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Meet the Startups

Why cybersecurity startups build with Oracle

Cybersecurity can seem like a game of whack-a-mole. You get rid of one problem, and up pops another. McAfee and CSIS estimate global losses from cybercrime now total over $1 trillion, a more than 50% increase from 2018. In 2019, two-thirds of surveyed companies reported some cyber incident. Even scarier, 56% of surveyed organizations say they don’t have a plan to both prevent and respond to a cyber incident. “Both the virus and the hacker need to find just one weak spot while we need to protect ourselves against all possible adverse risk factors and threat vectors,” wrote Vipin Samar, Senior Vice President of Database Security, in a blog on 2021 cybersecurity predictions. “We saw the pandemic slow down the world in 2020, but there was no corresponding slowdown in breaches. In fact, we saw attacks continue relentlessly on corporations and governments as the adversaries took advantage of increasingly distracted employees and contractors.” Oracle has a long tradition of engineering for risk with security-first design principles, and that is one of many reasons cybersecurity startups choose to scale up with the Oracle startup program.  Defeating hackers with better risk tracking and auditing With the bad publicity and lost revenue that can come with a network hack, IT staff are forever plugging potential security holes, doublechecking entry points, and – in many cases – manually documenting their work on spreadsheets. That was Michael Bohnel’s life when he was the network security officer for a major European bank. He figured there had to be a better way. So, he cofounded Caveris, which offers a SaaS solution for automated, auditable governance, risk, and compliance tracking. Caveris’ technology makes it easier to understand which controls effectively mitigate threats such as ransomware or phishing, and which controls are failing. It even calculates an information security “posture score” to help IT staff understand where they need to concentrate cybersecurity efforts. “75% of security incidents and data breaches are from avoidable causes, things like not removing users when they offboard, not patching servers, not ensuring AV malware signatures are up-to-date, basic security hygiene factors,’’ Bohnel says. “We can show enterprises where those weak points are.’’ This orchestration level is cloud-based, and Caveris team chose Oracle Cloud partly because of the support they received from the Oracle for Startups program. As is true for so many startups, the biggest challenge for Caveris was getting their solution in front of a prospect. When they do pitch a prosepct, Bohnel says, they have great success. But landing that first meeting isn’t easy. That’s where joining the Oracle startup program made a difference. Startups like Caveris that join the program and run production workloads on Oracle Cloud tap into a network of benefits including opportunities for introductions to key account managers and, potentially, Oracle customers. Bohnel is in the early stages of those meetings. He notes that he has not experienced the same opportunities from other cloud vendors. While Caveris is leveraging a multicloud approach to service large customers, not all cloud providers offer the same intangible benefits. “Any startup program that gives you potential exposure to Oracle customers – what’s not to like? It’s a no-brainer,’’ he says.   Enterprise data made "hacker proof" While working as a technology consultant, Hoon-Ywen Li discovered what a hassle it was for companies to secure data. With a small group, he set out to solve the problem, patented the technology, and promptly put it aside. Flash forward five years. With the patent now granted, he leaped to form a company – Anzen - that uses cloud to compute, anonymize, and fragment data into multiple data shards before they are sent through the cloud network to be individually stored in different cloud regions. These shards can eventually be reassembled in a hacker-proof fashion. “If one data shard falls into a hacker’s hands, the piece is unreadable and useless. All shards need to be together to restore the original information,’’ Li explains. And while Li describes Anzen’s technology as cloud-agnostic, he says he likes working with Oracle because of cost-effective compute prices, Oracle’s Database Cloud Service, and rapid cloud data center expansion.   “Oracle doesn’t just have the infrastructure, but also offers database as a service which is really important to real-time database transaction projects,’’ Li explains. The Database Cloud Service Enterprise Edition High Performance offers a metered option that helps him manage his budget effectively. Anzen has a contract with the UK Ministry of Defense’s Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, and is running trials with multiple companies. Li credits support he received in addition to the technology. “Having that collaboration and that partnership, that’s helping us accelerate our development and our go-to-market strategy,’’ he says.   Mitigating risk while keeping the internet on Internet browsing is such a high risk to corporate enterprises that many must resort to blocking access to whole swathes of the web to protect their users from attacks such as ransomware and phishing. But blocking access to the internet can also block productivity. For knowledge workers in high-end verticals such as finance, accessing the internet is critical to their jobs, allowing them to check up on vendors, vet clients, and gather information. UK-based Garrison offers a web isolation solution that uses hardsec technology to isolate enterprise endpoints from risky websites, remotely transforming all web content to a verifiably safe format. Garrison’s technology allows users to click links and browse the web in complete confidence. Garrison was introduced to Oracle for Startups by one of its investors and now uses Oracle Cloud for elements of its computing needs. Unlike other cloud providers, Oracle offers Garrison introductions to key account managers and enterprise clients.  “It’s such a delight to work with a highly established company like Oracle that has an effective and agile scheme designed to help startups. We’ve had fantastic support,’’ says David Garfield, Garrison’s cofounder. “It is also great that Oracle has made some very strong statements around cybersecurity and recognizes that this is a key element of its future.’’  Garrison’s customers include both government organizations and commercial enterprises. A typical example includes a federal agency that didn’t want to rely solely on threat detection software solutions or suffer the awkwardness and expense of separate devices for internet browsing. Garrison’s solution allowed them to safely offer internet access to employees, even on their trusted and sensitive devices.  “Protecting IT by layering security software on top of a hugely complex and vulnerable software stack is like building a castle on sand,’’ Garfield says. “We believe hardware approaches offer a true revolution in the way we think about security.’’    Meeting customers' rising demand These startups support their customers as they enhance productivity and security in an increasingly risky digital world. Demand for niche cybersecurity solutions is on the rise among enterprises, including Oracle’s customers. That’s why we are finding transformative security-focused startup technologies and offering opportunities for them to connect directly with customers. It’s a virtuous cycle that offers a win/win for customers and startups alike. Join us at oracle.com/startup   

Cybersecurity can seem like a game of whack-a-mole. You get rid of one problem, and up pops another. McAfee and CSIS estimate global losses from cybercrime now total over $1 trillion, a more than 50%...

Meet the Startups

This startup is galvanizing 3D printing through blockchain-based innovation

We’ve gone from the science-fiction conversations of 3D printing to organizations today using it in production to drive innovation in their businesses. According to Gartner, 47% of supply chain managers plan to use 3D printing in the next year.  A PWC report estimates that by 2023, 85% of spare parts suppliers will incorporate 3D printing into their business. The 3D printing industry - also known as additive manufacturing - is booming because it has huge benefits. The ability to print a part onsite or closer to operations—as opposed to that part coming via long, complex supply chains—saves time and money, reduces transportation costs, lowers carbon footprints, reduces labor costs, and injects agility into the supply chain.  However, the digital nature of the additive manufacturing process triggers significant industrial property protection concerns. If a spare part is now created via software, across a new and expanding ecosystem, how can we know that part was completed to specification and verified? Beyond that, how do we ensure that the IP is protected? It’s a little like the early days of digital music, before Apple and digital rights management (DRM), when piracy ruled.  In a recent TCT Magazine article, Dr. Phil Reeves, an expert in 3D printing and part of Reeves Insights said, "You've got machine manufacturers, materials companies, material handling equipment companies, post-processing, you've got software for the design side, you've got software for the CAM side, you've got shop floor management software tools, DRM software companies...you've got a huge ecosystem. The reality is the industrial adoption is predicated on the weakest part of it. And the weakest part is still the economics of the process."  There’s a real supply chain problem for additive manufacturing.  3D printing digitalizes the warehouse and its supply chain  French startup Vistory, part of Oracle for Startups, believes they have the solution with MainChain, a seamless, trusted third-party platform for distributed additive manufacturing. Based on private blockchain technology, MainChain provides its industrial customers risk control and trust across the entire digital supply chain by: • Preserving industrial property, confidentiality, and trade secrets • Certifying industrial property integrity • Tracing operations throughout digital supply chain, from design to part manufacturing • Automating workflows such as billing MainChain, which runs on Oracle Cloud, also enables new business opportunities such as monetizing intellectual property and manufacturing spare parts on-site. With a secure digital supply chain, industrials can avoid having a large warehouse of spare parts by replacing the stockpile with access to the MainChain digital warehouse. “It’s all about creating trust – digital trust,” says Alexandre Pédemonte, CEO and founder of Vistory.  “But trust between these partners and IP and data security risks was a problem. There was no secure, transparent supply chain for additive manufacturing—so we built it.” Vistory’s platform is plug-and-play and interoperable across ERP and CRM systems via API.  A subscription-based and tier-based model allows for adoption for small and enterprise businesses. Vistory grew from $100K in revenue to $3M forecasted for 2021 in only one year. Defense industrials are the early adopters driving Industry 4.0 forward In early 2019, Vistory began collaborating with the French Ministry of Defense, testing the benefits of additive manufacturing in overseas operations. Military operations can be thousands of miles away, where there are long waits for repairs, and logistics can be a weak point in areas where political issues and terrorism impact the supply chain. Additive manufacturing helps increase availability and production, reduce time to repair, save costs and labor, and reduces carbon footprints. Vistory signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense in December of 2019 after meeting the Ministry of the Armed Forces’ digital transformation requirements, becoming the first blockchain operation deployment overseas. Brigadier General Chary of the Ministry of the Armed Forces said, "It's a great success because in a very short time, with Vistory we have set up an experiment in OPEX with 3D printers, and behind that, the exchange of data between us and the manufacturers. With multiple parties involved, we need a trusted third party and blockchain will provide it…Blockchain opens us up to a new business model and allows us to lower our logistics footprint and be less vulnerable."  The French MoD aren’t the only government agency embracing 3D printing. The United States’ Department of Defense recently released its first-ever comprehensive additive manufacturing strategy. A key part of the document addresses concerns around intellectual property (IP) and trust noting future plans must “ensure cybersecurity throughout the 3D printing workflow and its digital thread, as well as to protect its 3D printing production and testing processes.” “The benefits for the defense industry have been proven in production, and we’re seeing increasing interest and demand from other industries like automotive, medical, aerospace, and even household goods,” said Alexandre Pédemonte. Generating growth with the Oracle startup program   Vistory joined Oracle for Startups in September of 2020 for better price-performance on cloud technology and customer introductions. Oracle for Startups’ technical team helped Vistory lift-and-shift from Microsoft Azure by creating the custom image and launching Windows-based and Linux-based Virtual Machines, Compartments, VCN configurations, and storage. “We are getting better performance on Oracle Cloud, at 70% less, which allows us to reinvest the cost savings into other areas of the business,” said Pédemonte.  Vistory is also preparing to meet with Oracle customers across many industries, giving the startup engagement opportunities it might not have on its own. “To have Oracle’s industry expertise, and introductions to their customers, gives us a credibility we can’t get by ourselves—and helps fast-track future opportunities and revenue growth.”  The advantages work both ways, benefitting Oracle and Oracle customers too, creating a win-win-win situation. “Working with startups, like Vistory, allows us to collaborate and co-innovate better for Oracle customers, which helps our customers continue to be pioneers in their industry and keep a competitive edge in their marketplace,” said Max Dunhill, EMEA Business Development Lead, Oracle for Startups. Building the service of industrial confidence for the future Vistory’s references include organizations like Aeris, Marklix, Health Service Department, Ruag Defense, Arquus, Egidium Technologies, Naval Group and the French Ministry of Defense. Their partner ecosystem is growing fast, currently accounting for 80% of the global polymer market and 40% of the metal market.  The company believes neither additive manufacturing nor the blockchain have found their business model alone, that success relies in their combination. “We’re seeing demand grow and now selling into civil companies such as marketplaces, or medical and aeronautic industrials.” Vistory is currently self-funded but is exploring venture funding to accelerate their market momentum. The company is opening an office in Dallas, Texas later this year, and expects MainChain will be the first “Industry-as-a-Service” platform in the next five years.  “We want to bring the additive industry to the next level and galvanize the industrialization of 3D printing,” Alexandre Pédemonte said. “And I believe we are well positioned to do it.”  

We’ve gone from the science-fiction conversations of 3D printing to organizations today using it in production to drive innovation in their businesses. According to Gartner, 47% of supply...

Cloud Foundations for Startups

3 ways Oracle offers hands-on technical support for startups

Migrating to a new cloud service and getting a grip on its features might seem daunting, especially when you have a business to run. Unlike other corporate startup programs, Oracle for Startups has a dedicated technology resource – our Cloud Architect Team (CAT for short) – to ensure a smooth transition by offering migration assistance, time-saving consulting services, and hands-on personal support. Oracle’s startup program goes beyond the technology to give startups the personal support they need, delivered by a team of experts who understand the challenges and time constraints that founders and CTOs of small companies come up against. 3 ways Oracle Cloud architects help startups scale up  Hands-on help with cloud migration  Plenty of startups spin up instances and get up and running on OCI by themselves, but for those who are apprehensive about migrating or who simply don’t have the time or resources to make the move on their own, CAT is ready to pounce into action. Peer-to-peer lending solution Mawlny worked with the Cloud Architect Team to migrate to OCI. “We mapped each service that Mawlny was using with Oracle Cloud services,” says Vikas Raina, who headed the migration effort. From there, CAT created secure tunnels to migrate data to Oracle Cloud, completing the move in two days.   “Oracle gave us experts we trust,” said Ahmed Abbas Mohammad, CEO of the fintech. “The startup program and the support team are great.”  Startups can request migration and other services through the Startup Portal, an online platform where startups access information and support on-demand. The ease of the request plus speed to results mean that the team has completed more than 40 migrations so far, with many more lined up.  Comprehensive cloud consultations  Learning how to make the most of new cloud services can be time consuming. The task can fall to the bottom of scaling startups’ to-do lists, but there are many benefits to expanded cloud knowledge.  Oracle for Startups offers a comprehensive consulting service to qualified startups, in which architects design and build a secure and reliable workload, inclined toward an OCI best practices framework. Designed to help companies optimize OCI for their unique needs, this service includes a personalized, detailed report that assesses a startup's cloud infrastructure for security, reliability, performance, cost, and operational efficiency.  “Our team serves as an extension of the startup’s tech team, helping to ensure their workloads are as secure, reliable, performant and cost-efficient as possible,” says Ben Hill, Director of the Oracle for Startups Cloud Architect Team.  “We can provide the expertise and resources the startup might be lacking, or just give them more confidence with a trusted partner by their side. Either way, we are there to help them prepare to grow and scale as quickly as possible.” This service has helped many companies as they migrate to OCI, including Dootax, a fast-growing Brazilian startup that simplifies technology through Robotic Process Automation. Cofounder Luis Pessoto says, “We don’t get this level of support and attention from AWS. We don’t have these conversations that help us find the best, most cost-efficient solutions for our startup. It’s another reason startups should consider OCI and Oracle for Startups.” Similarly, SmartHint, an intelligent search and recommendation system that improves the customer experience when shopping online, and counts New Balance, Lego and Samsonite as customers, has also benefitted. “This type of service and partnership is incredibly valuable for a growing startup,” said Rodrigo Schianvini, SmartHint CEO and founder. “It gives us the confidence and assurance that we are running optimally and highly performant, so we can focus our attention on the business.” Personalized support  While automation and scale are the increasingly important, personal connection still matters. A lot.  Startups working with Oracle have several ways to reach out and connect directly with a human. Whether that’s dialing us up, sending us an email or a WhatsApp, startups in the program have a direct line to our dedicated team.  GridMarkets founder Mark Ross shared his experience, “With Oracle, there are actual people I can call and reach out to and get action and answers. I don’t get that type of service with Google or AWS. There’s no one to call, no point of contact.” GridMarkets' technology is used by computational chemists in the fight against COVID-19, as well as animators and visual effects artists, and anyone who needs a simple, fast, affordable, and secure way to render animations or simulate mathematical models in the cloud. It’s important to GridMarkets to have support whenever they need it. “With Oracle, I have the OCI team and Oracle for Startups, and these relationships matter to a growing startup. The partnership with Oracle is very valuable to the future of GridMarkets.” CAT's out of the bag Oracle for Startups’ Cloud Architect Team (CAT) consists of experienced architects and self-described ‘technology geeks,’ including Siva Kulasekaran, a senior cloud architect and Ph.D, who says, “It’s rewarding to work with these innovative startups and help them get running easily and quickly on OCI. We’re all like-minded tech geeks, fascinated and obsessed by how cloud technologies are transforming every aspect of business and life. It’s something new and exciting every day.”  Ben, Siva and Vikas are joined by Kosta Djukic, Muthuvel Balasubramanian, Nagaraj A S, and Mitesh Bhopale. This group of cloud pros is as fun to work with as they are cloud-savvy, plus equally dedicated to helping startups scale. Learn more about the team and how your can startup tap into these resources at oracle.com/startup.

