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Larry Ellison Reflects: From hiring the pizza delivery guy to Steve Jobs to dangerous dinosaurs

Originally published on Forbes by Michael Hickins, director of strategic communications at Oracle.   PHOTO: Reggie Bradford, right, Oracle senior vice president of Startup Ecosystem and Accelerator, moderated a recent conversation with Oracle Executive Chairman Larry Ellison and dozens of startup founders at Ellison's home. Oracle hosted its Founder2Founder event during Oracle OpenWorld 2017, which brought together founders from Oracle’s global startup program, founders from Oracle acquisitions, and from throughout the Valley, for an intimate gathering at Larry Ellison’s residence. More than 45 guests were raptly engaged as the original founder sat down for more than 90 minutes of conversation and stories. Among the many topics was how years ago, while starting Oracle and struggling with financial statements, Ellison hired the pizza delivery guy on the spot because he was an accounting major at UC Berkeley. “I was literally like, ‘You are an accounting major, can you make sense of this balance sheet?’ He could, and I said ‘Okay, you want a job?’ And hired him right there.” "It was fascinating to hear someone move so quickly between the most complex technical topics, to the rawness of his own founding experience, to practical advice for startups today. I'm sure that none of the startup founders in attendance will forget it anytime soon,” said Derek Andersen, CEO of Startup Grind. The conversations ranged from advice on how to scale your company to microbiological and molecular science to dangerous dinosaurs. “I like learning and getting better at things,” said Ellison. “I love competing—and I love winning.” He went on to say making Oracle even more successful and proving any naysayers wrong is top of mind, joking that he thought about bidding on the giant Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil exhibit in the American Museum of Natural History and putting it in the Oracle lobby. “Yeah, a dinosaur. But a very dangerous dinosaur.” “Forty years later, he is equally determined, focused and passionate—and it’s a great testimony to one of the greatest success stories ever in business,” said Reggie Bradford, Oracle senior vice president and global head of the startup ecosystem program. “The founders from our global startup program were elated and couldn’t stop talking about how Larry was so genuine, energetic, wise, and utterly entertaining.” A few other gems from Ellison include: You can’t do everything. I used to think I was good at everything. Turned out not to be true. Find people that are good at the things you’re not good at.  Empower them. No one is going to work for you if they don’t think you have their interest at heart. Steve Jobs was crazed sometimes. It’s okay to be hard on people if they see all you want to do is win. Startup life is Darwinian—there are many ways to die. Some companies are great ideas, but the leader can’t hold onto the people. Some good ideas die and are born again in another mind or company. Scaling from 15 to 50 people was brutal. If you can get to 50 employees it’s much easier to get to 500. Looking at the data gets you better results. That’s why the machine is learning. Early products are more like projects. In the early days we thought the customer is not that smart, and we’re the smart ones. We were completely wrong. Life is the pursuit of happiness. I like learning and getting better at things.  I love competing—I love winning the quarter, month, year. Oracle is a collection of projects. “We see Larry in keynotes, but to experience him firsthand was amazing and eye-opening,” said Charlie Davies, cofounder of iGeolise, and a member of Oracle’s Bristol-based startup program. “He is so energetic and authentic—and clearly brilliant. That was an amazing evening. What a cap on an excellent Oracle OpenWorld experience.”  

Originally published on Forbes by Michael Hickins, director of strategic communications at Oracle.   PHOTO: Reggie Bradford, right, Oracle senior vice president of Startup Ecosystem and Accelerator,...

Program News

Five Singapore Startups Newest Members of Oracle’s Global Startup Program

  A new class of startups has been selected for the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem program in Singapore. This is the second cohort for the Singapore location.  After a stringent selection process, which included pitching to an expert panel of mentors, partners and Oracle experts, we have selected five companies with a significant mix of innovative technologies and diverse industry plays. We welcome these five startups as new members to the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem and are extremely excited to collaborate and co-develop together along each stage of their journey in the program. Introducing the startups: GridMarkets Many industries depend upon High Performance Computing (HPC) to: predict the movements of financial markets; simulate the efficacy of a chemical compound in the human body; produce a convincing video special effect and more.  Because of its cost and complexity, HPC has typically been out of reach for all but the most well resourced of companies.  By destroying this cost/complexity barrier, GridMarkets is facilitating innovation and creativity from students and freelancers to small and very large companies.  The highly secured offering, now used around the world, is easily accessed from within a customers’ HPC applications. Idem Hospitality Idem Hospitality cloud solutions for hotels automate and streamline manual tasks and processes for events and group reservations. The Idem platform delivers valuable data and business intelligence to increase revenue, productivity and customer loyalty. The company is pioneering a new way of thinking about meetings, events and groups for the global hotel industry. Founded in Singapore in 2016 and privately held, Idem boasts some of the industry’s most impressive minds, investors and backers. Airbuy Inc Airbuy is a B2B platform for duty-free shopping. Airbuy's e-commerce, data-driven platform is multi-sided, offering curated duty-free products to passengers via multiple customer acquisition channels across their entire journey. This increases non-aeronautical revenues for our partner airports, airlines and OTAs globally.  Dathena Dathena Science has been founded with the vision of bringing a new paradigm to privacy and data security protection. Dathena develops data governance software based on machine learning algorithms. It is the most complete and accurate data governance platform. MPS MPS IntelliVector is the Uber for the back-office seats of traditional transactional organizations. MPS automates and crowdsources transaction processing with micro-tasking, using the sharing economy to relieve them of their biggest baggage and lean-up to face their new generation competition.

  A new class of startups has been selected for the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem program in Singapore. This is the second cohort for the Singapore location.  After a stringent selection process,...

Meet the Startups

Lettus Grow scoops Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Prize

  Lettus Grow has been awarded €100,000 from the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, beating more than 800 other applications to scoop the prize. The startup are part of the Global Startup Ecosystem in Bristol. The announcement was made at the finals of the Green Challenge at an event in Amsterdam on the 13th September. The competition is run by the Dutch Postcode Lottery with a mission of ensuring sustainable solutions have the opportunity to be developed. Lettus Grow aim to reduce the waste and carbon footprint of fresh produce, such as salad, by inventing and implementing technological systems for growing indoors using ‘vertical urban farming’, which could become a staple in the kitchens of the future. LettUs Grow use a unique technology known as aeroponics, which uses a system of LED lighting and water and nutrients delivered through a fine mist, removing the need for acres of farmland or extreme levels of water to irrigate crops. The company was set up in 2015 by three Bristol University graduates - Charlie Guy, Jack Farmer, and Ben Crowther.  Of the win Charlie said “The recognition of the Green Challenge shows that we are developing a viable solution to the many problems that our global agricultural systems will face in the future, from water shortages to the effects of extreme weather. We allow farmers to protect their crops, diversify what they are growing and massively reduce their ecological footprint.”

  Lettus Grow has been awarded €100,000 from the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, beating more than 800 other applications to scoop the prize. The startup are part of the Global Startup Ecosystem in...

Program News

Oracle’s Refined Strategy for Startups: A Q&A with Reggie Bradford

(PHOTO: Larry Ellison invited Reggie Bradford and founders from the global startup program to his house for an intimate Q&A during Oracle OpenWorld last year.)   Since its inception over two years ago, Oracle’s global startup program has helped startups all over the world scale and grow. From the enterprise-grade cloud solutions to global customer base and business expertise, startups are tapping into Oracle’s unique and rich ecosystem to enable their businesses. During the past months, the global startup program has been rolling out a new and refined strategy for operations. The edited Q&A below is with Reggie Bradford, SVP, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, on the program’s future and why ongoing change and iteration is good for global startups and Oracle’s global startup program.   The program is implementing a new and refined operational strategy and structure for FY19 and beyond. Can you tell us about that? We are unifying the two different programs—Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator and Oracle Scaleup—and operating under one global program called Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem. We’re transitioning our efforts and resources into a single program, designed to provide personalized journeys for startups to enable their business success.  As part of this, our global operations and global startup selection process have been changed and refined. Despite our many successes during the past two years, we’ve also learned a lot, particularly that diverse and unique startups don’t necessarily fit neatly into two set programs. It is also clear that certain startups thrive much better in our ecosystem. So, we realized if we are more selective about the types of startups we work with – and we tailor our resources to meet their unique priorities and objectives – we can better unlock the value and resources of Oracle. And that’s a win-win for all—the startups, our customers and Oracle. Does the value you have been providing to startups change? The value we are delivering to startups doesn’t change. In fact, we’ve increased our resources to better enable entrepreneurs. And we are staying true to our mission to create collaborative and mutually beneficial partnerships between Oracle and global startups—a partnership that when executed right delivers value and ROI to the startups, our customers and Oracle. We are still delivering the core pillars we believe make Oracle unique from other programs: We don’t take equity Oracle’s enterprise-grade cloud solutions (free credits) Run by our global R&D team Startups benefit from world-class product and partner ecosystems Startups gain from engagement opportunities with Oracle’s 430,000+ customers Plus, we are supplementing with new resources like adding more cloud engineers to support the startups’ application migration from their existing hosting provider to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and in parallel work on Oracle stack transition as and if needed. We are also better resourcing our customer engagement teams. These are things we learned as feedback provided by our alumni startups and have been implemented as a result. Giving startups access to your global customers is a major selling point and benefit for the program. How are you better resourcing that for scale? It’s incredibly valuable to help startups garner revenue and reference customers. It’s also hard, which is why many programs have promised on this but failed to deliver. We are adding more resources to help support our customer-startup engagements, including more staff and ongoing relationship building across key internal stakeholders. And we are also better preparing our startups for customer engagements through our new cloud “journeys.” When we sit at the table we don’t want to waste anyone’s time. We want the startups prepared to deliver value to a customer so these engagements are productive for all. Part of designing these agreed-upon journeys for startups is creating milestones so we prepare them best for customer connections—and of course that journey and timeframe will depend on each unique startup.  But we continue to focus on this part of our program to strengthen it and resource it so we can scale it efficiently. But it’s important to remember this is still a high-touch engagement so we have to realistically approach our growth strategies. The program has been very successful. Why these changes now? First, as I’ve told our team often, we are very much like a startup. And like a fast-growing startup we need to always be ready for the next phase of development.  What got us to this level of success and growth won’t get us to the next level. We want to work with more entrepreneurs and startups to help them grow their businesses. To do so, we have to constantly evaluate, learn and iterate to ensure we are structured for scale and growth.  This sharpened strategy has us well positioned for success. How do you “personalize” journeys for startups – can you further explain?  The theory behind it isn’t much different from how Netflix or Spotify or any good company personalizes its customer journey or experience for you. You get an experience that’s tailored to you based on your unique set of needs or objectives or preferences. Startups move very fast, and we want to create a unique experience with them based on their maturity level.  Whether it’s early-stage startups or later-stage startups that already have a large customer base, we want to build a stronger enterprise connection. Startups selected into our program are mapped to a personalized cloud journey based on their unique business objectives and goals. It’s a mutually agreed-upon journey with milestones included to provide a roadmap. It’s really a shared responsibility partnership.  We start from a technical and architectural standpoint—how best to position them for success via Oracle Cloud Services.  As they begin to leverage our Oracle Cloud, we layer in additional resources to help further boost their business, including peer-to-peer technical and non-technical interaction and mentoring, engagement opportunities with our 430,000+ customers, marketing and PR and more.  Again, all designed for their unique business needs and objectives. Does that mean startups in the program have to be using Oracle Cloud?  Yes, we do require a commitment to using our Oracle Cloud Services (IaaS, PaaS, DaaS, and Marketplace) via the cloud credits, and we provide hands-on mentorship to help startups on their cloud journey. However, we also understand many startups joining our program will have a multi-cloud strategy and we are supportive of that. The reason is really two-fold: 1) By leveraging Oracle Cloud services we can better unlock the full value of Oracle resources for these startups. Product integrations, POCs, and co-selling are activated much easier with startups that are already using Oracle Cloud and part of our Oracle ecosystem. Our past experiences have proven this true. And, 2) it allows us to enable collaborative, mutually beneficial partnerships where we all get value and ROI. Win-win is how the most successful partnerships thrive. You talk about creating value for the startups, customers and Oracle. I get what you are delivering for the startups. But what is Oracle wanting to get from this program? And what about the customers? For Oracle, we want to introduce startups and emerging businesses to Oracle and Oracle Cloud. We realize historically our awareness with this very important audience has been low. If we do our jobs right, our program will help drive awareness, adoption and consumption of Oracle Cloud across global startups. And at the same time go a long way in chipping away a perception that Oracle doesn’t work with startups. We are working with startups and doing so successfully. And for our customers, we can help solve pain points and advance technology by bringing these cutting-edge startups into the mix—helping create co-innovation and co-development practices that push the envelopes of innovation. Oracle is in a unique position to bridge the enterprise world and the startup world by creating a unique experience connecting the two. Today’s landscape is moving at a pace that is hard for any company to keep up with, and leveraging our startup ecosystem to grow, and in some cases, complement our applications is unique. How does this impact the application and selection process for startups? We are moving away from our current application process and format—fixed-term, cohort-based programs—to an always-open, rolling process and format. So, applications are open year-round and startups are selected and mapped to their specific journey and timeframe. The goal is to have startups working with us at all times throughout the year in a “rolling” and “always on” program of sorts. This is a more efficient and effective process for the startups and Oracle.  The more companies we can serve, the larger the success rate we will have in the market. How will the nine global centers work within this new operational format? With this new approach, our coworking spaces around the globe will become community hubs for our startups, allowing startups to tailor their program experience based on their unique journey.  Pending their journey, startups will require varying timeframes of status at our centers; while others may use it more for meetups, curriculum hours or events; and some won’t utilize the space at all.  This new model is also allowing us to re-think our approach to our centers and be more efficient and effective so we can roll out the program in other key cities around the world. We can offer an immersive, coworking environment; a virtual-style experience; and an approach that is a hybrid of the two. How are the startups that have already been accepted for your former Accelerator and Scaleup programs being impacted? The recently selected accelerator cohorts will continue with their programs as advertised. All other cohorts not yet selected will align with the new approach. Our Scaleup partners can easily be transitioned into our new operational strategy as they have always been virtual. What type of startup should apply? We want to work with companies doing unique things across all transformational technologies like AI, blockchain, IoT, big data, VR and AR. The program isn’t technology specific—that hasn’t changed.   Organizations with B2B solutions that align well with Oracle’s product stack and customer portfolio are strongly encouraged. And, of course, companies targeting a large addressable market with a defined yet malleable product roadmap. What happens to startups after completing their journeys? Once a startup has completed their specific journey, they are transitioned into our alumni program, which offers ongoing benefits that can include mentoring network access; customer and partner engagements; and marketing, events and PR opportunities. We also provide cost savings and discounts after the free credit period. Any closing thoughts before we wrap up? Just a reminder that Oracle is committed to supporting global entrepreneurs and inspiring innovation—and doing so through collaborative partnerships that benefit all. That hasn’t changed and it won’t. I’m humbled and inspired to work with these emerging startups and their founders.  And as a three-time founder myself, I’m still dedicated to developing a program I would have wanted to join as an entrepreneur. As they say in our industry, follow the data. And our data has shown us that we need to be more selective about what startups we work with and how we work with them. Why? Because that’s the best way to unlock the full value and resources of Oracle for this global program. This refined operational strategy won’t fit for all startups. But for those it does fit, we are positioned to deliver more value and success—for the startups, our customers and Oracle. That’s what I call collaborative and mutually beneficial.      

(PHOTO: Larry Ellison invited Reggie Bradford and founders from the global startup program to his house for an intimate Q&A during Oracle OpenWorld last year.)   Since its inception over two years ago,...

Partners/Advisors

Startup or Enterprise? Their Cloud Infrastructure Needs Are More Alike Than You Think

  The blog post was authored by Kyle York, Vice President of Product Strategy for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and General Manager for Dyn Global Business Unit (GBU)   Enterprise companies and startups may appear to be polar opposites. They compete by leveraging vastly different resources, cultures, and levels of agility. But when it comes to building and launching business-critical apps in the cloud, they’re more alike than dissimilar. If either is going to succeed, they need almost the exact same things from their cloud providers. That’s because developers have certain needs, and (entirely justifiable!) expectations, and it doesn’t much matter if they’re working for a gaming startup that thinks it’s got the next Angry Birds on its hands or a multi-national bank. It’s also because the gaming startup probably thinks it’s going to be huge someday. If there’s any chance of that happening, they need to design and plan for success and adopt an enterprise-grade cloud from the very beginning. They need an infrastructure that is going to support business-critical applications, and the service levels and reliability required to accompany them. They need a platform focused not just on the architecture and development side, but the actual technology operations of the workload running in the cloud (see the DevOps movement). The tooling is one in the same. The enterprise, of course, admires the agility and the automation of the startup. A startup might think it doesn’t care about security, governance, or risk. After all, it’s still trying to figure out what it’s going to be when it grows up. But if that startup is going to get through adolescence, they need to be very attuned to how their cloud is going to address these things. In other words, they, as well as their larger competitors, need an enterprise-grade cloud. What exactly is an enterprise-grade cloud? It starts with a service level agreement that not only has the right number of nines, but is broad and comprehensive. If you don’t have guaranteed performance, manageability, and availability, you don’t really have an SLA. If you’re building and deploying important applications in the cloud, performance is only part of your concern. You also need full and guaranteed access and control over your cloud infrastructure. Next up: Security. Enterprises are quick to appreciate the value of security, while startups might take a little longer. But it makes no sense to wait for a breach before making sure your cloud operations are completely nailed down and secure. Any team building a cloud native app needs to know how their providers will handle identity and access management. They need to understand threat detection, and how well it’s automated. Ditto for responses to those threats. With the introduction of GDPR only recently in the rearview mirror, it might seem redundant to ask about data privacy. Anyone relying upon a cloud infrastructure to run important parts of their business needs to do it anyways. “When you’re a startup you’re fighting to win customers but also to build your reputation,” said Kevin Roe, president and co-founder, 1Echo; and a member of the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem. “A security issue of any kind can ruin that, which is why protecting customer privacy comes first and security should be top priority for any business regardless of size.” Related to security, of course, is governance: Who has access to your cloud infrastructure and resources, and how easy it is to organize and control them? Is it relatively simple to create groups, and then define policies to govern them? These are all things that sound routine until something goes seriously wrong. That’s just one reason none of this should be negotiable. It doesn’t matter how big your company is, or how big your effort within your company. Every cloud native developer needs to start with an enterprise-grade cloud. Why handicap yourself before you even get going? But developers also deserve a cloud that’s prepared to support the way they prefer to work. Developers expect, rightly, to be able to use modern, open source tools for customization and management. They don’t want to have to give up any of the tools that they’ve come to rely on just because they’re working in the cloud. They need a cloud partner that embraces open-source computing, containers, and serverless. And they need an organization that is committed to a superior end-user experience. “Our business is growing extremely fast, therefore we need flexibility with our infrastructure,” said Roe. “Vendor lock-in limits us, so we try to avoid it. We embrace openness and interoperability and choose to work with partners who do the same.” So how do you know if that’s what you’ve got? Well, it’s one thing for an organization to say they back open-source, but it’s another to really dig under the hood. If a company is committed to open-source, wouldn’t you expect to see them running it themselves? It’s also worth a look to see how active their engineers are in the open-source community, contributing code to open-source projects, or joining special interest groups. If there’s a change, vulnerability, or improvement to the code used to tool up a cloud, you want your provider to be the first to know, not the last. The argument for support of containers is similar: Containers are simply the modern way to develop apps in a highly scalable way. Developers shouldn’t have to leave that convenience behind simply because they’ve opted for the power of the cloud. Support for Kubernetes, Docker, and other essential tools should be right there, running seamlessly in the cloud. Last, everyone involved needs to care about the experience of the end-user. Most cloud native apps tend to be the outward-facing, high-traffic applications used for commerce, communications, and media. If the edge of your cloud isn’t being well-managed, customers aren’t going to be able to access your fabulous new app. Remember: Half of so-called cloud performance is actually driven by how well the edge is managed. An enterprise-grade cloud provider needs to drive the user from edge to core, seamlessly. The potential of the cloud, after all, isn’t to offload a bunch of stuff no one cares about. It’s to greatly improve the development and provisioning of mission-critical applications; to provide speed, efficiency, and flexibility; and to allow costs to better reflect the actual resources used. Sure, some of the early clouds were stripped-down affairs. But to get the best results from their cloud native initiatives, developers and technology leaders can, and must, demand much more of today’s cloud infrastructure, whether you're a developer at a Fortune 100 or driving DevOps at the next shining startup.    

  The blog post was authored by Kyle York, Vice President of Product Strategy for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and General Manager for Dyn Global Business Unit (GBU)   Enterprise companies and startups...

Meet the Startups

AI applied to Content Marketing: what to expect in the (near) future

This blog post was authored by Emilia Chagas, CEO of Contentools The future of AI is BIG and it relies on one pillar aspect of marketing: analysis. As marketers, we're trying at all times to understand behavior and influence it. We are constantly engaged in a process of trial and error; analyzing what went right and learning what could be improved. Do you find yourself trying to make the best-informed choices about: What social media channel should I use? What is the most successful content and how can I replicate its results? What keywords should I be using to stand out from the competition? Why did this peak/drop of traffic happen?  Where did these people come from? Do they represent the buyer persona I want to reach? Once we know these things, we are then trying to forecast and predict what will happen in the future, based on the market and our actions. Before, answers were found manually through personally collected data, which relies on human ability and assumptions; AI is more precise, more accurate and a lot faster. First things first: what is the difference between ML and AI? To get us on the same page, it’s important to understand what AI and ML really are and what the difference between the two is. Artificial intelligence is, in layman terms, the theory and development of technologies and computer systems that can do the stuff us humans normally would, e.g. visual perception, speech recognition and decision-making (yikes!). Machine Learning, on the other hand, is a specific branch of AI which allows these systems and software applications to become more accurate at analysis, prediction and control, without the need for someone manually programming the algorithms. If you like being a geek and knowing your stuff, check out iPullRank’s comprehensive overview of Machine Learning for Marketers, where you can find out the basics of ML, the technical aspects of setting it up in your organization and all the jargon to impress your friends and family. Both AI and ML have serious practical implications for the way we do our marketing operations, providing us with new levels of accuracy, prediction and efficiency. But don’t think AI is reserved for marketing giants with big budgets. AI is now accessible for mid-size companies and startups that are looking to jump on this fast-moving train. Some of the current ways AI is already available we’ve included in this Contentools blog. To understand how AI is interacting and shaping the way we do business, here are four ways in which AI is already influencing Marketing. How AI is already impacting your decision-making? AI allows marketers to store and accumulate information over time to develop a more comprehensive overview of the market and understand what works. The ability to make processes faster and more efficient is particularly salient when it comes to processing, handlingand sorting data. Many people are intimidated by what to do with data outside the analytics shown by Facebook or Google; this is partly because their data is messy and unreliable. AI can help collect it neatly, in one place and prepare it for analysis. As mentioned in this Forbes article “Too often propensity models are based on imported data, built in Microsoft Excel, making their ongoing use time-consuming.” AI solutions will, once and for all, allow marketers to get rid of the copy and paste, import, export style of doing things and start organizing their data the smart way. Actually, AI can do more than just processing data: it can use that data to provide actionable insights. Content Distribution Insights Now that you know your target audience and the specific segments that its best to target, AI analysis can tell you how to better distribute that content: what time to post and which channel. It can also detect anomalies and suggest you take advantage of it. Would you like to know what type and style of content your audience likes the most? How about going beyond that and getting insights on what to do with the best performing content? The answer can be data-based advice from statistical analysis. That's exactly what our team at Contentools has been working on. Our goal is to help marketing managers fill in the loop between their completed projects and their next ideas, with insights on: How to make the best use of high-performing content; In which social media they should share each content and at what time; What blog posts should be repurposed into rich content for lead generation; What blog posts from other websites they should aim for, for backlink strategy. Topic Cluster Optimization Another one of the most useful and effective tools that have been born from AI is the assessment and analysis of marketing search trends. Once you structure your blog in Topic Clusters or similar program, it makes sense to have the best topic clusters automatically handed to you. That means you won't have to do all that research anymore - your AI assistant will have it done. With AI, you will be able to build your content strategy and start to create targeted content that meets the needs and demands of your audience with much more precision. On top of that, an AI algorithm is able to give you further insights into: When and how to update your pillar page; How to take the most advantage of high performing clusters; Which clusters should be optimized and how. AI can also select the best performing and most relevant content pieces and suggest links you can add, to enrich the piece you are about to publish. Sounds interesting? Well, it can get even better than that. After all, once an AI assistant has access to your whole blog, it can also suggest better ways of linking your topic clusters. Content Shaping AI and ML are cleverly selecting the most appropriate keywords to include in your copy. It also makes it easier to match written content with photos, videos, similar blogs or articles, so you don’t have to do the hours of research you needed before to bring up the information you were looking for. It also helps your customers do exactly the same.  Other ways in which AI cuts down on your workload is through cross-channel editing of content. It takes time to edit one piece of content for Facebook and crop it down for Instagram. AI will also shorten visual content and videos to optimize the experience on different devices that customers are using. Your new AI employee can offer suggestions, produce first draft, make edits or just go ahead and publish the content depending on how well it is performing. The idea here is that you don’t have to create a lot of content, based on the hope that something will boost traffic. It’s optimizing the knowledge you can get from the market, how you should react to it and how you can create something that will make an impact. The cool thing about this is that the AI will learn what works and slowly build up the knowledge of what will be most effective way for you to connect with your customers. Artificial Intelligence will change the way you do your job -- for the better. Solutions based on such technology are already emerging and tech solutions are also adapting their current software to provide even more value by using ML/AI. Soon enough, you and your team will have your own AI assistant optimizing your work in unimaginable ways. If you're ready to take your marketing strategy to the next level, sign up now to be part of the first group of marketing managers taking advantage of Contentools AI Assistant.  Would you like to discuss all the ways ML/AI will bring more intelligence to marketing teams? Let's talk about it in the comment section!  

This blog post was authored by Emilia Chagas, CEO of Contentools The future of AI is BIG and it relies on one pillar aspect of marketing: analysis. As marketers, we're trying at all times to understand...

Meet the Startups

India Startup Changing Lives Through Music Empowerment, Powered By Oracle Cloud

This blog post was authored by Prantika Pitta, Program Marketing, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem   “Music knows no boundaries” is a famous doctrine of music lovers across the globe and it’s this passion that inspired MusicMuni Labs and our music-learning mobile app Riyaz. MusicMuni envisions a world enriched by a ubiquitous music literacy, resulting in a positive impact on the livelihoods of millions of people. But we are getting ahead of the story. The Problem Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan. This city has a rich cultural history. Music has always been an imperative and celebrated part of the country`s culture with the likes of Sufi music, Qawali, Ghazals and many more. The protagonist of this true story is a middle-aged man who lives in Islamabad, let's call him Mr. X in this article. Mr. X is a chartered accountant (CA) by profession and hails from an upper-middle section of the society in Islamabad. All is well in his life, except for music and his passion for it. Family, as most of us would agree, is the backbone and the strongest support in one`s life. But for Mr. X, his family was the barrier between him and his love for music. Mr. X is extremely passionate about Hindustani and Bollywood (Hindi Cinema) music. However, he never shared his pursuit of his passion with his family. Why? Religion.  How can religion be a hindrance between music and a music lover? I know it sounds a bit bewildering but in this case its true. His passion for music is unknown to his family. Mr. X was so sure of disapproval of his love of music from his family members that he has never discussed it with them. Rather he continued with his regular job as a CA until he was financially able to take a step forward towards his passion. The Solution “Perseverance, secret of all triumphs,” is one of my favorite quotes by Victor Hugo. It was through perseverance that one day Mr. X came across the Riyaz app as he was relentlessly searching for an app on the playstore to learn and practice music. This was the beginning of a new chapter in Mr. X`s life. Riyaz is a 24×7 teaching and learning companion that enables you to learn and practice singing anytime and anywhere. It combines pedagogical knowledge from age-old Hindustani and Carnatic classical music traditions and uses cutting-edge technology to give you accurate real-time feedback to gain a pitch-perfect voice. Through Riyaz, Mr. X selected the music course of his choice to learn from one of the app’s many gurus. With video lessons that provided the necessary theoretical background, as well as the audio exercises that students can use to improve their skills, Riyaz became his newfound love. Practicing singing at home was not an option for Mr. X, neither was he able to make time to practice anywhere else due to his job so Mr. X began to use his 40-minute commute as his opportunity. He changed his car`s head unit to hav the  Riyaz screen mirrored so that he does not need to control the app via his mobile phone. Now he practices singing each time he commutes to work. It has been eight months since Mr. X has been able to live his passion.  This has brought a monumental change in his life today. The Product Riyaz is the flagship product of MusicMuni Labs. MusicMuni Labs is an alumnus startup of the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, one of five startups of cohort three in the Bangalore center. Today, MusicMuni is running on Oracle Cloud and MySQL, has 800,000 app downloads with 80k active users, 60% growth and 400% user engagement.  “At the core of building Riyaz is understanding users’ needs and their behavior. With Oracle Cloud, we have put together all the elements necessary for a complete analytics stack that can offer us these much-needed insights. From knowing which new features are adopted and user segments, to realizing the user experience pain points that are hindering a section of students, this analytics stack has been the heart of the changes we have made to the product in the past six months,” says Gopala Koduri, CEO & Founder, MusicMuni. “With the connects we got through Oracle’s global startup program, we have raised our first angel round. Using Oracle Cloud's IaaS and PaaS offerings, we have streamlined our content operations to run like clockwork and also boosted user engagement by 400% with deeper insights into user behaviour,” said Koduri.

