into overdrive. “As part of Oracle’s startup program, we can now say GridMarkets is backed by the highly secure and highly robust Oracle Cloud,” said GridMarkets’ cofounder Mark Ross. “This partnership adds to our credibility from a technology and customer standpoint. Having the partnership with Oracle is opening even more doors for us across the globe.” GridMarkets is a cloud rendering and simulation service company delivering specialized environments for the animation/visual effects and pharmaceutical industries. With a mission to democratize creativity, the company seamlessly integrates access to high-performance computational cloud resources into the end-users’ compute demanding applications. GridMarkets has simplified a complex problem by removing the technological barriers that prevent artists, engineers and others from easily and affordably accessing the computer power that they need. “We have standardized and reduced their insanely complex high-performance computing workflows to be push-button easy.  This permits our customers to take on more complex projects and to optimize the results.” The GridMarkets team collaborates with lead artists from top Hollywood studios, working on some really ambitious projects from leading media and entertainment brands such as Fox Studios and Facebook’s Oculus division. The company actually stumbled into the studio and animation space when their original startup—which was focused on the hedge fund/financial vertical—had an entertainment studio based in Los Angeles began using their cloud platform. And as Ross says, “It just started to snowball from there.” During their first year of operation, GridMarkets delivered over 500,000 computing hours to more than 200 animators and architects worldwide. And they were recognized for their innovative approach, winning multiple awards from the BBVA, Echelon and Red Herring. The peer recommendations kept rolling in. In January of this year (2019), GridMarkets joined Oracle’s global startup program.  “The Oracle/GridMarkets partnership is a promising and powerful synergy and will help us to reach our ambitious goals even faster!  We have begun prospecting with Oracle across JAPAC and North America – a practical example of this synergy,” he says. “The mission that drives us and about which we are passionate, to Democratize Creativity, is enabled and accelerated with Oracle’s support,” said Ross. The company was able to quickly add Oracle's cloud infrastructure to the GridMarkets platform, permitting their customers’ visual content to be processed on Oracle machines, something that Ross says will help GridMarkets to scale. “Oracle has a strong and credible presence in our target verticals; together we can drive additional value to existing and potential Oracle customers.” In five years, Mark hopes to be an established brand and the go-to solution for creatives across a number of industry verticals.  Being part of Oracle’s startup program is key to their strategy. “Oracle is very cooperative and responsive. While the partnership is new, the pace of collaboration has been intense,” he says.  “It feels like Oracle has adopted us and genuinely has the same vested interest in our success as we do.  The Oracle brand stands for trust; that credibility is allowing us to build upon our own trust and position ourselves for continued success.  We feel privileged to have been selected by Oracle, particularly given the many choices that Oracle has.  I am confident that this partnership will prove to be a watershed in GridMarkets’ history,” says Ross. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.   

GridMarkets isn’t your typical startup in the sense that gaining customers has never been a challenge. Virtually all of their customers have come from word-of-mouth recommendations. They have no paid...

Meet the Startups

Pivoting to a New Growth Path with Employee Engagement: The Xoxoday Startup Story

This blog post was authored by Sumit Khandelwal, Co-founder Xoxoday When we started back in early 2012, the only thing we wanted to build was a company that will bring paradigm changes in the way ‘gifting’ happens in India. This idea came from our first-hand experience in the gifting industry. We had some insights on gifting from the Flipkart experience and learning how gifting is a very offline-driven business during experiences learnt at Metro cash and carry. Together, I, Sumit, Abhishek and Kushal started Giftxoxo with a plan to make it big in online gifting. Over the last six years, we experimented, iterated and kept doing course corrections. What we do today is very different from what we started. We realized that large e-commerce players like Amazon dominate online gifting and the vertical online gifting sector is too small. B2B gifting was still very large but it was driven by various offline interventions and was not scalable. Gifting was also very transactional and getting a customer to purchase multiple times was a challenge. Hence, we took a decision to build a product which would be useful for people on a regular basis. We pivoted from an online gifting company to an employee engagement, rewards and recognition SaaS product. With this change, we also changed our gift-centric brand name Giftxoxo to Xoxoday. While running the gifting business for one and a half years, we attracted a large list of clients who worked with us. We started converting these clients to our SaaS product and that was a good win. Our organic marketing, both online and offline, has been key to get a strong brand awareness and customer conversion. We have also been very customer-centric from day one and a constant 85% customer satisfaction has helped us get positive word of mouth. The DNA of the company has been very technology oriented. We have been doing a lot of optimizations in our processes through relevant technology tools. This has always helped us attain efficiency and improved productivity from the team. A key focus for us has been building the right team. And with immense talent competition, it is not easy to build the best team. However, we are happy that some of our key people have been with us for more than five years. We have made our mistakes in building the right team but overall it has been a great team with outstanding efforts. Today we have a strong team of 120 people across multiple countries. Our product and offering has evolved over the last seven years and went through various transformations. A few examples of these are namely: our online gifting, experience gifting, B2B gifting, rewards and recognition, and employee engagement SaaS platforms and mobile apps. We scaled well in our SaaS product which has shown us constant promise. Today, we are a pure SaaS company with the entire focus of the company in this product and sales. While doing any growth experiment or change in product strategy, we have focused on keeping the revenues going. Whatever the situation and challenges, we have been telling ourselves and the teams that the “show must go on”. This spirit has helped us increase our revenues every year by at least 50 to 60 percent.   Today as I write this article, we are building one of the best global products that helps enterprises, big and small, to digitize and automate their employee engagement, rewards and recognition. We are working with 400+ clients globally. The product helps companies to retain and engage their talent and thus improve their efficiency and productivity. We compete with some large global companies in the same area but are building our own niche in the DIY product. We look forward for an exciting time ahead and should emerge as a large force in this industry of engagement, rewards and recognition. 2018 was another milestone in our journey as we joined the Oracle for Startups program in India. Working with an enterprise cloud provider such as Oracle has helped us to reduce our cloud expenses to one-fifth of the previous cloud provider (AWS). We are working with Oracle to optimize server count by using the higher configuration available in the Oracle Gen 2 cloud. We are exploring Docker services, Mail delivery services and CDN to lower costs further. OCI Architecture Xoxoday core applications such as GraphQL (https://graphql.org/ ), Consumer Applications, Budgeting APIs, etc., run on top of Oracle cloud infrastructure Standard X7 & Bare Metal Virtual Machines. They also leverage Open-source based HAProxy (http://www.haproxy.org/)  load-balancer, Kong API Gateway, and the data layer is powered by high performance Redis for caching and MySQL database. As part of the Oracle for Startups program we have begun engaging via the marketing connect module and are confident that our solution for employee engagement will find ready acceptance among Oracle enterprise customers and with a global technology leader like Oracle supporting us, we hope to reach newer heights. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