Migrating to a new cloud service and getting a grip on its features might seem daunting, especially when you have a business to run. Unlike other corporate startup programs, Oracle for Startups has a...

Meet the Startups

AI visual search meets shoppers where they are

You can tell that I had a ton of fun talking to Jenny Griffiths from Snap Vision. As a lover of online shopping, I was excited to learn more about how Snap Vision’s AI tool helps online retailers keep customers engaged. Jenny also shared her whip smart insights on the retail industry, emerging technology, and what it was like working with Oracle as an entrepreneur.  Watch the entire conversation Many uses for visual search Brands that leverage Snap Vision’s AI technology keep shoppers engaged by helping them find more of what they like. Beyond that, the technology can be used for brand protection as retailers keep a lookout for their products appearing on other sites. This CX approach is an evolution from Snap Vision's original iteration - a simple mobile app that let you photograph an item and find similar items online.  How the pandemic shapes retail  Jenny shares my love for retail therapy, so she was disheartened to see beloved brands closing their doors as the pandemic brought in-person shopping to a standstill.   To do her part and support struggling business, Jenny and Snap Vision offered their technology for free to retailers in the UK, with the knowledge that while business budgets got tighter, creating a great digital experience had never been more important to a brand's survival. Her decision demonstrated the empathy that is so important to entrepreneurs, and Snap Vision bolstered their own business by supporting others in times of uncertainty.  In addition to shopping moving online, consumer shopping behaviors also adapted to life at home. Jenny explained that people were shopping for more of what they knew. Shoppers grasped for familiarity and comfort in times of change. (My growing stack of cozy black sweaters will attest to this.)  But for those who wanted to break out of the same old style, it was cool to hear how the search tool also helps identify new items. Jenny's example of shopping for a velvet bridesmaid dress was all too relatable, and I loved how she shared exactly how Snap Vision's visual search could help her find a dress in a style she loved, in the fabric and color combo to keep the bride smiling.  "It's been a wild ride."  An early member of Oracle for Startups, Snap Vision has leveraged the relationship into integrations with Oracle CX products including Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud. Alignment with Oracle adds an extra layer of familiarity and credibility when they pitch to new enterprise retail customers, who are often already leveraging an Oracle product or two in-house.  I had a blast hearing about Snap Vision's success, and the journey with Oracle that she describes as a "wild ride." Check out our conversation and then follow in Jenny's footsteps toward cost savings on enterprise cloud, plus business-building connections to drive your startup into the next stage of success. Join Oracle for Startups.   

You can tell that I had a ton of fun talking to Jenny Griffiths from Snap Vision. As a lover of online shopping, I was excited to learn more about how Snap Vision’s AI tool helps online retailers keep...

Startup Life

Virtual business is good news for female founders

Covid-19 has decimated some business sectors, but it has arguably also changed the way we work for the better. The pandemic normalized flexible working and has accelerated the take-up and importance of virtual programs. That’s of huge benefit to startups and underrepresented groups in the tech industry, including women. While virtual programs can’t change the status quo overnight, the flexibility and support they give enables women to work on their own terms and access benefits more easily. “There’s a much more nurturing environment for startups now because of the online platforms and programs we see today,” says Hansa Iyengar, Principal Analyst, Digital Enterprise Services at Omdia. She says that the move online has been happening gradually before the pandemic, as workers embrace online communities and virtual programs. “Global teams have been becoming more dispersed … over the last 10 years. Now there are more people working across time zones. It was happening because things like meetings and all hands were happening virtually, but it has accelerated it very quickly,” Iyengar explains. “Some things that we expected to take five to six years are now business as usual. Technology has definitely empowered people.” Here are just a few ways the fully virtual Oracle for Startups program helps the founders who are juggling home lives as busy as their work lives.  Flexibility Virtual programs are particularly important during the pandemic, which is having a regressive effect on gender equality, as they help women access support for their business when and where they need to. We all know the drawbacks of "always on" culture. Many of us may feel compelled to engage in digital detoxes and use fancy apps to help us disengage from the seemingly endless inquiries as our jobs infringe on our personal time and space. The flexibility of a virtual program can be a game-changer for female founders juggling a full time job, family, or any other major commitment. “It is a very good aspect of today’s world that we can work from anywhere. Having that flexibility no matter who you are is helpful,” says Iyengar. Oracle for Startups has been virtual since mid-2019, intent on supporting founders anywhere in the world, with easily available benefits ranging from a 70% discount on Oracle Cloud to technical support, and mentoring from experienced executives. Democratizing opportunities A recent report by Atomico revealed that 42% of women reported experiencing discrimination while working in the European tech industry. Oracle's startup program is open to startups anywhere in the world, from any background. If you are a B2B or B2C startup, with a large addressable target market, you're in. Iyengar believes online programs help democratize opportunities for startups and “provide access to new ideas globally. You can even collaborate with people.” The majority of founders and investors are men, and walking into a room as one of the few women can be intimidating. Virtual programs like Oracle’s make networking easier, especially thanks to Market Connect, which opens doors for scaling startups. From a well-placed article, to a seat at the table with a potential customer, qualifying startups can access Oracle's pool of global customers, products, and marketing outlets. Greater reach Female founders in Silicon Valley and cities across the world will be spoilt for choice when it comes to networking events and similar opportunities, but anyone living outside these tech-hubs are at a huge disadvantage.  Virtual programs like Oracle for Startups help reach underserved markets, giving founders the tools they need to make their business dreams a reality. Oracle’s Market Connect helps introduce startups to its enterprise and medium-sized customers, while events like Startup Idol help founders share their story with industry analysts. “Virtual programs will definitely become more important because they are a fantastic way to reach a wider audience,” Iyengar says. They are “shifting the balance from a few selective hubs to a more balanced spread across the globe,” she adds.  Whatever your gender, background, or location, Oracle's startup program has benefits that could help your startup. Find out more and join today.  

Covid-19 has decimated some business sectors, but it has arguably also changed the way we work for the better. The pandemic normalized flexible working and has accelerated the take-up and importance of...

Meet the Startups

With Oracle, this energy scaleup is going global

Can a program designed for startups help companies take the next step and scale up?  Turkish-based energy AI & IoT platform Reengen says the answer is yes. They joined Oracle for Startups specifically to scale up and grow the business internationally on a cloud platform that its founders believe will set them up for success.  "Oracle is a good match because our platform runs on the cloud, and Oracle has a very strong cloud offering," says Serdar Özbüber, Reengen's business development manager. The company shared the story of their product and working with Oracle recently with CIO magazine.  Reengen vetted Oracle’s cloud offering by first trying every other cloud out there. "We've tried them all," says founder Sahin Caglayan. "We don't consider Oracle a pure cloud provider, but more like a strategic partner." Needed: actionable energy insights Reengen's origins date back to Caglayan and his cofounders' MSc. thesis on energy efficiency. Sensors, they discovered, are everywhere in stores, factories, and commercial buildings, and many facilities employ SCADA systems. Caglayan realized that while the sensors and systems were generating enormous amounts of data, companies needed to automate data usage in order to make informed decisions quickly. There isn't enough time or engineering resources to study detailed energy usage patterns and turn the data into actionable intelligence for every facility.  In addition, facilities often have fragmented data and communications, and a lack of data-driven energy management. In order to target this challenge, Reengen digitizes energy management with IoT and AI. It provides state-of-the-art monitoring, analytics, reporting, and management software plus IoT solutions for a wide array of energy and sustainability applications across multiple industries. A sensor-agnostic approach Another roadblock to gaining a full view of energy usage is that many analysis systems require a specific hardware or sensor type. So Reengen designed a hardware-agnostic layer that gathers data from virtually any sensor or network in a facility, store, or commercial office.  Reengen's solution offers specific suggestions to help facility managers and energy services companies to achieve energy cost savings and sustainability goals. It could be as simple as calculating the time to start the heat or air conditioning before the store or office opens or as complex as pinpointing aging, energy-hungry light fixtures across multiple stores.  Huge savings in hidden places Consider the work Reengen did for BNP Paribas. They analyzed energy usage at bank branches and selected ATM locations in Turkey and discovered that the ATM sites with high energy usage often had outdated exterior lighting. A change in lighting at one site reduced the site's energy consumption by 59%.  As a different success story in banking domain, Reengen successfully migrated its cloud-based digital energy management offering for Bank Audi Turkey, from another cloud provider to Oracle cloud recently. In addition to robust and secure cloud service offering, Reengen had an upsell in parallel to this transition with upgraded business modules as well as secured a longer contract.  Reengen now analyzes data and provides guidance to 8,000 facilities in ten countries with major retailers like Zara, the Gap, Marks and Spencer, and Banana Republic. That's when they had outgrown the early startup stage and were looking to take the next step.  Impressive connections Caglayan was aware of the support Oracle was providing to Turkish startups after meeting Sinem Kaya, an Oracle for Startups ambassador and Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives. She walked Reengen through the process that Oracle uses connect eligible startups with Oracle customers and potentially co-sell with Oracle.  "Oracle has access to the kinds of partners and channels that we are interested in. We could see the huge amount of support that Oracle provides," Caglayan says. The Oracle Analytics Cloud was also a draw. "Oracle Analytics Cloud provides us with the strong tools to do analysis and data science."  Kaya is equally excited to see Reengen scale. "I met Reengen in 2019 when they already had solid global expansion plans besides their Turkey's expansion efforts. After taking a deep dive into their platform, I knew they could meet the increased demand for digital energy management solutions among our customers," Kaya says. While the Oracle startup program supports companies of all shapes and sizes with free credits and a 70% discount on cloud for two years, our deep vertical expertise also gives startups something other cloud providers can't – access to customers that are specifically looking for the kind of solutions they are offering.  If you are ready to make the leap from startup to scaleup, consider a cloud provider that offers more than just cloud.

Can a program designed for startups help companies take the next step and scale up?  Turkish-based energy AI & IoT platform Reengen says the answer is yes. They joined Oracle for Startups specifically...

Meet the Startups

Startup brings authenticity to video production

When I think about Priya Shah and her startup Sauce Video, the word that comes to mind is authenticity. Sauce was founded almost a decade ago with the intent to help teams share and edit in-the-moment video content from their smartphones. The Oracle for Startups team even used it when we attended live events to capture footage of our startups in action and route the footage back to “mission control” to edit and share the clips on social media.  We experienced firsthand how Sauce enabled easier collaboration between our social managers and the attendees who were armed with just their smartphone and a shot list. The videos got out into the world quickly and always did well because they were engaging and totally "real." They were the kind of video that made you feel like you were there, which is exactly the point. Authentic videos capture the attention of customers, drive campaigns forward, and even build employee engagement, because people naturally gravitate toward content that feels true.   Pandemic pivots As so many businesses shifted to remote work, cloud-based digital collaboration became more important than ever. Sauce continues to expand its offerings to support more enterprise use cases. The startup was also acquired by Oracle and now sits within the Oracle Content and Experience Cloud suite of products. The tool is expanding from team collaboration into video publishing, hosting, even analytics, all supported by secure and scalable Oracle Cloud infrastructure.  Chatting with Priya, I learned her perspective on being nimble as a startup founder, and adapting to support your customers' changing needs. "We have a big vision," she said, which is now supported by Oracle's larger reach and resources. She has a bigger team to bring her vision to life, and more potential to expand into global customers.  The future is bright for Sauce Video, Oracle Content and Experience, and everyone who appreciates fun, authentic videos in their social feeds.  Watch my conversation with Priya

When I think about Priya Shah and her startup Sauce Video, the word that comes to mind is authenticity. Sauce was founded almost a decade ago with the intent to help teams share and edit in-the-moment...