This blog post was authored by Prantika Pitta, Program Marketing, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem   “Music knows no boundaries” is a famous doctrine of music lovers across the globe and it’s this...

Meet the Startups

Deploying Bespoke AI using Fn Project - KADlytics by Miminal

This blog post was authored by Will Worrall, Director & Data Scientist at Miminal   At Miminal, one of our largest projects is the commercialization of bespoke artificial intelligence which reveals hidden dependencies in complex engineering projects. The product that does this is KADlytics, and more can be found out about the product at www.kadlytics.com. So, how is this done? The AI is built on the principle that if two assets (e.g. CAD model files, documents etc.) are updated at approximately the same time then this is a proxy for some kind of dependency. For example, employee A makes an update to their CAD model and notifies employee B that they must update their CAD model, to account for A’s changes. Employee B does this at the next possible opportunity. Whilst this dependency relationship is simple, organizations suffer from not understanding these dependencies in enough detail in large collaborative projects. This often leads to unforeseen work having to be carried out after an update to an asset, to update unforeseen dependencies. KADlyitcs learns and tracks a project dependency network using just update metadata as input, namely the timestamps of asset updates. It then puts this network to use, alerting employees of whose work they may affect when they change an asset, or if their work must be updated due to an asset change. Beyond digital assets, KADlytics also reveals the dependencies between people and organizational departments. In addition, it aids the project management team in predicting the project-wide design effort (cost) created by an update to a particular asset in the project. In order for KADlytics to operate on a project, several stages of processing must occur: On project initialization, all the project's asset’s update metadata must be fetched from the cloud storage API. Currently, KADlytics is integrated with Autodesk cloud storage. Next, the bespoke AI algorithm operates on the database of update metadata, outputting the project’s dependency network. New updates must be streamed to KADlytics in real-time. This is achieved by registering webhooks with Autodesk, and hosting an endpoint to receive and act on them. Stage 2 Must be repeated periodically to reflect project updates. Network theory operations and queries must be carried out on the project dependency network to give meaningful information to KADlytics users. Each of these stages have 3 things in common: Processing is batched, varying from short-lived to medium-lived processing. Computational workload is unique. Runtime environment and set of software libraries is unique. These commonalities form a set of requirements for the hosting infrastructure. Our research showed that Fn Project is the only solution that meets these requirements, scales, doesn’t lead to unused compute capacity at times of low traffic, is failure resilient and supports any desired runtime environment with its revolutionary use of Docker containers as serverless functions. In addition to this, using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to host our Fn Project servers means our serverless functions run on physical servers with an underlying compute-power far greater than the commodity servers of other cloud providers. Finally, Fn Project has made developing a flexible, modular and extensible microservice architecture a pleasure. Go and check it out at https://fnproject.io .  

This blog post was authored by Will Worrall, Director & Data Scientist at Miminal   At Miminal, one of our largest projects is the commercialization of bespoke artificial intelligence which reveals...

Partners/Advisors

Closing the Deal is Just the First Step to Getting Paid

This blog post is authored by Yan Lazarev, CEO & Co-Founder of Gaviti   Every entrepreneur dreams of building a business that will be a global success The ability to acquire multiple clients is a great validation of business success and a source of great pride to the founders. Business growth brings a lot of new challenges that are completely different from the challenges founders have to deal with in the beginning and at other early stages of their business. A crucial part of a business’ success is the ability to get paid efficiently by its clients. For companies who target retail clientele, there are plenty of solutions… cash, credit card, PayPal or crypto, before goods are shipped off or the payment goes through at the register. For companies who target enterprise clients and must sell on credit, things are little more complicated… Closing the deal is just the first step to getting paid! After agreeing to the terms and delivering to the client, you must bill them accordingly and follow up to make sure the invoice was received, is correct, and scheduled for payment. It sounds easy and it is if you’re dealing with 5 clients. When your business is good enough to get 3000 clients, even simple things become a challenge. Just imagine the size of the client success team it requires to deal with such a large amount of clients and how much office space this team requires. The reason startups disrupt traditional industries is not because they have more resources or better people, but because they are designed to work smarter using the best technology available. For everything that is task oriented, recurring and can be modeled, automation and optimization are pivotal to success. Collection process automation can be created on top of business ERP either via custom coding or adding custom flows with BI tools, or by getting dedicated solutions designed for collections process optimization. Before implementing any of the options it is important to remember a few key elements to allow your company to master the receivables collections task: Know your clients - not all clients are created equal. Divide your clients into a few key segments (geography, industry, size, products they buy, etc) and approach each segment in a more personalized manner - improved results guaranteed! Define goals - to succeed you need to know what your goals are. Is your business all about getting paid ASAP, or do you value client retention above all? Setting goals will allow you to structure your approach to your receivables in order to best suit your company. Measure - finance and tech value numbers. Setting the correct KPI to monitor your Receivables Team performance will help you to manage better, intervene if needed, and forecast your cash flow successfully. Being able to tell good process from bad is another key for success.  Dealing with large client volume might be a rich man’s problem but overcoming the challenges that come with it separate good companies from great companies. Acknowledging the challenges and sticking to best practices that will solve them will help you to stay on the right side of this equation.

This blog post is authored by Yan Lazarev, CEO & Co-Founder of Gaviti   Every entrepreneur dreams of building a business that will be a global success The ability to acquire multiple clients is a great...

Partners/Advisors

Three Types of Business Risk on the Path to Success

  The blog post was authored by Kyle York, Vice President of Product Strategy for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and General Manager for Dyn Global Business Unit (GBU)   No one starts a business only for it to fizzle out and die, but scaling a startup is fraught with risk. There are three major risks to startups as they scale: execution, technology, and the market. I’ve experienced all three. With each risk comes its own challenges and opportunities. Execution risk How does your business align with your vision, measure up against core key performance indicators, and execute on its mission by bringing product to customers? The answer to this question is what makes or breaks your company. The process of scaling a startup is hard and tumultuous. Scaling fast makes it even harder, but scaling slowly is worse, and sitting still is a death trap -- especially in technology. How fast should you grow? How much money will it take? How many management layers do you need? How do you battle churn? How do you innovate against juggernauts and ankle biters alike? The quickest, most iterative part of your business needs to be the part where strategy meets execution. But if you overcorrect, you're doomed. It's a delicate balancing act, and only you can figure it out for your business. Pay attention to expenses and gross margins. Make sure your investment ratios are comfortable -- for you, not based on some random comparison to like companies. Is your research and development investment right? Is your go-to-market investment at the correct pace? It’s important for startups to nail their foundational execution, but also to continually expose what I call “growth levers.” These ensure that when one bet fails, or the inevitable hiccup happens, you’ve got other plays well drafted and in the lab. You need to always be innovating your business model and approach. Technology risk Technology risk cuts both ways. There can be internal issues -- missed deadlines, broken roadmaps, haywire API scripts, cyberattacks, staff departures, etc. There can also be external problems caused by dependencies on programming languages, integrations, and open source technology, or by innovations that disrupt the technology markets you rely on. It's tricky to use technology to meet customer demand, deliver a value proposition that has staying power, and stay true to your differentiation all at the same time. The keys to hedging against technology risk are to innovate, bite off what you can chew and over-deliver on your product roadmap. It's also important to ensure your dependencies are limited. If you use open source technology, be sure it’s here to stay. Don't customize it so much that it prevents you taking advantage of future innovations. Be sure you have resourced appropriately, and don’t get complacent when your technology superiority and engineering excellence are challenged. Market risk This one takes many forms, and it is the risk you have the least control over. On the macro side, stock market performance, currency values, job growth rates, and other factors can threaten your business. On the micro side, it could be about market moves by competitors, mergers and acquisitions, investments, and new products or innovations. Either way, the market never sits still, and you need to prepare your business to succeed in both the good times and the bad. The ball won’t always bounce your way. Will you be ready? When it comes to growing a business, there is nothing more important than having your head on a swivel in the market. All entrepreneurs should become encyclopedias on their markets, technologies, customers, competitors, and trends. Do you know your competitors better than they know themselves? Are you participants in a market or making one? Are you doubling down when the market is ripe and holding the front when the market is bear? In an ever-changing and volatile economic climate, the companies that win are those that get a little lucky, but also those that take very seriously how the markets can influence their short- and long-term visions. In my career, the ultimate convergence of these risks came when, at Dyn, we were considering testing the market for fundraising, an initial public offering or an acquisition. We eventually sold to Oracle, where we still face these risks everyday as we transform into a cloud business.  

  The blog post was authored by Kyle York, Vice President of Product Strategy for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and General Manager for Dyn Global Business Unit (GBU)   No one starts a business only for it...

Startup Life

This is a Startup’s Most Powerful Growth Hack

A recent report noted a new and powerful growth hack for emerging startups. And it’s not cutting-edge technology or first-mover status. It’s startups collaborating with enterprises. Startups working with corporates and enterprises isn’t new—but it’s crucial. As the MassChallenge & Imaginatik report notes, “It’s shaping up to be a startup’s most powerful growth hack.” It turns out these relationships are pretty important for corporates, too. The report also revealed that 82% of large companies now view interactions with startups as important, and 23% say it’s “mission critical” to their business. And Bain & Company data shows that a relationship with a large company positively impacts the growth of young companies in 93% of cases. So how do these very different entities learn to collaborate, co-develop and co-innovate together? Below is a sneak peek; and to learn more vote here to learn from our panel of experts at SXSW 2019. Select the right fit and time. The biggest thing that is often overlooked about startups and corporates collaborating - on both sides - is whether it’s the right fit and time for the startup. Identify goals and objectives clearly and upfront. Identify the goals, objectives and contributions of both corporate and startup, and what each hope to benefit from the relationship. Be clear and transparent. Set up a mutually beneficial partnership, which shouldn't be limited to just financial gains. A true collaboration will yield many value-adds for both sides of the partnership. Embrace cultural differences, listen and learn from each other. Be open to changing mindsets and approaches - whether that means being more agile, changing the way you interact with customers or reward employees, or creating more structure. Grow your networks together. Startups need to grow their customer bases, while corporates benefit from working with young companies on the front lines of innovation. Identify champions of the program. Maintaining momentum and engaging with the corporate/startup partner is key to ongoing success. Let your champions amplify and tell your story. Learn more from our experts at SXSW 2019 during the panel, Startup-Corporate Partnerships Key To Innovation.  JD Weinstein, head of Oracle’s Startup Ecosystem in Austin; Karen Kilroy, entrepreneur and CEO of Kilroy Blockchain; Sabrina Wojtewicz, Co-founder & Executive Director, Bunker Labs and Sara Chapman, Director of Entrepreneurship Strategy & Partnerships at Dell will discuss how companies are approaching innovation differently, what startup-corporate partnerships mean today, and how both startups and corporations can find the right fit. Vote here to learn from our panel of experts at SXSW 2019.

A recent report noted a new and powerful growth hack for emerging startups. And it’s not cutting-edge technology or first-mover status. It’s startups collaborating with enterprises. Startups working...

Best Practices

Ten Twitter Tips for Startups

This blog is authored by Tamanna Godara, Digital and Social Content, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem   Today we have lots of social channels through which a startup can venture into the digital world. So, is Twitter for startups? I would say yes! Even if you are building your idea, give it a voice. Hear how others perceive it:   Tip #1 Twitter Handle Secure your Twitter Handle. Make it as close to your company name as possible. If the company name is not available, try using ‘CompanyNameCo’ or ‘CompanyNameInc’ as postscripts. Avoid usage of underscore in the handle name because typing underscore is not mobile friendly. Eg: @YourStoryCo Tip #2 Twitter Bio When writing your Twitter Bio make sure you use the entire 160 character limit and ensure your key offering is visible in the first line. Include industry related hashtags that will help in popping up in search results. If space permits, include a shortened website URL. Also, fill out Location and Website links below the bio.   Tip #3 Pinned Tweet This is your chance to build on the first impression with the “to be” follower. Make sure you have an engaging tweet pinned to the top of your profile. For instance, you can put a product demo video, a link to a published article/featured story or just a simple happy team picture. Tip #4 Tweet frequency Every startup works on lean startup methodology, which means they mostly do not have a dedicated resource to handle social media. In such a case, chart out a monthly social media strategy with your team. Make a note of all key festivals, product launches, EOSS offers. Once the plan is ready put all your tweets into a schedule. Tip #5 Twitter Logo and Cover Image Do not leave the picture blank. Put an optimized company logo to fit the space. You can also add a brand approved color to your profile to make it stand out. Go to “Edit Profile” and select “Theme color”. Add your brand color code here. Tip #6 Be Omnipresent Put all your industry related hashtags on Tweet Deck. Every day check to see how your hashed hashtag is buzzing. Given the nature of tweets, it is very difficult to be always present to retweet or share your favorite tweet from different handles in real time. To do so, follow your favorite Twitterati then select the bell notification next to follow button. Select the option “Turn on mobile notification” from the drop down. This will trigger notification whenever they Tweet or go Live.   Tip #7 Content As a startup, you can talk about the latest feature addition, website launch, customer feedback snips, live tweeting from events, liking and retweeting content that is relevant to your page. Make sure you have the right mix of original content and retweets. Tip #8 Tweet Timing Work out and experiment which time of the day gives you most impressions, likes, and retweets. For instance, in India the best time of the day to tweet is between 11 am and 3 pm. However, if your audience is global then make sure to time posts in the overlapping time zones or schedule at specific time intervals. Tip # 9 Hashtags Make sure you are working out the right hashtag strategy for twitter. Here the optimum number of hashtag is 1-2 for each tweet. Create unique hashtags when you are going to an event or launching a product. Communicate to your team and others to use those hashtags when they tweet. If the hashtag has 2-3 words in it, capitalize each word to increase visibility #YouGotIt. Tip #10 Twitter Threads. Tell your story with Twitter Threads. Keep on adding to this thread when you have new perspective and the conversation is live again.      

This blog is authored by Tamanna Godara, Digital and Social Content, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem   Today we have lots of social channels through which a startup can venture into the digital world....

Meet the Startups

iGeolise goes big with a revolutionary new way to think about travel time

By Tara Swords (This story originally published in the summer edition of Profit Magazine. iGeolise is an alumnus of the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem.) It all started with a traffic jam. In 2009, Charlie Davies was driving to an important appointment on the roads of London. He had looked up the shortest route before he left home, but as he waited in bumper-to-bumper traffic that day, he realized that he didn’t care how far away his destination was; he cared about how much time it would take him to arrive. Even then, it was common for people to use a point-A-to-point-B search tool before going anywhere. But Davies recognized that there was a gap in the market, and that gap could be filled by a tool that let people search for content based on travel time, not travel distance. So, Davies called up a former work colleague, Peter Lilley, and pitched him the idea. “It’s an incredibly intuitive thing,” Lilley says. “Whenever someone tells you a distance, in your head you convert it to time. We just wanted to take that guesswork out of the process.” Together, they came up with an idea for a search engine that would let people search for various destinations based on the time it would take to get there. For example, if you live in New York and you’re looking for a restaurant, it’s not very helpful to search within a five-mile radius because five miles in one direction might take 15 minutes, while 5 miles in another direction could take an hour. Plus, it all depends on what mode of transportation you use. Davies and Lilley named their company iGeolise. And after many iterations, they settled on a B2B model in which they would license their search platform to other companies. But before they could scale, they needed the right technology to help them return search results instantly and ensure that their database could be updated with new travel information quickly. For that, they turned to Oracle. Time for Something New The first iteration of the iGeolise TravelTime platform was a consumer-based search. The problem with that B2C approach was that it would put iGeolise in competition with the likes of Google, Yahoo, and other large companies with extensive resources and deep pockets. Even smaller companies such as hotel chains already have their own search tools on their websites. It didn’t seem likely that iGeolise would be able to draw traffic away from every site that provided its own search. That’s when Davies and Lilley decided on a B2B model. They would build a platform that any other website or mobile app could link to or embed, and allow their end users to search by travel time and mode of transportation. “By building a platform that websites could link to via an API, we would let them use their own content for their existing audience,” Lilley says. “That was fantastic for us because it meant we didn’t have to build up a bunch of content and attract our own audience.” They worked on a shoestring budget to build the platform, forgoing investor capital and just focusing on making a great product. But when it was done, the engine took several seconds to return results. For consumers who would be using the tool, that was simply too long to wait. After all, according to an oft-quoted 2008 study, a one-second delay in page load time can lead to a 7% loss in conversions. And in the intervening 10 years, consumers have no doubt grown more demanding. So while Davies and his team of developers worked on speeding up the platform, Lilley got creative and began work on a separate revenue stream that would keep the company funded. Deep Data Analysis While a few seconds was too long for a consumer to wait for search results, Lilley realized there was another user base that wouldn’t mind that short wait at all: business users who would otherwise have to crunch this data manually. Large businesses regularly need to access data about travel times to make important decisions. For example, a company’s HR team might be tasked with finding a new office location within 45 minutes of most current employees’ homes. “If someone had to figure that out by plugging addresses into Google Maps, one by one, it would take forever,” Davies says. “It might take our platform a few seconds, maybe even a full minute. And while that’s too long for someone on a consumer website, it’s not for an HR team. They could just go grab a cup of coffee in the kitchen, come back, and the results would be ready.” For those users, the early iteration of iGeolise’s platform was already plenty fast, so the company started marketing it directly to them. They quickly amassed a base of customers that included HR teams, as well as retailers whose leaders needed help planning where to put their next locations. For example, imagine that a coffee seller wanted to be sure that all people in a certain area live within a 15-minute walk of the company’s nearest location. The iGeolise platform could quickly show the company’s planners where walkers have gaps in coverage—or where there are too many stores for a certain geography to support profitably. iGeolise’s analytics business grew quickly because it helps clients save significant amounts of time, and soon after its launch it was providing plenty of revenue to help Lilley and Davies scale. In the meantime, developers were hard at work to make the search tool fast enough for consumers so they could license it to other companies—and that work was about to pay off. Oracle Technology Speeds Processing One of the biggest obstacles to a lightning-fast search engine was simply getting the data into the database in the first place. When iGeolise launches in any country, it must first spend an enormous amount of time finding roads and walking and bike paths, as well as collecting data on the country’s public transportation systems. Developers produce complex algorithms that can predict traffic density at certain times of day. They also have to take into account factors like cultural transportation norms. For example, in Amsterdam, it’s common for commuters to use a combination of bike and bus or bike and train. In the UK, it’s common for commuters to drive to a train station and complete their journey by rail. But that data doesn’t necessarily stay the same. A city might revise its bus timetables, for example, so iGeolise’s developers update the database every week for every country. Lilley likens it to a clown with spinning plates. “It would take us maybe a whole day just to update the UK,” Lilley says. “But we’re in 26 countries now, so we haven’t got just one spinning plate; we’ve got 26 of them, and we have to keep them spinning all the time. That was becoming a real barrier for us because it would take us a week’s worth of processing time to update our system, and that clearly doesn’t scale very well.” To speed up processing, iGeolise switched to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Container Engine for Kubernetes with an integrated Docker-compliant container registry as a fully managed service. “It cut our parsing time from well over a week, every week, to well under a day,” Lilley says. “That means when there’s an error in the data we’re bringing in, we can correct it and just reparse it the next day. Kubernetes and Docker on Oracle has made a significant difference to our ability to scale.” The iGeolise platform also uses a custom-built geocoder on Oracle VM to convert human-readable postal addresses into latitude and longitude coordinates and back again. “A lot of our clients spend quite a lot of money on geocoders, and now we can provide our geocoder within our API to our existing customers, which saves them a bunch of money,” Lilley says. Finding the Best Route Next, Davies and his developers decided to build a field sales routing tool that would help a company’s sales reps figure out the best route to visit the most customers in a given day. “There are lots of field sales routing tools, but they’re always routed by road,” Lilley says. “We thought that was a bit weird because half the world lives in urban areas, and in an urban area you don’t drive if you can avoid it.” So the iGeolise development team built a routing application that uses all modes of transport, including public transport. Initially, the application took about a day to process results for a single client. But using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, the iGeolise platform can now process results in less than an hour. The potential benefits are extensive. Imagine that a healthcare provider has to make 100 home visits in a day and has only 12 community health nurses in the area. The iGeolise platform can allocate patients among those 12 nurses according to the nurses’ starting addresses and put them in the optimum order so travel time is minimized. Ready for Prime Time Today, the iGeolise TravelTime search tool can return 100,000 ranked and sorted results within 300 milliseconds. Clients such as Zoopla, a property search website, report a 300% increase in conversions. Jobsite, an employment search tool popular in the UK, reported that location relevance had increased by 60%. Many other customers report a benefit to the bottom line—and both Davies and Lilley say they could not have accomplished these results as easily without Oracle. “We have very, very intense CPU requirements, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has helped us increase the speed of searches,” Davies says. “Oracle VM enables us to scale, so that if a client starts doing 10 times as many searches tomorrow as they were yesterday, we can happily and easily autoscale into that.” Now, Davies and Lilley are free to chart a course for the future, which will include ever-faster search times and scaling the sales side of the business. The next focus will be on expanding their reach among retailers and hotels. “Our field sales routing tool, our geocoder, and our fast parsing—we could not have done those three things at the speed we do without Oracle,” says Lilley.

By Tara Swords (This story originally published in the summer edition of Profit Magazine. iGeolise is an alumnus of the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem.) It all started with a traffic jam. In 2009,...

Best Practices

Oracle Scaleup Partner Reducing GPU Workload Costs on Oracle Cloud Using Kubernetes

Blog post originally published on Netra’s Medium channel. Netra is a member of the Oracle Scaleup Ecosystem program. Netra develops image and video recognition APIs to help enterprise index and make sense of their visual data. They leverage containers to run GPU workloads giving the flexibility to deploy across almost every major cloud provider. Netra was recently accepted into the Oracle Scaleup Ecosystem program and granted a number of technical support and cloud resources to help scale our solution on Oracle’s Cloud platform. We’re still in the process of transferring our production environment away from other cloud platforms onto Oracle Cloud, but we wanted to share a few things we’ve learned in the process. We’ll discuss some findings around using Terrafrom to deploy Kubernetes and the performance and cost advantages of using GPU hardware on Oracle Cloud compared to other cloud platforms we’ve previously used. Deployment on Oracle Cloud Using Terraform Setting up Kubernetes with GPU support on Oracle is a breeze using the Oracle-maintained terraform-kubernetes-installer. The prerequisites (such as Terraform itself and the Terraform OCI provider) are listed in the project README along with installation instructions. The trick is to use the right Oracle Linux image (the latest one that supports GPUs at the time of writing is Oracle-Linux-7.4-Gen2-GPU-2018.02.21–1). We used Kubernetes 1.9.6. One caveat is that it only seems to work with bare metal machines, such as the BM.GPU2.2. We would like to note that the Oracle Terraform script is designed for OCI Oracle Cloud Infrastructure service, with its data centers US-ASHBURN-1 that currently only support P100 and V100 BareMetal CPU Instances with virtual machines coming soon. Performance and Pricing Comparison Once we were up and running we conducted a performance test to see how the new setup on Oracle Cloud compared to a setup of similar specs on Google Cloud that we’ve historically used. We deployed 2X P100 instances containing Netra’s Logo Recognition model on each cloud environment. The test measured the time to process 1000 images on each environment. Processing an image involves downloading, decoding, and classifying the image using Netra’s Logo Recognition model. The setup on Oracle Cloud processed a single image in a matter of milliseconds and at a speed 30% faster on Oracle Cloud than on Google Cloud. The additional CPU resources were likely the main contributing factor to the observed speed advantage on Oracle. But the biggest advantage we see is on pricing, which is 62% cheaper on Oracle Cloud than on Google Cloud, for even more CPU resources alongside the 2X P100s. Oracle Cloud offers higher performance and lower pricing versus Google Cloud…now that’s a value proposition! Note: this analysis only compared Google Cloud to Oracle Cloud. We’ve also previously deployed on Azure and AWS. We did not include Azure in the analysis because pricing is a lot more expensive than Google Cloud ($4.14 / hour for 2X P100s). AWS does not have any P100s so we did not include them in this comparison, although they do have more powerful V100 GPUs. What’s Next Oracle Cloud clearly out performs Google Cloud in terms of both performance and price, two major variables for us when choosing a cloud provider. With that said, there are a few features that we’ll miss on Google Cloud. They make it easy to manage your cloud resources and automatically scale up new instances on demand. One feature on Google Cloud that we’ve recently grown to love is auto-scaling. With auto-scaling we avoid over-paying for unused resources. Once the lag in our API queue builds up to a set threshold, Google Cloud automatically adds additional resources to help chew through the spike in volume. It also automatically scales back resources if they operate below a set utilization level for a certain amount of time. But Oracle Bare Metal resources provide such a unique cost optimization opportunity today that we’ll be moving our entire infrastructure onto Oracle Cloud. This includes not just our image recognition models but also our API messaging broker, Kafka, and our logging. In the future we’re looking forward to seeing features like auto-scaling and a deeper integration with Kubernetes become available on Oracle Cloud. About Netra: Netra develops image and video recognition APIs to help enterprise structure and make sense of their visual media. Netra’s API ingests photo or video URLs and, within milliseconds, automatically tags it for visual content such as brand logos, objects, scenes, and people with demographic classification. If you’re interested in learning more, visit our website or say hello at info@netra.io.  

Blog post originally published on Netra’s Medium channel. Netra is a member of the Oracle Scaleup Ecosystem program. Netradevelops image and video recognition APIs to help enterprise index and make...

Best Practices

Corporate Innovation: The Art of the Possible

Blog authored by Shaloo Garg, Customer Connect, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem It’s been said that established companies face an innovation conundrum: Every policy and procedure that makes them efficient execution machines stifles innovation.  There’s a lot of truth to that. Yet when you can break down those inhibiting policies and procedures, particularly where it concerns working with startups, you can make magic. And it’s possible. It’s just an evolving, ever-learning art form. Corporations working with startups isn’t new. It’s just becoming increasingly more critical. As a 2016 MassChallenge & Imaginatik report noted, “It’s shaping up to be a startup’s most powerful growth hack.” Corporate innovation is a complex beast. There are multiple definitions out there but in essence, it’s really about bringing in new (innovative) products, ideas or methods into a large corporation and making that a smooth process. At Oracle, we believe in democratizing innovation. Our whole vision is based on the “pay it forward model,” as we do not take equity in the startup. Our corporate innovation strategy is a “Push and Pull” model based on Design Thinking, which fundamentally is showcasing our startups to enterprise clients in a push model and going into a deep strategic growth conversation with an enterprise client via the pull model. We believe that by democratizing innovation, we open a whole new dialog where we have the vested interest of both the startup and the enterprise client. We also help startups scale their business by adopting and using Oracle Public Cloud across IaaS, PaaS and SaaS offerings. We are vertical agnostic when we evaluate startups and really zero in on the business impact that the startup on Oracle Public Cloud is likely to make on the bottom line of our enterprise client. That’s the sweet spot. It helps startups commercialize opportunities and solves business challenges for our customers.  We are creating ecosystems of co-development and co-innovation that enable innovation where we can all benefit: startups, customers, and Oracle. But with democratizing innovation at a global scale comes the imminent need for speed and efficiency. To make that magic happen, there are core facets that one needs to zero in on: What can I do for your business? Founders are passionate about their product; it’s their baby after all. But the narrative of what the product has to offer changes with who you are pitching to. I was once talking to a founder of a B2B retail solution who shared that he was having a hard time pitching his solution to decision makers in marquee retail clients and felt that they often had a confused look on their face. Later, he shared that he almost always started off the conversation with the product. This narrative had to change. It’s more about adding the business value to the bottom line of the customer, followed by what the product can do to enable that. Taking a team approach Innovation in a corporation is a team sport.  So is understanding the target market, strategic alignment and industry foresight, the clients on the inside, and assessing how digital disruption could apply to the enterprise. At Oracle, we work in tandem with internal lines of business to vet the value proposition for an accurate mapping to an enterprise client. Based on this, we then define high-level business goals and actions that will drive them. Making the magic happen Every conversation is almost like leading a prospect to a close. This is where the rubber meets the road—a well thought out PoC. There is an ongoing debate in the industry on the value of a PoV vs. PoC. Whether a proof of value or concept, the magic happens when the startup is able to establish value to the business by zeroing in on potential impact to the bottom line. So, how do we make the art of corporate innovation a possible one? We do that with 3 “Cs”: Customer, Culture, Collaboration.   Customer: The customer always comes first. Yes, it’s a cliché’ and I can almost see you rolling your eyes! A business by definition is meant to bring in trade which in essence is give and take. In any size business, customers are the lifeline for growth. However, in large corporations, this lifeline is almost on “survival of the fittest” mode. Customers are under pressure by demanding industry peers and competitors. One of the startups in our portfolio is in the construction and engineering space and almost instantly was able to establish their value to the top two players in this space simply because they drove the conversation with a joint value proposition with Oracle. Culture   An adaptive culture, emphasizing experimentation, promotes organizational ambidexterity. While startups and small ventures make big bets, i.e. placing all their chips on one number, large corporations have to avoid losing what they have already built up. However, they have the resources to conduct experiments in order to explore new fields of businesses, concurrently with exploiting their existing business. To make this possible, the culture needs to be open to embrace change. Collaboration It’s all hands on deck for change! At Oracle, while connecting our startups to enterprise clients, we explore various channels internally like Sales, Product Development, Events & Marketing, Public Relations, Global Business Units, and more. During the evaluation process of startups in a region, we realized that one of the startups had a solution which we were interested in. We worked with product strategy to ensure that we had a sandbox environment set up for a joint demo and now we are jointly going to market. The bottom line is innovation is a catalyst for corporates that understand change as a system with connected activities, people and processes. There is no better time to make those activities more visible and digitally connected across their enterprise innovation system, from ideas and insight to innovation planning to innovation realization. As I stated earlier, corporate innovation is a complex beast… but it’s a beast that holds magic and incredible potential. And when approached from the right operational, strategic and cultural game plan, that magic is possible. It’s time to imagine the art of the possible.  