This blog post was authored by Sumit Khandelwal, Co-founder Xoxoday When we started back in early 2012, the only thing we wanted to build was a company that will bring paradigm changes in the...

Meet the Startups

Belgium Startup Supercharging the Instore Experience for Fashion Retailers

Belgium-based startup Macty is using AI to supercharge the instore experience for fashion retailers while better connecting the offline and online worlds. It’s no secret that high street retailers are struggling with the shift from physical to digital shopping. It’s widely agreed that the key to stave off this shift lies with the ‘in-store experience’, to create something unique and of value for shoppers that makes them want to step into the store rather than passively browse collections online. An .eu Web Awards winner for innovation, Macty is using AI to help retailers enhance the experience for customers both in-store and online, leading to a connected retail experience. Luxury lingerie designer and manufacturer, Van de Velde, uses Macty to deliver unique styling experiences in stores, where customers can upload photos of existing items to see recommended matching products from the Van de Velde collections which are selected using machine learning algorithms. Around 80% of shoppers report that they find the application fun and wish to use it in more stores. The tools that Macty has built bridge the gap between offline and online, allowing a retailer to present a united offering to the shopper.  The solution delivers a holistic approach for brands to build their customer base by improving the experience through four innovative solutions: Snap to Shop – This tool empowers users to shop more efficiently by allowing visual search. A user snaps a picture, Macty processes the image to identify all the relevant items and match the items in the store. Complete the Look – Allows brands to connect and inspire customers on what to wear and how to combine pieces to create a complete outfit. Find Similar Items – This tool allows an image search for customers to find items that look similar to substitute when an exact product is not available in store. Consumer Insights – Provides brands with analytics built around store visitors; this tool can detect gender, age and emotion to help brands build customer profiles. These tools, all built on Oracle Cloud, can be used as a package or as a stand-alone tool and are designed to be effective in the store environment. With bespoke applications such as interactive mirrors for personal styling, personalised inspiration stations or visitor insight capturing installations. These tools are all focussed on increasing sales for the brands Macty works with. Macty is the brainchild of Susana Zoghbi and co-founder Ken Van Eyndonck who created the startup in 2017. The startup has been part of the Oracle for Startups program since 2018 to grow their business and they have attended events such as Oracle Open World London, Oracle Cloud Day Netherlands and Modern Customer Experience in Las Vegas, where Susana has been able to use Oracle’s platform to share insights from her startup journey.     “Partnering with Oracle has been a win-win for us in terms of growth and developing our cloud infrastructure. Oracle, as a strong partner with a strong name in the industry and lots of technical expertise has helped us massively. Alongside this, the connection with customers has been hugely beneficial.” Susana Zoghbi Co-Founder & CEO Macty About Macty Macty is an Artificial Intelligence startup with the mission to help retailers and fashion brands increase sales by enabling the latest in Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing. By allowing end users to insert pictures of items they want without using any language, Macty can deliver a bespoke service to help customers find items they are looking for. Snapshot on Macty Program Progress & Success: Running 100% on Oracle Cloud infrastructure. Oracle cheaper option for GPU’s. Integration with Oracle Chabot via conversational interface allows deployment of solution to mobile devices seamlessly and with minimum effort for the consumer. Timesaving to get up and running on cloud and less time spent babysitting cloud usage. Ability to setup automated backup policies for block devices. Budgeting for cloud usage with OCI is easy with no need to count I/O operations. World class expertise: Oracle listened to and integrated feedback within a few weeks. Exposure at Oracle events around the world building relationships with Key Account Holders in the industry. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.   

Belgium-based startup Macty is using AI to supercharge the instore experience for fashion retailers while better connecting the offline and online worlds. It’s no secret that high street retailers are...