Startup Life

Bridging the fundraising divide

Just 2.8% of the capital invested in US-based startups went to female founders in 2019 – and that’s a record. The picture is similarly bleak elsewhere in the world, and minority founders often receive an even smaller slice of the pie. While the situation is changing, progress is slow. An uphill battle Attracting money as a female founder can often be an arduous process.  A study by Columbia University found female entrepreneurs often receive more negative questioning by VCs than men, such as how they might prevent losses, rather than how they will drive growth.  Researchers at Lulea University of Technology (LTU) in Sweden revealed investors often use different language to describe male and female entrepreneurs, revealing stereotypical views of women as having qualities that are undesirable in an entrepreneur. For example, while men can be ‘young and promising,’ female founders tend to be ‘young and inexperienced.’ The study also found that female founders were awarded an average of 25% of what they asked for, while men were given 52%.   While we can’t control the actions of VCs, programs like Oracle for Startups can help support female founders by creating opportunities that make the path to funding (or generating new business) a little smoother.  Amazing connections  Members of Oracle’s startup program are regularly invited to attend and present during events including Oracle OpenWorld and panels such as “The F Word: Future, Female, Funding,” which was hosted by Oracle for Startups in partnership with Women in AI Netherlands. The program also features introductions to VC networks to help startups connect with funding.  Beyond networking opportunities, Oracle connects entrepreneurs with experienced mentors who are eager to offer advice on everything from going-to-market and enterprise selling strategies to building a business from scratch. These tailored, one-to-one connections with accomplished professionals helps founders grow their startup with confidence.  Meeting the right people who will rally behind your cause has always been difficult, and for some that has become even more challenging during the pandemic. “Times like this could make it harder for female and diverse founders to break in,” said Maren Bannon, cofounder and partner for January Ventures, a VC firm that invests in startups by women and underrepresented groups. Bannon also sees the benefits of more virtual interaction, especially at the early stage, where online connections bring more people together, regardless of geography. “Hyperlocal early-stage tech ecosystems are a thing of the past. Founders no longer need to be down the road from investors. Today alone, I've met with founders in five different countries,” Bannon said on Twitter last month. Hayley Barna, a partner at First Round, says our newly virtual world has unleashed new efficiencies in the system and accelerated everything. “We’re seeing compressed timelines and increased velocity from first meetings to term sheets,” she said during the Startup Grind Global conference with Oracle for Startups VP Jason Williamson. Hayley and Jason agreed that first meetings will continue to be virtual now, and in-person meetings will have more intention.  Whether it’s providing opportunities to pitch to top industry analysts, get featured on the Oracle for Startups blog, or connect with Oracle customers, the Oracle startup program is purpose-built to help founders make useful contacts and promote their technology, with the aim of attracting new business and new funds.  The benefits of diversity The WEF believes that injecting diversity into the leadership of accelerators and venture capital organizations is key to leveling the playing field for diverse startups. The Oracle for Startups team includes women in several leadership roles, and takes the business of lifting other women up very seriously because creating a fairer startup ecosystem is in everyone’s best interest. “Female-led companies and companies of diverse workforce generate better innovation practices, better collaboration, and most importantly, better financial results,” Amy Sorrells, global communications director for Oracle for Startups, said at Oracle’s ‘The F Word’ event. A Wall Street Journal study found diverse companies have an average operating profit margin 4% higher than the least-diverse businesses, while a Pipeline study of FTSE 350 companies revealed companies which have executive committees with female membership of more than 33% have a net profit margin over 10 times greater than those companies with no women at this level. “We believe the founders of the next decade will look fundamentally different: more female, more diverse and more distributed. We all play a part, from educators to executives to investors,” said Bannon. While there is undoubtedly a long way to go to closing the fundraising gap, Oracle for Startups is working hard to make a difference, by connecting founders of all background with the tools and resources to scale up, including technical support and free and discounted Cloud services. Oracle provides access to both technology and business-building tools so founders can focus on raising investment and growing their business, and less precious time (and money) sweating the details.  If you have dreams of becoming the next Leah Busque or Whitney Wolfe Herd, join Oracle for Startups and begin plugging into the benefits. 

Just 2.8% of the capital invested in US-based startups went to female founders in 2019 – and that’s a record. The picture is similarly bleak elsewhere in the world, and minority founders often receive...

Meet the Startups

Five female founders share the pivot that changed their lives

It’s no secret that females are breaking barriers and driving positive change in the world. Look no further than female founders and entrepreneurs creating transformational technologies and movements for the betterment of society and business. What is a secret, however, is how these incredible ladies got to their level of success.  We have the privilege to work with a diverse and dynamic group of women founders and innovators with Oracle for Startups—from the startups in Oracle’s program to our partners across the globe. I’m thrilled to share these life-changing, inspirational stories straight from five badass, successful ladies. I stopped drinking and it changed my life.  Arlan Hamilton was already successful and making a tremendous impact on the startup ecosystem. She was highly functioning, building a venture capital fund from the ground up, but she knew something was holding her back. That something was alcohol. Stopping drinking unlocked her full potential and opened up her superpowers. Thousands of women don’t fit the “alcoholic” stereotype, but their drinking negatively impacts their productivity, physical health and – most importantly – their mental health. Arlan’s message is their hope.  “What finally helped me, it was a book called This Naked Mind by Annie Grace. I suggest the audio version. It changed everything, it set me free,” she says.  “I honestly thought I was going to have to go to rehab. I was going to have to disrupt my entire life. I thought it was always going to be a struggle, and I was always going to hate being sober and all of those things. I mean, it was really, really deep and real. For a book to change all of that was just astonishing, it’s still astonishing. I've been able to be so productive since then.”  Arlan is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a fund that is dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT. She is a wildly successful VC, author and global game changer.  Vulnerability is a superpower. Embracing mine has made me a better leader. Vulnerability is not a weakness. In fact, it’s a superpower, says Veera Johnson, an experienced executive and cofounder of Circulor. Ironically, vulnerability is the ultimate sign of security. To be open with others, you have to be secure in yourself. But it’s a journey to get there. One she learned early in life and continues on today. “I’m still going through the journey. And you just get better at dealing with your emotions – you get more emotionally intelligent – and that leads to more success, progress, peace.”  Early in her career, she always had male role models and mentors, but very few women. “And whilst the men were fantastic, it was very difficult to explain what I was feeling inside, without making it seem like I was being too emotional. I knew instinctively it was important, but I didn’t know how to do it.” Vulnerability isn’t widely accepted or embraced, especially in the hard-charging technology and startup space. Veera insists you can be competent, decisive, strong, and still be vulnerable. “I know many men feel the same, but they are better at hiding it. We all have doubts, insecurities, questions – why not embrace that? Vulnerability is the point of connection. And that opens the door for trust, collaboration and progress.” Veera is quick to remind young entrepreneurs they must know their subject matter. You can’t pretend, lie or imply you know things. You must have the core knowledge base. “We all have innate skills. Find those skills you do naturally without thinking. Because when you get in an emotional situation you can understand and react better. Because it’s natural and true to you.” Veera’s advice to leaders, “Lead by example. I find that because I’m living it out, it gives others the permission to do it, too.” READ: The cloud startup driving supply chain transparency forward with Blockchain  I chose to study engineering. That was my big turning point, in more ways than I imagined. Maren Bannon is an engineer-turned-entrepreneur-turned-venture-capitalist. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in a progressive family where every person was treated equally and encouraged to become whatever they wanted to be. Maren chose to study engineering at Dartmouth, a decision that would guide her life in more ways than one.   At Dartmouth’s engineering school, she experienced being an “outsider” for the first time. “It was a sea of men, that first day I sat in the back row feeling very different,” she remembers. “It wasn’t just the gender imbalance, but how they taught, the projects and labs were very male oriented, like video game coding and welding a steam engine. It was really eye-opening for me.” Despite earning a scholarship to continue her engineering studies, she graduated and opted for the startup and MBA route, partly because of that outsider experience. But the experience ultimately inspired her to co-found January Ventures, a VC firm focused on investing in female and under-represented groups to provide “an equal opportunity tech ecosystem.”  Females should not feel like outsiders. They should have the support and resources to reach their dreams, Maren believes.  And she’s backing startups that help build that world, like Edlyft. Founded by two females, Edlyft is a platform that supports computer science and STEM college students with collaboration tools and resources to help them graduate with confidence.  “We believe the founders of the next decade will look fundamentally different: more female, more diverse, and more distributed. We all play a part, from educators to executives to investors. And to think it all started sitting in the back row as an outsider in engineering school.” Coding unlocked my tenacity and gave me the courage to become a founder.  “I found out I was massively tenacious,” said Jenny Griffiths, Snap Vision CEO and founder, of her experience learning to code. It was a surprise discovery for Jenny, a natural introvert. Of course, coding is a valuable skill set, but for Jenny it unlocked so much more.   Growing up, she was a super high achiever, always at the top of her class at her all-girls school. She excelled in math, science, and creativity. Her experience at the first year in the University of Bristol’s Computer Science program, however, was quite different. “Suddenly everything flipped. I’m surrounded by nearly all guys, most of which had been coding since they were nine, and I had literally never written a line of code in my life. I went from the top of the pack to the very bottom. It was incredibly shocking and hard,” said Griffiths. But she didn’t give up and pushed past her own doubts. Even her friends and family would share years later they thought she’d come home. But Jenny persevered through her studies, eventually stumbling upon a new discipline called Computer Vision. “Then everything just clicked. It’s like my creative brain and engineering brain just harmonized. It was a real confidence boost, and it unleashed a feeling of being grateful for having dug in on something I knew I’d enjoy long term.” She went on to win the University’s top prizes, best engineering thesis in web and university’s enterprise competition, becoming only the second undergrad to do so. That business plan was the kernel of what would become Snap Vision, her AI-based visual search and discovery platform for retailers.  Coding unleashed Jenny's dormant strengths and paved a new career path. “I discovered I was very resilient and tenacious,” she says, noting without choosing to code she might not have found out. She mentors young women on the importance of coding, believing in yourself, and developing your strengths.  “Tenacity is a bit like a muscle, you have to exercise it. And it’s in the hard times that you grow, develop, and learn to trust yourself. That’s priceless.”     WATCH: Jenny talks to Whitney Durmick about the future of digital retail.  A heart condition had me in a self-imposed bubble, learning to embrace risk set me free.  Growing up, Riham Satti preferred to be in control, staying inside her comfort zone. Born with a heart condition that required open-heart surgeries, she naturally became more physically timid. “I couldn’t control congenital heart disease, I wanted to control everything else. And I avoided anything risky or uncertain.” Satti says her desire for control was a big reason why she excelled at engineering and math because they are “exact and precise.” Solidly risk-averse, founding a company was the furthest thing from her mind. “I never wanted to be an entrepreneur. Full stop,” she says. Entrepreneurs take risks, embrace failure, and deal with constant uncertainties. “That wasn’t me…only it turned out it was.”  In 2011, she decided to take a risk, applying to a school she hadn’t for undergraduate because, “I didn’t think I’d be accepted.”  She was accepted to the University of Oxford for her postgraduate studies in Clinical Neuroscience. This experience introduced her to doing new and scary things, forcing her to expand outside her self-imposed bubble. “I started on the PhD track, but I changed it to a master’s because I realized I wanted to pursue entrepreneurship.” In 2014, she started the company, MeVitae, an AI-based solution to create fairness in the workplace through non-biased recruiting and hiring tools, which plug into existing HR systems or Application Tracking Systems (ATS). Entrepreneur life threw her more risk-taking opportunities, including learning to network and speak at conferences. “It didn’t come natural. I was a shy, 5-foot-1 black female, and I didn’t look like anyone else. I had to push myself out of my comfort zone. I made myself network, I gave those talks. And I was able to burst that bubble and unlock so much opportunity.” There’s no sign of that shy, timid person today.  A TEDx speaker who was named by Forbes as a UK female founder to watch, Riham mentors young women to embrace risk. “We are much stronger than we think. We all have a growth mindset. Taking risks, calculated risks, and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, it unleashes your true strength and potential.” LISTEN: Startup helps enterprises bolster diversity in hiring Being an entrepreneur requires resilience, flexibility, and drive. Often, it also calls for strong support. Oracle for Startups is built to be that support system for growing companies, as a fully-virtual and mutually-beneficial program that connects founders from around the world with opportunities to scale their technology and reach new audiences. Follow the example of founders like Veera, Jenny, and Riham and join Oracle for Startups today.   

It’s no secret that females are breaking barriers and driving positive change in the world. Look no further than female founders and entrepreneurs creating transformational technologies and movements...

Meet the Startups

Turning up the volume on cool startup stories

Startups are working to discover novel ways to help the environment, rid the supply chain of sketchy raw materials, and revolutionize health care diagnostics. We think it's important to tell these stories as many ways as possible.  Enter our mini-podcast on Soundcloud. These bite-size audios are only two minutes, but punch above their weight in telling the story of cool startups: what they're doing, why it matters, and how they work with Oracle for Startups to make it happen. We know entrepreneurs and business executives are busy, so our goal is to deliver digestible startup stories that help these companies get on the radar of product leaders, startup ambassadors, and Oracle's customers.  "These audios help me share the startups' story in a concise and enjoyable way," says Lars Vestergaard, Market Connect Lead for Oracle for Startups in EMEA. He shared an audio about a supply chain startup with Oracle France’s Head of Innovation to highlight a fashion sustainability solution, and regularly shares new episodes with key account managers. “Whenever we onboard a new startup, I share an audio to build the excitement around how we can help them.’’   Connecting startups with big companies One of the first episodes featured Circulor, a company that uses blockchain to help Mercedes-Benz pursue an incredibly ambitious sustainability goal for its passenger fleet.   Oracle for Startups · How blockchain supports sustainability for automakers   The Oracle Blockchain Platform is a key component for Circulor, as it is for Mawlny, a financial technology startup based in Saudi Arabia that is building a peer-to-peer lending platform. Mawlny also chose Oracle for two other reasons: Our commitment to placing data centers in-country and hands-on migration support.  Another Saudi Arabian startup, EduBook, also benefits from the data center location. The company is tackling the sudden and unexpected demand for high-quality, secure online learning brought about by the pandemic. "Instant credibility"  The pandemic also drove customer interest in cloud startup Hyreo's hiring and onboarding solution. The company's automated platform combines conversational bot capabilities with data analytics to gain useful insights that help improve the experience for candidates and hiring managers. Being part of Oracle for Startups helped them seal a contract with Societe Generale.  Oracle for Startups · HR startup sells and scales up Hyreo founder Arun Satyan shared his story with us late last year – and says he loves the result. "It is a high-quality asset that we are using in our social and marketing efforts. People are busy, so leveraging the power of audio in a quick two-minute format is proving effective to help us tell our story. And because it came from Oracle, it gives us an instant credibility we couldn't get on our own." AI + medical diagnostics Artificial intelligence plays a prominent role for so many technology startups today. These two are using AI to  improve on existing medical diagnostic tools.  HEARTio trains AI to read electrocardiograms to more quickly diagnose cardiac events.   NeuralMed deploys AI and natural language processing to help surface the sickest patients and inform emergency room doctors and radiologists of the most complex cases. AI is used on chest X-rays, and natural language processing is applied to triaging patient notes. Oracle for Startups · A startup's AI and NLP gets help to patients faster Elevating the voices of innovation Danish startup Televindu creates entertainment for people with dementia. Listen to them share how Oracle's startup program helped them save money and keep working during the pandemic.  Voice-first startups need plenty of computing power to create innovative solutions. BotSupply's founder talks about the benefits of co-selling and co-innovating with an established technology vendor like Oracle. Kinetica uses high-performance computing to deliver active analytics on drone-captured data, and works with the San Francisco Estuary Institute to help clean up the bay.  Oracle for Startups · Startup Televindu puts on the show for seniors and those with dementia We believe that startups have what it takes to solve the world's biggest problems. Our blog, founder video series, and mini podcast are how we pay it forward to get their stories told on a bigger stage.   Check out the full collection, then consider joining Oracle for Startups and get your startup featured, too. 

Startups are working to discover novel ways to help the environment, rid the supply chain of sketchy raw materials, and revolutionize health care diagnostics. We think it's important to tell these...