Blog authored by Shaloo Garg, Customer Connect, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem It’s been said that established companies face an innovation conundrum: Every policy and procedure that makes them...

Meet the Startups

Two for Tuesday: Announcing New Startups for Paris & Tel Aviv

Blog by Morbhen Rattray, Communications Manager, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem The new startups have been selected for the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator Programs in Tel Aviv and Paris. This is the second cohort taking place in each location. These startups have been chosen from a rigorous selection process including pitching to an expert panel of mentors, partners and Oracle experts. As you will see from the list below, we have a diverse range of mature startups representing a wide range of technologies and industries. The whole Global Startup Ecosystem team is thrilled at the prospect of working with such remarkable companies and are looking forward to adding value to each of them as they accelerate through the program in the coming months. Introducing our newest members of Oracle’s Global Startup Program: Tel Aviv Verbit.ai - Verbit is an end-to-end transcription and captioning solution that leverages Artificial Intelligence and Human Intelligence to reach unparalleled accuracy, three times faster than the industry average, at the lowest cost. Verbit’s patent-pending automatic speech recognition technology leverages self-learning algorithms to guarantee precision. Loom Systems - Loom Systems is the leading AI-based log analysis company, ensuring a smooth customer experience using an AIOps solution to predict and prevent IT issues. Loom's solution enhances operational excellence, enabling any organization to succeed in the digital era. BrandTotal - By applying cyber security, machine learning, and AI methodologies, BrandTotal is able to reverse engineer your competition’s marketing strategy, giving you an edge over the competition. BrandTotal’s platform allows you to be agile and adapt to your competitive landscape by providing you with actionable insights, allowing you to adjust your strategies in real time. EasySend - EasySend’s Digital Process system enables enterprises to simplify and  improve their customers’ fill-and-sign process via an intuitive interface. The cloud-based platform converts any existing form into a personalized, digital process (Android, iOS or any laptop browser), modern UI, including e-Signature, Co-Browsing, full integration with any hosting application and more. Agamon - Access to quality healthcare data, especially unstructured data, is crucial for improving medical procedures, diagnostics, and treatment. Agamon is a healthcare intelligence platform that breaks down data silos—aggregating mass volumes of data, structuring the unstructured, and extracting valuable insights that propel the much-needed advancement of healthcare and precision medicine. By making data and insights accessible to organizations we will improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, and make healthcare more available, advanced, and efficient.   Paris Alcméon - Alcméon is social messasoftware-as-a-service solution that aims at helping brands to improve their customers experience. Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, supervised chatbots and human interaction, premium brands contact centers and community managers can work more easily with the exponential growing number of interactions. AOS - AOS is using cutting edge information technologies in order to facilitate interactions between firms and contactors in the construction vertical sector, from requests for information until project handover. BlackSheep - BlackSheep offers takeaway restaurants a way to boost their sales during rush hour by allowing their customers to order and pay on their phones rather than at the counter. Recreating the self-ordering kiosk experience, a web-app is automatically launched on users' phones upon arrival via beacon technologies. They order and pay in three clicks, and are served in priority without having to wait in line. Ermeo - Founded in 2015 by Pierre Joly, Victor Payan and Christophe Joly, Ermeo optimizes maintenance tasks performed on industrial equipment. Ermeo is particularly interesting for customers in transportation, utilities and facilities management. The solution allows to turn any technical documentation into an interactive and dynamic form. Thanks to already available connectors with well-established maintenance and asset management software, Ermeo allows data from the field to be fueled into those software more easily. Hyperlex - Hyperlex is an online analysis and contract management solution using Artificial Intelligence in order to help companies to better in know and understand their contracts. AI allow to automatically sort and classify documents, identify high risk or high stake clauses, detect important due dates and notify about them, as well as extract important data. The indexing and searching feature allows the user to find the information he’s looking for in an instant.      

Blog by Morbhen Rattray, Communications Manager, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem The new startups have been selected for the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator Programs in Tel Aviv and Paris. This is the...

Partners/Advisors

8 Things We Learnt at Startup Grind Europe Conference

Blog by Morbhen Rattray, Communications Manager, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem Startup Grind Europe connects founders, investors, VCs and everybody in-between in the day-long event which takes place slap bang in the middle of London Tech Week. The Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem team were there as sponsors to showcase our programs, to connect with delegates and also share learning and expertise on stage. With over 100 sessions forming the event, there was an expanse of knowledge to tap into. So, what did we learn?   Margit Wennmachers, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, discussed when a startup should consider PR:  It’s not necessary when a startup is working on its product and not yet thinking about going to market so don’t rush it! When you are ready, create your own content as your customers want to hear from you directly. Moreover, you have control of your own story and when you have to suspend disbelief, having your own content helps you manage better. And it might sound obvious but don’t lie! Trust matters. No matter what you do you have to be true to your brand, to who you are.   Richard Moross, Founder and CEO of Moo, the online print company who turned £10m capital into £100million revenue. His advice? Get an email everyday with your bank balance – it’s a big motivator!   Jeff Kelisky, CEO of Seedrs: The best answer you can get from a customer is ‘yes’. The second best is ‘no’. The worst is ‘maybe’, you can’t do anything with a maybe. At least with the other two you know where you stand.   Judy Wade, Global Lead, Fuel by McKinsey: It’s difficult for startups to win their first customer and when they do, they tend to give away their whole store to get their proof of concept. Startups need to think beyond this milestone and understand their goals upfront to avoid falling into this trap.   Derek Andersen, Cofounder Startup Grind: Empower your customers to succeed by building experience into post purchase, Duolingo and Zoom are great examples of this. Make it an experience and you can create more engagement, value and build toward relationships.   Margit Wennmachers, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, talked about startups’ appetite for risk as fundamental to the success of a startup: The greater the appetite for risk, the bigger the chance of success. Risk to learn. Failure is tolerated. Wennmachers believes you should surround yourself with people who have an appetite for risk if you want to be successful with your startup.   Kamran Elahian, Founder and Chairman Global Innovation Catalyst, told us about the magic of failures. A veteran entrepreneur with over 29 years of experience in the high-tech industry, Kamran co-founded 10 companies and exited 6. He said everyone talks about successes and not failures. He said a startup is like your baby. When it fails, it is really painful but if you don’t start it, you've already failed. One should never stop trying to overcome all fears in order to succeed.   Jason Williamson, Vice President at Oracle Startup Ecosystem, and Julia Qiu, Partner at Mosaic Ventures: Startup founders should have conviction in everything they do, especially when pitching. The key is to be consistent; crystalize your KPI’s, write and use a playbook to help yourself get to the next stage and stay true to yourself. In the investment community collaboration and engagement is ongoing, if a startup gets funding the relationship doesn’t end, alumni communities are building for continued support.

Blog by Morbhen Rattray, Communications Manager, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem Startup Grind Europe connects founders, investors, VCs and everybody in-between in the day-long event which takes place...

Program News

3DSignals Named Cool Vendor by Gartner

Blog entry by Dalia Landes, part of the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem team in Tel Aviv. Making an Impact 3DSignals is one of the startups that participated in the first cohort of Oracle’s residential startup program in Tel Aviv. By turning sound into data, 3DSignals’ technology is revolutionizing the industrial manufacturing space and has been recognized by Gartner as one of the Cool Vendors in Acoustic Technologies for Predictive Maintenance. Gartner predicts that “by 2023, 35% of industrial predictive maintenance solutions will include acoustic technologies, up from less than 2% in 2018.”  Based on an ultrasonic microphone that is 5x more sensitive than what humans can hear, 3DSignals’ technology provides meaningful insights, using acoustics as a data source. The users can remotely “feel” the machine and experience the area of coverage as if they were standing there during the incident. Watch a video of how the technology works here. Oracle Partnership 3DSignals has integrated with Oracle’s IOT Cloud and partnered with Oracle to build a solution as part of Oracle’s Production Monitoring application. “Sound is a rich untapped source for industrial operational data,” says Amnon Shenfeld, Co-Founder & CEO of 3DSignals. “Our partnership with Oracle provides operational insights that drive value for customers.” 3DSignals’ Acoustic-AI technology is seamlessly integrated with Oracle IoT Cloud for predictive maintenance. The ability to listen, detect, predict and respond automatically through further integrations with Oracle’s maintenance workforce, production and asset management applications will help customers to rectify problems before they deteriorate beyond repair. This type of next-generation solution delivers an invaluable resource to industrial customers across the globe. So we agree with Gartner, 3DSignals is cool. NOTE: Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Blog entry by Dalia Landes, part of the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem team in Tel Aviv. Making an Impact 3DSignals is one of the startups that participated in the first cohort of Oracle’s residential...

Program News

Veteran Entrepreneur Joins Leadership Team as Our “Startup” Grows

It’s interesting how much our group functions like a startup inside of Oracle. In almost every sense, we are like a fast-growing startup, experiencing the ongoing changes and ripple effects of rapid growth, impacting every area of our global program. It means we have to constantly learn and adapt to find the right balance of speed and scale for sustainable and successful growth. We’ve accomplished so much since our initial global launch and expansion in January of 2017. Our first year was filled with tremendous milestones and successes—and of course many valuable lessons learned. We hit the ground running this year with another global expansion with the launch of Oracle Scaleup and our newest residential accelerator in Austin. As we approach the second half of 2018—and Oracle’s FY2019—we are ready for yet another phase of growth and to reach some aspirational goals.  Although we aren’t quite ready to share those details, we have been working behind the scenes to position ourselves to achieve those goals.   With that in mind, it is with great enthusiasm that I announce the newest member of our team, Diego Pantoja-Navajas, joining as Vice President, Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator. An entrepreneur at his core, Diego came to Oracle in December of 2016 when his startup LogFire was acquired by Oracle. He started and built LogFire into a category leader over 10 years, enduring the ups and downs of a growing startup and ultimately positioning his company for acquisition by an industry giant. Since the LogFire acquisition, he has served as VP WMS Development, part of Oracle’s Supply Chain Management Cloud solution. He brings extensive business experience and startup know-how, plus a spirit of collaboration and teamwork, which will help us build off our many successes and pave the way for future growth. His experience will be invaluable to our team, our startups and our partners across the world.   “This new digital economy is highly technology-centric and requires a much closer collaboration between established and startup companies to be able to serve new customer needs and market trends,” said Pantoja-Navajas. “Through this program, not only are startups across the globe boosting their businesses through Oracle’s expertise, resources and industry-leading cloud solutions, but our enterprise customers have access to new, advanced technologies which run in Oracle’s cloud and complement our leading cloud-based applications and infrastructure.” It’s also inspiring to learn how many entrepreneurial-minded individuals, like Diego, work across Oracle. We’ve had the privilege to come across so many, whether they are entrepreneurs who have sold their companies to Oracle and remain in the ranks, or just entrepreneurial types that thrive working with that startup state-of-mind. We believe tapping into that startup ingenuity is adding to our success—and we continue to connect with those individuals and communities. Our Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem is positioned to have a profound impact for Oracle—beyond just helping support global entrepreneurism. I think we have an opportunity to do something transformational that adds unique value to Oracle’s business goals and brand reputation. A recent Ovum analyst report on our program captured the essence of our goals: “Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem program is relatively new yet has the potential to create a growing cadre of startups that are highly complementary to Oracle’s own portfolio… Ovum sees benefits not just for the startups, but for the market of customers seeking new and innovative capabilities, and for Oracle itself as it continues to grow its cloud computing position and expand its enterprise applications portfolio.” That sums up what we are trying to accomplish—creating ecosystems of innovation across the startups, customers and Oracle—and we look forward to expanding on that to reach innovators and entrepreneurs all across the globe. As we move forward, we won’t lose sight of our global mission: To provide enriching, collaborative partnerships to enable next-generation business growth and drive cloud-based innovation for startups throughout all stages of their journey. Today’s news of Diego joining our team allows us to continue to deliver on that mission.   

It’s interesting how much our group functions like a startup inside of Oracle. In almost every sense, we are like a fast-growing startup, experiencing the ongoing changes and ripple effects of rapid...

Best Practices

What Can Justin Timberlake Teach Corporates About Startup Culture?

Blog authored by Nik Adhia, Senior Director, Global Open Innovation, Oracle. Imagine a society where by the age of 25, you are only engineered to live for one more year. There is no salary. Time is your only currency. Depending on the time you have, you live your life within a district with the shared characteristics of those around you (e.g. multiple people who all have less than a day to live). Every activity you undertake reduces that currency (e.g. a coffee costs you three minutes of life). Every effort you make increases the time you have to live. If you waste that time, or you run out, the inevitable happens: You die. This is the basic principle of the movie ‘In Time’ (2011) [1], which I’d highly recommend you watch. Whilst extreme, this is not dissimilar to the life of a startup. Time is your most precious commodity. Every activity matters. The people you surround yourself with drive the culture you adopt and the actions you take. Every effort and right decision gives you a longer runway. Make the wrong decision(s) and the inevitable happens. In the movie, Justin Timberlake (JT) is from a time poor background. Each person in the district wears a watch, which allows you to gain time through both sensors and by touch. Time can be given, taken or even stolen. In a combined effort to run away from a situation from time bandits, JT meets a stranger, who has 100+ years on his ‘clock’. The stranger is incredibly unhappy with his life, which JT finds surreal particularly as he experiences the death of his mother earlier on who tragically runs out of time. The stranger decides to end his life but before transfers all of his remaining years to JT. This gives JT access to the wealthiest district where time does not matter. Decisions are slower. There is not a sense of urgency. If you lose time, the consequences are not as dire as those in the poorer districts who live day to day, and live and die by each decision they make. This analogy, whilst slightly extreme, is similar to life in multi-national corporations. We expect things to take longer, we expect things to be more complex, and we (over time) relinquish our fullest ability to challenge the status quo or change the culture of the values of our “district”. Those who continue to enter the district, who either enjoy the safety of the environment, or are unable or unwilling to make the change, continue to breed an environment where empty phrases like “respect” or “excellence” are mere words that have little meaning to the mission the company originally stood for. The irony—that the culture that created the success instilling a sense of urgency, the ability to fail fast, the ability to embrace risk where time mattered—is the very same culture replaced. How many more articles do you need to see of X corporate executive moving to X startup, before we realise that, perhaps it’s not them; it’s the corporate culture. Why could the corporate not retain David, the maverick who had those great ideas, executed impeccably and had the vision to really disrupt a specific part of the business? Why did David feel the need to change from the culture of that company to that of another? There are many Davids. In fact, each one of us has David within us. As humans, we seek not only the need to feel accepted, but also the feeling that our contributions are valued, that our efforts contribute to something bigger than ourselves. In fact, JT finds exactly this as the movie presses on and he meets Sylvia, the daughter of a wealthy businessman at a high-stakes gamble. Sylvia is clearly attracted to JT as he disrupts the status quo and the culture he has adopted and has a completely different view of how to utilize time. Sylvia and JT are more similar than she thought. Within the bourgeoisie, and the confines and culture of the district she has grown up with, she herself comes to the realization that what is happening (the distribution and inequality of time) is wrong and that she can work with JT to change this. Individuals like Sylvia exist in all organisations if you can find them. Once found, if you can harness the power of these individuals, create the room they need to be creative, not overburden them with process and be comfortable with risk and the chance of failure, you are one step closer to figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Even just creating a pocket of this culture can lead to phenomenal results. For example, a team of entrepreneurs that many do not refer to as commonly as your typical Elon Musks or Mark Zuckerbergs, is that of Kassir Hussain, former Director of Connected Homes at Hive and Seb Chakraborty, CTO at Hive. The story of Hive is particularly interesting (regardless of your feelings of Nest vs. Hive) in context of culture. The team at Hive was created as an internal startup within British Gas, a large and complex multi-national utilities company. Hussain, guided by the lean startup principles of Eric Reis, convinced management at British Gas that the majority (70%) [2] of the Hive team should come from outside of the company and be based out of the normal British Gas offices at a base in Central London. Why? The exact reason was in his words: “CIOs need to recognise that innovation can originate from the existing IT function and engender the culture, behaviour and mentality to encourage its development.” Hive, as a result of a shift in its culture, embracing the values of old, now has an install base of 360,000 customers in the UK and is expanding to the US [3]. This install base, although perhaps modest when compared to the numbers at Nest, represents a noteworthy achievement for British Gas / Centrica as it proved that a shift in their culture allowed them to innovate at scale and find their inner startup again. More importantly, the lesson to learn is that corporates do not need to be cold, soulless entities that never change, but instead their strength lies within their people and the culture that surrounds them - the fundamental principles that startups have cracked. This is why the world’s best and most innovative companies are those that focus on harnessing intellectual capital. At Oracle, we are experiencing a shift in our culture, embracing change for the better and identifying and elevating people and practices that pave the way to innovation. It’s the reason why we have entrepreneurs like Reggie Bradford (SVP for Startup Ecosystem and Accelerators) internally exploring how to bring the startup culture to the forefront of our activity. [Read his ‘Why Oracle’s Approach in Investing in Startups Has Made Me Feeling Like An Entrepreneur Again’ when you get a spare moment.] The story for JT and Sylvia ends with them redistributing ‘time’ to those in the time poorest of communities, where they successfully disrupt the status quo and bring down the ruling class. The interpretation I take from this moment in the movie is the inevitability that every corporate will come to face the reality that times are changing and if you do not disrupt your own business (and namely the culture which underpins everything, including your talent), you yourself will be disrupted. Do you remember the days where you actually had to go into a physical shop to rent a video tape (yes those cassette things, remember them?) - that was only a decade ago. A surprising fact to leave you with: Did you know Blockbuster was offered the chance to buy Netflix for $50M? [4] The world will change, and it’ll come faster than you think. Will the culture of your organisation embrace the people to move with it? That’s for you to decide. So here are my three takeaways: Embrace: Embrace a culture that allows you to take risk. Don’t be afraid to fail. You learn the most when you fail, and you’re one step closer to figuring out what works and what does not work. Empower: Give your people a path. Give your mavericks opportunities. Give your critics a voice, and a path to create positive change. If someone is so passionate about arguing why something should or shouldn’t be done in a certain way, if you gave them the freedom to prove it, what might happen, what would you discover? Environment: Support and nurture your talent. Give them room to breathe, and to channel their creativity with others like them. Your job is to remove their roadblocks. To remove the politics. To focus on the mission. To focus on creating that change. Don’t overburden them with process. Be patient. Sit back, let it happen; let them create the new and you may just be surprised. So, if you only had 24 hours left to live and the only way to extend your life was to create change in what you do and how you do it, what would you do differently? References: [1] : In Time (2001): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Time [2]  How British Gas Wrote A Digital Disruption Playbook: http://www.i-cio.com/innovation/internet-of-things/item/how-british-gas-wrote-a-digital-disruption-playbook [3] British Gas Hive Active Thermostat Sets to Conquer America: https://ce-pro.eu/2017/04/british-gas-hive-active-thermostat-set-conquer-america/  [4] Blockbuster CEO passed up the chance to buy Netflix for $50m: http://uk.businessinsider.com/blockbuster-ceo-passed-up-chance-to-buy-netflix-for-50-million-2015-7

Blog authored by Nik Adhia, Senior Director, Global Open Innovation, Oracle. Imagine a society where by the age of 25, you are only engineered to live for one more year. There is no salary. Time...

Program News

Six Startups Join the Exclusive Ranks of the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator, São Paulo Cohort 2

Blog authored by Vítor Andrade & Fernando Ribeiro, Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator, São Paulo  The need for digital transformation requires corporations to respond increasingly rapidly to the new and complex challenges they face. Keep innovating becomes the rule, but the answers are no longer just inside the company, it is necessary to build an ecosystem of partners to search for a solution to problems in a collaborative way. Understanding the challenges of the enterprise world, Oracle has been building an ecosystem of startups in the last few years to reimagine corporate innovation. Through a set of programs Oracle has redefined and tightened its relationship with startups across the world and built a win-win environment—for startups, our customers, and Oracle. In early 2017, we started with the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator, our residential program, achieving many successes and lessons learned. Those learnings led to the expansion of the program with the launch of the Oracle Scaleup Ecosystem, our nonresidential, virtual program for global startups. Part of the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, these programs allow us to support startups worldwide in different stages of their development, regardless of location. A recent Ovum analyst report on our program stated the following: “Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem program is relatively new yet has the potential to create a growing cadre of startups that are highly complementary to Oracle’s own portfolio… Ovum sees benefits not just for the startups, but for the market of customers seeking new and innovative capabilities, and for Oracle itself as it continues to grow its cloud computing position and expand its enterprise applications portfolio.” This sums up what we are trying to accomplish—creating ecosystems of innovation across the startups, customers and Oracle—and we look forward to expanding our mission to our newest cohort of startups. Today, after a very rigorous selection process, we are pleased to announce the six new Brazilian startups that are now part of a select group of less than 60 startups supported by Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator programs in São Paulo, India, Israel, France, United Kingdom, Singapore and recently the United States, picked from thousands of applications worldwide. Over the next few months we will build and strengthen amazing cultures that value their employees with Qulture Rocks; allow salespeople to reach their full potential with Agendor; and encourage employees to behave like owners when traveling for work with Smartrips. We will also help enterprises to know their customers better with Tail; and talk to each one of them in a unique way with Social Miner. And If there is a problem, help them to prevent and solve conflicts with Justto. You can read the full press release here. We believe these entrepreneurs are the leaders of tomorrow’s transformation and we will work with them to accelerate this change. Welcome Agendor, Justto, Qulture Rocks, Smartrips, Social Miner and Tail!

Blog authored by Vítor Andrade & Fernando Ribeiro, Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator, São Paulo  The need for digital transformation requires corporations to respond increasingly rapidly to the new and...

Meet the Startups

Turkish Fintech Empowering Investors with Knowledge & Action in Only Minutes

Blog entry by Onur Yurtsever, founder of Smart Advice (AkıllıBES), a Turkish fintech startup from Istanbul and the first startup from Turkey selected into the Oracle Scaleup program, part of the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem. Support Investors: Next-Generation Solutions Needed Financial and political crisis occur periodically and clients have bad investment experiences. Investors lose their trust to investment products and providers and aren’t satisfied with their investment returns. Clients don’t feel comfortable in making investment decisions. They expect their financial institutions to help them in this decision-making process by understanding their financial needs. This creates several investment opportunities but also several questions. It is difficult to choose investment funds among hundreds, create diversified portfolios, trade at the right time, follow up the performance systemically, and have higher returns.  Financial decision making for investors is very much related to the level of knowledge they have. There are three types of investor segments: First are self-directed investors who take ownership decisions; The second segment are validators who gather their own information and make decisions after seeking advice from experts; and the third are delegators who hand-off decisions to advisers. Validators are by far the largest segment, representing approximately 60% of the investors. All of them need support for giving better and well-informed investment decisions. Smart Advice: Empowering Investor Knowledge & Action Smart Advice (AkıllıBES) is our solution that is a next-generation robo-advisory platform which will empower investors to give well informed and smart investment decisions in a few minutes without being an expert in finance. The solution delivers tailor-made advice depending on investor behaviors, personal finance issues, financial planning concepts, and investor psychologies. This is an innovative, online web-based advice service, together with its powerful mobile application, to provide benefits of diversification and advantages of professional asset management. This digital tool will assist investors to distribute their savings in an efficient way, starting from an accurate diagnosis of their financial status and supporting them in setting their goals. In order to enhance the investment returns, digital advice and portfolio models will be recommended. A full set of functionalities such as goal settings, social trading, gamification, financial diagnostic, simulation and product proposition, as well as follow up and monitoring, are embedded in the user-friendly digital tool, providing users with a unique and interactive digital customer experience. Innovation: A Fintech Priority & Opportunity Innovation is one of the top issues in the financial services sector that all institutions want to advance. They see innovation as one of the most important strategic values for both increasing their financial performance and presence in the market. The future of financial services is reshaped by disruptive innovations. However, there is no clear evolutionary path for creating and achieving innovations. In addition, business models are not defined properly. The main areas for innovation include empowered investors, process externalization, crowd funding, alternative lending, shifting customer preferences, new market platforms, smarter and faster machines, and cashless world. At Smart Advice, we’ve zeroed in on empowered investors, providing a next-generation experience, innovative solutions, and a new business model. Smart Advice (AkıllıBES) is a Turkish fintech startup providing financial solutions, particularly for pension and wealth management industries focusing on human-computer interaction and behavioural finance. Its main aim is to create new financial products and design a new financial experience by offering an all-in-one solution including robo-advise, chatbot, gamification and social trade.    

Blog entry by Onur Yurtsever, founder of Smart Advice (AkıllıBES), a Turkish fintech startup from Istanbul and the first startup from Turkey selected into the Oracle Scaleup program, part of the Oracle...

Program News

Duel Named Cool Vendor in Gartner Retail Marketing Report

Being cool is a moniker that everyone desires, but for a startup, we think being named a cool vendor by analyst firm Gartner takes the cake. We are super excited that our startup partner, Duel, has been named as a cool vendor in Gartner’s recent report, “Cool Vendors in Retail Merchandising and Marketing”. Duel delivers a super smart technology that can greatly benefit brands and retailers. It’s a key reason why they were selected as part of our inaugural cohort for our Bristol program. In a recent blog, the analyst firm discusses the importance of retailers exploring new technology vendors to differentiate their customer experience solutions. We agree with that line of thinking. That’s a big reason behind our Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem program—collaboration with cutting-edge innovators like Duel to build next-generation solutions for our global customers to expand the customer experience. So how does Duel work its magic? Duel is a Customer Advocacy Marketing platform that helps brands and retailers sell more by turning their customers into advocates.  This advocacy builds emotional connection and makes every element of their marketing, advertising, and ecommerce more effective. One of the key findings of the Gartner report states, “Intelligently engaging brand advocates through analysis and automation will lay the groundwork to forge on-going, collaborative relationships with customers.” And we whole-heartedly agree, as do the B2C brand and retail customers who we have introduced to Duel.  It seems like their message and mission resonates with them loud and clear. Paul Archer, Cofounder and CEO of Duel, thinks a major step change is needed. And he wants to lead the charge. “Selling online has become exceptionally hard.  As the digital noise increases, marketing becomes less and less effective, and these problems are amplified within highly controlled and pay-to-play social networks and search engines.  Without a differentiated customer experience, consumers focus on prices – pushing great companies into a race to the bottom that leaves only the cheapest options standing. The best brands and retailers in the world intuitively know that they only exist because of their passionate customers and advocates’ love for them. But they cannot maintain a quality product or service by being the cheapest. The current climate makes building these relationships even more difficult. Brands have been forced into treating each customer as a target; wasting their time, and insulting their intellect.  Intrusiveness is becoming the adtech differentiator, and sacrificing customer experience is the result.  We think that is just plain wrong and we aim to help find a better way, a better solution.” Duel has become integrated across our Oracle Customer Experience Cloud, including our marketing and commerce solutions.  We also have several POCs with our retail customers and expect more to come. Paul cites their relationship with Oracle as key to their success: “We built Duel to help our clients entirely rethink their relationship with their customers from someone you broadcast to, to someone you collaborate with. It’s a return to a purer, more authentic approach based on happy and passionate customers acting as a decentralised sales and marketing team. We can only hope to make this change by partnering with someone with the might of Oracle. We believe the fact that Gartner has recognised us as a Cool Vendor is the first major step to make this change.” Oracle gets applications from thousands of interesting startups wanting to be part of our global startup program. We go through a rigorous selection process to ensure we are working with the best and brightest. Duel clearly is that. And an excellent example of startup ingenuity and the type of company that can scale globally, innovate for the CX space, and help complement Oracle’s cloud solutions. Together with companies like Duel we are able to deliver on our vision of supporting global entrepreneurism, rethink the startup and enterprise relationship, and help create ecosystems of collaboration, co-development and co-innovation where we can all win—the startups, our customers, and Oracle. Congratulations, Duel! We look forward to a long-lasting partnership and many more successes. NOTE: Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.    