Best Practices

Scale up from anywhere

Working from home has advantages. You can squeeze those boring chores into your day and leave the weekend free for fun, and sneak off to do some exercise when you need a break from the spreadsheets. So, it’s no surprise that more than half of employees say they want to carry on working from home after the pandemic, with remote working predicted to rise to 300% of pre-Covid levels. Forrester’s 2021 trend report noted, “As a major portion of the workforce develops the skills and preference for effective remote work, they will come to expect a work-from-anywhere strategy from their company rather than an exception-driven remote-work policy.” Depending on your startup's setup, that might sound like a blessing or a curse, but as a global company with a long history of flexible work policies, Oracle is uniquely positioned to support your growing business, no matter where you are based. Supporting your scale Helping startups grow is kind of our thing. While 2020 was a tough year for many, startups have used the pandemic to strengthen their products and scale up. Read how startups stepped up during the pandemic. Inspired by their ambition, we rose to meet them with more mentoring resources and live, virtual webinars. Check out how startups continued to scale up in lockstep with Oracle for Startups, and get some inspiration for the year ahead.  With snapshots of other startups who are scaling with Oracle, our blog offers the inspiration you need to get off to a flying start this year. Explore how to tee up a warm introduction, win enterprise clients, and how to successfully exit.  Experts at the ready  Being your own boss is great, but sometimes you need support from someone who has been there and done that. In addition to live webinars, Oracle for Startups connects entrepreneurs with director-level mentors who are experts in their fields. Founders receive one-to-one advice on everything from engineering to marketing. Mentorship is the high-value replacement for mingling around the water cooler. Tap into this network of experts.  Customer connections When we ask startups what they want, they usually tell us three things – customers, customers, and customers. That’s why qualifying members of Oracle for Startups work with Market Connect to claim their seat at the remote conference table with potential customers. When we’re still at home, Market Connect provides a foot in the virtual door to customers, product teams, media, even venture firms. It’s a startup's path to the enterprise. A close-knit cloud community  When times are challenging, it’s good to know others that are in the same boat. With online resources and events for startups, Oracle helps connect entrepreneurs with one another, sometimes pitting them against one another in online pitch competitions like Startup Idol.   Oracle Cloud Infrastructure gives companies access to cloud services on the most robust and value-priced cloud in the industry, and members of Oracle for Startups get a 70% discount from day one, for up to two years. We also offer remote assistance in migrating workloads. Since startups that switch to OCI experience a quarter of the cost for outbound bandwidth, 2x better compute price and performance, and 44% lower HPC costs, now is a great time to make the move. If your New Year’s Resolution is to kick-start your business, join us. 

Working from home has advantages. You can squeeze those boring chores into your day and leave the weekend free for fun, and sneak off to do some exercise when you need a break from the spreadsheets....

Startup Life

Startups, enterprises, and Oracle share the love

Established brands are courting startups for their fresh takes on existing business challenges. Oracle's enterprise and midsize customers love Oracle for Startups because we match them with the young companies with transformational technology built on secure Oracle Cloud that can help their businesses evolve. These market connections are kind of a professional "meet-cute."  Why enterprises love Oracle for Startups “If you do everything that everyone else does in business, you’re going to lose. The only way to really get ahead is to be different,” says Oracle Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison. Working with cloud startups to harness brand-new novel technology that complements their existing solution stacks is one way enterprises can stand out.  Oracle for Startups makes it happen by connecting enterprise customers with young companies offering proven solutions using the latest technology like AI, blockchain, and digital assistants. These symbiotic relationships help big business adapt and startups grow.  Brands say ‘I do’ to startup ingenuity It’s often said that three’s a crowd, but when Yamaha Motorcycles partnered with two startups in the face of declining sales in Brazil, magic happened. The relationship began not with Cupid’s arrow, but an introduction from Oracle for Startups. Yamaha wanted to drive revenue in Brazil with a seamless customer experience using a connected digital ecosystem to support dealership operations and improve customer engagement, but wasn’t sure how to do it. “Oracle had the most complete solution for digital marketing and e-commerce – all the features, resources and automation. And partnering with Oracle for Startups connected us with Yamí and GingaOne allowing us to complete our big vision, with Oracle at the center,” explained Ricardo Susini, Commercial Director of Yamaha Motorcycles Group in Brazil. In a similar story, NLPBots was ‘the one’ South Indian Bank had been searching for to solve its chatbot woes.  South Indian Bank needed a system that could understand unstructured text with the flexibility of easily creating use cases for cross-functional stakeholders, and didn’t want to script dialogues for every single one. “We evaluated a pool of chatbot vendors and we selected NLPBots, which was referred to us by Oracle for Startups,” said Sony A, Jt. General Manager, Head-Digital Banking Dept. at South Indian Bank. Reigniting the spark for traditional businesses There’s nothing quite like the excitement of a new relationship. Working with startups can make traditional and established companies fall head-over-heels in love with their business again. Family-run business HOPE Lingerie partnered with Airfluencers to successfully harness the power of social media. It was almost love at first sight. Just 72 hours after an introduction through Oracle for Startups, HOPE Lingerie began using Airfluencers’ social influencer technology to find, analyze, and manage marketing with influencers. “Airfluencers’ toolkit is helping us sort and pick the best influencers for our brand and our audience. This technology is helping us build successful collaborative campaigns,” says Priscila Denícoli, Marketing Manager for HOPE Lingerie. Building connections that last Just like finding the "real deal," in life, establishing a fruitful business relationship with startups can be difficult for enterprises. There are, after all, plenty of fish in the sea.   Market Connect matches enterprises with cloud startups that complement their existing stacks. “Sometimes it’s easier to have a partner to help you navigate through that rather than starting from ground zero,” said Kris Robinson who introduces small companies to mid-market and enterprise customers as a global Key Account Director at Oracle. She joined Guy Mounier of Aptivio to share tips to a roundtable hosted by MassChallenge, and mentioned leaning on a program like Oracle’s to form strategic partnerships.  Could you find your perfect business match with Market Connect and Oracle for Startups? Join us to find out.   

Established brands are courting startups for their fresh takes on existing business challenges. Oracle's enterprise and midsize customers love Oracle for Startupsbecause we match them with the young...

Best Practices

2021 will be the year of the cloud startup

No one can predict what the weather holds for 2021, but the forecast for businesses is almost certainly "cloudy."  Forrester predicts CIOs will spend less overall as the pandemic keeps budgets under close scrutiny, but will embrace cloud-first platform strategies in a bid to streak ahead of competitors in the ‘new normal.’ This means startups using Oracle Cloud infrastructure (OCI) are well-placed for the uncertain year ahead, thanks to OCI’s high-performance computing power and real-time elasticity for enterprise applications. What’s more, members of Oracle for Startups can access OCI at a 70% discount, and enjoy free credits and other perks of the startup program. The forecast calls for clouds   The impact of Covid-19 in the workplace reinforced the value and necessity of cloud computing to the world’s economy and workforce, according to Forrester. The research firm noted that without cloud, businesses could not have maintained supply chains, pivoted business models, or let employees work from home. Its trend report says the pandemic has exposed ‘stark contrasts’ between companies that embrace cloud technologies and those that have yet to invest and are now lagging behind.  It predicts the global public cloud infrastructure market will grow 35% to $120 billion in 2021, with three in ten firms accelerating their spend on cloud in 2021. This includes companies that are struggling to survive, as well as others “looking to leapfrog less wily competitors and gain advantage coming out of the pandemic.” “Leading CIOs will embrace cloud-first and platform strategies for speed and adaptiveness, eschewing stovepipes for end-to-end solutions,” the report says. How startups are using OCI Members of Oracle’s startup program are already enjoying the benefits of OCI at a 70% discount. For example, Oracle Cloud has helped Televindu financially. Øystein Hansen, cofounder of the Norwegian video platform, says, “The alternative would be to buy expensive computers right away so we would have had to set aside capital for that. With the virtual machine, it’s more pay-as-you-go, which brings flexibility in terms of scaling.” BotSupply cofounder Francesco Stasi praises OCI’s solidity. “We can be certain our customer’s data is always safe and private—that’s all taken care of,” he says, while Amro Shihadah, founder and COO, IDenTV likes that it’s low maintenance. “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,” he says. Can OCI help your business, too? Embracing Oracle Cloud could help startups get ahead during turbulent times, by lowering costs, giving companies the power and security they need, and by helping startups to scale up. Compared to AWS and Microsoft Azure, OCI offers a lower cost in most products, particularly storage and networking, making it ideal for companies that want to save money. (Isn't that everyone?) Furthermore, Oracle for Startups gives growing businesses  a 70% discount plus free credits to get started.  Startups are discovering that OCI is also simpler to use and set up than alternatives, with hands-on migration assistance and consistent pricing worldwide, plus a flexible monthly credit model. See how OCI compares to AWS and Microsoft Azure. OCI is built to handle workloads from DevOps to high-performance compute including AI, machine learning, analytics, and data modeling. With per-second billing for bare metal and VMs, it offers enterprise power at a startup price tag.  While any company will be focused on surviving, adapting, and thriving in difficult times, using OCI means there is no need to worry about cloud security and performance. Startups that switched to OCI have experienced huge savings for outbound bandwidth, 2x better compute price and performance, plus 44% lower compute costs for HPC. Startups that are pivoting or taking advantage of new opportunities will also appreciate OCI’s enterprise-ready technology that’s built for scale. It means cloud resources that scale to meet demand, integrate with enterprise suites, and solve pain points for the big brands, making startups more likely to snag a dream enterprise customer that wants to take a chance on a smaller firm with major potential.  In short, Oracle Cloud helps startups move towards a bright future. Get started today.  

No one can predict what the weather holds for 2021, but the forecast for businesses is almost certainly "cloudy."  Forrester predicts CIOs will spend less overall as the pandemic keeps budgets under...

Cloud Foundations for Startups

A guide to Oracle's self-driving database

In the beginning was the Oracle database, a relational database, a market leader and popular offering. It was extremely powerful, could handle an immense amount of data, resided in customer servers, and was the enterprise's main workhorse. To maintain the database, an array of DBA's was required to install it, clone it, schedule backups, fix glitches, make necessary upgrades, keep it tuned, keep it protected from attacks, and add memory when the size would grow. This was all manual, error-prone, and dependent on a certain few skills. It could be unpredictable - one missed step and the database could be unavailable for many hours, if not days. Meanwhile, Oracle made one of its biggest leaps and offered database in the cloud. With cloud came Autonomous. Oracle launched three "flavors" of Autonomous databases in public cloud:  1.    Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW) 2.    Autonomous Transaction Processing (ATP) 3.    Autonomous JSON Database Autonomous is different from on-premises Oracle Cloud Infrastructure's Autonomous Database is a fully-managed, preconfigured database environment. As a user, all you need is to set up the database in the cloud with some basic data entry, and voila! Your database is ready to be used. After provisioning, you can scale the number of CPU cores or the database's storage capacity at any time without impacting availability or performance. But wait, that is not all. Once the DB is provisioned, it uses machine learning to backup the database, apply patches, upgrade if needed and tune the DB. Formerly DBA responsibilities, these used to be much more prone to human error. Modern databases capture a huge amount of data every hour for transactions or analysis, adding to the database’s size and complexity. Queries must be tuned, and the latest patches must be applied, efficiency improved, security shouldn't be compromised, operational excellence should be attainable. The management and maintenance of all this data is a complicated and extremely skillful task, and now this task has been automated in Oracle Cloud infrastructure. Automation allows better operational efficiency, resource allocation, and a highly available database with improved performance and enterprise-grade security. Databases are the storage area of any organization. They store the critical, sensitive, personal, and financial information about the organizations as well anyone who interacts with it. Add the fact that databases grow with time, becoming complicated and hard to manage. A single failure can cause major damage to any enterprise. It could mean a delay in customer servicing, old data being presented to decision makers or security lapse, or lack of proper disaster recovery protocols. These risk profiles get exaggerated when it’s a human DBA handling all the activities. How a self-driving database supports your technology   Oracle Autonomous Database is completely self-driven by AI and ML, which is built in to provide an error-free database which manages itself and keeps the data encrypted. Machine learning helps improve the performance of queries, reduces cost of query execution and constantly tunes queries. Those who have used earlier versions of RDBMS know that a better performing query was the holy grail, especially in a complex application hooked to a decently large database. ADB solves this problem by continuous learning process bringing efficiency to the applications. It is self-securing and protects the DB from malicious attack and prevents downtime reducing it to bare minimum. It detects system failures and provides failover to backup database to prevent data loss. The behind-the-scene technology is Exadata, which is considered the fastest Oracle Database Machine and Pluggable Database (PDB), allowing multi tenants to share the same resources but isolates each client to their own silo restricting their ability to peek into someone else’s PDB. It scales compute resources automatically so that you never run out.. We mentioned earlier that Oracle offers three flavors of autonomous databases in cloud. Let’s briefly see what all they can be used for. Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW) This next generation database is high performance and is primarily used for business intelligence and analytical processing. All your reporting, dashboards, and data-driven applications can use ADW as a primary source of data. ADW provides elasticity, continuous query optimization, scalability, superior performance tuning, repairing of data warehouse etc. This DB is also used in visualizations, machine learning analysis, analytical models and general database capabilities. Datawarehouse typically deals with a huge amount of data, which requires faster and efficient scanning of the database. Autonomous Transaction Processing (ATP) ATP is time-based transactional data; Built for mission critical applications. ATP can perform multiple administrative operations by itself to support applications, which can range from extremely simple to large complex systems. It can be deployed in a few minutes and natively supports multiple data types, including document, graph, spatial, JSON, XML, and more. One can monitor and audit all the activities for analysis and compliance. Autonomous JSON Database   JSON Database is a cloud document database service meant to develop JSON-centric applications. Like ATP and ADW, it provides all the features of the Oracle Autonomous DB and allows integration with popular programming languages, and the flexibility of REST API, CLI, and web interface access to simplify application development. AJD is used for NoSQL-style applications. AJD now comes with Autonomous Data Guard, which means If the primary database goes down, Autonomous Data Guard converts the standby database to the primary database with minimal interruption.  Why Oracle is the Autonomous choice  When you’re talking about performance, cost, and speed, Oracle Autonomous Database is miles ahead of its managed DB counterpart. Oracle ADB runs on Real Application Cluster i.e RAC. And as an added bonus, all this comes with management tools that developers are already familiar with.  Oracle Autonomous Database offers 99.995% of service reliability and availability and truly empowers organizations to focus on applications and data analysis leaving maintenance, optimization and operational tasks to database itself, thus helping drastically reduce costs and increase productivity allowing experts to focus on architecture and data modeling. For developers developing applications using Pl/SQL, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offers SDK for PL/SQL which enables you to write code to interact with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure resources, including Autonomous Database. Take autonomous for a test self-drive   To know if Oracle ADB is the right product for you is to try it out using 30-days free credits. As part of cloud offering, 2 instances of Autonomous Database can be used without charge as part of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure's suite of Always Free resources. One can use them to explore and enhance Database skills as well develop POC to test upcoming product line. Always Free Autonomous Databases have a fixed 8 GB of memory, 20 GB of storage, 1 OCPU, and can be configured for either Autonomous Transaction Processing or Autonomous Data Warehouse workloads.  Autonomous Databases are available in all regions of Oracle Cloud, and is available at the same price everywhere on PAYG as well as monthly flex plans. Moving to Oracle ADB is as simple as moving from one lane to another on a highway. For data migration, one can use free tools like SQL Developer or server commands to export/import data in files and then upload them into ADB.  If you are a startup and would like to explore more of Oracle Cloud's offerings for startups, please reach out to Oracle for Startups team. Startups can experiment with $500 in free cloud credits, access to the Oracle Cloud free tier, and a 70% discount on Oracle Cloud for 2 years. Join now.   