Being cool is a moniker that everyone desires, but for a startup, we think being named a cool vendor by analyst firm Gartner takes the cake. We are super excited that our startup partner, Duel, has...

Best Practices

Oracle Startup Partner Reducing GPU Workload Costs on Oracle Cloud Using Kubernetes

Blog post originally published on Netra’s Medium channel. Netra is a member of the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem. Netra develops image and video recognition APIs to help enterprise index and make sense of their visual data. They leverage containers to run GPU workloads giving the flexibility to deploy across almost every major cloud provider. Netra was recently accepted into the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem program and granted a number of technical support and cloud resources to help scale our solution on Oracle’s Cloud platform. We’re still in the process of transferring our production environment away from other cloud platforms onto Oracle Cloud, but we wanted to share a few things we’ve learned in the process. We’ll discuss some findings around using Terrafrom to deploy Kubernetes and the performance and cost advantages of using GPU hardware on Oracle Cloud compared to other cloud platforms we’ve previously used. Deployment on Oracle Cloud Using Terraform Setting up Kubernetes with GPU support on Oracle is a breeze using the Oracle-maintained terraform-kubernetes-installer. The prerequisites (such as Terraform itself and the Terraform OCI provider) are listed in the project README along with installation instructions. The trick is to use the right Oracle Linux image (the latest one that supports GPUs at the time of writing is Oracle-Linux-7.4-Gen2-GPU-2018.02.21–1). We used Kubernetes 1.9.6. One caveat is that it only seems to work with bare metal machines, such as the BM.GPU2.2. We would like to note that the Oracle Terraform script is designed for OCI Oracle Cloud Infrastructure service, with its data centers US-ASHBURN-1 that currently only support P100 and V100 BareMetal CPU Instances with virtual machines coming soon. Performance and Pricing Comparison Once we were up and running we conducted a performance test to see how the new setup on Oracle Cloud compared to a setup of similar specs on Google Cloud that we’ve historically used. We deployed 2X P100 instances containing Netra’s Logo Recognition model on each cloud environment. The test measured the time to process 1000 images on each environment. Processing an image involves downloading, decoding, and classifying the image using Netra’s Logo Recognition model. The setup on Oracle Cloud processed a single image in a matter of milliseconds and at a speed 30% faster on Oracle Cloud than on Google Cloud. The additional CPU resources were likely the main contributing factor to the observed speed advantage on Oracle. But the biggest advantage we see is on pricing, which is 62% cheaper on Oracle Cloud than on Google Cloud, for even more CPU resources alongside the 2X P100s. Oracle Cloud offers higher performance and lower pricing versus Google Cloud…now that’s a value proposition! Note: this analysis only compared Google Cloud to Oracle Cloud. We’ve also previously deployed on Azure and AWS. We did not include Azure in the analysis because pricing is a lot more expensive than Google Cloud ($4.14 / hour for 2X P100s). AWS does not have any P100s so we did not include them in this comparison, although they do have more powerful V100 GPUs. What’s Next Oracle Cloud clearly out performs Google Cloud in terms of both performance and price, two major variables for us when choosing a cloud provider. With that said, there are a few features that we’ll miss on Google Cloud. They make it easy to manage your cloud resources and automatically scale up new instances on demand. One feature on Google Cloud that we’ve recently grown to love is auto-scaling. With auto-scaling we avoid over-paying for unused resources. Once the lag in our API queue builds up to a set threshold, Google Cloud automatically adds additional resources to help chew through the spike in volume. It also automatically scales back resources if they operate below a set utilization level for a certain amount of time. But Oracle Bare Metal resources provide such a unique cost optimization opportunity today that we’ll be moving our entire infrastructure onto Oracle Cloud. This includes not just our image recognition models but also our API messaging broker, Kafka, and our logging. In the future we’re looking forward to seeing features like auto-scaling and a deeper integration with Kubernetes become available on Oracle Cloud. About Netra: Netra develops image and video recognition APIs to help enterprise structure and make sense of their visual media. Netra’s API ingests photo or video URLs and, within milliseconds, automatically tags it for visual content such as brand logos, objects, scenes, and people with demographic classification. If you’re interested in learning more, visit our website or say hello at info@netra.io.  

Blog post originally published on Netra’s Medium channel. Netra is a member of the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem. Netra develops image and video recognition APIs to help enterprise index and...

Best Practices

What Startups Can Learn from Enterprises

Blog post authored by Vikas Raina, Oracle employee and technology mentor, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem. (Image: Vikas Raina in conversation with Jitesh Nagaria, Founder of doLoopTech) “Child is the father of the man,” is an old saying. Replace child by startup and man with enterprise and you will see where I am going with this blog. Yes, there are a lot of things that an enterprise can learn from startups including the speed at which startups operate or innovation or fearlessness when it comes to looking at problems from a different perspective. Startups are also very nimble and can pivot quickly and operate mostly in a lean fashion. Startup life feels cool and carefree, while enterprise comes across as more mature and somewhat slow and stable. Enterprises and corporates can learn a lot from startups including innovation, disruption, and speed of work but there are many tricks that they can teach a startup. I have lived most of my life being part of an enterprise. Early last year I got the opportunity to work with startups as part of my role at Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program, which allows me to work very closely with startups. A few days back, I was talking with Jitesh Nagaria (Founder of doLoopTech which is part of Oracle’s Mumbai cohort) about our experiences and work culture in enterprise and how we can replicate some of those in startups. This is what I figured: It is all about the Customer: Customer is the center of the universe for every business. The customer could be an individual, or an enterprise or even a group of people. However, no business has ever succeeded by ignoring customers. Enterprise always builds upon what customers like by relying on social media, influencers, blogs, and feedback from early adopters. A positive relationship with the customer, keeping them first and not treating them as first line of beta testers, is the key here. Competition: In the real world, competition is ruthless and there are predators ready to pounce on your weakness. Big successful enterprises fight competition by either acquisition to add more arsenal to their quiver or by developing a better product than the competition. Automakers and mobile handset makers are some good examples of how competition goes to the last-minute detail to get a leg up. Keeping an eye on what competition is doing is a must. Being oblivious to competition can cause unexpected failures. Data is the New Gold. Value It: Data is what drives most of the major decisions in an enterprise. Any growth stage startup must value collecting data and analyzing it by the most modern tools. Tracking data from the very first day of your product launch or even a beta version is very important. Building something that the tech team loves rather than what customers want is a sure recipe for disaster. Professional Etiquettes: Communication and personal image are what drives most of the relationships. As a startup grows, they start dealing with people like VCs, investors, customers, and mentors on a day-to-day basis. These groups expect more professional and “people like us” behavior. Team members in a startup might not be formally trained when it comes to driving conversations with the big fish in the market; whereas, enterprises invest a lot of time in formal and soft-skills training to groom their employees for leadership. This includes responding to emails promptly, returning calls, and keeping your stakeholders updated at all times. Startups should treat every lead equally and professionally. This will help to build long-lasting and fruitful relationships. Find the Influencer: Enterprises make the sales pitch at a senior level. You may hear about business deals being closed by CEOs on golf courses. You would rarely see an enterprise sales person wasting time on someone who is not a decision maker or can’t influence the decision in a substantial way. Startups should also focus on the CXOs or top leadership of the organization who make decisions. In addition, getting recommendation from a heavyweight in the organization builds credibility for your product. Be aware of people who look and talk important but are not. Get connected with the real movers and shakers. Bottom line: Cultivate relationships with influential people. Do Not Wait Too Long: In search of perfection, don’t let go of what is good. Many startups keep building in search of the holy grail of perfecting the product; whereas, an enterprise would release the product even if the product is not perfect as they are time bound for release. Nevertheless, gradually with customer feedback you can keep improving. Moreover, competition is always on your heels and if you are not ready to risk, someone else will. Hence, it makes sense to focus on going to the market earlier than late. It is all about Money, Honey: In the end, every business exists to make money. When you make a pitch for your product, do not just focus on the shiny pieces. Also talk about how it is going to help the customer make or save money. This is what big businesses do. The functionality of the product is only one of the elements of the pitch. How it is relevant to finances of the organization catches everyone's attention. Every enterprise and startup claim that they are unique. But the business of running the business is almost the same. The same laws of business apply to startups too. Product line, customers, revenue, investors and positive image of the product and brand is what would drive the business to succeed. So, get up, get going, and be noticed. About the Author: Vikas is a startup mentor and is part of the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem during the day. In the night, he wears the cape and fights cyber trolls.

Blog post authored by Vikas Raina, Oracle employee and technology mentor, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem. (Image: Vikas Raina in conversation with Jitesh Nagaria, Founder of doLoopTech) “Child is the...

Meet the Startups

iGeolise Founder on the Most Valuable 45 Minutes of His Business Life

Blog post authored by Peter Lilley, cofounder of iGeolise, inaugural member of Oracle’s Bristol-based startup accelerator program. iGeolise is now in the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem Alumni Program. What turns a bright idea into a great business? Execution, execution and yet more execution. Yep–why double-down when you can triple-down! There are way more bright ideas in the world than great businesses. That’s because smart execution is hard. Really hard. For a tech company, smart execution means getting technology that can scale in the future, at a price you can afford right now. It means turning potential customers who say, “that’s interesting”, into ones who say, “who do I make the cheque payable to?” And that’s where the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator helped iGeolise. We met Oracle in April 2017 and showed them our routing and geospatial products. They were interested but said, “We can help you more if you can get on our Cloud Accelerator programme in Bristol this summer”. We applied, along with maybe 100 other companies, and after three knock-out rounds plus a final face-to-face session with 20 or so top Oracle people and advisors, we got lucky – they accepted us for the six-month programme. The programme finished in Spring 2018, so we’re an alumnus now. What have we gained? First thing to say is that Oracle did exactly what they said they would. Going in, I’d wondered if there would be a bit of corporate bull-shit and lip service, but everything Oracle said they’d do, they’ve done. And more. Maybe that’s because the programme has the active buy-in from Oracle’s top executives (Larry Ellison himself even hosted us in his house in San Francisco during Oracle OpenWorld). We got credits to use Oracle’s technology to radically improve parts of our business that had previously been road-blocks (we used the bare metal servers, Kubernetes and containers and Virtual machines). They walked us into targeted Oracle clients (and since they have 430,000 clients, everyone on our hit list was an existing Oracle client). We spent time with their product development teams. We had top-tier tech and business mentoring. We were taken to major Oracle events around the world. Basically, you name it, we got it. So, if smart technology and more sales can turn bright idea ideas into great businesses, why wouldn’t any company with ambition want to join the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator? Looking back, the 45 minutes we spent completing the Oracle application form, might be the most valuable 45 minutes of our business lives. To learn more about Oracle's Bristol startup program and apply, please click here.      

Blog post authored by Peter Lilley, cofounder of iGeolise, inaugural member of Oracle’s Bristol-based startup accelerator program. iGeolise is now in the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem Alumni Program. W...

Best Practices

Signs of Disruption Are Everywhere: Do You Recognize and Embrace?

Signs of digital disruption are everywhere. However we’ve been talking about disruption for so long now, with many companies and industries still surviving, that a majority discount the warnings and put planning too far down the priority list. But with each passing day, emerging developments in technologies like AI, IoT, big data, blockchain, voice and computer vision are making disruption your new reality. Now is the time to change your mindset. Recognize and embrace this coming wave. Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn founder and venture capitalist, talks about the importance of being in a state of “permanent beta.” How to change your mindset for this new age? “It’s basically feeling that you always need to be learning. That you know things but don’t know the whole game, and you are alert to how the game is changing.” The first step in solving a problem is recognizing there is one and the signs are everywhere. Toymaker Hasbro is being disrupted due to another company’s disruption. Retailer Toys “R” Us is closing stores in the U.S. and other markets—because the shift to online and Amazon—causing a big drop in sales for Hasbro toys traditionally bought in-store. Hasbro recently blamed an almost 16% decline in first-quarter sales on the Toys “R” Us liquidation. Hasbro is now disrupting itself with a restructuring of its sales organization to adapt to the online shift. The home security market is being disrupted by startups like Ring (recently acquired by Amazon for $1B) Wink, Vivint, Google’s Nest and others. Traditional home security companies like ADT and Honeywell are making digital moves so they don’t lose out completely.  And it’s not just traditional security companies, media companies like AT&T and Comcast offer home security services in an effort to become more entrenched with consumers. It’s an all-out battle for the home as companies quickly leverage IoT, AI and voice assistants like Alexa, Cortana and Siri to gain control of the home—the next battlefield for the consumer.  While it’s true that disruption hasn’t overtaken every industry in full, it is coming. Some industries have already been drastically changed. Take media for example. The rise of video streaming services like Netflix has caused traditional media companies to defend their turf and look inside to disrupt themselves to survive. Today, half of all millennials don’t have pay TV services, opting for streaming platforms instead.  The proposed AT&T Time Warner merger is a strategic step to help strengthen these media companies but they aren’t relying on just size. Almost all media companies have launched streaming services or unbundled their content to meet consumer demand, like in the case of AT&T’s coming “skinny bundle”. Even the venture capital world—known for disrupting everything—is being disrupted. Softbank’s $100B Vision Fund is forcing VCs to rethink approaches and revenue streams from launching larger funds to partaking in more PE-style deals.  Recode’s Kara Swisher on a recent podcast had a clever line about the rise of Softbank: “At first it was Marc Andreessen doing that, handing out giant sums of money, but now he has been Marc Andreessend, essentially.” These are only a few examples as it’s happening everyday in every industry from retail to transportation to hospitality to public sector.  Upstarts like Spotify, Uber, Airbnb and others of the New Silicon Valley are changing the world, while Amazon and Apple increasingly reach into every facet of our consumer lives, and companies like Oracle are delivering next-generation autonomous solutions to allow businesses of all sizes to thrive and succeed in the age of digital disruption. It has been reported that Amazon is working on a robot for the home. Although the company has not confirmed the project one does wonder what services this robot could provide? Perhaps it displaces niche-style robots like Roomba—now primarily for vacuuming—with services that can vacuum, deliver voice-activated information and more. I would bet Roomba executives are already planning for the inevitable. Netflix is a prime example of disrupting itself to stay ahead of innovation.  After besting Blockbuster with DVDs by mail the company stayed focused on what it believed would be the future: on-demand streaming video. It shifted its business model from DVDs to streaming, competing with not just DVD rental but media and cable companies.  Founder Reed Hastings told Inc. magazine in 2005: “We want to be ready when video-on-demand happens. That’s why the company is Netflix, not DVD-by-mail.” Talk about foresight and focus. Every company today must be ready for disruption or risk being disrupted. There are plenty of sources for guidance but you have to start with the basics: Recognize the change so you can embrace it, learn and grow. Oracle’s global startup program gives its customers and Oracle up-close engagement with some of the most innovative young companies across the globe. Oracle benefits from their startup ingenuity and they benefit from Oracle’s global resources and support—helping create ecosystems of co-development and co-creation where we can all seize on disruption and drive future innovation. The spring issue of strategy + business published an article, “10 Principles for Winning the Game of Digital Disruption.” Principle No. 1 was “Recognizing the change: Embrace the new logic.” It goes on to say, “When you first hear about a new digitally enabled competitor, you may tell yourself that company can’t succeed… Instead, view each upstart competitor as a company you can learn from.” That’s great advice. So is Hoffman’s permanent beta: Encourage yourself and your company to stay in “permanent beta”.  Always curious, always aware, always learning.

Signs of digital disruption are everywhere. However we’ve been talking about disruption for so long now, with many companies and industries still surviving, that a majority discount the warnings and...

Meet the Startups

Startup Success: Q&A with Efrat Rapoport, CEO, Bonobo

Blog entry by Dalia Landes, part of the Oracle Startup Ecosystem team in Tel Aviv.  Bonobo was part of Cohort 1 of the Oracle Startup Ecosystem in Tel Aviv. Why Oracle? For a startup, it is advantageous to have Oracle behind you. There is a prestige associated with being part of the Oracle Startup Ecosystem. It helps us when we acquire new leads, gives us credibility and helps to establish customer’s trust.  When joining, we took into consideration the benefit of being part of a program that takes only five local startups. We have benefited greatly from the dedicated attention of Noam Inbar, Head of Oracle Startup Ecosystem, Nimrod Perez, CTO of Oracle Startup Ecosystem, and the Oracle Israel team.  What makes Bonobo + Oracle such a great partnership? Bonobo captures and analyzes all the unstructured conversational data produced by organizations. We capture every phone call, every email, every support ticket, every chat stream and we cross analyze and turn these conversations into actionable customer insights.   By integrating with Oracle’s Eloqua + Marketing Cloud, companies can pull this information from Bonbobo and import insights and personalize the customer journey. It is a win-win scenario: We help Oracle customers know their businesses better and the Oracle Startup program gave us a good mirror on how to improve our business, which is very important to a startup. What have you gained? We made a good decision by joining the program. Oracle knows the market really well and knows the process of working with customers. Being part of Oracle Startup Ecosystem gives us credibility and helps to establish customer’s trust. For startups looking for exposure and PR, being in the program is great. The amount of exposure we received is significant for our company. Joining Oracle Startup Ecosystem gave our startup credibility. When we tell a company we are partners with Oracle, they trust us. Bonobo is an AI platform that creates a personalized customer experience to improve customer satisfaction, increase conversion and prove ROI. The proprietary TextBrain technology captures and analyzes 100% of customer interactions and converts them to actionable segments and insights. 

Blog entry by Dalia Landes, part of the Oracle Startup Ecosystem team in Tel Aviv.  Bonobo was part of Cohort 1 of the Oracle Startup Ecosystem in Tel Aviv. Why Oracle? For a startup, it is advantageous...

Best Practices

“It Sounds Broken”: How Startup and Corporate collaboration can drive value in the enterprise space

Blog authored by Noam Inbar, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Israel 90% of the machines in the world are not connected. Either they are too old or it’s too expensive. Thus only 10% of factories are monitored. Founders of the startup 3DSignals found that sound is something every machine makes. If you can process it, get the data right, you can actually predict failures. 3DSignals connects a microphone to a machine and collects ultrasonic sound data 5x stronger than a human ear can hear, processes the data into mechanical data, and analyzes it on the cloud. After developing a unique product, the next stage for 3DSignals was introducing this solution to the enterprise market and driving meaningful adoption by the largest manufacturers and industrial companies in the world. The enterprise space is complicated to navigate and requires a well-planned strategy. As part of their efforts, 3DSignals collaborated with Oracle, a leader in the enterprise technology space and entered the company’s startup program. Understanding the Market The first step to success in the enterprise space is understanding the landscape. 3DSignals partnered with Oracle teams to learn more about the enterprise space and the different customer verticals, and the specific gaps and needs in each vertical. “Corporates knows how to talk to customers better than startups,” said Amnon Shenfeld, 3DSignals CEO. “For startups, validation is important and hard to get.” One important insight that 3DSignals gained was that enterprise customers tend to connect their supply chain solutions through a platform. 3DSignals identified Oracle’s IoT platform as an opportunity to add value in a simple way that would suit customers’ needs. Identifying a unique value In order to create strong partnerships, it is always important to identify a win-win situation that will create a greater value.  3DSignals realized that delivering their innovative, noise-based analytics solution as part of Oracle’s IoT Production Monitoring application would enable Oracle to introduce an innovative solution to their customers and enable 3DSignals to accelerate their distribution efforts.  This interaction resulted in a partnership between Oracle IoT applications and 3DSignals. The Oracle - 3DSignals solution introduces a revolutionary automated process for Industrial IoT by automating the entire process of fixing industrial machines: from identifying the problem to tracking down the right fit. 3DSignals converts sound in the air to data that indicates machine health.  3DSignals integrates and digitalize industrial machines, regardless of machine make or year, within a day. The only requirement is power from the production floor. The technology is able to digitalize within a day without costly integration. And this is a revolutionary for Industrial IoT. Oracle converts data into meaning, by providing real-time insights from the connected factory. Oracle delivers continuous tracking and prediction of production performance across factories, products, and machines. The automated and scalable collaboration proactively maintains the health of the industrial customer’s mechanical assets. Creating multilayered relationship in the organization Finding a champion is always a challenge, especially in large organizations where people have different agendas and transition often. It’s recommended to create multiple layers of communication with different stakeholders within the organization. 3DSignals’ Shenfeld managed to create those connections that contributed to the success of the partnership. “We were lucky to find the right champion within Oracle, and were invited to participate in an Oracle Modern Supply Chain Experience that was focused on our market (production change management). We were the only startup presenting for Oracle. And we are getting exposure all the way up the chain." What’s next? 3DSignals have integrated into Oracle IoT Cloud and are offering a joint IoT industrial solution along side Oracle. The startup is also in the process of four large Oracle POCs, including one large US government contract, and working with Oracle on an OEM licensing deal. Tips for Successful Partnership Between Startups + Corporates 1. Plan where you want to be. Plan what successful corporate collaboration would look like for your startup. But also identify the complementary value for the corporate. A win-win situation is powerful and easier to flourish if it is valuable for both parties involved. 2. Connect with the right people Take time to make connections and real relationships with the right people. Corporates are very KPI-driven, its crucial to understand the KPI and agenda of the specific person you’re communicating with and identify where the interests align.  Even if you identify a corporate as a potential strategic partner, not every person in this corporate would be useful. 3. Be patient. Large organizations move slowly. Working within the corporate timeline can be frustrating for a quick-moving startup, but it is key to understand that you can’t change or influence corporate pace, you need to embrace it.   Applications are open for the 2nd cohort of the Tel Aviv residential program. If you want to collaborate with Oracle and scale your startup in the enterprise space, apply here before April 30.

Blog authored by Noam Inbar, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Israel 90% of the machines in the world are not connected. Either they are too old or it’s too expensive. Thus only 10% of factories...

Best Practices

Oracle Searching for Startups to Partner with for Bristol Cohort 2

Coming off a successful inaugural cohort, including being named the No. 2 accelerator in the U.K., our Bristol-based Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program is looking to partner with startups for cohort 2.  We want to be business enablers—helping our startups grow their businesses, generate revenue, garner reference customers, and drive cloud-based innovation. The inaugural Bristol cohort did just that—and we’re looking for startups for an even better cohort 2.    “I’m so proud and honored to have worked with such vibrant and innovative startups from our first cohort,” said Marina Traversari, Oracle’s program lead for Bristol and the U.K. “Even while those relationships continue, we are excitedly looking for our next round of startups to partner, collaborate, and support business growth and development. The first program was really successful, but we can take lessons learned and make the next cohort even more effective.” Interested startups and founders can apply here. The inaugural Bristol cohort was a tremendous bunch that is addressing big global business problems with cloud-based innovation. Although their accelerator experience has come to an end, we’ll continue our relationship as they transition into our alumni program. In fact, several of the startups from cohort 1 will be speaking, exhibiting and meeting customers at upcoming events with Oracle, including Modern Customer Experience in Chicago, Modern Business Experience in London and Amsterdam, Dublin Tech Summit, The Next Web, Startup Grind Europe, London Tech Week and more. And we’ll continue to partner to help drive customer growth and product innovation.  Check out this video on the startups from cohort 1 and their experiences with Oracle.    As Peter Lilley, cofounder of startup iGeolise, recently said about joining Oracle’s startup program:  “You get access for accommodation, access to technology that will boost your business, and you get access to clients. And all you have to do is concentrate on your business. Frankly, why wouldn’t you do it?” Our global startup mission is to establish a program that is about collaboration and real partnerships with our startups—providing a path to growth their businesses. It’s about creating ecosystems of co-development and co-innovation—across our startups, customers and Oracle. A win-win for all. The six-month accelerator program provides mentoring from technical and business experts, state-of-the-art technology, a co-working space, access to Oracle customers, partners and investors, and free Oracle Cloud credits to five startups selected to join the cohort. Oracle’s UK program is being delivered in partnership with SETsquared Bristol who recently retained their title as ‘Global No.1 incubator - managed by a University’. To qualify for one of the five spaces available on Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator’s cohort 2 programme, startups must have a minimum viable product, and have been formed for more than six months. Applicants will be scored on four areas: Team, Traction, Tech, and Market Opportunity. Applications close on 28th May, with the cohort 2 launching in July. Interested startups can find out more and apply here.    

Coming off a successful inaugural cohort, including being named the No. 2 accelerator in the U.K., our Bristol-based Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program is looking to partner with startups...

Best Practices

SXSW: 8 Ways to Think Like a Startup with Amplero and Oracle

Blog authored by Amplero Founder and Chief Scientist Olly Downs, PhD. Amplero is a member of the Oracle Scaleup Ecosystem program, designed to boost business growth for global startups and scaleups. Amplero Founder and Chief Scientist Olly Downs, PhD, took the stage (twice!) at South by Southwest in Austin, TX, earlier this month. Along with Caroline Barton, founder of fashion startup Modatrova, and Jason Williamson, VP of the Startup Ecosystem at Oracle, Olly shared insights gleaned from two decades of launching technology companies in the UK and US. In the session, Think Like a Startup: How Innovation Gets Done, the panel discussed ways that even large enterprise corporations can integrate startup thinking to fuel innovation. Here are our top eight takeaways: Disconnect from the mothership—partly When trying to bring startup thinking to a well-established culture, it helps to have physical separation. “It’s like the old Skunkworks. You’re not tethered by all the existing processes or your normal muscle memory,” Jason said. The challenge, however, is bridging the existing company culture with these remote “labs” teams. “One of the best approaches I’ve seen is to rotate executives, engineers, or product people from enterprise business units into the innovation team, and back out again,” Olly said. “If that project has a successful outcome, the person who is now back on the enterprise side usually becomes the business customer that buys the startup’s product.” There’s nothing like having to eat what you kill The direct connection between making the next sale and making payroll is incredibly motivating. How does this apply at a larger established company where you always know where your next meal is coming from? According to Olly, the best innovation teams work on projects that are directly coupled to business outcomes or to customers. Giving teams a clear line of site to their impact on revenue can be just the thing to fuel innovation. Embrace failure, really “Fail fast,” might be one of the most overused slogans in startup culture, but it’s still one of the best ways to validate or move on. “When we have an idea, we don’t deliberate—we just go,” Caroline said. “That helps us decide what’s worth doing and what we should abandon. It’s immediately clear what ideas will affect change. Bad ideas die quickly and painlessly.” The key is to create an environment where team members feel safe throwing out crazy ideas. After all, when it comes to growth, “one percent is better than zero percent,” she said. Persevere “You need to have dogged perseverance, and at the same time be adaptable because of the pace at which you’re getting feedback,” Olly explained. After converting more than $250 million in venture capital investments into $1.7 billion of company value across nine startups, perseverance is now his second nature. Listen, but weigh feedback carefully, and test it to see how it aligns with your vision. He explained, “The market isn’t going to tell you if your vision is right until they can actually see what it is. There’s a time early on when that vision is not tangible to the people who are going to buy and invest in you.” Love the problem, not your solution Have the humility to recognize your solution might not be what the market is looking for. Stay committed to solving the problem, and don’t make assumptions about what the end product will be. “We are in constant daily conversation—with customers, industry advisors, experts—to ensure what we’re building is what they actually need,” explained Caroline.  Empower decision-making from top to bottom “Ensure everyone is empowered to make decisions at every level,” Olly said. This starts with transparency and communication. If everyone understands and aligns with your end goal, they can each make decisions that support the collective strategy. Transparency allows people to act like owners. Scale thought leadership, not people It pays to stay small physically, but keep your ideas big. “When we engage with a new large customer, we try not to be an operational producer for them, but a strategic leader— then bring in partners who can scale,” Olly said. It lets you scale in a flexible way, and stay lean when things business slows. Give words to your culture Culture starts at the top and is shaped by language. “It’s important to wrap words around things,” Jason said. “It seems like an academic exercise but it pays dividends.” Establish your mission and values from the very beginning, and make them widely accessible—it gives your teams guideposts that don’t shift, even when your product does. Listen to the full panel here (38:00). About Olly As a machine learning scientist and serial technology entrepreneur, Olly Downs, PhD, is credited with bringing advanced analytics and machine learning methods to bear as the creative spark behind numerous early-stage technology companies. Olly currently serves as CEO and Chief Scientist at Amplero, an award-winning artificial intelligence marketing (AIM) company that enables global brands to build lasting customer relationships at a scale not humanly possible. Specializing in applying abstract analytical ideas from mathematical, physical, and statistical science to real-world business problems, Olly has been granted 35 patents to date. His work includes pioneering applications of predictive analytics, probabilistic and location-based reasoning for INRIX, RocketFuel, Blab, AdReady, Farecast and MSN, as well as offline analytics—including financial mathematics, quantum computing and Bayesian estimation, for HERE, SiriusXM, Globys, L1 Partners, D-Wave Systems, Apollo Data Technologies, Microsoft Research, Barnes & Noble, Knight Ridder, Ryder and IGT. Contact him at olly@amplero.com or follow him on Twitter at @mathandporsches. About Amplero Amplero lets brands be human again. To learn more about how the future is human, contact us today or connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Blog authored by Amplero Founder and Chief Scientist Olly Downs, PhD. Amplero is a member of the Oracle Scaleup Ecosystem program, designed to boost business growth for global startups and scaleups. Ampl...

Best Practices

5 Tips to Write a Killer Startup Application

Blog authored by Vítor Andrade & Fernando Ribeiro, Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator, São Paulo  We are now accepting applications for eight of our nine Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator centers, Oracle’s residential program for startups. (Our ninth location, in Austin, Texas, will open applications in May.) In 2017, we received almost 4,000 applications for approximately 40 global spots—clearly showing demand and generating lots of competition. It is not uncommon to meet great startups that were not selected by an accelerator, fund or mentoring program, because they did not provide enough information about their great team, innovative product and market potential. We’ve learned a lot shifting through thousands of applications and want to share five tips for entrepreneurs to deliver a killer application that stands out among the competition for our 2018 global spots. Add your team to the proposal and slide deck: One of the most important things in a proposal is to understand who is behind the startup—especially the founders—so it’s clear what your team has achieved together so far. As a technology accelerator, we are looking for a business- and tech-balanced team with experience of working together, and with enough knowledge about their relevant industry. Not providing enough information about your team will decrease your chances of being interviewed and, of course, being accepted in our cohorts. Provide enough information on your product development stage and current traction: Each Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program has autonomy to select more early or growth-stage startups. Regardless, it is essential that the proposal present the current traction with users and/or paying customers, as well as achieved revenue. There is no right or wrong in this case. But only by knowing the full story, can we best be able to evaluate how we can help your journey. Describe the technology stack of your product: You do not need to disclose detailed technical information in the pitch deck, but your application should mention the key technologies (e.g.: APIs, microservices, functions, containers, DevOps, AI, blockchain, etc.) that your developers are using to implement your product, or that they are considering adopting down the roadmap. Also, we are not as concerned about the preferred programming language, for example, as with the decisions that your technical team is making towards building an enterprise offering. Show us why your company is or will be solving a relevant problem: Building a startup is about solving a problem or seizing an opportunity in a different way than your competitors. Presenting enough information about the problem that is being solved, the competition’s solutions, and what are your competitive advantage(s), will demonstrate your extensive knowledge about the market and your ability to change in a different direction if necessary. Please take special attention on the problem description and what makes your startup different and unique from the competition. Present why you want to join the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator: Although we have just one single question in the application form on the reason to join the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator, the whole proposal should be thought as a partnership invitation for Oracle. As an equity-free program, we are looking for startups that can be our partners on reimagining enterprise innovation. As such, entrepreneurs should take time to understand our product portfolio, our corporate expertise, and our ecosystem of partners and customers and clearly present how your startup fits in to our wider Oracle ecosystem. Every interaction is an opportunity to build the startup brand among interesting stakeholders. It is important to present yourself the best as you can. A well-written proposal is not a guarantee of approval, but it will definitely leave a great impression on the judge’s minds.  Note: Startups that apply in advance are more likely to be interviewed by the Oracle team. Good luck, Vítor Andrade & Fernando Ribeiro Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator   Vítor Andrade is working for more than 10 years supporting the creation & growth of innovative early-stage startups in Brazil at some of the main entrepreneurship and innovation institutions in the country. He was the former COO at Startup Brasil. Vitor now is the Head of Startup Ecosystem @Oracle, responsible for the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator in Brazil, open for applications until April, 15th, 2018. Fernando Ribeiro is a professional with 18 years of experience in enterprise solution development. He has already worked as solution architect, sales consultant and full stack developer in companies like Oracle, Red Hat and IBM. He currently works as a Technical Mentor in Residence at Oracle and contributes to open source projects.  

Blog authored by Vítor Andrade & Fernando Ribeiro, Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator, São Paulo  We are now accepting applications for eight of our nine Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator centers,...

Meet the Startups

How Teknospire, the Fintech Firm is Boosting Financial Inclusion

Blog entry by the Teknospire team, an Oracle global startup partner.  In this age of technology we want Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to answer our questions. We want our refrigerator to call the grocery store and order the missing items. We want driverless cars where we enjoy the views, and we are keen on robots that serve us and help us. Through this lens, think of the world's two billion unbanked population that does not have access to basic banking? This could be your housemaid or a worker in your office from the housekeeping department. Or it could be the vegetable seller from the weekly market downtown or a homeless person on the streets. For these “unbanked” individuals, to provide them with necessary banking facilities, to help them manage their cash in a secured way, is the reason Teknospire was born. What’s the Problem Teknospire is Trying to Solve? Individuals in remote areas and below the poverty line are mostly at the mercy of intermediaries that lack transparency and are unreliable. International grants and aids released for these needy people never reach them, or even if it does is not used for the same purpose. In case of a financial crunch situation, they must take debt at very high-interest rates, putting them under obligation for a lifetime. There are government initiatives to open bank branches in remote areas, but owing to high infrastructure and operational cost, they are not profitable. Residents need to visit the bank branch even for simple banking services like balance inquiry making it a gloomy proposition. Teknospire came into existence to overcome such challenges. How Teknospire is Boosting Financial Inclusion Most of the rural areas in India are served by the cooperative banks, regional rural banks, small finance banks and public-sector banks. They have the Agents or collection officer who travel to these remote locations and provide people with services like withdrawals, deposits, bill payments, credit and loan services. All the data entry and availing of banking services is done on paper. The Teknospire Fintech solution allows agents to collect data in an offline mode, and sync it when they reach the bank to facilitate transparent and smooth banking services. The customers could get instant balance check and loan dispersal with digitization. It also offers convenience and banking availablity at any time. The solution also helps the bank to expand their services and increase the customer base without investing a lot to set up a new branch. It could also help local people in business to amplify their customer base to nearby villages. With all these benefits Teknospire is proud to announce their collaboration with Mann Deshi Banks and Manappuram Finance limited as technology partners. Teknospire Global Presence Surprisingly the unbanked problem is not restricted to India but as per the data collected two billion people in the world are unbanked. With Teknospire’s mission to enable banking for every individual, the Teknospire team have expanded their reach to other countries like Mozambique, Zambia, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe. Our partner NDASENDA from Zimbabwe mentioned in the testimonial- that the Teknospire solution is web-based and updates in real-time, no technical glitches and saves a lot of time. Teknospire is on a mission to build and deliver the right technology, and keep it rolling with partner banks for the masses. Our offerings vary from the FinX-Payment and Agency Banking Suite, FinX- Mobile Money Suite, Data Analytics, FinX-Payment Switch and HealthTech Teknospire has made an impact with quick adoption of the flagship banking platform "FinX" across four countries and had completed "2000000+" million transactions towards digitization.

Blog entry by the Teknospire team, an Oracle global startup partner.  In this age of technology we want Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to answer our questions. We want our refrigerator to call...

Meet the Startups

Rethinking Retail: Dressire - A better, more personalized way

Blog authored by Ashish Dar, Founder/Director, Dressire, a member of Oracle's Banaglore startup accelerator program I was always fascinated with how analytics could be applied to solve real world problems that could have a profound impact. It was fascinating to see how Amazon could apply deep insights about its customers’ shopping behaviour to personalise the online experience. I imagined a similar solution that could not only equip the beleaguered brick and mortar retailers with customer intelligence but help them steal a march over Amazon by personalising every step of the shopper’s decision-making journey. That was the genesis of Dressire - an AI-based solution to help fashion retailers ‘know’ their customers and also know what products can be shown to which customer, both online and in-stores. We envisage a world where a retailer immediately knows which items in their inventory best fit the style, size and price sensitivities of any customer who walks into their store; provide style advice like a top fashion stylist; help build the complete outfit or have new outfit suggestions that pair new arrivals with items already in their closet. We envisage a world where the customers know where they can find what they love; a world where they don’t look for clothes, but the clothes find them. Our Unique Personalization Solution Dressire provides a personalization solution that covers every step of a shopper's discovery and decision-making journey. Our Business Intelligence suite provides deep insights about a customer’s persona and preferences. The malls, retailers and brands can leverage this information to do targeted marketing, drive their Online to Offline (O2O) strategy and use our data insights to fine tune and align their inventories to the actual demand.  It helps them provide  individualized experiences for both “walk-in” and “online” shoppers by personalizing the entire inventory for “each” shopper in real time even if they have no historical purchase data about the customers. Our Successes so far  We are currently working with one of the top end lingerie brands in India/South Asia, and one of the largest Jewellers in India. We are expanding to Europe and US through our channel partners Digital-Effect and UST Global. We are in conversation with some top department stores and lingerie brands. We have a few other pilots lined up with apparel, lingerie and jewellery retailers. The POC with one of the largest department stores in India saw a jump of 60% to their conversions and Average Transaction Size. We were able to influence their incremental sales by about 20-30%. The Bra Fit solution deployed with the lingerie brand is providing a fit accuracy of 85% and we are seeing an improvement of 30-40% to the basket size.  We are also working with some top technology solution consulting firms and system integrators for a joint Go To Market of our solution.  

Blog authored by Ashish Dar, Founder/Director, Dressire, a member of Oracle's Banaglore startup accelerator program I was always fascinated with how analytics could be applied to solve real world...

Meet the Startups

RepUp: Hospitality, Reputation & Customer Journey

Blog post authored by the RepUp team. The Idea: Hospitality, Reputation & Customer Journey Pranjal Prashar realized the ‘Make it or Break it’ power of social media and online review sites long before it became the buzzword. He sought not only to harness but also to profitably leverage this uncontrolled and unabashed power of social media through a solution for positive online reputation management for the hospitality industry. Thus the idea of RepUp took shape. Pranjal started with an advocacy platform for brands and hotels. Based on the data and inputs from clients, his team decided to build a platform which can give a holistic picture of a brand’s online reputation and help the clients improve the customer experience. Businesses were already getting serious about online reviews and comments. Restaurants were running out of business because of blogs and social posts. The solution was needed and there was a white space so they decided to jump in. With its in-house technology, RepUp brought discipline in the process of review management by aggregating opinions spread across dozens of OTAs (Online Travel Aggregators) and review portals. Most of this information is available in abundance and, at times, it becomes difficult for hoteliers as they fail to get enough mentions on these review platforms. There are even times when consumers leave a negative feedback on a review site, social media or booking platforms. In a world that is entirely digital, any negative feedback impacts hotels and travel businesses and cannot be contained.  Making sense of this clutter is vital but it becomes an unnerving task for many hoteliers and the travel industry, as a whole, due to which they face significant drop in their traction. Pranjal Prashar and Vineet Chouhan sensed an opportunity to venture into this untapped market and founded Repup in December 2014. Enabler:  The Pivot The founders had the idea and a handful of clients to test and validate the product but needed to grow their outreach in Indian and international markets. A seed funding from Indian Angel Network in mid-2015 became the enabler for their continued growth. The funding was used for acquiring customers from hotel industry in India and to explore South East Asian market. They not only acquired a large number of customers—more than 1,100—in these markets but also built and added more value to their existing product. They needed an edge over other players to compete in the international market and that is when they pivoted from being a reputation-only platform to one of the very few platforms providing a 360º customer experience management solution. With the help of this platform, they are enabling hoteliers to keep their guests happy across the customer life cycle – pre-arrival, on-premises, and post-stay. Business Boost: Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator With a good mix of customers from the Indian and foreign markets and 6 out of 10 top Indian hotel brands in their clientele, RepUp decided to take the opportunity of applying for the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator to gain access to Oracle expertise, customer connects and wide presence in the hospitality space. Oracle`s accelerator has been helping them to increase their presence in the enterprise market with their global customer base. RepUp has recently upgraded to a Gold Level Partner with Oracle. This upgrade is helping them to integrate with Oracle products including Opera Hospitality Cloud and use the Oracle Cloud credits for reducing infrastructure costs. During the past few months, RepUp`s technical team has been working out of the Oracle office in Saket and has been getting access to Oracle`s technical experts and infrastructure. RepUp has had a great journey so far with promising growth and it aims to grow its client base by over five times in the next three months through ongoing developments and the Oracle partnership.  

Blog post authored by the RepUp team. The Idea: Hospitality, Reputation & Customer Journey Pranjal Prashar realized the ‘Make it or Break it’ power of social media and online review sites long before it...

Program News

São Paulo Startup Sees $500k in New Revenue with Oracle’s Global Startup Program

Morbhen Rattray is a senior manager in Oracle's global startup program On stage at Oracle CloudWorld in New York last month, Marcellus Amadeus, CEO of Nexus Edge, from our first cohort in São Paulo, announced they had closed $500,000 in enterprise contract revenue as a result of being part of Oracle’s global startup program. Nexus Edge is a next-generation digital advertising solution delivering proprietary technology made exclusivley for the advertising industry powered by artificial intelligence. The company maps behavior patterns and other variables to help businesses make better decisions that can positively impact consumers’ lives, thus transforming the digital advertising space. Vitor Andrade, program lead for Oracle’s accelerator in São Paulo has worked closely with Nexus Edge for the past six months: “At Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator, we are reimagining enterprise innovation through real partnerships with startups. In the last months, we worked alongside Nexus Edge to deliver new customer experience solutions to our customers in Brazil and Latin America, powered by Oracle Cloud. We are thrilled that this hard work has resulted in substantial new revenue for Nexus Edge.” Marcellus from Nexus Edge said, “During the six months of the acceleration process, we were able to secure US$ 500k in revenue from new contracts with Oracle customers. Our partnership with Oracle is just beginning and we are certain we will continue to work together to develop new customer experience solutions for enterprise customers worldwide.” Reggie Bradford, the head of Oracle’s global startup program, says this about Oracle’s startup strategy: “Having started three companies without ever associating myself with an incubator or accelerator, I take it as a challenge to build a global program—an ecosystem, really—that I would find valuable if I were leading a startup today. We’re building an ecosystem that enables tangible business value, customer growth and revenue—for the startups, our customers and Oracle.” The Nexus Edge success is just one example of how Oracle is delivering on its startup mission and strategy. Find out more about Oracle’s global startup programs here.

Morbhen Rattray is a senior manager in Oracle's global startup program On stage at Oracle CloudWorld in New York last month, Marcellus Amadeus, CEO of Nexus Edge, from our first cohort in São...

Program News

Oracle is Putting More Resources Behind its Global Startup Program – And Enabling Business Growth for All

(Originally published on Feb. 13 on LinkedIn.) I’m super excited to be back in San Francisco this week for the expansion news announcement of Oracle’s global startup program.  This morning, Oracle announced it’s expanding the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem with two strategic initiatives: 1) The launch of a new virtual-style, non-residential program called Oracle Scaleup, targeted to later-stage companies and VC and PE firms; and 2) the addition of Austin to the residential Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program, bringing the residential program to North America and expanding the accelerator’s reach to nine total global locations. Oracle can now offer residential and non-residential startup programs to foster collaboration, co-development, and inspire cloud-based global innovation. This expansion allows us to reach more global innovators and entrepreneurs, regardless of location, including later-stage scaleup companies who need access to Oracle Cloud solutions and resources without the hands-on offerings our residential program provides. We’re building an ecosystem that enables tangible business value, customer growth and revenue—for the startups, our customers and Oracle. Proof point? At yesterday’s Oracle CloudWorld event in New York City an audience member asked one of our startups during a keynote session what are some real tangible benefits? Nexus Edge, part of the Sao Paulo program, replied that during the six-month program they already closed half a million dollars in contract revenue because the Oracle partnership. And that’s just one example. That’s what we mean about creating an ecosystem of tangible business growth and revenue for all. In 2017, we accomplished an impressive feat, launching eight programs ahead of schedule and generating almost 4,000 applications for only 40 program slots. We created strong partnerships, spoke at and sponsored events across the globe, and garnered almost 400 positive media stories. Internally, we stirred a lot of awareness and interest – with more than 40 Oracle regions wanting to work with the startup program.  And yet we knew we could do more. In only one year, we earned a lot of wins and endured mistakes that provided invaluable learning lessons.  We are running lean as a startup inside Oracle and we will continue to learn and adapt to find the right balance of speed and growth for 2018. Having started three companies without ever associating myself with an incubator or accelerator, I take it as a challenge to build a global program—an ecosystem, really—that I would find valuable if I were leading a startup today. As we move forward, we won’t lose sight of our global mission: To provide enriching, collaborative partnerships to enable next-generation growth and drive cloud-based innovation for startups throughout all stages of their journey. Today’s news allows us to continue to deliver on that mission.  Later today I’ll be speaking to Bloomberg Radio/TV and other media about our new expansion and then onto the Startup Grind Global Conference in Redwood City where I’ll take the stage with longtime friends and VC veterans Neil Sequeira and Stacey Curry Bishop to talk about the fast-changing VC landscape and how startups can navigate it successfully. Startup Grind puts on fantastic events with tremendous energy and a who’s who of speakers. They are a stellar partner and a group of great people – and I’m stoked we can share the news at their main global conference in front of 7,000 attendees and more than 20,000 livestreaming from across the globe.   Please help us share the good news. If you have interested startups, or want more information about the programs, check out www.oracle.com/startup or email us at OracleScaleup_WW@oracle.com or OracleSCA_WW@oracle.com.        

(Originally published on Feb. 13 on LinkedIn.) I’m super excited to be back in San Francisco this week for the expansion news announcement of Oracle’s global startup program.  This morning, Oracle...

Meet the Startups

The Future Will Be Conversational & Leena AI is Powering the Way for Enterprises

Blog authored by Leena AI Cofounder Adit Jain Adit Jain, Mayank Goyal and Anand Prajapati started their entrepreneurial journey as IIT Delhi graduate students but ultimately became cofounders of a thriving startup and enterprise solution called Leena AI, a virtual assistant for the enterprise – or “Siri for the enterprise.”  Today, Leena AI counts companies such as Coca-Cola, Vedanta, EXL Services and HDFC Life Insurance as customers.  The Leena AI founders believe that the next big computer-human interface will be conversational - voice and chat with Virtual Assistants infiltrating our lives at home and in the office. They also believe Virtual Assistants should be ubiquitous – across voice, chat, email, gesture, everywhere. That’s why Leena AI is available across a wide variety of platforms. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s step back a few years to help frame out their unique journey. Frustrated with the amount of content they had to consume to get a small amount of knowledge, these three close friends decided to develop a solution out of their IIT Delhi dorm room while still in their third year of graduation. That solution became an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm for summarization. Upon graduation, they couldn’t get traction for their summarization algorithm. But all three were certain they didn’t want to enter the corporate world. Instead, they wanted to use their understanding of AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) and take an entrepreneurial path to solving bigger problems faced by enterprises. Personal experiences played a big role. For example, Anand was trying to reach Airtel’s customer support via phone and had to wait for 15 minutes for a query that took less than 30 seconds to solve. With this experience, the team started creating a platform named ‘ChatterOn’, a cognitive virtual assistant (chatbot) development platform that enables businesses to build AI conversational agents over chat and voice without writing a single line of code.  They soon launched a free version of ChatterOn for MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) and saw more than 15,000 businesses from 120 countries create chatbots. Soon, an enterprise grade ChatterOn platform was launched which was well received by global companies. As enterprises started adopting the ChatterOn platform, the usage patterns of the platform brought out an interesting problem: enterprises were struggling with the productivity of their employees. Employees’ time was being wasted trying to find relevant information and juggling between multiple applications—all while having a bad user experience. The founders knew chatbots could provide a solution. With this realization, Leena AI was born as the ‘Virtual Assistant for the Enterprise’ or ‘Siri for the enterprise’. Today, Leena provides a smart AI-powered HR companion dedicated towards engaging employees. Leena AI is already being used by companies such as Coca-Cola, Vedanta, EXL Services, HDFC Life Insurance, Marico, Pidilite and many others.  The solution is available across Normal Phone Call, Google Assistant, Workplace, Skype for Business, and integrates with any Android and iOS Apps or Website. Leena AI is also a Workplace by Facebook global partner and Oracle partner. Currently, Leena AI has many ‘capabilities’ or ‘micro-abilities’ in HR, IT, Admin, Procurement, Reimbursement, Finance, Sales, MIS, etc. But the highest number of deployments are in HR. So, instead of bugging your HR team, you can just fire up Leena AI and ask any question like ‘can I add my husband to my insurance policy?’ Or direct Leena AI to take action on your behalf – ‘I am feeling unwell, apply leave for today.’ The procurement department in Vedanta, for example, is now able to find SAC codes and GST numbers for services directly on chat.  Apart from this they are also able to find any agreement or information with Leena AI’s contextual search and intent extraction algorithms. Some deployments are also in IT Helpdesk, where Leena AI is able to help employees self- service their IT related queries like changing passwords, unlocking accounts, solve network issues by calling a phone number and saying in simple English, ‘I have forgotten my password, what do I do?’ The bot then takes relevant information like employee id and resets your password for you. As a first step, Leena AI should be able to respond to any and all problems/queries related to any business vertical, saving a lot of employee time, and improving efficiency by saving employee mindspace and minimizing distractions. Over a period of time, a specialized Leena AI will develop for every employee position and will be able to help each employee improve efficiency by automating repetitive/low-value tasks and allowing more focus on high-value tasks. A simple example: We, humans, form triggers in our brain, for example – if my team tells me that a bot has been deployed, I would ask my finance team to raise the invoice – this can be completely automated by Leena AI as it can see behaviours, understand the triggers or underlying logic and interact with the finance team by call/email. Learn more about how Leena AI is empowering, engaging and inspiring people through conversations—and helping businesses reach strong ROI and deliver a better bottom line. 

Blog authored by Leena AI Cofounder Adit Jain Adit Jain, Mayank Goyal and Anand Prajapati started their entrepreneurial journey as IIT Delhi graduate students but ultimately became cofounders of...

Partners/Advisors

Interactive Scientific Showcased by UK Prime Minister at the British/China Business Summit

Blog entry by the Interactive Scientific team (UK-based Oracle Startup Partner) Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator partner Interactive Scientific were one of only five companies to have innovative education technology featured in the Great British Classroom at the British/China Business Summit in Shanghai this week. The Great British Classroom, hosted by BESA and Director General Caroline Wright, accompanied UK Prime Minister Theresa May to the British/China Business Summit, and highlighted the education sector as one of the UK’s leading sectors for global innovations. Interactive Scientific, which is on the leading edge of that innovation, runs on Oracle Cloud.  The app, Molecules and Me, was featured on the interactive Promethean screens – highlighting a simple but impactful delve into the abstract world of atoms and molecules. Becky Sage, CEO of Interactive Scientific said, “We are delighted to feature our product, Molecules and Me, at the British/China Business summit, positioning us as one of the leading innovative education software companies. Exporting incredible STEM education that promotes inclusivity, curiosity and creativity is our priority and we are happy to see that the Prime Minister and her team are championing a paradigm shift in science learning, by including us in the Great British Classroom.” Molecules and Me is now available on Google Play and the iOS App Store, and it allows students of any age to do two key things: 1.     Visualize dynamic atoms and molecules; allowing students to interact and observe molecules. 2.     Connect atoms and molecules to everyday life; contextualizing abstract principles so scientific phenomena become meaningful to learners. Molecules and Me is just the tip of the iceberg with regard to the capability of Interactive Scientific’s technology. The company is currently completing the product Nano Simbox, which will be available to schools for the autumn term. To find out more, you can connect with Interactive Scientific here. 

Blog entry by the Interactive Scientific team (UK-based Oracle Startup Partner) Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator partner Interactive Scientific were one of only five companies to have innovative...

Program News

Continuous Learning Essential for Startups to Achieve Scale-up Status

It was Albert Einstein that famously said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” All startups better take heed. For emerging and growing businesses, there is no such thing as too much information, at least as it pertains to strategic and relevant resources. That’s why Oracle is pleased to offer members of our Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program access to new and vital learning and development resources through our partnership with the Oracle Human Resources Virtual Library. We are committed to providing our startup partners worldwide with continuous learning opportunities that will help them to stay on their strategic paths and enable growth and scale. Oracle HR's Virtual Library gives these startups and their employees on-demand access to critical business and technical information for better learning, decision making and development. Three invaluable learning resources are being provided: Harvard ManageMentor: Provides world-class content designed to help leaders, managers, and individuals address the full spectrum of today’s business challenges. Lynda.com: Offers a tremendous library of video-based classes for learning business, software, technology, and creative skills needed to stay current. Safari Books Online: Presents a vast digital library of business and technical books, live classes, coding classes, conferences, and videos from the world’s foremost innovators in technology and business. “Oracle has vast global resources that we are constantly tapping for the benefit of our startups,” said Tiffany Thompson, Director Strategic Partnerships & Events, Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator. “This partnership with Oracle HR’s Virtual Library is yet another example of our continued commitment to over-deliver and enable stronger, more strategic and scalable paths to their emerging businesses.” “Access to the right information anytime, everywhere is critical to continuous learning and success. We are thrilled to partner with these incredible startups and ensure they also have access to the information they need to develop, innovate, learn, and be successful as a company and individuals,” said Christy Confetti Higgins, Oracle Cybrarian. Startups will have access to the on-demand virtual library upon selection into our global program. These resources and tools are essential in helping development across almost every area of business from communications to presentation skills to technical acumen and beyond.

It was Albert Einstein that famously said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” All startups better take heed. For emerging and growing businesses, there is no such thing as too...

Best Practices

Go Big With Your Startup In 2018: An Expert’s Tips

As emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things evolve at lightning speed, accelerating the digital disruption of nearly every industry, 2018 will be an ideal time to position your startup for the next phase of growth. Here are five tips for going big with your startup this year: Go from founder to CEO. It’s time to get even more serious about setting and communicating the vision, keeping you and your team focused on the most important things. One word of advice here: Delegate. Founders are accustomed to doing most everything themselves; CEOs understand that they must hand off a range of duties in order to focus on the bigger picture—putting their business in rapid growth mode and a position of sustainable market leadership.   Start storytelling. With the rise of social media and other digital platforms, we have more outlets than ever before to get out our story. But most founders aren’t telling; they’re selling. Storytelling isn’t new. It’s hardwired into our brains since the beginning of time. It’s crucial that you formulate and articulate your unique story. Find the human element, make a connection to your target audience, and communicate how your company will deliver value and make a difference in the world. More times than not, that story is less about facts and figures and more about reaching people on a personal or emotional level. As Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson once said: “Entrepreneurs who make a difference are, in effect, professional storytellers. If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you also have to be a storyteller.” Find your story and your voice. Cultivate an adaptive, holistic culture. Your culture is your brand. Don’t ever forsake it. But nothing is permanent—everything evolves. Don’t assume that your open office floor plan and your beanbag chairs, ping-pong tables, and free food have checked the culture box. Many of today’s employees value flexibility, as well as creative and reflective environments where they can thrive and grow. Employees also want to know that you have their best interests at heart. Show that you’re investing in them by offering personal development opportunities and wellness programs. Establish a charity (or two) to support, and weave it into the fabric of your culture. The talent war is heating up. Your culture goes a long way in recruiting and retaining top people. If you don’t invest in an enduring and adaptive culture, dysfunction and low morale will set in, leading to failure. Make partnerships a priority. As the digital revolution transforms entire industries—from healthcare to education to transportation to financial services—startups must rely on partnerships to build their credibility, grow their customer bases and revenues, and extend their momentum. Quoting an old African proverb: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”    Find the right work-life balance. I know that oft-repeated advice runs counter to the entrepreneur ethos of 18-hour workdays and seven-day workweeks. But just as dedication and tenacity are essential for success, so is spending time spent with family and friends, as well as setting aside time for reading, exercise, reflection, mindfulness, and giving back. Be deliberate about finding your right balance. You’ll operate at a higher level mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

As emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things evolve at lightning speed, accelerating the digital disruption of nearly every industry, 2018 will be...