In the beginning was the Oracle database, a relational database, a market leader and popular offering. It was extremely powerful, could handle an immense amount of data, resided in customer servers,...

Meet the Startups

Why construction and engineering startups are building with Oracle

The construction and engineering (C + E) fields haven’t been known for their digital transformation efforts. Just a few years ago McKinsey Research put C + E second to the bottom of the list – right above hunting and agriculture.  The industry is plagued with time and cost overruns. McKinsey’s research estimated that 98% of what it termed “megaprojects” suffer cost overruns of more than 30%. 77% are at least 40% late.  “It’s a pretty bad situation. Productivity has actually declined in the construction sector,” says Burcin Kaplanoglu, vice president of Oracle Industry Innovation Labs. “The good news is that digitization and cloud usage are ramping up quickly.’’  Plenty of C + E startups are part of that digitization wave, eager to flip the narrative. And many of them are staging their new companies on Oracle, taking advantage of opportunities to use the cloud and integrate and co-sell with Oracle C + E products such as Primavera Cloud, Aconex, and Primavera Unifier.  We invited several of these startups to join us for an C + E roundtable event in late 2020 to listen to the latest goings on in the industry.  What we heard   "I'm a firm believer that we need to use technology to solve the right problems,’’ explains roundtable participant Andrew Pestana, Innovation Strategy Manager, HS2 Ltd in the United Kingdom. “Startups need to focus on not just throwing drones, VR or AI at a problem, but instead, exploring how these technologies are enablers of innovative solutions, saving time, money and yielding a better finished product.” Three startups in particular from Oracle's startup program fit the bill. Representing many points of the startup journey - one in the earliest stages, one a mid-stage startup, and the third a graduate of our program that is now an Oracle partner - these startups are scaling up, their way.  Speeding up facility development for healthcare David Harper, Cofounder and CEO of ATLAS Group London, has helped build healthcare facilities around the world for more than 20 years. As he moved up the construction ladder, he realized just how inefficient the industry has become.  But it was a 2014 visit to the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya as part of the Gates Foundation/United Nations initiative that drove it home. Seeing how hard it was to get healthcare services to more remote areas around the world was the spark for ATLAS’ founding.  The ATLAS digital platform (ICAS®) addresses scheduling issues and cost overruns with an elegant solution that interconnects the design, procurement and construction process into a single software platform creating a fully integrated supply chain. This makes it easier, faster and more cost-effective for customers to build healthcare facilities - at a time when healthcare is needed more than ever. It’s a solution that can help the developed world, as much as remote corners of the globe.  “Put simply, if two people involved in the same project don’t have access to the same information at the same time, this can cause serious problems,” explains Harper, “It’s not unusual for problems to remain undiscovered until they’re actually part of the building, making remedial action both disruptive and very costly.”   From rapid design of code-compliant facilities, to digitizing the procurement and logistics processes, to fast-tracking assembly and activation – ICAS® allows customers to leapfrog the competition and rapidly scale.    The ATLAS cofounders chose Oracle Cloud for their platform and are working on integrating with Oracle products such as Primavera Unifier. “Oracle’s support has been immense, and we’re excited for the next stages of our cooperation.” David says. Hear David talk about ATLAS Group’s goals.  Support makes the difference for concrete digitization startup Burak Acilan doesn’t want to change the construction world – he just wanted to pour a better foundation. The founder of ConcR works with several German companies to embed sensors as concrete is poured to measure when it’s cured, and prevent construction delays.  Acilan describes concrete pouring as the least digitized element at a construction site. ConcR’s sensors send back data on temperature and strength, replacing the more time-consuming process of sampling the concrete as it dries and sending those samples to a lab.  “Even if you have bought material to make concrete from the same plant for years and followed the exact same casting process, you still have to test and document that the concrete has cured properly. It’s a lot of manual labor. If you gather and send this data automatically it reduces time spent by 30%,” Acilan says.  Acilan wants to integrate his product’s data feeds into Oracle Primavera and Aconex. He’s used Primavera for years and knows its power. “When it comes to construction software, there are two companies who lead the market. One is Oracle.” On working side-by-side with an industry leader, Acilan says, “We’re getting immense support.’’  Hear Acilan discuss the difficulties of concrete curing. From scaling up to co-selling Reconstruct was a founding member of the program that became Oracle for Startups. The company creates a digital twin of the construction site to help stakeholders see what has been accomplished in a given day or week, and what is left to do. They had just 10 employees when they began working with Oracle. “Now we’ve got 45 people and, as a partner of Oracle, we’re selling globally,’’ says Mani Golparvar, Chief Technology Officer. Reconstruct has worked with companies like KBD Group, Walbridge and Clayco. Construction projects typically measure progress with a mishmash of color-coded highlighter marks on printouts posted in the construction trailer. A clear picture of schedule setbacks is often a week behind.  “We bring an element of transparency, one single source of the truth to see what is really happening – contrasting design against reality. We don’t want an entire week to go by before you see what the problems are,’’ Golparvar says.   When Reconstruct joined the startup accelerator, their product was built on a different platform. “We transformed our platform, have a bidirectional integration with Primavera and an integration with Aconex.’’  Oracle supported Reconstruct along the way with marketing, business development, and technology. Today, “we’re co-selling with Oracle teams across the world.’’  Startup or scaleup, what can Oracle for Startups do for your company? Get in touch to find out. 

The construction and engineering (C + E) fields haven’t been known for their digital transformation efforts. Just a few years ago McKinsey Research put C + E second to the bottom of the list – right...

Meet the Startups

Startup Idol: How a medtech startup stole the judges’ hearts

With a personal story and compelling business case, one medtech startup stole the judges’ hearts to win all three accolades at Oracle's Startup Idol.  Each founder had three minutes to impress a host of top industry analysts in virtual attendance. The founders laid out their vision for the future by describing a global problem and how their unique technology solves it, while running on Oracle Cloud infrastructure.  The participants were members of the Oracle startup program, and the webinar - similar to Oracle’s Dragon’s Den event in London last February and two previous online competitions hosted during the pandemic - was just one perk of membership. Startups in the program also benefit from deep discounts on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, marketing opportunities, and even connections to Oracle customers.  Though one founder took home all the official gongs, the startups who presented were all winners, as were the analysts who gained a sneak peek into emerging technologies.  The winner HEARTio won all three categories: Most Creative, Best Overall Pitch, and Most Innovative Solution. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based startup is a digital diagnostic startup utilizing artificial intelligence to help emergency providers identify heart abnormalities more quickly, more accurately, and at a fraction of the cost. CEO Utkars Jain spoke movingly about his grandfather passing away from a chest-pain misdiagnosis, which inspired him to come up with the life-saving technology. The ECGio is designed to be used in the emergency room and applies AI to ECGs to deliver a definitive diagnosis for chest pain within minutes. “Patients who do not have cardiac-driven chest pain can be discharged more quickly, and those that do, can receive the treatment that they need,” he said. The tool can be used anywhere with an ECG device and an internet connection and with more than seven million people rushing to the nearest emergency room in the US alone, the market and potential to do good is massive.  The startup’s flagship product, ECGio has been designated a ‘breakthrough device’ by the FDA and the analysts certainly saw its incredible potential too. Close behind Five other startups also impressed the analysts with their innovative products. ATLAS is a digital solution for delivering and operating sustainable, cost-effective and scalable modular healthcare facilities, helping to improve access to quality healthcare around the world. “We're really crossing industries between healthcare and construction,” said Maha Harper, Cofounder and COO of the London-based startup. “Our digital platform is an elegant solution that interconnects the design, procurement and construction process into a single software platform, creating a fully integrated supply chain.” CogniCor is an AI digital assistant designed to deliver operational efficiency and productivity for financial and insurance firms, by reducing the time for front-to-middle office processes from two weeks to two minutes.  The Palo Alto startup counts financial enterprises such as BNY Mellon – Pershing and Allianz Life as customers. “They trust us because of our unique differentiators of huge scalability and unique technological power,” Sindhu Joseph, CEO and Cofounder of CogniCor said. Reengen is an energy Internet of Things platform and PaaS data analytics solution for a number of industries including banking, manufacturing and office buildings. “We turn the legacy systems … into cloud connected IoT systems… reducing energy bills up to 15%, lowering carbon emissions, improving the living environment and increasing operational efficiencies,” said Sahin Caglayan, Cofounder and CEO of Reengen. The Istanbul-based startup has cut 1.7 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide so far, and counts IKEA, Vodafone and Pepsi among its enterprise customers.  SmartHint is an intelligent search and recommendation system that improves the customer experience when shopping online to increase conversion rates and drive revenue. The startup in Curitiba, Brazil counts New Balance, Lego and Samsonite as customers. “Today, thousands of websites have been using smart leads to personalize their customer experience, but we think that is just the beginning,” said Rodrigo Schiavini CEO and Cofounder of the company. Tracifier is a blockchain-based traceability application used for food and certificate verification, which could save companies money by clamping down on food fraud. “Blockchain allows for an accurate and transparent record of each of several certification processes making forgery nearly impossible,” said Mina Kordi, CEO and Cofounder of the Hamburg-based startup. The system can cut the time it takes to get certification of food products by 40%, which can help increase revenue by a third, she added. Victory shared While on this occasion there was a clear victor, as members of Oracle for Startups, all the companies are winners, benefitting from the program’s perks. Connecting with Oracle customers and industry analysts is just one benefit of Oracle for Startups. Why not join the program yourself and claim your spot onstage for the next pitch battle?

With a personal story and compelling business case, one medtech startup stole the judges’ hearts to win all three accolades at Oracle's Startup Idol.  Each founder had three minutes to impress a host...

Best Practices

5 ways to scale your startup in 2021

A successful startup needs more than a great idea to scale. As your company grows, you need to make a series of crucial decisions on cloud technology, target customers, building a team, and tapping beneficial partnerships.  It's a lot. That’s why we’ve prepared this guide: Five Traits of Successfully Scaling Startups The PDF features expertise from startup founders, industry experts from Oracle's startup program and analyst Doug Henschen of Constellation Research.  The takeaways Let capital work for you by looking for a "no-surprises" cloud pricing plan.  If your solution touches on artificial intelligence, machine learning, video streaming, or real-time analytics, don’t cut corners on high-performance computing.  When it comes to customers, keep your startup's future in mind. Bigger, more established customers expect solutions to be built on a stable platform and feature strong security. Vendor lock-in is out. Clouds with open source options are in - and a better bet as you scale. The right partners make a difference. Take advantage of discounts, expertise, mentorship. Experiment and explore until you feel comfortable that you've found a partner that can bring you what you need, like a network of enterprise-ready customers looking for solutions like yours. What the experts are saying “Startups must invest wisely, take advantage of cloud’s scale and performance, embrace open communities, deeply understand their target markets, and embrace partnerships that can accelerate growth,’’ explains Henschen. “Every cloud leverages open technologies such as Linux and Kubernetes, but not every cloud provider acknowledges and supports the reality that it’s a multi-cloud world,’’ he adds.  Download the guide and hear from global founders on what they are doing to scale successfully. People like Asser Smidt of BotSupply, who describes how research led him to save 40% on cloud costs, Amro Shihadah of IDenTV, who talks about the importance of avoiding costs when moving data, and Yue Jin Tay of Circulor on why scalability and credibility are so important as you seek enterprise customers.  Read the guide and decide if Oracle's startup program is the right fit for your successfully scaling startup. Five Traits of Successfully Scaling Startups

A successful startup needs more than a great idea to scale. As your company grows, you need to make a series of crucial decisions on cloud technology, target customers, building a team, and tapping ben...

Program News

Why we're going quiet for the holidays

This time last year, did you expect to be dealing with a fully remote workforce, or scrambling to find that perfect Zoom spot in your house away from kids, dogs, and harsh lighting?  Hindsight, 2020 It’s been an undeniably crazy year. Businesses everywhere spent 2020 recalibrating in response to a massively shifting workforce, market, and social consciousness. Business operations needed to adapt. Some pivoted, some slowed, some accelerated. We stayed busy, but “busy” felt heavier than ever.    At Oracle, we were already focused on helping startups scale their technology and their business, but we needed to find new ways to support founders in the new landscape. Many young companies were struggling. We wanted to help them navigate new and existing obstacles, so we covered the cloud bill for paying startups in our program for the first few months of the pandemic. It was an easy decision, and we were delighted to see how quickly startups turned around and paid it forward by supporting their own customers and partners with discounted offerings to keep business moving.  Watching startup ingenuity and kindness in action was a treat, and the influx of amazing startup stories inspired us to launch a podcast! Well, kind of. It's more of a mini-podcast. Micro, even. Entrepreneurs are some of the busiest people around, so we make each episode only two minutes long. Despite the limited runtime, each show offers a quick but meaningful snapshot of how startups are innovating in their region, technology space, and industry. Here are a few of our favorite bite-size audios.  Behold the power of superforecasting featuring Complete Intelligence Blockchain startup verifies identities from anywhere featuring AtCash  Right on the money: startup's AI brings answers to financial customers featuring CogniCor Lights, Camera, Zoom We also diversified into video! I started hosting a brand new YouTube series dedicated entirely to startups. I spend ten minutes Zoom chatting with founders in the Oracle startup program, discussing what drives them as entrepreneurs and what they're most excited about for their startups. Each conversation is low-key but powerful and reminds us that ultimately, business is about people. Watch the pilot episode featuring Oracle for Startups VP Jason Williamson.  Another major shift was in how we handled events. As live conferences got cancelled or indefinitely rescheduled, our team continued to offer meetups, sessions, and keynotes virtually. As a result, we collected a huge selection of on-demand webinars of startup-focused content including best practices for funding, scaling, and selling to the enterprise.  More ways to support scaling startups As entrepreneurs stayed home, many took advantage of opportunities to focus on professional growth. We noticed and met the rising demand for mentorship with more experts in more regions around the world. At the same time, our team of dedicated cloud architects expanded and doubled-down on helping startups migrate onto Oracle Cloud infrastructure. We were inspired as we watched a network of Oracle employees volunteer their time to support startups in their regions (like Turkey, Tel Aviv, and Bangalore) as Oracle for Startups ambassadors. 2020 called for a collaborative effort, and we did our best to come together and deliver, for the good of innovation everywhere.   Everyone got pushed to adapt to new realities of living and working. It was a challenging, exciting, terrifying blast. I don’t know about you, but I'm tired. I'm proud of how Oracle for Startups pivoted to support startups despite changing landscapes (it's almost like we saw this coming). Now though, it’s time to take a break.  Taking time to rest and reflect On December 23rd, we’re going quiet. We believe that the stories we share are meaningful, but we are going to stop publishing so we can make room for everyone to step away from work and recalibrate. Our social handles, blog, and Soundcloud will be quiet until the week of January 4th, at which point we will return recharged to bring you more inspiring, innovative, and insightful tales of startup success. Our team will still be reachable for startups who need support, even over the holidays. That said, we hope you can find time to get away, too.  Thank you for being a part of our journey, and we'll see you in 2021. 