Best Practices

The 3Ts: Hierarchy of Needs for Startups

Sanket Atal, Group Vice President, Oracle The foremost thing that comes to mind when we talk about a startup is a team of energetic, enthusiastic minds propelled with innovative ideas and solutions—and all wanting to make it BIG. In most cases, these vivacious minds have all the required attributes to sell their ideas to the world. However, it is universally understood that less than 10% of startups succeed. What’s missing in 90% of the crowd? There are multiple growth drivers that impact a startup’s likelihood for success, like the product or service, market need, talent, technology, funding, go-to-market strategy, partnerships (accelerators/incubators) and much more. The startup ecosystem in India has been staging a steep curve in the growth cycle over the past few years. This growth is fueled with support from the external drivers in the ecosystem like accelerators and incubators, as well as factors like growing talent pools and game-changing technologies. Oracle’s global startup accelerator initiative is one such program, which focuses on enabling technology startups with critical resources, technologies and support to help them achieve success. I have closely observed the startup ecosystem in India and there has been a major growth in the startups “maturity curve” over the past two years. Today, global investors and large enterprises are betting high on the Indian market. I liken the path of the maturation of the startup ecosystem to what happens in the personal path towards actualization in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In my opinion, there are three fundamental factors in the hierarchy of needs for startups. These are the 3Ts: Technology, Talent and Target. Technology – The top trending technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), virtual personal assistants (VPAs), virtual and augmented reality (VR & AR), blockchain, conversational systems and more have been categorized under three themes by global analyst firm Gartner:                                                                                                         Intelligent: AI, ML, VPAs Digital: VR & AR, Conversational Systems Mesh: Blockchain Technologies falling under any of these three themes, as well as high-end, highly secure databases, are perceived to be too expensive and hard to maintain for a tech startup, suitable only for large enterprises. This perception is most definitely not a reality. Today, startups can get access to these emerging technologies through the cloud at a price point they can well afford. And the advantages cloud delivers—speed, scale, security, agility and flexibility—allows a startup to quickly be competitive even with the largest enterprises. Talent – India is witnessing a colossal growth in engineering talent. Technical institutions and universities across the globe have been a positive force in shaping this talent and seeding the benefits of contributing to the startup ecosystem. A major cultural shift that has happened is that engineers are willing to take risks and be more adventurous, thus making a big difference in the economy through starting or joining startups. Talent is one of the key fundamentals carving the success of any startup. The ongoing growth of the entrepreneurial talent pool will only continue to fuel innovation within the Indian startup ecosystem. Target  – Today’s digital-mobile-social world has made reaching consumers both easier and more challenging. There are more channels and devices than ever before to engage with consumers—think Facebook, WhatsApp, Google search, mobile, online and offline. And there’s enormous data available to better reach, target and engage with consumers—whether locally, regionally or globally. But the task can be overwhelming because of the massive proliferation of channels, devices and data, as well as the shrinking consumer attention span. That’s where digital and social marketing tools come to the rescue. Marketing today needs to be data-driven, personalized and engaging. These cloud-based tools and resources allow a startup based out of Bangalore to target a market from Addis Ababa to New York City to Tel Aviv and beyond.  Bottomline: Companies of all sizes can be global from day one thanks to cloud-based marketing solutions. Marketing is a crucial function for startups and the magnitude of reach going the digital route is enormous. It equips you to connect, communicate and interact with your target audience thereby making you a global brand in the long run.  The 3Ts provide the foundation that enable startups to focus on their core competencies and realize their potential.  So be sure your startup is focusing on the 3Ts in 2018 and beyond.  

Sanket Atal, Group Vice President, Oracle The foremost thing that comes to mind when we talk about a startup is a team of energetic, enthusiastic minds propelled with innovative ideas and solutions—and...

Meet the Startups

Award-winning Fintech Startup FOMO Pay: The Journey Thus Far...

This blog post is authored by Mr. Louis, Liu Xi, CEO and co-founder of FOMO Pay. The year was 2012. Barely anyone in China had heard about the mobile payments industry, much less paid for anything through their smartphones. Back then, paying through hard cash or credit card was the accepted norm. Fast forward half a decade later, the industry has skyrocketed from $81 billion to an eye-popping $2.9 trillion. Walking down any street in a major Chinese city today, you will be able to use your smartphone to pay for anything from unassuming street vendors to multinational chain stores. We have all heard about Alipay and its up and coming rival, WeChat Pay. Together, both behemoths control over 94% of the mobile payments industry, as of Q2 2017. Even as we write this, they are rapidly expanding their outreach overseas, into markets such as Japan, South Korea and Thailand. In Singapore, where we reside, there were also growing signs that mobile payments were beginning to catch on. However, the problem that we had with Alipay, WeChat Pay and a plethora of other payment modes was the fact that they were all not interoperable. This means that if you only had WeChat Pay installed on your phone, and the vendor only accepts Alipay, you will be left dour faced as you struggle to find that misplaced bank card somewhere deep in your pockets. That was when we decided we had to solve this problem. We created FOMO Pay, a platform providing an all-in-one payment solution, able to accept payment modes spanning across WeChat Pay, Baidu Wallet, Visa, Mastercard and many other providers. To help our clients, we also made our payment solutions easy to integrate to assist in their compliance reporting and back-office systems, regardless of their business size. Through our journey thus far, we have experienced our fair share of ups and downs. These experiences have also taught us about one of the main concerns that our clients have – security. As we progress from transacting with physical, tangible bank notes in our hands to intangible, invisible data-bits whizzing about in the air above us, many of our clients express the fear that their money will be lost somewhere. Their fears are also not unfounded. Stories emerging from China paint a grim picture of mobile payment frauds happening on a worryingly frequent basis. This was why we developed the FOMO Pay platform with security being placed on a high pedestal. We wanted our clients to sleep in peace. To do this, our platform is deployed with automatic fraud screening and 24-hour transaction monitoring to ensure that our clients are well-protected. We are genuinely glad we are situated here in the mobile payments industry, solving the myriad of problems that our clients face, from cash-flow issues to converting window-shoppers into actual buyers. As we continue to develop our platform, it is our daily interactions with our clients, the laughter and joy (and occasional heartbreak) that come along with it that ultimately keep our engines roaring.

This blog post is authored by Mr. Louis, Liu Xi, CEO and co-founder of FOMO Pay. The year was 2012. Barely anyone in China had heard about the mobile payments industry, much less paid for anything...

Meet the Startups

Rehash: Managing Your Home Appliances from Point-of-Sale to End-of-Life….Hassle-free!

Blog post authored by the Rehash team.  Today’s digital consumers value the luxury of choice, more so with home appliances. In response, companies are expanding their range of offerings, placing more emphasis on personalized buying experiences. However, after-sales service continues to be the Achilles heel for home appliances companies. In fact, according to a Forbes story (based on insights from NewVoiceMedia), businesses are losing $62 billion per year because of poor customer service. That’s up $20 billion since 2013, over just a three-year time frame. This is where Rehash steps in. Founded in 2015, we provide a one-stop solution to manage home appliances and Consumer Durables from Point of Sale (POS) to End-of-Life (Recycling), with a platform for post-sales life-cycle management. Rehash offers a simple, easy-to-use web and mobile App that acts as your go-to tool to manage all post-purchase product activities. After a product is purchased, our application enables Re#new of Warranties / Annual Maintenance Contracts, Re#pair – On-Click Service Requests, Re#sell – to Get Best Value, and Re#cycle – The Right Way. Modus operandi We enable consumers to manage information about the Product, its Brand, seller, billing details and services for all products in one place, and also ensure that they are easily able to get in touch with the authorized service center directly to avail timely services, in case the product needs to be repaired. There is also a provision to track service requests and rate them afterwards to ensure that quality standards are met. Further, we allow consumers to synchronize product information with family members and co-workers. You get on-time product warranty/AMC renewal notification.   Why manufacturers love our solution? Our application also benefits the manufacturers by helping them create unique user-experiences for their consumers, driving increased brand engagement. We provide a platform, wherein manufacturers can establish a dialogue with their customers and constantly improve their product basis, the demand and feedback. With our support, manufacturers no longer have to invest a fortune of their income for contact center management and its awareness, or for upfront investment in technology. At Rehash, we don’t define success only in monetary terms. We’re also committed to the impact we can create for our communities, our clients and ultimately the world. This is why we allow consumers to refurbish their products, and we even pay them for recycling the same. As a technological platform, we are still in our formative years and are in the process of building a post-sale enterprise suite. At such a point in time, the opportunity to become a part of Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator Program has been very beneficial for us. The holistic nature of this program helped us fine-tune the database architecture and the end-product, as well as in defining a successful business approach. Today, thanks to Oracle’s enterprise-grade cloud platform and infrastructure, we’re well on track to achieve our business objectives. Additionally, we were one of 15 startups from Oracle’s global program invited to attend this year’s Oracle OpenWorld, which took place Oct. 1-5 2017 in San Francisco. With almost 60,000 attendees, Oracle’s annual conference gave us exposure and interactions with Oracle’s customers and partners through meetings, speaking opportunities, demo stations, and networking. The original founder himself Larry Ellison even hosted a private event for all the startups at his residence where he spoke for 90 minutes about lessons he has learned, advice, emerging technologies and much more. It was certainly a highlight of our OpenWorld experience! 

Blog post authored by the Rehash team.  Today’s digital consumers value the luxury of choice, more so with home appliances. In response, companies are expanding their range of offerings, placing more...

Meet the Startups

ezeDox: Making India Inc. Paperless

Blog post authored by the ezeDox Team. Imagine the irony of having to still sort through important paper documents in spite of technology advancements. This, coupled with realizing the inefficiencies of paper-based documentation - both in terms of cost and processes - is what gave birth to our start-up, ezeDox. We embarked on the journey of solving the crisis of ‘documentation mess’ for small and large enterprises across industries. Founded in 2016, ezeDox provides a digital locker that facilitates issuance, categorization and storage of official and personal documents. Our aim is to use technology to transform the way in which documentation and work flow management is done across industries in a secure way. Therefore, we have ensured that all documents assembled through this platform are stored in data-centers conforming to ISO 27001. Further, all data is encrypted with AES 256-bit encryption and an audit trail provides a comprehensive and reliable document history for all users. ezeDox allows individuals and organizations to sign and issue bulk documents using e-Sign/Docu Signer Certificate. Since it is built on the Aadhaar ecosystem using India Stack building blocks to connect organizations and users, it securely provides digitally signed online applications, e-KYC enablement, storage, collaboration, categorization, tagging, browsing, and document sharing. Moreover, e-Sign makes any document tamper proof, thereby, eliminating the need for any further verification. Apart from solving the documentation issue, we wanted to address the greater perils attached with paper-based documents and processes – wastage of paper, and subsequent cutting down of trees. According to a 2017 study, more than two million trees are cut every year to cater to the paper requirement. A large proportion of these papers are used by enterprises for documentation purposes. By providing a centralized platform wherein all documents can be digitally stored, ezeDox not only ensures cost saving, ease of storage and sharing, tamper-proofing, but also plays a large role in conserving the environment. A significant milestone in our entrepreneurial journey was becoming a part of the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator Program. In Oracle, we found a partner whose vision of transforming India into a digital nation resonated with ours. Oracle’s legacy in enterprise applications, huge customer base and a vast network of partners was a blessing for us. A bunch of amazing mentors (tech as well as business) provided us the fillip we needed to fine tune our solution and sharpen our approach to doing business. Additionally, we were one of 15 startups from Oracle’s global program invited to attend this year’s Oracle OpenWorld, which took place Oct. 1-5. The massive event gave us, as well as the other startups, exposure and interactions with Oracle’s customers and partners through meetings, speaking opportunities, demo stations, and networking. The original founder himself Larry Ellison even hosted a private event for all the startups at his residence where he spoke for 90 minutes about lessons he has learned, advice, emerging technologies and much more. To say it was a highlight would be an understatement. With Oracle’s enterprise-grade cloud platform and infrastructure, we have observed huge performance improvements. Our aim is to bring back the trust in processes and documents, by removing perils attached with paper-based documentation (print, copy, scan, courier, storage, etc.) and Oracle has played a key role in our startup journey.

Blog post authored by the ezeDox Team. Imagine the irony of having to still sort through important paper documents in spite of technology advancements. This, coupled with realizing the inefficiencies...

Best Practices

The age of self-running companies: How robo-bosses will change your workplace forever

Franklin Valadares, CTO and co-founder at Runrun.it, an Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator startup   There have been discussions – regarding a subject that has generated worldwide concern - about the rapid replacement of people by machines in the workplace. According to some studies, the global wave of innovation in robotics has been destroying jobs faster than new types of employment have been created that can absorb the newly jobless human beings. It is not just manual labor that is being replaced with mechanically stronger and more resilient machines. The latest wave of job substitution is linked to the emergence of increasingly intelligent machines that can analyze human activities and learn from them. A robot, for example, can produce much more accurate reports than human beings. The same happens with data analysis and even job recruitment, where companies are looking to fill open positions with the most suitable candidates. Machines are starting to be capable of activities with varying levels of difficulty, replacing people at many different levels of the corporate hierarchy. According to a report by the consultancy firm McKinsey, about fifty percent of the work that people are employed to do has the potential to be automated. In the United States, this translates to roughly 60.6 million jobs. In the same report, the consultancy says that 25 percent of a CEO's time is invested in activities that can be done by machines, such as analyzing reports and data to inform decision-making. Our internal studies here at Runrun.it corroborate this. On average, customers report an immediate 25 percent increase in productivity for companies using work management systems. Automating human tasks, in addition to providing gains in efficiency and speed, reduces errors and avoids skewed analysis. The financial motivations for replacing skilled, and therefore more expensive, professionals are even greater than for replacing employees who do repetitive and manual jobs. The estimate by McKinsey is that such a repositioning would impact a total of $7.5 trillion in wages. We are moving towards what the World Economic Forum calls the "Fourth Industrial Revolution." The scenario may seem catastrophic, but humankind has already adapted to other waves of automation in the past – such as in the apparel industry. At the end of the sixteenth century, Queen Elizabeth I denied a patent for the inventor of the new sewing machine, believing that the invention would deprive many "young maidens" of their "daily-bread." In 1850, a group of New York tailors threatened to strike if their employer did not stop using sewing machines, which they believed would bring inevitable consequences for seamstresses. However, over 400 years and a great deal of automation later, seamstresses continue to be employed in the apparel industry. In the 1950s, Ford automated more than 500 automobile manufacturing operations, reducing costs and leaving many carriage owners out of work. "The advent of the horseless carriage struck a deadly blow to the carriage industry, to harness manufacturers and even to the faithful horse, but it created many thousands of new jobs making, selling and servicing automobiles," wrote the New York Times. Today, amid conflicts between taxi drivers and Uber drivers, we wonder what our lives will be like with the advent of autonomous vehicles. What history has demonstrated is that people whose jobs can be replicated by machines should direct their talents to activities with higher added value. Solutions created by artificial intelligence today seem more like super-tools that can boost our productivity in day-to-day tasks rather than something that will completely replace creative work. In fact, creativity and empathy are two human traits that algorithms are likely to take a long time to replicate, if that is even possible. Our vision of the development of Artificial Intelligence is more optimistic than pessimistic.  We imagine that businesses will be able to benefit greatly from the automation of all overhead activities, the day-to-day operational expenses that companies need to be able to focus on their core strengths.  Those day-to-day activities are what we call the “boring part" of the job. Imagine that someday in the future there will be no need for managers to tell employees just what to do. Machines will be able to prioritize activities according to company strategies, choose the most skilled and efficient professionals in certain types of tasks and make sure duties are fulfilled. Micromanagement’s days are numbered! The boring part of the job will decrease - people will not be paid to know what others are doing or should be doing. Algorithms will find the professionals, teams, software and companies that will best perform tasks. It is human capital management "on steroids." Machines will know who to train and whom to promote. Human beings will perform specialized, intelligent and strategic tasks for organizations. Robo-boss At the end of 2015, Gartner spoke for the first time about the concept of "robo-bosses" in a report on technology in the workplace. Frances Karamouzis, VP of the consultancy's research advisory group, said at the time that by 2018 there will be no less than three million people being overseen by robot bosses. An article by Bain & Company, published in April 2017, suggested that by the end of 2027 most professional activities will be automated or outsourced. The remaining positions will be critical to the organization. Most of the work will be on projects, executed by nimble teams. The teams will be self-managed, without permanent bosses, leading to a large reduction in the number of traditional managers. Instead, mentors will lead the careers of these professionals. The British newspaper The Guardian went on to say that a robo-boss would be the best boss you could ever have. They are management machines, or, more specifically, job management software. Management machines have been around for years, but they are getting "pumped up" by the evolution of AI. Soon, they will be distributing, tracking and evaluating the quality of tasks performed, and who performed them. They will be able to manage many projects at the same time, always using organizational guidelines. How? After a quick and unbiased review, the robot-boss will make any necessary decisions, unhampered by the ingrained opinions, insecurities and false impressions that are so common to us humans. Robot bosses will most likely not have humanoid forms or make eye contact with the teams under their management, as we are used to today. But they will be an effective tool to avoid human conflicts, generate fairer assessments and point out those employees that deserve recognition. Here at Runrun.it, we firmly believe that companies will have to embrace such technologies to be able to attain new levels of productivity and efficiency. It's what ERP planning did for finance. Work management software will do the same thing for time. That is what we are working for.  

Franklin Valadares, CTO and co-founder at Runrun.it, an Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator startup   There have been discussions – regarding a subject that has generated worldwide concern - about the rapid...

Best Practices

Does a scaleup have time to innovate?

Sylvain Tillon, cofounder and CEO, Tilkee. Tilkee is a member of Oracle's Paris-based startup program. If you’ve made it to the scaleup stage, chances are you’re an innovative person or have an innovative team. In Tilkee’s case it’s the latter. How did Tilkee manage to employ such innovative people? Well, as much as being innovative is a great trait in a startup employee, it’s definitely not an obligatory recruitment criteria for us. The Tilkee team is innovative because we’re all constantly working with and meeting companies of all sizes in all sectors with their own problems to solve. Over time, this gives you a great perspective on potential solutions to a problem. Thanks to this experience, everyone soon begins to find their own solutions to internal or client problems, even if they don’t exist yet, with the help of the whole team. If you approach it from this angle, you can see why Tilkee has time to innovate as a scaleup... because it’s the whole team and not just the CEO coming up with new ideas. My work culture has always been to co-create and involve the entire team in developing side projects based on our clients and team’s feedback. We take parts of the existing Tilkee technology and innovate around it to offer new possibilities to our clients. So apart from the occasional mid-week light-bulb moment, how do we have time to innovate? Well, quite simply, we dedicate a yearly seminar to this. This may not seem like a lot but you’d be amazed to know what the Tilkee team came up with in one day and how we did it. Startup Friday Every year, at the beginning of September, the entire team takes part in something we call “Startup Friday!” The web developers present their ideas to the whole team and based on the best ideas, groups of salespeople and devs are formed. Each team works throughout the day to take the initial idea and come up with a business model, landing page and fully functioning prototype by 18:00. Each idea is then pitched and demoed to the entire team. It’s a great and engaging day which encourages the web developers and sales teams to mix and work together. It’s interesting for both groups to see and better understand the ins and outs of the work that the other does and proves beneficial for the team all year round. Not only is it a lot of fun but we genuinely dedicate resources to each new innovation and do our best to take them to market just like Tilkee for Marketing, Foxy the connected fox, Tilkee for Events, Autolike, Copilot and SemanTilk, which have all come out of “Startup Friday!” One of the simplest but most effective innovations that has come out of Startup Friday, September 2017, is Tilkee for Events, and it’s already on the market. The tool stemmed from a simple problem: at corporate events or trade fairs you pick up hundreds of business cards and then waste hours manually typing each email address and delaying sending out your follow-up. By simply taking a photo of the business card with 'Tilkee for Events', your brochure is automatically, instantly sent out during the event and you’ll know exactly how and when the prospect reads the brochure. One of the most important things to be learnt from this is to stop thinking that it’s only the CEO or cofounders that can come up with the ideas and the goods; and here are for two main reasons why: Because innovation comes from all employees and everyone should be able to suggest ideas freely as successfully demonstrated by Tilkee’s Startup Fridays. Gone are the days of ‘suggestion boxes’ which gave the impression that innovation shouldn’t come from the individual. Because over time, you realise that often your employees’ or colleagues’ ideas are better than your own and they give their all to make it work! So scaleups, there is time to innovate, you just need to make it a priority—and do it with everyone!

Sylvain Tillon, cofounder and CEO, Tilkee. Tilkee is a member of Oracle's Paris-based startup program. If you’ve made it to the scaleup stage, chances are you’re an innovative person or have an...

Program News

Larry Ellison Reflects: From hiring the pizza delivery guy to Steve Jobs to dangerous dinosaurs

Originally published on Forbes by Michael Hickins, director of strategic communications at Oracle.   PHOTO: Reggie Bradford, right, Oracle senior vice president of Startup Ecosystem and Accelerator, moderated a recent conversation with Oracle Executive Chairman Larry Ellison and dozens of startup founders at Ellison's home. Oracle hosted its Founder2Founder event during Oracle OpenWorld 2017, which brought together founders from Oracle’s global startup program, founders from Oracle acquisitions, and from throughout the Valley, for an intimate gathering at Larry Ellison’s residence. More than 45 guests were raptly engaged as the original founder sat down for more than 90 minutes of conversation and stories. Among the many topics was how years ago, while starting Oracle and struggling with financial statements, Ellison hired the pizza delivery guy on the spot because he was an accounting major at UC Berkeley. “I was literally like, ‘You are an accounting major, can you make sense of this balance sheet?’ He could, and I said ‘Okay, you want a job?’ And hired him right there.” "It was fascinating to hear someone move so quickly between the most complex technical topics, to the rawness of his own founding experience, to practical advice for startups today. I'm sure that none of the startup founders in attendance will forget it anytime soon,” said Derek Andersen, CEO of Startup Grind. The conversations ranged from advice on how to scale your company to microbiological and molecular science to dangerous dinosaurs. “I like learning and getting better at things,” said Ellison. “I love competing—and I love winning.” He went on to say making Oracle even more successful and proving any naysayers wrong is top of mind, joking that he thought about bidding on the giant Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil exhibit in the American Museum of Natural History and putting it in the Oracle lobby. “Yeah, a dinosaur. But a very dangerous dinosaur.” “Forty years later, he is equally determined, focused and passionate—and it’s a great testimony to one of the greatest success stories ever in business,” said Reggie Bradford, Oracle senior vice president and global head of the startup ecosystem program. “The founders from our global startup program were elated and couldn’t stop talking about how Larry was so genuine, energetic, wise, and utterly entertaining.” A few other gems from Ellison include: You can’t do everything. I used to think I was good at everything. Turned out not to be true. Find people that are good at the things you’re not good at.  Empower them. No one is going to work for you if they don’t think you have their interest at heart. Steve Jobs was crazed sometimes. It’s okay to be hard on people if they see all you want to do is win. Startup life is Darwinian—there are many ways to die. Some companies are great ideas, but the leader can’t hold onto the people. Some good ideas die and are born again in another mind or company. Scaling from 15 to 50 people was brutal. If you can get to 50 employees it’s much easier to get to 500. Looking at the data gets you better results. That’s why the machine is learning. Early products are more like projects. In the early days we thought the customer is not that smart, and we’re the smart ones. We were completely wrong. Life is the pursuit of happiness. I like learning and getting better at things.  I love competing—I love winning the quarter, month, year. Oracle is a collection of projects. “We see Larry in keynotes, but to experience him firsthand was amazing and eye-opening,” said Charlie Davies, cofounder of iGeolise, and a member of Oracle’s Bristol-based startup program. “He is so energetic and authentic—and clearly brilliant. That was an amazing evening. What a cap on an excellent Oracle OpenWorld experience.”  

Originally published on Forbes by Michael Hickins, director of strategic communications at Oracle.   PHOTO: Reggie Bradford, right, Oracle senior vice president of Startup Ecosystem and Accelerator,...

Meet the Startups

5 Ways Businesses Can Leverage Product Documentation to Grow Revenue from Prospective and Existing Customers

Gal Oron, CEO of Zoomin Software Around the world, businesses collectively spend billions of dollars a year producing and distributing user guides, manuals, how-to articles, and other product documentation to serve customers who have made a purchase.  While relevant and findable product documentation deflects support costs for existing customers and reduces churn rate, it also provides businesses two additional revenue opportunities: First is selling to prospective customers and second is cross-selling and up-selling to existing customers. Targeting Prospective Customers with Product Documentation A growing number of prospective customers rely on objective, subject-matter expert (SME)-driven, and vetted product documentation to learn about products and services they want to buy. Prospective customers also get a deeper sense of a company’s competence, brand character, and commitment to customer success through its product documentation. According to a study by the Acquity Group, 94% of customers conduct online research, which includes accessing product documentation. Research by Google's Zero Moment of Truth also found that on average, customers access ten unique sources of information before making a buying decision. Forrester revealed that on average, customers are more than 70% percent along the buyer’s journey before they seriously engage a rep as part of a formal sales process. This means that before reaching out to a company, customers have already read about its product and services—and product documentation could have been one of their sources. Upselling and Cross-selling to Existing Customers with Product Documentation Existing customers have access not only to product documentation related to what they purchased, but also quality documents about the company’s other products and services, and new rolled out features. This makes selling to existing customers far more cost-effective and profitable than finding new ones. In fact, a McKinsey & Co. case study demonstrated how cross-selling techniques increase sales by 20% and profits by 30% for a leading online retailer. Amazon, known for its personalized product recommendations, stated that 35% of its revenues come from its cross-sales and upselling efforts. Here are scalable, cost-effective, and technology-led ways to turn product documentation into an advantage by generating revenues from both prospective and existing customers: Publish Credible and Varied Content Companies can ensure that credible and varied content are available and delivered to customers. Well written product documentation is structured, objective, SME-driven, and factual, making it a trusted source of information. Prospective and existing customers value this type of content when evaluating a potential purchase. Gather Customer Insights Companies can better understand prospective and existing customers by gathering insights on which product documents they are viewing or are in demand. Insights can be gathered by monitoring comments and conversations, and tracking downloads, shared links, and channels used by customers to not only build and nurture engagement, but also to identify developing consumer needs. Deliver Personalized Documentation Recommendations Companies can combine customer insights with dynamic profiling to enhance customer experience leading to conversion. By listening to and monitoring prospective and existing customers who search for technical contents, companies can deliver personalized and targeted documentation recommendations in real-time. For instance, a customer browsing a specific product documentation can receive an email or view on his or her sidebar documents of related products that complement the use of the one he or she is buying. Recommendations can also be for assets such as educational videos and community discussions, as well as banners announcing an upcoming webinar, or meetup in a customer’s city. Create Proactive Pre-Sales Engagement Companies can create customized workflows that notify a designated account executive when a customer is searching for or accessing product documentation. The account executive can then immediately launch a VIP real-time chat window to establish engagement, and lay the groundwork for a consultative sales process.      Implement Automated Lead Scoring Companies can assign relative scores to specific behaviors, which trigger automated lead generation workflows. For example, a customer who watches a video on a soon-to-be-released product can be automatically segmented as a “high-probability prospect”. As a result, he or she would be invited to receive product-specific email blasts and updates, and would be added to re-targeting campaigns that expose him to the brand’s products and services when visiting their favorite websites over the next several weeks. The Bottom Line Businesses must continue to help existing customers easily and quickly find the information they want—which not only makes them happier and more successful, but reduces support costs and churn.  But this is only part of the customer success puzzle. Businesses can also monetize existing product documentation by targeting both prospective and existing customers. Publishing credible and varied content, gathering customer insights, personalized documentation recommendations, creating proactive pre-sales engagement, and implementing automated lead scoring can be leveraged across the entire buyer’s journey. Creating a strategy to grow revenue with product documentation using all or a combination of these tools and approaches is just the starting point. Companies must ensure that it is well-crafted, like a well-developed product documentation, so it can ultimately drive growth and turn more prospective and existing customers into satisfied and profitable brand ambassadors. Gal Oron is the Co-founder and CEO of Zoomin Software, an enterprise SaaS company which helps the world’s largest corporations to give customers immediate answers to product-related questions based on a sophisticated AI technology, boosting customer experience and increasing user engagement. Zoomin Software is one of the startups in the 1st cohort of Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator in Tel Aviv.   

Gal Oron, CEO of Zoomin Software Around the world, businesses collectively spend billions of dollars a year producing and distributing user guides, manuals, how-to articles, and other product...