This time last year, did you expect to be dealing with a fully remote workforce, or scrambling to find that perfect Zoom spot in your house away from kids, dogs, and harsh lighting?  Hindsight, 2020 It’s...

Best Practices

Finding the right off-ramp with exit tips from former founders 

Most founders dream about the day their company is bought, even if they swear on a stack of startup event lanyards that they don’t. Even with the best knowledge, in the best of times, it’s tough to reach a successful exit. CB Insights research finds that 70% of upstart tech companies fail — usually around 20 months after first raising financing.  We want to help startups beat those odds.  Tales of successful exits are the favorite campfire stories for future and former founder alike. We get it. Our team is made up of several former and current entrepreneurs, as well as VC savants. We asked Senior Director of Global Operations (and former founder) Nik Adhia, JD Weinstein, whose VC experience helps him understand some of the fundraising and expectation-setting challenges, and program VP, entrepreneur, and author Jason Williamson for their take on what leads to a successful sale. We learned that a successful exit is all about the groundwork.  Agree on expectations (very) early It might seem premature, but you need to talk through what happens when a buyer shows up long before that happens. Here’s why: buyers, partners, and customers want assurance that a sale won’t cause transition issues. In some cases, a buyer will require founders to remain for a certain period to smooth that transition. In other words, don’t expect to pack your bags for the lengthy beach sabbatical financed by the proceeds of the sale the day after it closes. “When we had an offer, I discovered I wasn’t on the same page as my cofounder, and that led to some challenging conversations which we had to work through,’’ Adhia says. Everything did get smoothed out at the end, but the lack of transparency up front caused unnecessary snags.  JD Weinstein agrees, “Nik really hit on a key point about aligning incentives with all stakeholders.’’  JD leads venture capital relationships for Oracle for Startups and was previously a principal with WPP. “[Transparency] starts with cofounders and employees, extends to investors, early customers, and partners.” One approach to ensure alignment is to get to know a potential cofounder before formalizing the startup. “It’s a little bit like dating,’’ Adhia says. Another round? Maybe not.  When you’ve had early success, it’s easy to think the best approach is to scale by raising larger funding rounds. Weinstein says that’s not always the best move for the business. With subsequent funding comes new expectations from capital partners, including how high a company needs to be valued at for an attractive exit. A deal that would be perfect after one round might get nixed by the funders of later rounds because their incentives aren't aligned. “You don’t need to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to build a company of great value. Some of the most successful exits, especially for founders and employees, come from startups with little to no funding. Ideally, raise money when you see tremendous growth opportunity and a reason to scale,” Weinstein says. He suggests that founders explore different financing options, like using customers or partners as investors, or pursuing revenue-based fundraising, where you pay a percentage of future revenues in exchange for investment, thereby retaining more control of your company. Make communication a habit You can’t always be fully transparent, but you can certainly get in the habit of regular, robust communication. Adhia suggests avoiding the construction of silos as the company grows. Weinstein suggests a weekly or monthly report to everyone on the team (plus critical partners and investors.) Williamson’s dedication to communications saved the day when the company he co-founded in the early aughts ran out of money. He and his partner had made clear, honest, in-person communication a key part of their culture. They told the construction CRM company’s small staff that they were 30 days away from running out of cash. “You have a couple of choices; you can go find another job, or you can stay, and my partner and I will do best we can do to make you whole, but we can’t pay you.” No one left. The founders had a happy ending. They found an investor who was glad to make the employees whole. Williamson says the lesson is “don’t pretend, and don’t exaggerate.’’ Best practices for communication Have those difficult conversations about company direction, product portfolio, and financing, early and often with all the key players.Align founders and key employees around key messages continually. Be as transparent as possible with those outside the inner circles. Defections of critical technical, sales, or customer-facing staff because of secrecy and confusion can be a death blow. “Get into a regular groove, sending stakeholder updates and team emails at least monthly. Here are all things going on, here are the red flags, let’s make sure all on the same page,’’ Weinstein says. Priya Shah, one of the founders of Sauce Video, a startup that was acquired by Oracle earlier this year, says consistent communication is recommended, although it isn’t always smooth. “We’ve always been a close-knit team and worked together in the same office for years. But being so tight with your cofounders can also lead to heated debates. But mainly because we’re all so passionate about our business.’’ Explore your cloud options thoroughly If you are a founder or prospective founder of a business that will need processing or data support that the cloud is so well-positioned to provide, don’t assume your first thought cloud vendor is the best and only option.  Think through your choices carefully. Max Dunhill, Oracle for Startups’ EMEA business development lead, learned that the hard way. Dunhill built a mentor/college connection business that used Natural Language Processing to match students to the right colleges and mentors to help them get accepted.  He chose a cloud provider that offered what looked like a great price, and bought a big chunk upfront, figuring that would save him money. As for security, it seemed like an issue that could be handled as the business grew. Who would want to hack his tiny, fledgling business anyway? As it turned out, someone did. While the business did grow, and he received multiple opportunities to sell it, Dunhill ended up spending time fixing security breaches and scrambling to redo his budget after the cloud purchase turned out to be way more expensive than planned. “I was thinking, ‘it’s the cloud, how expensive can a resource be if I don’t fully utilize it? I’ll buy this chunk so that I don’t have to worry about upgrading the server when traffic picks up. 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 assumption was very, very wrong. I paid for what I didn’t use, and my cloud bill was 4x what I had budgeted for.’’ Take the next step to scale We’re passionate about helping startups avoid the kinds of hurdles Dunhill faced. On Oracle Cloud, startups experience the same security features that enterprise customers get, along with transparent pricing, and flexibility.  Because at the end of the day, we want the Niks, Jasons, JDs, Priyas, and Maxes of the world the succeed! Explore the benefits of Oracle for Startups.   

Most founders dream about the day their company is bought, even if they swear on a stack of startup event lanyards that they don’t. Even with the best knowledge, in the best of times, it’s tough...

Meet the Startups

Three cloud startups using AI to save lives and reduce costs

Health care innovation doesn't just come from labs and hospitals. Artificial intelligence and machine learning boost traditional technologies like X-rays and ECGs. The results have the potential to save money and lives, and deliver care more efficiently to underserved populations. AI can even free up medical personnel to spend more time connecting to patients.  In the past, companies with deep pockets for server farms enabling high-performance computing power would lead this type of transformation. But with cloud, more startups are driving innovation.  Streamlining care for lung diseases  Developing countries have plenty of X-ray machines, but they don't always have enough specialized doctors to read the results. Even with telemedicine, it's not always easy to triage patients for X-rays and prioritize the sickest patients' scans.  NeuralMed changes that with an AI and NLP platform that surfaces the sickest patients and inform emergency room doctors and radiologists of the most complex cases. The result is a one-hour reduction in the time it takes to identify patients with life-threatening respiratory issues. Cofounder Anthony Eigier and a team of data scientists used AI and NLP to solve two problems: triaging patient notes (NLP) and patient X-rays (AI). Analyzing intake notes helps determine who to send for an X-ray quickly. Using AI on the X-ray helps non-radiologists staffing ERs triage patients more efficiently. The process tees up the most problematic cases to offsite radiologists more quickly. The reduction in time it takes to treat the sickest patients was measured at Brazilian hospitals (six are using the system). While Brazil doesn't require U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this type of technology, NeuralMed has submitted its algorithms to the FDA for additional proof as it expands into other countries. It's also made a point to use senior radiologists to tag and evaluate the raw input that goes into those algorithms.  "A good physician is normally trained by amazing physicians. Because the quality of the data that comes in reflects directly to the quality algorithm that comes out," Eigier says.   NeuralMed's work is cloud and compute-intensive – a key reason they joined the Oracle for Startups program. But it wasn't the only reason.  "Everyone offers cloud credits, and that's valuable," Eigier says. "But Oracle offers an infrastructure that no one else has. Three to four weeks after joining the program, I was talking to the entire Brazil sales team for health care, showing what our products can do. And they were introducing us to Oracle health care clients in Brazil. It gives us credibility, and I would rather that than more cloud credits."   AI to triage chest pain Utkars Jain was thinking about the grandfather he never met when he cofounded HEARTio, "The doctors thought he was having a heart attack, and by the time they discovered he had a severe gastrointestinal bleeding, it was too late," Jain says.  Chest pain can signal multiple health problems, from serious conditions to more benign problems like pulled chest muscles and reflux. Only 5% of ER visits for chest pain turn out to be heart attacks.  Still, chest pain symptoms trigger detailed, expensive, and time-consuming workups. Jain and cofounder Adam Butchy put their biomedical engineering PhDs to use to train an AI model to read an ECG quickly, to stratify patient risk, and help make admit/discharge decisions. It's a form of triage that has been acknowledged with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's breakthrough device recognition status.  "The recognition means we have a novel solution that addresses a life-threatening situation," Butchy says. With discounts and support from Oracle for Startups, HEARTio also got a powerful cloud partner. "That allows us to run lots of experiments at once and speed the modeling process."  Reducing deaths from a curable cancer Like NeuralMed, Aindra Systems is thinking about how to use medical technology to broaden the reach of health care – in this case, to lower India's death rate from cervical cancer.   While a standard test for cervical cancer has driven death rates from the disease down by 70% in the U.S., cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths in India. "We are a powerhouse when it comes to software technology, but we kind of transplant systems that have been built for a completely different context and force it here into the Indian context," says Aindra Systems cofounder Adarsh Natarajan. India has plenty of world-class doctors and hospitals, "but they are only available in the metropolitan cities." In India, it is difficult (mainly in rural settings) to get to a doctor, let alone go for follow-up treatment for early-stage cervical cancer – when the disease is most treatable. The result is nearly 70,000 cervical cancer deaths – higher by percent of population than most other countries. Natarajan decided to re-imagine cervical cancer screenings and treatment as delivered remotely. He came up with an AI-based computational pathology approach to read the test at the time it's taken, with telemedicine support from a pathologist. Natarajan says providers using the platform could come equipped with the technology to treat early-stage cervical cancers on the spot. "If a patient needs to return, studies show compliance rates to follow on treatment drops by about 50%." Aindra's platform has been deployed through non-government organization clinics. Two-thousand women have been screened. Traditional follow-up readings of the test results by pathologists have validated the results. None of this is possible without cloud computing and powerful GPUs. Natarajan trains the models in the Oracle cloud. The edge devices running in the field use NVIDIA's GPUs. "The data is pretty large, and the Oracle cloud helps us train the data in very quick time." Natarajan hopes this is the first of many diseases that can be better managed at the point-of-care. His goal is to deploy his AI-powered platform, dubbed Astra, to tackle multiple health challenges to underserved populations worldwide. "Our goal is to democratize quality health care in an accessible and affordable way." Ready to scale up? Oracle can help.  Members of Oracle for Startups receive free cloud credits and a 70% discount on cloud for two years, plus free migration, access to mentorship, and opportunities to meet Oracle customers.  Join for free with no commitment.   

Health care innovation doesn't just come from labs and hospitals. Artificial intelligence and machine learning boost traditional technologies like X-rays and ECGs. The results have the potential to sav...

Meet the Startups

Startup makes superforecasting possible with AI 

Here’s a mathematical problem: The sum of all the individual country GDPs never equals the global GDP. That means forecasting models are flawed from the start, and it's impacting global supply chain economics in a big way. Entrepreneur Tony Nash found that unacceptable, so he built an AI platform to help businesses “understand the sum of everything” through a highly automated, globally data-intensive solution with zero human bias. Complete Intelligence, Nash’s Houston-based startup, uses global market data and artificial intelligence to help organizations to visualize financial data, make predictions, adjust plans in the context of a global economy, all on the fly. The globally-integrated, cloud-based AI platform helps purchasing, supply chain planning, and revenue teams make smarter cost and revenue decisions. “The machines are learning, and many times that has meant deviating from traditionally held consensus beliefs and causality models,” said Nash. “Causal beliefs don’t hold up most of the time—it’s human bias that is holding them up—our AI data is reducing errors and getting closer to the truth, closer to the promise of superforecasting.” Massive datasets across 1,400 industry sectors More than 15 billion data points run through the Complete Intelligence platform daily, making hundreds of millions of calculations. Average forecasting models use 10-12 sector variables. Complete Intelligence, on the other hand, examines variables across 1,400 industry sectors. The robustness gives businesses insights and control they didn’t have before.  "We've seen a big shift in how category managers and planning managers are looking at their supply chains,” said Nash. “Companies are taking a closer look at the concentration of supply chains by every variable. Our platform helps companies easily visualize the outlook for their supply chain costs, and helps them pivot quickly." Superforecasting brings a modern mindset to an old industry  Australia-based OZ Minerals, a publicly-traded company, is a modern mining company focused on copper with mines in Australia and Brazil. OZ says their modern mantra is more than technology, it’s also a mindset: test, learn, innovate. They wanted to better navigate and understand the multi-faceted copper market, where the connectivity between miner, smelter, product maker, and consumer is incredibly complex and dynamic. They turned to Complete Intelligence.  “I need a firm understanding of both fiscal and monetary policies and foreign exchange rates to understand how commodity prices might react in the future because a depreciating and/or appreciating currency can impact the trade flows, and often very quickly, which might influence decisions we make,” said Luke McFadyen, Manager of Strategy and Economics at OZ Minerals.  “Our copper concentrate produced in Australia and Brazil may end up being refined locally or overseas. And then it is turned into a metal, which then may be turned into a wire or rod, and then used in an electric vehicle sold in New York, an air conditioner sold in Johannesburg, or used in the motor of a wind turbine in Denmark,” he explains. “The copper market is an incredibly complex system.” With Complete Intelligence, McFadyen has a new opportunity to test for a bigger-picture understanding and responsiveness. Previously, he updated his models every few months. Now he could do it every 47 minutes if he needed to.   McFadyen points to the impact of COVID-19 as a “Black Swan” event that no forecasting models could have predicted, but is nonetheless impacting currencies, foreign exchanges, and cost curves throughout global copper market and supply chains. “If your model isn’t dynamic and responsive in events like we are experiencing today, then it is not insightful. If it’s not insightful, it’s not influencing and informing decisions,” he said. “Complete Intelligence provides a different insight compared to how the traditional price and foreign exchange models work.” McFadyen says early results have reflected reductions in error rates and improved responsiveness.  Cloud power and partnership  Complete Intelligence needed a strong technology partner but also one with global expertise in enterprise sales and marketing that could help boost their business. They found it with Oracle for Startups. “We have lots of concurrent and parallel processes with very large data volumes,” said Nash. “We are checking historical data against thousands of variables, anomaly detections, massive calculations processing, and storage.  And it’s all optimized with Oracle Cloud.” Nash, who migrated off Google Cloud, says Oracle Cloud gives him the confidence that his solution can handle these workloads and data sets without downtime or performance lapses. The partnership also gives him a credible technology that is native to many clients. “As we have potential clients that come to us that are using Oracle, having our software on Oracle Cloud infrastructure will make it easier for us to deploy and scale. A seamless client experience is a critical success factor for us.”  Nash says the Oracle startup program's free cloud credits and 70% discount has allowed them to save costs while increasing value to customers. He also takes advantage of the program’s resources including introductions to customers and marketing and PR support.  “We’ve been impressed by the resources and dedication of Oracle for Startups team,” he said. “I’d recommend it, especially for AI and data startups ready for global scale.” Beyond mining: superforecasting futures with AI Beyond mining, Complete Intelligence is working with customers in oil and gas, chemicals, electronics, food and beverages, and industrial manufacturing. From packaging to polymers and sugar to sensors, these customers use Complete Intelligence for cost and revenue planning, purchasing and supply chain planning, risk management, and auditing teams, as well as general market and economic forecasts. The error rates for Complete Intelligence forecasts in energy and industrial metals performed 9.4% better than consensus forecasts over the same period, and Complete Intelligence continues to add methods to better account for market shocks and volatility. OZ Minerals’ McFadyen said, “This is the next step in how economists can work in the future with change leading towards better forecasts, which will inform better decisions.” Nash and Complete Intelligence are betting on it - and building for the future.