Meet the Startups

Did You Hear? Award-winning, Sound-based Machine Learning Startup 3DSignals is Heading to Oracle OpenWorld

Amnon Shenfeld, CEO of 3DSignals In just two short years, what began as an insight on a train ride has already saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for big players in industrial manufacturing in Europe, North America and beyond. With an ever-growing client base and new industries served, 3DSignals is forging the way for a transformational shift in the way industrial and manufacturing equipment is monitored. Frost & Sullivan recognizes the ground-breaking technology with their 2017 Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award for its innovative solutions in the European industrial machine diagnostics market. We are thrilled to hit the road to tell folks about our cloud-controlled technology at the upcoming Oracle OpenWorld 2017, where we’ll join other innovative companies from Oracle’s global startup program. “In just two years since its founding, 3DSignals has demonstrated a relatively fast growth rate through product installations and is working to expand its predictive maintenance capabilities across several industry verticals,” said Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst, Nandini Natarajan. A pioneer in audible sensor technology, 3DSignals created Predisound™ offering a sound-based ultrasonic remote asset monitoring and predictive maintenance platform. In the case of machine predictive maintenance, sound has excellent potential to identify anomalies because it’s easy for humans to understand — even if they are not physically near the machine. Sound is captured via-single point sensors, saved to the cloud and constantly monitored. Our team of sound engineers analyzes each discrepancy, creating trusted algorithms easily accessed by operations and maintenance teams onsite. Our proprietary hardware and deep-learning software system enables reliability-centered safeguards often missed by outmoded monitoring mediums. Akin to recognizing the song being played by a massive philharmonic orchestra by listening to just a few individual notes from a handful of instruments, other monitoring methods essentially reconstruct the harmony while identifying instruments (or groups of instruments) playing out of tune. Each may be playing the right notes and seem “healthy,” but by monitoring them separately, the task of identifying an instrument which is playing the right notes at the wrong times becomes herculean and verges on the impossible. Our approach is reversed. We monitor orchestras of machines and not single elements, creating a symphony of success, especially with the bottom line. We have only just written the first notes in the album of machine hearing that will change the way we collect and analyze data. Based on the overwhelmingly positive response and measurable results from our customers, 3DSignals is well positioned to democratize sound as a meaningful tool serving predictive maintenance needs, as well as operational efficiency and safety applications. The Entrepreneurial Company of the Year is part of Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practice Awards, which recognize companies in a variety of categories and global markets. Each year, winners are determined based on two key factors: Entrepreneurial Innovation and Customer Impact. Frost & Sullivan analysts independently and objectively analyze performance according to key benchmarking criteria such as market disruption, competitive differentiation, passionate persistence, customer experience and service, price to performance value, and brand equity. We are beyond eager to participate as a featured startup in Oracle OpenWorld 2017. This year, Oracle is bringing a large contingent of startups representing technologies from AI to big data to VR, and spanning many industry verticals. Participants will demo their technologies, meet customers and partners, speak on panels and in sessions, and much more. Come hear all about 3DSignals!

Amnon Shenfeld, CEO of 3DSignals In just two short years, what began as an insight on a train ride has already saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for big players in industrial manufacturing in...

Best Practices

What Can Justin Timberlake Teach You About Startup Culture?

Nik Adhia, Senior Director, Global Open Innovation, Oracle  Imagine a society where by the age of 25, you are only engineered to live for one more year. There is no salary. Time is your only currency. Depending on the time you have, you live your life within a district with the shared characteristics of those around you (e.g. multiple people who all have less than a day to live). Every activity you undertake reduces that currency (e.g. a coffee costs you three minutes of life). Every effort you make increases the time you have to live. If you waste that time, or you run out, the inevitable happens: You die. This is the basic principle of the movie ‘In Time’ (2011) [1], which I’d highly recommend you watch. Whilst extreme, this is not dissimilar to the life of a startup. Time is your most precious commodity. Every activity matters. The people you surround yourself with drive the culture you adopt and the actions you take. Every effort and right decision gives you a longer runway. Make the wrong decision(s) and the inevitable happens. In the movie, Justin Timberlake (JT) is from a time poor background. Each person in the district wears a watch, which allows you to gain time through both sensors and by touch. Time can be given, taken or even stolen. In a combined effort to run away from a situation from time bandits, JT meets a stranger, who has 100+ years on his “clock”. The stranger is incredibly unhappy with his life, which JT finds surreal particularly as he experiences the death of his mother earlier on who tragically runs out of time. The stranger decides to end his life but before transfers all of his remaining years to JT. This gives JT access to the wealthiest district where time does not matter. Decisions are slower. There is not a sense of urgency. If you lose time, the consequences are not as dire as those in the poorer districts who live day to day, and live and die by each decision they make. This analogy, whilst slightly extreme, is similar to life in multi-national corporations. We expect things to take longer, we expect things to be more complex, and we (over time) relinquish our fullest ability to challenge the status quo or change the culture of the values of our “district”. Those who continue to enter the district, who either enjoy the safety of the environment, or are unable or unwilling to make the change, continue to breed an environment where empty phrases like “respect” or “excellence” are mere words that have little meaning to the mission the company originally stood for. The irony—that the culture that created the success instilling a sense of urgency, the ability to fail fast, the ability to embrace risk where time mattered—is the very same culture replaced. How many more articles do you need to see of X corporate executive moving to X startup, before we realise that, perhaps it’s not them; it’s the corporate culture. Why could the corporate not retain David, the maverick who had those great ideas, executed impeccably and had the vision to really disrupt a specific part of the business? Why did David feel the need to change from the culture of that company to that of another? There are many Davids. In fact, each one of us has David within us. As humans, we seek not only the need to feel accepted, but also the feeling that our contributions are valued, that our efforts contribute to something bigger than ourselves. In fact, JT finds exactly this as the movie presses on and he meets Sylvia, the daughter of a wealthy businessman at a high-stakes gamble. Sylvia is clearly attracted to JT as he disrupts the status quo and the culture he has adopted and has a completely different view of how to utilize time. Sylvia and JT are more similar than she thought. Within the bourgeoisie, and the confines and culture of the district she has grown up with, she herself comes to the realization that what is happening (the distribution and inequality of time) is wrong and that she can work with JT to change this. Individuals like Sylvia exist in all organisations if you can find them. Once found, if you can harness the power of these individuals, create the room they need to be creative, not overburden them with process and be comfortable with risk and the chance of failure, you are one step closer to figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Even just creating a pocket of this culture can lead to phenomenal results.  For example, a team of entrepreneurs that many do not refer to as commonly as your typical Elon Musks or Mark Zuckerbergs, is that of Kassir Hussain, former Director of Connected Homes at Hive and Seb Chakraborty, CTO at Hive. The story of Hive is particularly interesting (regardless of your feelings of Nest vs. Hive) in context of culture. The team at Hive was created as an internal startup within British Gas, a large and complex multi-national utilities company. Hussain, guided by the lean startup principles of Eric Reis, convinced management at British Gas that the majority (70%) [2] of the Hive team should come from outside of the company and be based out of the normal British Gas offices at a base in Central London. Why? The exact reason was in his words: “CIOs need to recognise that innovation can originate from the existing IT function and engender the culture, behaviour and mentality to encourage its development.” Hive, as a result of a shift in its culture, embracing the values of old, now has an install base of 360,000 customers in the UK and is expanding to the US [3]. This install base, although perhaps modest when compared to the numbers at Nest, represents a noteworthy achievement for British Gas / Centrica as it proved that a shift in their culture allowed them to innovate at scale and find their inner startup again. More importantly, the lesson to learn is that corporates do not need to be cold, soulless entities that never change, but instead their strength lies within their people and the culture that surrounds them - the fundamental principles that startups have cracked. This is why the world’s best and most innovative companies are those that focus on harnessing intellectual capital. At Oracle, we are experiencing a shift in our culture, embracing change for the better and identifying and elevating people and practices that pave the way to innovation. It’s the reason why we have entrepreneurs like Reggie Bradford (SVP for Startup Ecosystem and Accelerators) internally exploring how to bring the startup culture to the forefront of our activity. [Read his “Why Oracle’s Approach to Investing in Startups Has Me Feeling Like An Entrepreneur Again” when you get a spare moment.] The story for JT and Sylvia ends with them redistributing “time” to those in the time poorest of communities, where they successfully disrupt the status quo and bring down the ruling class. The interpretation I take from this moment in the movie is the inevitability that every corporate will come to face the reality that times are changing and if you do not disrupt your own business (and namely the culture which underpins everything, including your talent), you yourself will be disrupted. Do you remember the days where you actually had to go into a physical shop to rent a video tape (yes those cassette things, remember them?) - that was only a decade ago. A surprising fact to leave you with: Did you know Blockbuster was offered the chance to buy Netflix for $50M? [4]  The world will change, and it’ll come faster than you think. Will the culture of your organisation embrace the people to move with it? That’s for you to decide. So here are my three takeaways: Embrace: Embrace a culture that allows you to take risk. Don’t be afraid to fail. You learn the most when you fail, and you’re one step closer to figuring out what works and what does not work. Empower: Give your people a path. Give your mavericks opportunities. Give your critics a voice, and a path to create positive change. If someone is so passionate about arguing why something should or shouldn’t be done in a certain way, if you gave them the freedom to prove it, what might happen, what would you discover? Environment: Support and nurture your talent. Give them room to breathe, and to channel their creativity with others like them. Your job is to remove their roadblocks. To remove the politics. To focus on the mission. To focus on creating that change. Don’t overburden them with process. Be patient. Sit back, let it happen; let them create the new and you may just be surprised.  So, if you only had 24 hours left to live and the only way to extend your life was to create change in what you do and how you do it, what would you do differently?   References:  [1] : In Time (2001): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Time  [2]  How British Gas Wrote A Digital Disruption Playbook: http://www.i-cio.com/innovation/internet-of-things/item/how-british-gas-wrote-a-digital-disruption-playbook [3] British Gas Hive Active Thermostat Sets to Conquer America: https://ce-pro.eu/2017/04/british-gas-hive-active-thermostat-set-conquer-america/     [4] Blockbuster CEO passed up the chance to buy Netflix for $50m: http://uk.businessinsider.com/blockbuster-ceo-passed-up-chance-to-buy-netflix-for-50-million-2015-7

Nik Adhia, Senior Director, Global Open Innovation, Oracle  Imagine a society where by the age of 25, you are only engineered to live for one more year. There is no salary. Time is your only currency....

Best Practices

Corporate Startup Programs: Make sure you choose the right one

Incubators and accelerators have been growing at a very high rate. Just in France, mon-incubateur.com is listing over 200 incubators. If you look at F6S, which is our partner in selecting startups, you’ll find almost 2,000 opportunities for applying to accelerators, events, contests and investment funds. In this context, corporate partners are playing an important role. According to a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study, the corporate incubator is the “only actor that combines technological, market, and industrial expertise and capabilities”. In fact, the same study explains that 40% of top deep-tech companies are leveraging incubators and accelerators. There is similar growth with Corporate Venture Capital. But after all, as Steve Blank stated, Companies Are Not Startups: “Paradoxically, these very KPIs and processes, which make companies efficient, are the root cause of corporations’ inability to be agile, responsive innovators.” Below are some thoughts on how to select the best accelerator for startups that want to succeed as fast as possible. Are you ready? Don’t fool yourself, joining a corporate accelerator like the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator takes time. Same goes for any accelerator. It implies that you will submit an application, go thru a selection process and hopefully be selected at the end. But that is only the beginning. While programs can be more or less intense, it will mean that you devote adequate time to make it beneficial. While our program is highly customized and built from the actual need of the selected startups, we offer over 15 workshops in 3 months, which means that founders should have covered the basics to be available to the value we offer. And workshops are only a small component as we do customer introductions and engagements on a global level. What are you looking for? As part of your readiness assessment, you should have a clear understanding of your needs. According to the BCG study, the most common needs are (in decreasing order): funding, market access, technical expertise, business expertise, facilities and talent. It’s important to remember, however, that each startup is unique and will have different needs and priorities. Make sure that you have a clear view of what you can cover with your existing assets. For instance, if you did a good job in raising seed funding, you might have needs for Series A funds. But you should be able to leverage your current investors so it is probably not worth looking to an accelerator on help for this particular subject. In addition, make sure you take a long-term view of your needs. Things can change rapidly in your startup, and the program will last for several months (sometimes years), so you need to factor in the necessary time commitment. Look for needs that cannot be quickly covered and that will stay true for several months. Is there a match with what the corporate program is offering? Each corporate program is different. At Oracle, we focus on solving technological needs with our Cloud solutions and providing market access leveraging our huge portfolio of global customers. We go even further as we tailor our offering based on the local market. As you might imagine startup ecosystems are unique and thus different in Tel Aviv, Paris, Bristol, Sao Paulo or Singapore; so each of our program leads has the flexibility to adjust the selection criteria locally. As a startup, you should have a clear view of the reasoning why you should join a particular accelerator. In fact, establishing this upfront will help you through the selection process. As an example, 1Check who is a solution that digitizes all the processes involved in the running of any hospitality or accommodation facility, is a clear addition to the Oracle Hospitality product and they were working on it even before joining our program. The same goes with Tilkee that analyzes prospect's reading behavior to prioritize and accurately target sales follow-ups, which was already on our Oracle Cloud Marketplace. Watch for the contract Legal aspects should never be under considered. As a startup, make sure you have a clear understanding of your obligations and the obligations of the corporate.  At Oracle, we offer a free no-equity-taken program that is reducing the potential issues and focusing on the growth of the startups. Evaluate if the corporate is serious about the program As said in the introduction, companies are no startups. But their ability to work effectively with startups can be evaluated. One aspect is the executive commitment around the program. At Oracle, leaders like Safra Catz and Thomas Kurian are clearly behind our global startup program. In fact, at this year’s Oracle OpenWorld, we are bringing 17 of our global startups and showcasing them front and center—a benefit to our startups that shows our executive commitment and support. Also make sure that there are dedicated resources available that will act as internal change agents and startup advocates.  Personally, I’ve done this for several years as you can read in my previous post: Growing a Startup Program Tenfold in 2016: Lessons Learned.  Additionally, the head of our global startup program, Reggie Bradford, is an entrepreneur at heart having sold three successful startups and is deeply passionate about reimagining how startups and enterprises work together to fuel innovation. Drive your experience using your best skills Participating in a corporate acceleration program cannot be taken lightly. Make sure you use your best skills and techniques to make the most out of it. Please find some suggestions below: Invest time to understand the corporate organization. Use the startup advocate to help you. But don’t expect him/her to do all the work. And be open to internal political issues like you would do when working on complex sales. Manage your time. Corporate can trigger a lot of meeting requests that you should handle using sales techniques to qualify interests. Drive your experience. While the corporate can provide some structure, you should look to ensure correct tracking. After all, it is an investment. Look for short-term results. Apply lean techniques. Agree on roadmap and milestones and track it. Call to action If you are interested in applying to our next cohorts, make sure to watch them on F6S. You can also register interest on our website. And don’t hesitate to contact our program leads. Personally, I’ll be happy to help you choose the best accelerator program for your particular situation even if it is not Oracle’s global program.   

Incubators and accelerators have been growing at a very high rate. Just in France, mon-incubateur.com is listing over 200 incubators. If you look at F6S, which is our partner in selecting startups,...

Meet the Startups

Unique Space Provides São Paulo Startups With an Innovative Environment

Guest blogger is Lucas Nobeschi, startup business consultant for Oracle's global startup program in São Paulo.  Oracle recently announced the final six startups selected to the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program in São Paulo. From the opening of applications through to the competitive selection process, it has been an amazing ride.  It’s incredible to think that in such a short period of time we have, together, accomplished so much. Shortly before the official announcement was made we had a “soft launch” opening exclusively for the startups. On this special day the startups were welcomed to our new space located in the CO.W. Coworking Berrini Unit, giving them their first glimpse into what would become their offices for the next six months. The entire Oracle team had been planning this day for months, with high expectations imagined in our heads, and the surprise and excitement in the eyes of our startup founders was more than we ever imagined. Of course we all knew each other from the meetings during the selection process, but being together for the first time as a team was a totally new experience for all. The space itself has been designed to be the perfect location for innovation and new ideas to grow. The location chosen is a shed-like building, an open space for the startups and Oracle to work together 24/7. Beanbags, cozy sofas, ping-pong tables, writing-glass walls, colorful furniture, plants, and even a slide—yes a slide! The first week was amazing: from minute one the work started. During the following weeks we had deep dives, mentoring sessions and workshops. We sat together and discussed their technology and redesigned cloud architectures. We changed experiences and business models. And took the time to get to know each other better. We are co-developing and co-innovating—collaborating as true partners. And we will continue that commitment throughout the program. It’s still early days, but with this unique and talented group of startups—Netshow.me, NMIND, Nexus Edge, In Loco, Intelipost and Runrun.it —the future is promising. And more than that, it is disruptive!  

Guest blogger is Lucas Nobeschi, startup business consultant for Oracle's global startup program in São Paulo.  Oracle recently announced the final six startups selected to the Oracle Startup Cloud...

Best Practices

Consumerization & the “Amazon Effect” Putting Pressure on Logistics Providers & Spurring Startup Ingenuity

Gartner analyst Bart De Muynck has dubbed it, “the Amazon effect,” and it’s the expectation that consumers now have to get their items shipped fast—in many cases the next day—and to track those items online in real-time, 24/7. It is an expectation that has infiltrated every business and is putting pressure on logistics and supply chain management to deliver on that expectation.   The trend has spurred a new and disruptive generation of logistics and supply chain providers aiming to meet these new demands.  The massive amount of data available every day coupled with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, IoT and cloud are making these solutions a reality and opening up new experiences that deliver better efficiencies and lower costs. Today we have more data at our fingertips than ever before. Take, for instance, a recent IDC estimate that states by 2020 business transactions on the internet—b2b and b2c—will reach 450 billion per day.  That’s going to make logistics and supply chain management more complex and fast moving than ever before.  And make the last-mile logistics even more interesting. I’m fascinated to watch the disruption and progression in this space.  Our global startup program has seen a rise in startups in the logistics and supply chain management space applying for the program. In fact, several startups selected for our program like Shippeo, iGeolise and 3DSignals are developing solutions that will help transform the supply chain and logistics industry.  These are companies with big, disruptive global ideas.  Partnering with these innovators allows us to co-create and co-innovate to help drive next-generation solutions. From our global startup program to innovation initiatives to our Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud platform, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of innovation for our customers, partners and the industry. From next-generation AI-enabled software to drones to robots, this space is white-hot and ripe for transformation. Stayed tuned it’s only getting hotter.  

Gartner analyst Bart De Muynck has dubbed it, “the Amazon effect,” and it’s the expectation that consumers now have to get their items shipped fast—in many cases the next day—and to track those items...

Program News

Oracle Announces Startups Selected for Inaugural Programs in Paris, Sao Paulo & Tel Aviv

Oracle has announced selections for the first class of startups for its programs in Paris, Sao Paulo and Tel Aviv. For two intense days, the top 15 startups in each market pitched their best cases for being one of the five selected to each program. The competition was tough, with Paris and Sao Paulo having to award a sixth slot, but the results are tremendous: Vibrant and mature startups representing a variety of technologies, across many industries, and all addressing big global opportunities. With the Bangalore program well underway with its second cohort, the other seven global programs are ready to get started.  Next up for selection announcements: Bristol, Singapore, Delhi-NCR and Mumbai. So stay tuned. See below the newest members of Oracle’s global startup program: Paris Program (For more on the Paris startups read this Forbes piece.) Shippeo ensures real-time monitoring of transport flows for world leading supply chains. Shippeo has developed a multitenant SaaS community-based platform for real-time visibility over transport, increase in quality of service, proactive reduction of lead-time and litigation, and real-time proof of delivery and billing. Weblib has been digitizing the retail space, across all sectors, since 2009.  The company provides digital solutions that connect, target and expand the in-store and online experience. Through tablets, apps and Wi-Fi solutions, Weblib is helping the world’s biggest brands increase revenue, better understand their customers, and deliver a superior retail customer experience. Tilkee is a smart-lead conversion solution for CRM. With their unique predictive algorithm, they remove the randomness of follow-ups and put intelligence into the sales process. Using Tilkee, one can contact the right prospect, at the right time, with the right action, to boost their closing rate and maximize revenue. Tilkee analyzes prospect’s reading behavior and the algorithm scores their interest to prioritize and accurately target follow-ups. Dial-Once provides an intelligent contact hub which helps companies to unify the customer journey through all communication channels. Dial-Once is reinventing customer care by improving the customer experience; reducing call-handling costs; and boosting digital transformation. Deployed across every industry, Dial-Once digitizes phone calls and points them to an Intelligent Contact Hub and delivers a better customer experience. OuiTeam is a secondment platform that optimizes internal HR in groups. Friendly and easy to use, relying on a SaaS model, OuiTeam is plugged within its clients’ organization to increase internal staff secondments from one site to another. While generating a significant number of secondments, OuiTeam proved its ability to save up to 30% on temporary workers’ costs; guarantee the reliability of operations by prioritizing internal employees; motivate collaborators by enriching their experiences; and share rare competencies and resources that are hard to recruit externally. 1Check is a mobile and real-time solution that digitizes all the processes involved in the running of any hospitality or accommodation facility.  1Check caters to hotels, campsites and resorts, nursing homes, apartment rentals and school campuses. Solutions cover end-to-end in the hospitality industry ranging from facility control (cleaning, maintenance or standard issues), curative and preventive-HR management, as well as tasks management, stocks, inventory, budgets and KPI. The solution is natively multilingual, and provides a synthetic and global vision on several sites for a group.  Sao Paulo Program Netshow.me is a live streaming specialist that offers professional broadcast solutions to enterprise customers, delivering video infrastructure, complete live broadcast software and professional production services to help companies with their projects all around the country. In Loco Media is the world's leading beaconless indoor location intelligence platform, with a deep understanding of consumer behaviour that enables real-time and relevant consumer engagements. Its proprietary technology is a unique advertising solution that can locate users’ smartphones indoors with the accuracy of up to one meter, considered one of the world’s most accurate by many industry standards. The platform is being used by industry leaders across numerous verticals including adtech, fintech, cybersecurity, retail analytics, telecom, education, smart cities and real estate. Runrun.it is a work management solution for high-performance teams, enabling managers to increase their organization’s productivity by dealing with task, time and performance management. Through the solution, priorities are made clear and understood: who is working on what, when things are going to be delivered, how much did they cost and who will make it happen.  A broad and deep application, the solution delivers for companies who want an enterprise grade solution but don´t want to compromise on UX. Intelipost is a SaaS startup that tackles freight and transportation management, providing online and offline businesses (shippers) with a platform that enables the real time comparison of freight options and tracking of deliveries across hundreds of logistics providers at a lower cost. The solution enables cost savings, real-time visibility of the delivery process, and tools designed to facilitate business growth. NMIND is a market intelligence company that maps consumer habits and brand performance at points of sale across a variety of retail sectors. The company has two main solutions: MeNI - Meu Negócio Inteligente (Smart Business) is a business intelligence platform focused on helping small and medium businesses to understand their surrounding markets and better participate in consumer competition; and NMAP is a business intelligence platform focused on the industry, brands and its distributors. Nexus Edge is a next-generation digital advertising solution delivering proprietary technology made exclusivley for the advertising industry powered by artificial intelligence. Through its proprietary solution Alana, the company can map behavior patterns and other variables to help businesses make better decisions that can positively impact consumers’ lives, thus transforming the digital advertising space. Tel Aviv Program 3DSignals have created a predictive maintenance solution that leverages deep learning to analyze the sounds emanating from machines and alert when they are about to malfunction. The platform collects sounds and data from industrial equipment, identifies anomalies, classifies patterns of equipment failure and predicts issues before they interrupt work. 3DSignals sensors are always next to the machine, they do not require contact and they can send the relevant soundprint 24/7 in real-time whenever a failure is detected. Nsof Networks is a next-generation cloud native networking and security solution. A cloud-based enterprise grade network delivered as a service, the solution is scalable, secure and cost effective. Nsof Networks enables organizations to operate with speed, agility, flexibility and scale to meet and exceed their goals now and into the future. Bonobo.ai is an AI-driven analytics and customer re-engagement platform for conversational interfaces. Using Bonobo.ai, businesses who own or build a conversational interface - be it a bot, a voice assistant, a smart electronic device or a connected car - are able to improve, personalize and optimize this new and innovative communication channel, and maximize customer engagement. Zoomin, an enterprise SaaS company, disrupts the way customers interact with product documentation by helping the world’s largest corporations boost customer experience through transforming the way end-users interact with product documentation. Users are presented with just-in-time contextual information from content such as user manuals, knowledge articles and community discussions, resulting in effective and highly engaging content-centric digital experiences. Toonimo is a smart audio-visual guidance platform, which simplifies any complex online service or process, to create a better customer experience and increased ROI. The solution helps companies reduce their customer support costs, accelerate their employee training, and increase customers’ satisfaction by adding an interactive and personalized overlay of human voice and rich-media effects that provide a true concierge experience.

Oracle has announced selections for the first class of startups for its programs in Paris, Sao Paulo and Tel Aviv. For two intense days, the top 15 startups in each market pitched their best cases for...

Startup Life

Why Oracle's Approach to Investing in Startups Has Me Feeling Like an Entrepreneur Again

According to a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study, 95% of startups wish to develop long-term partnerships with corporations. Recent Bain & Company data shows that a relationship with a large company positively impacts the growth of young companies in 93% of cases. A 2016 MassChallenge & Imaginatik report revealed that 82% of large companies now view interactions with startups as important, and 23% say it is "mission critical" to their business. Corporations working with startups isn't new. It's just becoming increasingly more critical. As the earlier referenced MassChallenge report noted, "Connections between startups and corporations have never been more important...it is shaping up to be a startup's most powerful growth hack." But that doesn't mean those connections are easy. At their core, startups and corporations are very different and always will be. Unfortunately many approach it with the same well-worn strategy. Almost 99% of startups in the MassChallenge survey said working with corporations is important; yet 50% said their experience working large organizations was mediocre to worse. None of this research is surprising. The benefits to startup and enterprise interactions are clear but so are the barriers. Former entrepreneur and current Stanford and UC Berkeley professor Steve Blank recently addressed this in his blog post "Why Companies Are Not Startups." A truth from the piece: "Companies looking to be innovative face a conundrum: Every policy and procedure that makes them efficient execution machines stifles innovation." I've seen this time and again. Often I'm asked why, as a three-time entreprenuer, are you still at Oracle? The answer is I'm seeing Oracle tackle the conundrum above. Pockets of innovation efforts happening all across the company are refueling my entrepreneurial spirit and passion. A Next-Generation Acceleration Initative Which brings me back to Oracle's approach to investing in startups. The typical industry method has been fairly standard: Companies take an equity stake in exchange for corporate resources, co-working space, mentoring and guidance. Oracle is taking a different approach: A pay-it-forward model where we don't take equity but do create an ecosystem of co-development and co-innovation across startups, our global customers, and Oracle—where we can all win. The Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator is a next-generation acceleration initiative for startups that delivers true peer-to-peer interactions and collaboration. It's about reimagining the startup and enterprise relationship. According to Bain & Company, the most common top priority for startups is funding: 80% of the startups surveyed rank it among their top three needs. But it is far from their only need. Startups increasingly report the need for help with market and customer access (61%), technical expertise (39%), and business expertise and knowledge (26%).  In all three of my startups, garnering reference customers and revenue was my biggest challenge even before funding. Funding can be found. It's delivering on that customer and market access, as well as technical and business expertise, which will grow in importance to startups. That's why its Oracle's focus. Rethinking the Startup & Enterprise Relationship I'm an entrepreneur at heart, with three successful startup exits. But I've also been an executive in large organizations. That blend of startup and enterprise experience allows me to take advantage of learnings from both sides and apply it to Oracle's global startup initiatives. Approaching this program with a startup mentality, as well as an understanding of corporates is key. In fact, almost every member of my team has both enterprise and startup experience. That dynamic is crucial for our program's success. Our team is like a startup within Oracle. And Oracle is giving us the support and leeway to move fast, test, iterate and learn so we can create a successful and unique global startup program that will spur new thinking and partnerships. To quote LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, our team employs a mindset of "permanent beta." We have a strategic plan…but we are constantly learning, iterating and evolving. Creating an ecosystem of co-development and co-innovation across startups, our global customers, and Oracle is a tall task. One that other corporates have promised but failed to deliver. It's also even harder to scale. It's why we are developing highly functioning ecosystems, focused on smaller, peer-to-peer interactions, where collaboration can truly thrive. And we are already seeing results: "We've been very impressed since we started working with the Oracle Cloud team—their responsiveness, agility and make-it-happen attitude is brilliant. We're beginning to revolutionize the on-demand computer market for power hungry rendering applications." -Gareth Williams, YellowDog CEO, Oracle startup partner "Working with Oracle gives us access to a different type of wide network, both with Oracle's global resources and its customer base, which gives us a global reach we would not otherwise have." -Becky Sage, Interactive Scientific, CEO, Oracle startup partner "Oracle provides a gateway to customers – they have large scale customers from all over the world and now we have exposure to that by virtue of our relationship to Oracle." –Tim Kindberg, CEO, Vorb, Oracle startup partner   The next five to ten years promise revolutionary changes that will transform entire industries and create new technology frontiers—from healthcare to education to government and beyond—and it will require partnerships that spur and support collaboration and innovation ecosystems. Startup ingenuity coupled with enterprise expertise will be a necessity. We are already seeing real progress by engaging our startup partners with our product development teams and global customers. There are exciting technologies emerging, pain-points being solved, and advancements happening across all sectors. And we've only scratched the surface. As an entrepreneur at my core, and one who believes that startups are at the heart of innovation, I'm very bullish about our global startup program, and incredibly humbled about leading it.

According to a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study, 95% of startups wish to develop long-term partnerships with corporations. Recent Bain & Company data shows that a relationship with a...

Partners/Advisors

Tech-Xpo - A Hotbed of High-Tech Talent

Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator partner SETsquared hosted its annual Tech-Xpo event this July showcasing the latest in high-tech talent and innovation, currently leading the way in the UK’s South West thriving tech cluster. The event was sponsored by Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator, VWV and Barclays, who provide support to tech start-ups across the city, contributing to the development of the UK’s high-tech industry. From the SETsquared Bristol startup incubator, 15 businesses exhibited at the event including AutonoMe, Limber, Nano Simbox and Zoetrope Labs. The event highlight was an exciting 60-second pitch-off, where ventures competed for ‘Best Elevator Pitch’. The winner of this prestigious accolade was Kairo, a digitalised chat-based home and work assistant, offering a slick solution to everyday organisational struggles. Commenting on the win by Kairo, Monika Radclyffe, SETsquared Bristol Director said: “To win the people’s choice award at the Tech-Xpo is no small feat. It is surprisingly hard to explain what you do in exactly a minute, and all our ventures worked hard on mastering their pitch.” Lisa Matthews, CEO at HellyHolly who developed Kairo, said: “The SETsquared community and the wider Bristol start-up ecosystem is a constant source of motivation and inspiration for us, and Tech-Xpo is a great demonstration of the thriving and supportive scene we've got here in Bristol. We're excited for Kairo's future as part of it.” Tech-Xpo provides an annual platform to celebrate the latest in tech innovation across the city, putting programmes, such as SETsquared Bristol’s business incubator and Oracle’s Startup Cloud Accelerator, on the national map in cutting-edge high-tech industry. Marina Traversari, Bristol Programme Manager of Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator, said: "The technical and product innovation coming out of this region is tremendous and we are thrilled to partner with SETsquared and Tech-Xpo 2017 to help shine a spotlight on these exciting companies. These partnerships are invaluable as Oracle expands its engagements with start-ups in not only the Bristol/Bath area but across the globe.” Other companies participating at Tech-Xpo include AutonoMe, Bioinduction, Cerberus Security Labs, CLWB, Duel, FutuHR, Gapsquare, Limber, Lemonpeel Controls, LuJam Security, Music Memory Box by Studio Meineck, Nano Simbox, Test and Verification Solutions, TISCreport, TrustWeave, YellowDog and ZConnect.

Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator partner SETsquared hosted its annual Tech-Xpo event this July showcasing the latest in high-tech talent and innovation, currently leading the way in the UK’s...

Best Practices

Pivot Like a Pro: Four Tips That Will Help You Get It Right

So much has been said about pivots: Many entrepreneurs see a pivot as a personal failure, but in fact, it takes an extremely talented entrepreneur to do the right pivot at the right time. The difference between two good ideas is the team, and it takes a great team to be able to sense the market and be flexible enough to lead in a dynamic environment. Now, here are some thoughts on how to get it right. All great startups usually start with a big vision and follow with an amazing team of believers, and then investors that follow the vision, and technology that actually does what the great team got it to do. At that point the main focus is to get the market to understand that their product is the next big thing, but customers aren't always predictable and assumptions are just assumptions. So what happens when the market doesn't keep up with expectations and the numbers don't add up? Should an entrepreneur hang on to that vision at any cost? Don't just keep refreshing that dashboard and hope for the market to come around, history has shown many examples that a flexible mindset and fierce attitude have created successful pivots that can change a company's course. Forter, the previous startup I worked at, emerged from an idea of some of the entrepreneurs, former Fraud Sciences employees, to automatically analyze behavioral data in order to personalize marketing activities. After a short period of time they realized that the same technology could also be applied to solve a much bigger problem in a less saturated market: to automatically and accurately prevent e-commerce fraud in real-time. The entrepreneurs pivoted—changed direction—and today, after securing $50M from Sequoia Capital, NEA and Scale Ventures, Forter is one of the most successful companies in its vertical, and its product is sold successfully to enterprise customers all over the world. PayPal, also one of my former employers, had also started from a product designed to transfer money between Palm Pilot devices, but the entrepreneurs realized that there is a much bigger need for online payment solutions, and based on that they built the giant payment company that was later sold to eBay. Pivoting is an important tool for entrepreneurs operating in today's hyper-rapid environment. Even if you start with a product that has a perfect Product-Market fit, the market sometimes changes right under our noses, and successful entrepreneurs are those who know how to identify trends and changes, manage the situation, and communicate wisely and transparently with their employees, investors, and customers. How will you know when its time to pivot and how to get it right? Here are some things to consider: 1. Your Basic Assumptions Are Just Assumptions: Challenge Them! Sometimes we create such a convincing case for our investors, employees, and potential customers, that we treat it as a proven fact. But in many cases, these assumptions become irrelevant as a result of a change in the market, entry of new competitors and new solutions, or other factors that are not necessarily in your control. Treat your basic assumptions as a work in progress, and make it a habit to check them from time to time—track you competitors, use search engine and social network tools to measure trends, and conduct periodic conversations with the first customers who believed in you to check whether market sentiment has changed. Appoint someone in charge of giving a monthly/quarterly update on the "market pulse" for every assumption so you can always stay in the know. At Forter we had a very open dialogue with our customers. Our bond with our first group of customers was so close that for years later whenever a competitor contacted them they would notify us about their offerings, we would have very open discussions around product needs, new ideas and more—those are the type of discussions that enable ongoing validation and fine-tuning of assumptions. 2. Data Tells the Story You can argue with an investor or a consultant, but data doesn't lie (assuming that you know how and what to measure). Sometimes, entrepreneurs are so in love with an idea and connected so strongly to a product that they refuse to let the facts confuse them. Make sure that you are measuring the relevant parameters, and as you analyze your data keep an open mind without anticipating a specific result; Make sure that your data is reliable and use several sources to cross-check them, and don't hesitate to respond to the results accordingly. Reggie Bradford, SVP Startup Ecosystems and Accelerators at Oracle has led a successful pivot with his previous company, Vitrue, when he followed the data. Vitrue pivoted from a user-generated video platform to a social relationship management (SRM) platform because they followed the social media data. They believed social would explode in growth and transform how people get their information and communicate forever. And the data backed it up. 3. Treat Advice as Data Points There are a lot of smart people out there and a lot of people who want to help you, but you have to know who to listen to. Treat a person's opinion as one data point, and give a virtual score to each data point in your mind, based on the person's background, the context in which the advice was given, the balance of the person's interests, bias and other factors, and take that into consideration when thinking of pivoting. Advice can open your mind to a new perspective, but it is your responsibility to analyze the information and manage the decision making process. Usually, people who are highly involved in the company and are directly affected by any change will be a source of good advice. For example, company employees are a valuable resource that is not always wisely utilized. Founders are frequently so busy with the company's strategy and its investors that they lose their strong connections to individual customers. The employees, who are close to the product or are in close contact with customers, can provide valuable information—if they feel that someone is listening to their opinion, even if it contradicts the company's basic assumptions. 4. Build Partnerships Early On It may sound simple but it's true: Partnerships can significantly help you with product validation. Partnerships will provide access to a broad customer base and to people within the company who work with this customer base, their experience can help you. Although potential partners may pose greater demands than individual customers, many times these demands represent market trends that the partner has already identified, or are based on data that the partner has collected from its own customer base. Good design partners will let you build your product and give you real feedback from the market and from people who have extensive knowledge and expertise, and a good partnership also enhances your credibility in the market.

So much has been said about pivots: Many entrepreneurs see a pivot as a personal failure, but in fact, it takes an extremely talented entrepreneur to do the right pivot at the right time....

Program News

Oracle Aiming To Grow Top Startup Talent in Singapore

Applications Open for the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator Oracle has been successfully driving its startup accelerator program since its launch in Bangalore, India in April 2016. The immense success and response from the startup community has led to the expansion of eight centers globally. Amongst the new centers are Tel Aviv, Paris, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bristol. The core belief of the program is to foster entrepreneurship through co-development and co-innovation. It's an R&D-led program that doesn't take equity but does nurture an ecosystem where our startups, customers and Oracle can co-innovate for the future—giving our startups a path to grow their business. Singapore is a key market in Oracle's first phase of the program expansion. Silicon Valley might continue to be the star performer of startup ecosystem but the Singapore environment is burgeoning. Applications are open and interest has been strong. The first cohort will be launched in September with the top-5 tech startups selected for the program. The factors that have lead to the success of Singapore's startup ecosystem are plentiful: governmental and regulatory support, growth opportunities, ease of starting a business, geographical advantage and the talent pool attracting more and more investors. Easy regulation has made the city a prime destination for startups, as opposed to its other Asian rivals. As per the 2017 Startup Genome report, Singapore`s 1600 - 2400 tech startups enjoy significant government subsidies; and also the country`s strategies are working to establish local tech startups as globally relevant companies. The top three key factors that make Singapore a lucrative market for accelerators and incubators likewise are: Global Connectedness: In the Asia Pacific region, Singapore`s startup ecosystem is on top with the highest global connectedness. Singapore taps into a worldwide circulation of ideas, knowledge, talent and capital. Through global networks and connections between entrepreneurs, startups can access global customers at a very early stage and develop globally leading products and business models. A well-connected ecosystem experiences fast growth. Government Support/Initiatives: Singapore government recently launched a 13.2 billion R&D initiative and merged two tech oriented agencies into the unified GovTech, which oversees key regulatory frameworks and the delivery of digital services. At a more hands-on level, Singapore`s government also launched SGInnovate, a well resourced agency aimed at bringing key people and resources together to foster deep innovation and move the needle for startups that are trying to scale globally. The government not only provides support but also paves the way to encourage emergent entrepreneurs through various schemes and initiatives like cash grants, incubator schemes, equity-financing schemes, tax incentive schemes and more. Talent: Singapore ranks #1 globally in the talent factor. Startups compete with large tech companies on quality hires, on factors like salary, quality and access. The experience level of Singaporean talent was found to be comparatively strong, with 80 percent of engineering and 74 percent of growth teams boasting at least two years of prior experience compared to the global average of 72 percent and 60 percent respectively. Singapore has an extremely varied and highly developed support system for local entrepreneurs, which makes it a very lucrative market for corporate startup programs like the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator to tap the existing potential. Stay tuned as we will announce our first class for Singapore soon—no doubt to be a group of vibrant, innovative startups ready to make a big global impact.

Applications Open for the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator Oracle has been successfully driving its startup accelerator program since its launch in Bangalore, India in April 2016. The immense success...

Best Practices

10 Ways to Breakdown Innovation Barriers

I love blocks—and so do my friends over at LEGO. Blocks can be put together and taken apart to build anything you can imagine. Put enough of them together, and you can build a wall. Take the wall apart, and you've removed a barrier—you can use the same blocks to build something completely new. If your SMB has run up against a wall when it comes to innovation, you could learn a lot from LEGO. This June, I was privileged to share the stage at Startup Grind Europe with my colleague and friend Lars Silberbauer, senior global director of social media and digital at LEGO. We talked about "Breaking Through Blocks in Innovation"—how startups and enterprises can work together to co-create and co-develop. Image credit: Startup Grind, Startup Grind Europe Conference Many startups look up to large, successful enterprises and want to be just like them. The irony is that, in today's ever-changing digital world, there is no success without agility and innovation—thus, many large enterprises are looking to small, innovative startups wanting to be more like them. Finding ground where enterprises and SMBs can help each other is critical. Together they can solve problems, drive change and digital disruption, and add value. This isn't easy stuff. Trust me, I've sat on both sides as a three-time entrepreneur and corporate executive. I know first-hand the cultural and organizational differences that often stifle these relationships. But it's crucial for the success of both startups and corporates. Here are 10 steps that both startups and enterprises can take to innovate and grow together. Advice for Startups 1. Do Your Homework Research the companies you want to approach. Know their business, marketplace, competitors, and especially the people inside. The biggest turnoff is when startups cold call without researching and thinking through how best to approach, make it personal, and make an impactful impression. Don't spray and pray; narrow your list to corporates you really know and can really deliver value. 2. Know Your Value Be clear on what problem you can solve or make better and how that will add value. Solve a specific problem and be 10X better at it. Be able to clarify this in less than one minute. This ties directly to doing your homework. If you don't know the company well, you can't understand how to add value. 3. Build Relationships Relationships are everything. Period. Work hard and devote time to building them. At Vitrue, relationships were paramount and a driving company mission. We always approached with a clear vision of how we can add value. How we can co-innovate and co-develop together where we all benefit. Those relationships paid off for Vitrue: We were one of Facebook's first developer partners; and strong relations with Apple, P&G and McDonald's created a relationship of co-development that drove our roadmap and created value for all. The future of startups and enterprise innovation is all about relationships and establishing meaningful connections. 4. Come Recommended Having someone vouch for your startup is key. Cold calling is certainly the hard way to get noticed. Network, find connections, help people, focus on thought leadership, and drive awareness. A recommendation from a peer or colleague goes a long way. So too does awareness. At my startups, we put a focus on thought leadership, speaking and PR. And it drove countless connections and new business. 5. Be Open to Pivoting Remember that corporations—the innovative ones—will be highly experimental. Meaning you should be open to experimenting, too. I'm not saying take the focus of your goals; just be open to change and iteration. What you originally thought was your value when the relationship started can change and develop over time. Be open to experimentation and the potential pivot. Advice for Enterprises 6. Get Executive Buy-in Obvious but true. If your CEO isn't on board fully backing innovation, it won't happen. Present a strategic plan with goals and objectives, but make it clear that it'll get messy and you'll make mistakes. Only with C-suite support can an innovation agenda succeed. 7. Identify Change Agents You need many change agents to disrupt and implement real change. Identify, elevate, and let them help you see around the corners. For LEGO, engaging startups is a big part of the change agent mentality. In fact, it's why Lars reached out to my startup Vitrue back in 2010. LEGO works with startups for both technological and cultural reasons. The startups become change agents inside LEGO. It's a mutual learning process that helps the innovation agenda at LEGO. 8. Design for Disruption You have to design your organization for disruption so your team can be agile, responsive and constantly learning. Think of digital disruption as almost a parallel business running at the same time, so the core business doesn't stop but neither does innovation. At LEGO, they don't want to change their core product. Those little plastic blocks continue to inspire creativity in people across the globe. They don't want to change the product they love; but they can change how they market it, develop the brand, and position the company for the future. 9. Rethink Corporate Structures Some innovation-killing structures have to go; you'll know them when you see them...or after you've beaten your head against the wall one too many times. It's hard to innovate if you're constrained by legacy. But some structures aren't going anywhere. They are key to the business. Take legal for example. LEGO doesn't view it as a constraint but as a benefit. If Lars knows legal restrictions and issues better, and knows how best to work within those, then he has an advantage over competitors. Don't think of everything as a barrier; rethink how you work within structures to be more agile and smart. 10. Be Highly Experimental The startup saying of "fail fast and break things" must apply within the enterprise. Of course public companies can't quite take the risks of a startup, but they absolutely should create a cultural that is highly experimental. It's the only way you'll learn. Remember: You don't know what you don't know. Testing and learning is the path to innovation. With these 10 steps, young SMBs and more established corporate players can learn from each other, break down barriers to innovation, and build toward mutual success.

I love blocks—and so do my friends over at LEGO. Blocks can be put together and taken apart to build anything you can imagine. Put enough of them together, and you can build a wall. Take the...

Best Practices

Growing a Startup Program Tenfold in 2016: Lessons Learned

In 2008, when I joined the Business Operations France organization, I was tasked to develop Oracle programs towards the youth including Oracle Academy and the Oracle Education Foundation. I was really passionate about this because as Oracle CEO Safra Catz says, "It is critical students develop the technical acumen and creative confidence to become the innovators of tomorrow." One of my key assignments was to develop employee interest to support the cause and donate hours of their time and talent to several NGO including Junior Achievement. That is the essence of our Oracle Volunteers program that is growing year after year. As I moved to oversee all of our Corporate Citizenship activities in France, I had to answer one key question: "How to leverage the hours employees donate (110,000 hours last year!) to create even more value for the company?" This is how the mentoring program for startups was created. After a trial experience in 2015 with 6 startups and 6 employees, the French Country Leader asked me to expand the program and that is what we did in 2016. As you would do in a startup environment, we grew tenfold, finishing 2016 with 60 startups and 60 employees. Please find some key learning below that could benefit your organization, whether you're part of a startup or a large organization: Focus on what you do well and leverage your strengths At Oracle, we are all about putting our products to market. We have sales reps selling into Enterprise accounts, we have indirect sales, we create major events to engage our customers and help them understand the trends in the industry and how our portfolio of solutions can help them master complexity, be more efficient and tackle new business territories, all of this in a Cloud environment. This is exactly what we bring to startups: our unique ability to help them connect with selected executives in their industry and beyond. Note that focusing on strength is a usual recommendation from leadership development programs. And it is at the core of Praditus, a startup that helps people understand what makes them truly unique and that was part of our initial selection in 2015. Ask yourself the key question: what is the fundamental truth that very few people believe Every startup is challenged to develop a unique value proposition. And the same holds true for corporate products. As a startup program, I went thru the same process of identifying my key differentiator: As I'm meeting with startups, accelerators and Innovation Directors on a daily basis, I hear over and over that startups need more funding. However, there is one thing even more important. Cash you raise will burn quickly and the more you raise, the less you control of the company. And the amount of dollars raised, while giving you good press, will not value much your company compared to happy paying customers. If you find a "fundamental truth that very few people believe" then not only do you have a differentiator, but you're pretty sure that your uniqueness will last for a long time. When trying to answer this question, if you don't know where to start, you might want to read "Zero to One" by Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal, as this concept is at the core of this book. Make it lean Probably the hardest advice if you are working in a large organization. But if you want to scale, you have no choice but to identify where to focus, define what your key assumptions are, quickly test them and adjust. In my case, I chose to have a highly decentralized approach where I gave responsibility to each employee to manage the relationship with each startup and I focused my time on the critical step of connecting the startup with the employee and ensuring mutual understanding. Once they're off with a good start, I'm confident they'll succeed. Many have criticized the book, but do yourself a favor, read the original book from Eric Ries "The Lean Startup," and I can tell you it will not be a loss of time. Leverage the power of people and their connections As I was focusing on growing my startup mentoring program, I evaluated that finding a startup was not that difficult, but finding an employee willing to become a mentor was the limiting factor. Therefore, I tweaked my approach to offer employees the ability to propose a startup they knew. Of course, we needed to be careful to manage potential conflict of interests, but that was hugely successful because not only was it very popular, but it additionally reduced the time I spent on ensuring the good relationship with the startup. Overall, 40% of new startups came thru the employee channel. To give me even more ideas and exchange with my peers, I joined early 2016 a change agent organization called "Les Hacktivateurs" and would suggest you consider taking part in similar NGO (such as Corporate Rebels) as this is a great way to increase your network while finding new solutions to the problems you face. Now what's next? I'm very fortunate to be part of a brand new team that is creating startup accelerators around the world. I'm managing the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator in Paris and you might be interested in discovering the amazing cohort we've selected. As our global leader Reggie Bradford says in his recent post, "Why Oracle's Approach to Investing in Startups Has Me Feeling Like an Entrepreneur Again," we are working like a startup within Oracle.

In 2008, when I joined the Business Operations France organization, I was tasked to develop Oracle programs towards the youth including Oracle Academy and the Oracle Education Foundation. I was really...

Startup Life

The Entrepreneur as Eternal Optimist

Launching your own company is exhilarating, intense, difficult, and sometimes scary. In the first few months or years, when you're not sure you're going to make it, it can be easy to get a bit pessimistic. Admittedly, there will always be challenges to being an entrepreneur. But if you focus too much on them, you may lose one of the most important assets you have in your business: Optimism. The enthusiasm that comes from your optimism is what people are getting behind Optimism, in fact, is the key to success, as much as having a great idea. When you're building a company, raising capital, hiring employees, and selling to customers, all of them bet on you and your brand. The enthusiasm that comes from your optimism is what people are getting behind. If it's not there, if you don't show you believe in the idea and the potential, then you won't attract them. I've been there. While today I work for one of the largest companies in IT, I spent most of my career as what folks in Silicon Valley call a "serial entrepreneur." In each of my companies, from the time I started, I viewed everything as a "glass half full" and did my best to see challenges as opportunities. But understand that I see myself as a "pragmatic" optimist. You can't let yourself be blinded by your vision so much that you don't recognize potential problems and solve them. You don't want to create hype, and you don't want to fall victim to your own. But you have to have that contagious optimism that will get people to not only believe in the idea, but to persevere when there are challenges. If that sounds like you should make optimism part of the culture of the organization, you're right. Since that optimism starts with the leader, you'll have the most success from creating a flat organization, where you can directly communicate that optimism to everyone. It can become more challenging to maintain that optimistic culture as you grow When I was running my own business, I worked hard to use every communications channel I could think of to keep everyone connected and excited. Everyone had a Yammer account and we kept in touch all the time. We had all-hands meetings every three weeks. I brought a bell into the office that the sales people would ring every time they had a new deal—it was just a way to share that enthusiasm and keep the optimism going. It can become more challenging to maintain that optimistic culture as you grow. When you get to a certain size and have to scale, you need to create processes and procedures, you have branch offices and remote employees. That makes it a lot harder to keep you culture intact than when everyone is in one room or under one roof. It doesn't have to mean losing your culture, though; you just have to reinforce it, and in different ways. You should always give everyone two or three KPIs related to the culture, things they have to believe in and rally behind. Technology can be a real help here. Not only can it keep you in touch, but it also can help you evaluate the opportunities in front of you based on data. Having information at your fingertips is a great thing, and today with the cloud any size company can afford the digital tools they need to turn their optimism into a good solid business. I got some advice a long time ago that I still follow: Don't get too high on the highs, and don't get too low on the lows. The problems you're facing today aren't that big in terms of life. Life, your business, is a marathon. Try to have people around you who are mentors, who support and believe in you. And keep that optimism.

Launching your own company is exhilarating, intense, difficult, and sometimes scary. In the first few months or years, when you're not sure you're going to make it, it can be easy to get a...

Meet the Startups

ezeDox: The Journey So Far

The Idea This all started when Veerendra Mishra, cofounder, struggled to find some important paper documents and realized the inefficiencies and problems one had to go through with paper-based and de-centralised documents. He immediately started to look for possible solutions to solve this problem. While Premananda Mohapatra (Prem) and I were busy with our corporate jobs, Veerendra was determined to solve the "document mess" as he calls it and quit his well-paying corporate job. He was scanning the ecosystem to look for solutions to solve this problem at a large scale. Then came the A1000Trees event by our volunteer group called @SaveWhitefield, which was founded by all three of us along with a few other friends. That day we planted 1000 trees and Veerendra shared   the problem and his exploration so far. It really connected because it was so close to our group's idea about saving and planting more trees. We also discussed in detail the other perils attached with paper-based documents and processes. That discussion was enough for me to be blown away by the large prospect of the idea and the impact it could have on the efficiency of various processes. That's when I decided to come on board. We began to validate the idea by speaking with different people and started putting together the pieces for tech implementation. Within a couple of days, Veerendra invited Prem for his cloud- and web-technology expertise. This was another special moment as Prem too liked what we were thinking and within a couple of hours we had Team ezeDox in place. The Enabler We had the problem to be solved, an able team to solve the problem, however we needed an enabler. That is where the #Aadhaar ecosystem and #IndiaStack came in. We dove deep into Aadhaar and India Stack to put all the pieces together which clearly gave us the confidence that this was the ecosystem which has the potential to solve this document mess at scale. Now the only thing left to give wings to our dreams were our corporate careers. By day we were corporates and by night—late night—we were entrepreneurs working on our idea. However we soon realised this is not going to be feasible and we too quit our corporate jobs to come onboard full-time. So we had a big, disruptive problem to solve, equally possible and scalable solution, and the able team to execute. But now we needed to accelerate everything. The Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator Program At one point in the journey, we were using a good friend's office to work. Then we took a shared office in EPIP Bangalore and started putting the pieces together. One day on the F6S platform, we learned about the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program. We immediately decided to apply. It was the first time we formally started building the business presentation. We were extremely lucky to be selected for Batch 2 of the startup program in Bangalore—alongside a few other really cool startups. Suddenly, we had experts, industry leaders, and mentors available to guide us. ezeDox will always be grateful to Oracle for such a unique and exclusive program. Oracle's startup program not only connected us to local experts but also across the globe, thanks to their vast network, resources and technologies. We are currently running workloads on Oracle Cloud and gaining traction with potential new customers. It has been an amazing ride for all of us and still continues to be. Our journey has just begun and with every passing day, our resolve to solve the Document Mess keeps getting stronger.

The Idea This all started when Veerendra Mishra, cofounder, struggled to find some important paper documents and realized the inefficiencies and problems one had to go through with paper-based...

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.f15.f15v5 .f15w2 { position: relative; margin: 0; } .f15.f15v5 .f15w2 { width: 100%; float: left; margin: 0; padding: 0; }   FEATURED VIDEO Reggie Bradford, SVP, Oracle Startup Ecosystem & Accelerator Reggie Bradford on why it’s the most exciting time to be at Oracle, innovating across all businesses from startups to scaleups to enterprises.       3DSignals, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, Tel Aviv 3DSignals is on the cutting-edge of innovation with sound-based predictive analytics and IoT.     Meta Networks, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, Tel Aviv Meta Networks is bringing IT and security together in a world-wide, global network for the Cloud era.     iGeolise, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, Bristol iGeolise on how Oracle’s cloud technology is allowing them to scale much faster and serve their growing global customers.     Interactive Scientific, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, Bristol Interactive Scientific is partnering with Oracle to garner global customer reach and technology scale.     Netshow.me, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, São Paulo Netshow.me discusses the advantages of partnering with Oracle for its growing live-streaming video solution.     Zoomin, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, Tel Aviv Zoomin talks about the advantages of partnering with Oracle, including its global product and partner ecosystem and massive customer base.     Duel, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, Bristol Duel talks about how Oracle and Oracle's vast ecosystems and technologies help them scale and accelerate their business.     1Check, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, Paris 1Check talks about the benefits of Oracle's global startup program and how Oracle's Cloud solution is delivering scalability, reliability and security.     Runrun.it, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, São Paulo Runrun.it talks about the benefits of Oracle's startup program and global customer and partner ecosystem.

  FEATURED VIDEO Reggie Bradford, SVP, Oracle Startup Ecosystem & Accelerator Reggie Bradford on why it’s the most exciting time to be at Oracle, innovating across all businesses from startups to...

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.f15.f15v5 .f15w2 { position: relative; margin: 0; } .f15.f15v5 .f15w2 { width: 100%; float: left; margin: 0; padding: 0; } .zw36bar {visibility: hidden; display: none; }     Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem Overview Oracle's global startup mission is to provide enriching, collaborative partnerships to enable next-generation growth, business development, and drive cloud-based innovation for startups throughout all stages of their journey.     Meet the Startups at Oracle Open World 2018 We have a large contingent of startups joining us at OpenWorld. Representing technologies from AI to blockchain to big data, and spanning many industry verticals, these startups will be demoing their technologies, meeting customers and partners, speaking in sessions, and much more.     Meet the Startups at Oracle Open World 2018 Bristol, UK-based Interactive Scientific (iSci) helps universities and pharmaceutical firms to accelerate their molecular research through molecular visualization..     Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem Delivers Support for a New Generation of Cloud-Native Startups Ovum sees benefits not just for the startup, but for the market of customers seeking new and innovative capabilities, and for Oracle itself as it continues to grow its cloud computing position and extend its enterprise applications portfolio.     1Check - Paris, France 1Check is a global, mobile, and real-time solution that digitizes all the processes involved in the running of any hospitality or accommodation facility.     3DSignals - Tel Aviv, Israel 3DSignals' predictive maintenance IoT platform utilizes acoustic monitoring and deep learning technology to monitor sensory data from production line machinery.     Bonobo - Tel Aviv, Israel Bonobo is an AI platform that creates a personalized customer experience to improve customer satisfaction, increase conversion, and prove ROI.     doLoopTech - Mumbai, India doLoopTech's vision is to accelerate the clinical trial drug development process by providing an AI-based Automated Clinical Intelligence solution.     Intelipost - São Paulo, Brazil Intelipost's platform enables the real-time comparison of freight options and tracking of deliveries across hundreds of logistics providers at a lower cost.     Interactive Scientific - Bristol, UK Interactive Scientific Ltd creates immersive digital and analogue experiences for learners and researchers to explore the invisible scientic world.     Nexus Edge - São Paulo, Brazil Nexus Edge has created ALANA, the first proprietary artificial intelligence made exclusively for advertising.     Teknospire - Bangalore, India Teknospire, a fintech company, focuses on the unique transaction sets via digitization and adoption of new age technologies like blockchain and open APIs.     Toonimo - Tel Aviv, Israel Toonimo is a smart audio-visual guidance platform, which simplifies any complex online service or process, to create a better customer experience and increased ROI.     Trail - Bristol, UK Trail is a simple and smart daily checklist helping service businesses run efficient operations.     Zoomin - Tel Aviv, Israel Zoomin, an enterprise SaaS company, transforms the way end-users interact with product documentation.     Reconstruct - Champaign, IL USA Reconstruct is an integrated and cloud-based visual progress tracking solution for the construction, infrastructure, and related industries.

    Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem Overview Oracle's global startup mission is to provide enriching, collaborative partnerships to enable next-generation growth, business development, and drive...

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