Here’s a mathematical problem: The sum of all the individual country GDPs never equals the global GDP. That means forecasting models are flawed from the start, and it's impacting global supply chain...

Startup Life

Startups turned a 'turkey' of a year into a feast 

Startups have used the shakeup caused by the pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen their offerings and scale up. Inspired by their ambition, we rose to meet them with more mentoring resources and live, virtual webinars. Oracle for Startups’ Global Communications Director Amy Sorrells explains, “It’s how we can help these growing businesses continue to maintain momentum during these challenging times.”  Let’s explore the diverse ways that entrepreneurs around the world are using a global slowdown to re-align and rocket forward with activities from self-improvement to product development.  Take the time to evolve Blockchain-enabled supply chain platform retraced caters to fashion brands. They used the pandemic lull to examine their customers’ needs and focus on making their offerings even better. "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," said Lukas Pünder, cofounder and CEO. "Because of these new features, brands are just more excited to use it." In fact, the company saw a 33% increase in new customers in just one month.  Hear more from retraced.  Pursue a passion For a much-needed distraction, many people rediscovered their passions during the pandemic, and some of these side projects even evolved into new opportunities. Janneke Niessen is cofounder of venture fund CapitalT and startup assessment platform VCVolt. She is also the co-initiator of a not-for-profit called InspiringFifty, which aims to increase diversity in tech by making female role models more visible. During lockdown, she dove into her passion of encouraging girls into the technology field and promoting the book she previously self-published on the subject – The New Girl Code – the launch of a fashion app.  Find your silver lining  Nimble and pivot-ready, many startup teams are using the time at home to develop new skills or use their existing skills in new ways. Acknowledged introvert and Snap Vision founder Jenny Griffiths turned the virtual networking mandated by the pandemic into an opportunity to raise funds for her startup.  “Sometimes (I) think that extroverts can win at fundraising because they can go into a room and they’re very good at working it.” She admits, “I don’t get my energy that way at all, so I’ve found I’ve been far more targeted in my conversations raising from home, and that level of bias gets eliminated.”  Claim your playground Similarly, The Lonely Entrepreneur founder Michael Dermer encouraged startups to prepare for a post-COVID world by identifying key markets now. In a blog post, Dermer explains his belief that the greatest risk (and the greatest opportunity) will be in finding the right ‘playground’ for your solution, and settling into a space that isn’t cluttered with competitors. Dermer predicts that competition will intensify after the pandemic as more companies compete for fewer dollars. “Anyone that is trying to compete on price will lose,” he said, adding that traditional USPs may fall on deaf ears. Instead, he encourages companies to find their own niche where they can be the only game in town.  Aim big One thing founders have in common is an indomitable spirit. Founders we work with are intent to find solutions and growth, even in the face of unprecedented challenges. We see this most tangibly in the growth of our Market Connect initiative, which offers introductions to customers, investors, and new audiences. Many startups dream of snagging a big-name customer, but it can take a lot of patience and preparation to navigate longer sales cycles and complicated org charts common to enterprise sales. In a recent Q&A hosted by MassChallenge, Kris Robinson, a global Key Account Director for Oracle, and AptivIO cofunder Guy Mounier shared their top tips for attracting and keeping big clients.   For some startups, now might be the perfect time to develop a strategy to secure that dream customer. “Sometimes it’s easier to have a partner to help you navigate through that rather than starting from ground zero,” said Robinson, and this is what Market Connect is designed to do. Re-prioritize spending  Unfortunately, a global slowdown meant many startup customers and prospects reflexively tightened their purse strings. When business slows, the last thing a young business needs is mounting cloud storage costs. The right cloud provider ought to allow for scaling back without incurring costs, then scaling up quickly when the time is right to add services and capacity. Smart resource allocation may even spare some companies from having to let valued employees go. We heard from startups who experience up to 40% annual savings compared to AWS, savings which are useful even in non-crisis times. Arun Satyan, founder of a natural language processing-enabled chatbot solution for HR services, estimates Hyreo will save about 30% in the long run on the switch, owing to "better infrastructure, performance and optimized pricing models with discounts." For many startups, the slowdown has been opportunity to reassess and even launch a new venture. We have seen many new companies join Oracle for Startups to take advantage of $500 of free cloud credits, 70% off list price for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services for two years, and opportunities for mentorship and customer connections.  Start scaling again, with Oracle. 

Startups have used the shakeup caused by the pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen their offerings and scale up. Inspired by their ambition, we rose to meet them with more mentoring resources and li...

Cloud Foundations for Startups

Why startups migrate from AWS to Oracle

We've written about how high-performance computing draws startups to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.  It turns out that it isn't the only reason startups are adding Oracle to their list of potential cloud vendors. Startups tell us reliability, security, ease-of-use, and cost savings are also drawing them to Oracle Cloud.  But here's something startups need to know: Oracle Cloud is not for every startup, and not every startup will choose to use Oracle Cloud exclusively. We support startups choosing a hybrid, mutlicloud approach to take advantage of cloud vendors' unique strengths. 3 areas where Oracle Cloud excels Security. If you sell to enterprise customers, data security is critical. Flexibility. Oracle doesn't charge for moving data in and out of applications and clouds.  Support for cutting-edge applications. Startups working in AI, data modeling, machine learning, big data analytics, and other compute-intensive domains? Oracle Cloud is built to handle heavy workloads.  "When it comes to workloads, clouds are pretty different in terms of what they're focused on," says Leo Leung, Oracle's senior director of OCI Product Management. "Most clouds today support web applications. To scale, you add more instances, and the focus is on business to consumer applications. We focus very specifically on performance-intensive workloads." (Hear more from Leo here.)  Cloud savings AND better performance Brazil-based cloud startup DriveOn made the switch from AWS in part because of security. DriveOn creates a usage-based model for car insurance that incentivizes motorists to share their driving habits, with tips for improvement and rewards for good behavior. It wants its platform to forecast and reduce insurance claims.  The work is data-intensive, and it wasn't working on AWS. "Oracle offers simplicity and robustness at a more competitive cost when it comes to the details of the day-to-day workload, the security confirmations are agile to implement, and we chose to transfer workload also through pricing that proved to be an attractive addition," says Expedito Belmont, DriveOn's CEO. "We do not need to think twice about adding workload. We know it will perform, and it has." Belmont estimates he's saved about 10% since switching his entire workload from AWS to Oracle. Plus, he got more processing power. "Oracle's CPU configuration helps to reduce costs with greater processing power. This helps us make the right decision for allocating each resource. The hyper-scale and the available network resources are presented in a simple way, with a focus on latency and bandwidth." When you are working with data about driver behavior, privacy is critical. Oracle's track record for security makes him feel confident. "We needed objectivity, cost-effectiveness, and performance. This is what is being delivered to us." Moving clouds with ease One concern startups have about moving clouds is whether the process will be seamless. That was the case for Hyreo, a startup offering a natural language processing-enabled chatbot solution to help job candidates navigate the recruiting process. Originally on AWS, CEO Arun Satyan was introduced to Oracle through Oracle for Startups and quickly discovered it was the right cloud for him. Oracle's expertise in computing-intensive situations is a good fit for a natural language processing solution.  What was even better was the support Arun received during the change. Oracle’s dedicated team of cloud migration experts is available to help startups in his exact situation.  "We migrated and transitioned the first customer instance in 4 days," Satyan says. 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, such as introductions to Oracle's enterprise customers that use the HR tool Taleo. Hyreo's product can be layered onto Taleo.  "An infrastructure that no one else has." NeuralMed co-founder Anthony Eigier studied the pros and cons of AWS vs. Oracle and decided his AI for healthcare company is better off with Oracle. For the natural language processing component of his startup, Oracle is a logical choice "because they tend to work a lot with Oracle databases with clients. And it's text, and obviously, a lot of text databases are Oracle at their core." But it's the services that Oracle for Startups provides like expert mentorship and introductions to enterprise accounts that give Oracle the edge.    "Everyone offers cloud credits, and that's valuable," Eigier says. "But Oracle offers an infrastructure that no one else has. Three to four weeks after joining the program, I was talking to the entire Brazil sales team for health care, showing what our products can do. And they were introducing us to Oracle health care clients in Brazil. It gives us credibility, and I would rather that than more cloud credits."   Learn more about how Oracle Cloud compares to AWS, discover other startups who've made the switch, and join the Oracle startup program at oracle.com/startup.   

We've written about how high-performance computing draws startups to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.  It turns out that it isn't the only reason startups are adding Oracle to their list of potential cloud...

Partners/Advisors

Ambassador from "startup heaven" shares secrets to success in India

The Oracle for Startups ambassador network includes inspiring professionals dedicated to supporting startups around the globe. This piece was written by India-based ambassador Jai Narayanaswamy.  Name: Jayakumar Narayanaswamy  Role: Startup Ambassador and Mentor Region: APAC - India  Title: Senior Manager, Software Development Find him on LinkedIn _____________________________________________________________________________________   India’s Silicon Valley, Bangalore is home to over 2,500 active startups and invites an influx of talent from all parts of India to contribute and collaborate in the thriving tech city.  What makes Bangalore a startup hotspot? One ingredient of a successful startup hub is the local educational institutes. Bangalore offers superb facilities, from The Indian Institute of Management to the Indian Institute of Science. These institutions foster the skills, mindset, and vision that aspiring entrepreneurs need to make their startup dreams a reality.  Beyond these educational resources, the city offers numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs to meet and connect. From meetups to hackathons, startups have plentiful opportunities to collaborate and share their experiences, everything from overcoming challenges to successfully achieving goals. Also, almost half of the active PE and VC funds in India are based in Bangalore! That means burgeoning startups have real opportunity to connect directly with investors.  Disrupting with cloud technology As an ambassador for Oracle for Startups I have been able to connect with startups across the Bangalore ecosystem. My goal is to help emerging companies understand how partnering with Oracle can take their startup to the next level. My passion is innovation - specifically building technical ideas with likeminded professionals. The startups I have seen enroll in the Oracle startup program are so exciting; they are inventing highly innovative solutions to solve complex problems using Oracle Cloud. I truly believe cloud computing is the most exciting disruptive technology available to us, as it is the foundation for any company to work faster, grow their revenue, and continually innovate to remain at the cutting edge of their market. MoshakTech is one startup bringing this idea to life. Their product uses AI and NLP-based algorithms to create recommendations for cloud optimization in a multi-cloud environment.  The SaaS platform for multi-cloud management uses a simple single glass pane interface and multi-service integration to help MSEs and enterprises increase efficiency and decreasing integration, operation, and training costs. Risk, reward, and realism The recent advances in technology allow startups to move markets forward like never before. It’s a hugely exciting time to be an entrepreneur and, while the sky is the limit, the dream should be tapered with a good dose of pragmatism. Creating a successful startup isn’t rocket science, but it does require creating a plan and executing it wisely.  The startups I have worked with share certain traits and behaviors that set them up for success: They are truly innovative and understand what makes their startup unique. They test their product in the market and are receptive to feedback. They have a strategic plan for growth which allows them to act quickly and pivot early. They understand how to execute their plan effectively. A good idea alone is not enough! They empower their teams to act quickly and learn continuously. A bright future  The Oracle for Startups ambassador network allows the great people at Oracle to support startups in their own local ecosystem through their journey as an Oracle partner. The network is a fantastic place to connect with like-minded colleagues, as well as engage with new startups and partners. The experience helps me put my technology, project, and people management experience to good use.    

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

Cloud Foundations for Startups

A Data Science primer for startups 

The science of predicting the future Data Science is an amalgam of various streams of technology, statistics, and analysis to extract insights and meaningful patterns from huge data volumes. It is a loosely coupled hub with many spokes like domain, math, advanced computing, analytics, and data engineering. Insights gleaned via data science help brands understand their markets and their customers and help drive informed decision-making with predictive analysis of repetitive patterns. The market famously recognizes data as “the new oil,” because over the years, organizations have collected huge amounts of data through various channels, but few have optimized using this data beyond storing it in archives and databases. Using data effectively will be the next big wave in the business and technology ocean. Organizations that recognize the value of their data may work with startups, external partners, and internal teams to slice and dice their data to find meaning and insight. Use cases may extend from gathering data from distributed machinery on oil rigs to prevent a breakdown to a retail chain collecting behavior patterns from their customers to predict purchase intent.   Data science is the key to unlocking the potential of this stored data, and it requires two primary components: data and an intelligent mechanism to analyze it, both of which in turn require infrastructure and tools.  Oracle Cloud offers a Data Science platform to handle data science challenges for enterprise organizations and startups alike.  Learning the language of data One of the keys to successful data science efforts lies in identifying the problem to be solved, and the important data points to address the problem. Data science is less like finding a needle in a haystack, and more like learning a new language; understanding words, their context, exceptions, and finally making sense out of the complete statement. Like learning any new language, data science models should start simple and small, so data scientists can validate and evaluate results before adding complexity to the model. Real-world empirical data is often complex, with more exceptions than rules. It can have more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese. That’s why reviewing and cleansing datasets is a key step when it comes to training new data models.  Model training involves continuously iterating, training, evaluating, and improving algorithms using Data Science. Machine learning models are trained against one dataset and then tested against another to test its effectiveness.  The whole process of extracting information out of data involves data management, data model building, training the model to achieve a high percentage of accuracy by running it repeatedly with newer data and evaluating it, and eventually deploying this model by operationalizing it. Over time, as factors change, models’ performance may drop. Continuous monitoring and retraining maintain the model’s health and efficacy.   The keys to understanding any data science modeling project: Data extraction: Data needs to be extracted from various sources, which can exist in various formats. This means raw data collected from source(s) which may not yet be formatted for efficient use. Data cleansing: This is most important step in building effective algorithms. Detecting incorrect, Incomplete, duplicate, or missing data and replacing or purging such data. This also includes outlier datasets. Data transformation and labeling: Data needs to be converted to common format using data integrators, data warehouses, and application integrators. This also includes annotation and data tagging. Model building:  Defining an algorithm to build a predictive process for the problem being solved from the datasets Training and evaluation: Running the model against different datasets to achieve better performance, while continuing to evaluate the performance and accuracy of predictions.  Deployment and monitoring: A trained model must be deployed to face real-world scenarios. Operationalizing a machine learning model is a tedious task, hence the need for a stable and well-assisted platform.  Deploying is not the end of the journey. The model’s health should be continuously monitored to ensure the accuracy, with data scientists standing by to retrain the model if needed.  What Oracle offers The Oracle Data Science Platform offers a fully managed and serverless platform with Automated machine learning, which offers more accuracy in less time. AML tunes the model and explains the model’s results faster and with more accuracy.  Oracle’s serverless platform helps control costs while compute machines are available on-demand. It is a fully scalable and highly available platform, capable of handling huge volumes of data. It offers a variety of open-source libraries for building machine learning models. Model evaluation tools help recognize when a model is ready for a production environment. One can also create docker images of the model and push them into Oracle’s registry to be invoked by Oracle function. The platform seamlessly Integrates with the rest of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure stack, including Functions, Data Flow, Autonomous Data Warehouse, and Object Storage. Users can access Data Science using the Console, REST API, SDKs, or CLI. The great thing about Oracle’s Data science platform is that it is data-source agnostic. Oracle data science platform can work with any dataset regardless of its location, be it object storage, a database, or a file system. The Oracle data science platform offers open-source notebooks, which are web applications for writing and running code, visualizing data, and seeing the results—all in the same environment. Popular ones include Jupyter, RStudio, and Zeppelin. Oracle’s is a collaborative platform with access and version controls which allow data scientists to design and train their models. It allows users to share assets and models with team members with no pressing need to understand the underlying infra related operations.  Opportunities for data-centric startups  Data science is a comparatively new space, and both use cases and functionality are increasing quickly. Data scientists looking for tools to help them build, train, and deploy highly accurate models with a large amount of data faster should consider giving Oracle Cloud a try. Startups can experiment with $500 in free cloud credits, access to the Oracle Cloud free tier, and a 70% discount on Oracle Cloud for 2 years. 

The science of predicting the future Data Science is an amalgam of various streams of technology, statistics, and analysis to extract insights and meaningful patterns from huge data volumes. It is a...

Startup Life

Startups in Israel scale up with Oracle 

Despite being a young country, Israel’s startup ecosystem is mature and growing, with funding for AI startups in the country reaching $5bn last year - around double that of 2017. After all, Israel is the “Startup Nation."   Israel is primed for exponential growth, and Oracle offers emerging technology companies in the region a boost with local data centers and teams, as well as access to all the business-building benefits of Oracle’s startup program.  Israel was one of the first markets to be involved when Oracle for Startups launched in 2017, and Oracle’s commitment to the region has not changed.  Join Oracle for Startups and save 70% cloud for 2 years.  Among the many companies tapping Oracle as a technology partner, AgroScout is a great example of an exciting startup thriving in Israel with Oracle Cloud. “Leading in agritech, AgroScout’s AI drone platform is boosting crop production and food sustainability,” says Williamson. Among his predictions for entrepreneurship in 2021, Oracle for Startups VP Jason Williamson mentioned Israel by name, “Israeli startups are known as pioneers.”  Why startups in Israel choose Oracle Local, global data centers Oracle opened data centers across the Middle East to meet the demands of customers that require geographically distributed regions for business continuity and regional compliance requirements. In addition to the existing cloud regions in Jeddah and Dubai, Oracle is planning to open another in Saudi Arabia and UAE in addition to a cloud region in Israel. Those local data centers join Oracle’s expanding global footprint, offering startups complete coverage and confidence. Oracle currently offers 29 cloud regions, plus multiple dedicated cloud regions for intelligence services, with plans to add nine additional regions by the end of 2021, bringing the total to 38. Local support teams “As an innovation hub, Israel is more than appropriate to have its own data center,” says Asaf Sobol, startup ambassador and Senior Business Development Lead of Oracle Tech in Israel. “Also, the special relationship Oracle’s top leadership has with Israel is unique,” he adds. From free and discounted cloud, to startup-approved events, to hands-on technical support and mentorship, there’s a lot on offer for Oracle for Startups members.  Access to more markets  Williamson predicts Middle East innovation will drive global business growth. “Israel is the Startup Nation, but the UAE has been earning its own technology and entrepreneurial chops,” he says. Williamson believes the relationship between the two will be mutually beneficial.  “Israel gets access to the UAE’s investors and the ability to collaborate on tech, and vice-versa. While Israel has traditionally focused on the United States and Europe, the UAE has ties to the east and can help open opportunity to new markets like Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan,” he adds. Global customers, global outlook  Oracle has customers all over the world. Oracle for Startups is therefore uniquely positioned to bring new and established companies together regardless of their location. Qualifying startups gain opportunities to connect with Oracle customers and expand their reach with connections into events, industry analysts, VCs, and more. With these Market Connect opportunities, startups are co-innovating and co-selling with Oracle, driving innovation for our customers and building their own book of business.   Remote support. The fully virtual program means that startups can scale from wherever they are, with access to on-demand resources and a team of experts dedicated to startup success in Israel and beyond.  To take advantage of the perks and begin building with free cloud, join us.  

Despite being a young country, Israel’s startup ecosystem is mature and growing, with funding for AI startups in the country reaching $5bn last year - around double that of 2017. After all, Israel is...

Program News

Oracle is the best choice for startups in UAE. Here’s why. 

Oracle has been there for startups in the UAE for more than three decades. This long-term commitment has translated into massive investments to help organizations of all sizes, in public and private sectors, achieve strategic objectives with digital transformation. Why startups in the Middle East choose Oracle  With multiple layers of support from Oracle, there’s no better time to be a startup in UAE. Start scaling with us. New local, global data centers The first of two planned cloud regions in the area, Oracle’s second-generation cloud region in Dubai offers all Oracle cloud services including Oracle Autonomous Database and Oracle Cloud applications. Local data centers mean startups can build with complete coverage and confidence.  Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, senior vice president of Oracle Technology in MEA and CEE says, “It will help accelerate the digital transformation initiatives of organizations across the UAE’ government entities, large enterprise and SMEs, thus directly supporting the country’s economic vision.”  Oracle’s telecom partnership with Etisalat in Dubai means startups are also supported by one of the leading telecommunication operators for emerging markets. Reaching new customers  In the Middle East, around 54% of companies already use Oracle Cloud infrastructure, as Oracle offers a cloud region that competitors like AWS and Google do not offer. Oracle is therefore uniquely positioned to bring new and established companies together to cooperate, collaborate, and co-sell in the region and beyond.   Oracle is seeing steady increases in membership across the Middle East, with startups like Awini (Riyadh), Reengen (Istanbul), and Mawlny (Jeddah) choosing to scale up with Oracle. Virtual program, local support Oracle has established a state-of-the-art digital hub in Dubai that’s focused on driving cloud adoption across the country’s mid-sized businesses. More than 500 cloud sales professionals are dedicated to supporting the digital transformation initiatives of businesses in the UAE, so there are always experts on hand. Among them, Sinem Kaya supports startups as a startup ambassador and Strategic Business Development Senior Manager in MEA and CEE.    Kaya says, "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.”  Meanwhile, the fully virtual program means that startups can scale from wherever they are, with access to on-demand resources and a team of experts dedicated to startup success.  Building the future with UAE startups  In his predictions for entrepreneurs in 2021, Oracle for Startups global VP Jason Williamson said, “Growth from startups joining our program from the Middle East is up 297% YoY. Their collective innovation will unlock and unleash new business opportunities across the globe.” To host your data in-country, save cloud costs, and connect to a global network of customers, join us.   

Oracle has been there for startups in the UAE for more than three decades. This long-term commitment has translated into massive investments to help organizations of all sizes, in public and private...

Partners/Advisors

Startups, here's what analysts are saying about Oracle Cloud

If Oracle isn’t on your shortlist for public cloud providers, it should be. That’s the message from several industry analyst firms' recent reports. Gartner, Omdia, IDC, Forrester, and other influencers are noticing momentum and giving high marks to Oracle infrastructure services, specifically in the high-performance compute, storage, network, and security categories.  While reports target enterprise companies, there are implications for all businesses, especially startups. The time for founders and developers to give Oracle Cloud the side-eye is over, according to Doug Henschen, principal analyst at Constellation Research. “Oracle has a huge variety of cloud products and services, so it can offer technology and industry expertise in whatever market a startup might be targeting.”  Oracle for Startups global VP Jason Williamson agrees, “Startups can future-proof their technologies by selecting the right partner to scale with from the start.  Startups experiencing sticker shock with AWS are finding significant price-performance value with Oracle.”   Check out how Oracle for Startups supports startups worldwide.  Even Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at The Duckbill Group and a frequent Oracle critic, calls recent Oracle Cloud announcements legitimately new and interesting, and in some ways better than Amazon’s strategy.  Oracle Cloud Infrastructure executive vice president Clay Magouyrk says these reports underscore Oracle’s strong engineering momentum after investing millions of developer hours and resources to meet the needs of customers. “We can handle a broad range of workloads from companies like 7-Eleven - which runs a portfolio of enterprise applications - and Zoom, which runs its cloud-native, real-time conferencing,” says Magouyrk. Here are the highlights from several recent reports. Click the links to read the full reports (subscriptions required in some cases). Gartner Gartner published two new reports on Oracle Cloud infrastructure: “It’s Time to Include Oracle as a Viable Option When Evaluating Public Cloud Providers” and the 2020 Gartner Solution Scorecard for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure IaaS+PaaS. Key points within these reports include: • By 2025, Oracle will at least double its cloud infrastructure platform services market share. • Oracle improved its scores the most of all providers in Gartner’s 2020 Solution Scorecard. • Gartner recommends including OCI in the evaluation and selection process for updating infrastructure environments, increasing agility and capacity, and optimizing efficiencies and costs. • It recommends that cloud architects consider OCI not only for cloud environments that are anchored by workloads that use Oracle technologies but also for use cases centered on bare-metal servers, high-performance computing needs, or high-performance networking needs.  • OCI strengths highlighted include (1) OCI’s regional service consistency, (2) high-performance infrastructure, (3) bare-metal capabilities, and (4) private cloud identical to public cloud.  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure’s architecture is designed for high network and I/O (input/output) performance with maximum I/O consistency. • OCI provides advanced strong security features, seamless interoperability with Oracle solutions, and interconnectivity with its competitors’ platforms. • OCI is expanding its global data centers with 25 regions live worldwide, and it will launch 16 new regions (including one dedicated region), for a total of 36 regions by the end of 2020.  • Oracle’s Autonomous Database can tune databases automatically, update and patch the DBMS without downtime, and provide strong DBMS security. This reduces the routine tasks of a database administrator, and optimizes performance. • The OCI elasticity model, coupled with Oracle’s license-based charging, allows for a simple ad hoc rationalization of the Oracle license estate. For example, rather than committing to 16 CPUs, you can size for fewer and then flex, or burst, to higher CPU usage as needed. Omdia  Omdia published the following report on Oracle: SWOT Assessment: Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. It includes the following observations: • Oracle is a vendor that has benefited from the cloud becoming used for more mission-critical workloads because of its enterprise-grade capabilities and credentials. • Oracle has recognized that the trend is toward a multicloud world, and through strategic partnerships it has positioned itself to be better aligned with customer demand.  • Oracle listens to its customers and generates the features they need to complete the digital transformation journey. This is an important aspect of any cloud provider, because all organizations are at some stage of digital transformation and need their supplier to understand where they are on that journey and provide the solutions they need to progress. • Oracle has a reputation for reliability, with more than 99.99% availability uptime.  • OCI Portal, OCI Data Transfer Utility, and Oracle Data Transfer Appliance provide mechanisms for ingesting and extracting data into and out of the cloud and there are no charges for onboarding or offboarding.  IDC IDC published the following report: Oracle Management Strategy Underscores Commitment to Hybrid, Multicloud Choice. Key points: • Oracle's overall cloud strategy is anchored by its self-driving Autonomous OS and Gen2 Oracle Cloud Services portfolio that spans on-premises customer-managed engineered systems, on-premises remotely managed Cloud@Customer platforms, and a rapidly growing worldwide network of OCI public cloud datacenters that are expected to cover 36 regions in 2020. • Oracle’s architecture is becoming more open and is taking steps to ensure that management tools and services have consistent visibility and control across Oracle and third-party clouds. • A more open, pluggable platform architecture makes it easier for Oracle customers to integrate across on-premises and public cloud platforms and to mix and match applications, containers, Kubernetes, database, and infrastructure options as needed by the business. • Oracle's investment in opening up the company's management platforms and services to deeper integrations with third-party clouds, analytic paradigms, and virtualization platforms, sends a strong message that the company recognizes customer needs for consistent hybrid and multicloud automation and observability.  Forrester Oracle Cloud infrastructure was included in this Forrester Wave report: The Forrester Wave™: Public Cloud Development And Infrastructure Platforms, Australia/New Zealand, Q3 2020. Observations include: • Oracle's latest generation of infrastructure services is stronger and richer, and it profits from competitive pricing and aggressive global expansion. • Forrester named Oracle a “Strong Performer”. Microsoft, AWS, and Google are Leaders; IBM, Oracle, and Alibaba are Strong Performers; and Tencent is a Contender.  • Oracle Cloud platform's strengths include a leading database with multimodal capabilities, a built-in DevOps tool chain, mature identity management and controls, and a low-code development option particularly important to its software-as-a-service customers.  • Oracle has the greatest global service parity in Australia; even its cloud high-performance computing offerings take just weeks, not months, to arrive onshore.  • The general availability of its previously announced services for data scientists has also given Oracle a much-needed lift.  Read more about Oracle’s analyst reports by visiting Oracle's analyst relations homepage. 

If Oracle isn’t on your shortlist for public cloud providers, it should be. That’s the message from several industry analyst firms' recent reports. Gartner, Omdia, IDC, Forrester, and other...

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.  "Our global solution center in India rolled out Hyreo's candidate engagement platform in July 2020 and the experience has been positive,'' says Magesh Sambasivan, Head of HR for the Global Solution Center. "Hyreo worked very closely with our HR teams to co-create the candidate relationship platform and released the first phase in a time bound manner with zero production issues. The deployment of chatbots based on the solutions from Hyreo have enabled us with insights and helped make the candidate experience smoother. Startup infrastructure helps Hyreo succeed 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 access to a team of cloud architects. Many startups get up and running on Oracle Cloud completely on their own, so the cloud architect team (CAT) is an added benefit for those startups who appreciate more hands-on guidance. For the startups leveraging our support, working with this team is a force multiplier.    As a technology company, Oracle provides a clear mandate for the CAT team: help startups leverage the diverse offerings within Oracle Cloud to accelerate innovation. The team 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 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. The cloud architect team is not tech support. For that, we have My Oracle Support. We are 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."     Cloud architects help 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 team by dropping us an email. We also maintain a community message board that startups in the program use to post their queries. We help 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...