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Meet the Startups

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

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

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

Meet the Startups

Startup AptivIO Partners with Oracle to Supercharge the Enterprise Selling Process

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

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

Best Practices

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

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

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

Startup Life

11 Terrifying Truths About Running a Startup

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

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

Program News

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

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

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

Startup Life

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

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

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

Program News

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

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

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

Meet the Startups

Meet the Startups Pushing Customer Service Forward

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

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

Meet the Startups

The Startups Making Businesses More Efficient at TechSparks Bengaluru

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

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

Startup Life

Antifragile Infrastructure: Must-Ask Questions to Scale Without Surprises

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

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

Meet the Startups

Employees and Businesses Can Cash in on Cheaper Business Trips

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

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

Meet the Startups

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

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

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

Meet the Startups

5 Startups Using AI For Altruistic Ends

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

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

Startup Life

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

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

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

Meet the Startups

Innovation Pays: The Five Fintech Startups Making Money More Interesting

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

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

Meet the Startups

Brazilian Startup Uses AI to Boost Workplace Diversity

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

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

Meet the Startups

Clever cybersecurity startup helps make manufacturing smarter and safer

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

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

Startup Life

Is Over-Innovation the Real Hurdle to Scale?

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

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

Meet the Startups

Brazil-based logistics company starts a blockchain reaction with Oracle

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

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

Startup Life

How to Overcome Bias to Hire the Best Talent

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

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

Meet the Startups

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

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

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

Meet the Startups

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

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

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

Meet the Startups

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

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

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

Startup Life

Humanize Investors to Win Them Over

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

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

Fintech Startup Uses AI to Help Companies Cut Tail Spend

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

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

Startup Life

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

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

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

Startup Life

Every Startup in the Blockchain with Oracle Cloud and Chainlink

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

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

Partners/Advisors

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

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

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

Meet the Startups

How Refugees Sparked this Startup to Solve the Enterprise Identity Crisis

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

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

Meet the Startups

British Visual Search Startup Sets The Trend For Shopping Using Photos

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

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

Startup Life

Lessons from Entrepreneurs: Jason Williamson on Embracing Adversity

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

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

Meet the Startups

This Indian Startup is Revolutionizing Fintech with Superbots

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

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

Program News

The Global Rise of the Rest is Powered by Oracle

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

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

Program News

Oracle Launches Revamped Program To Court Startups

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

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

Partners/Advisors

Pumps & Pipes - Oracle Collaborative Consortium

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

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

Program News

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

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

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

Startup Life

The F Word Panel: Top Takeaways, Advice & Quips

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

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

Best Practices

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

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

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

Meet the Startups

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

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

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

Meet the Startups

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

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

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

Best Practices

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

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

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

Meet the Startups

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

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

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

Meet the Startups

UK Fintech Uses Machine Learning to Get Suppliers Paid Instantaneously

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

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

Program News

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

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

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

Best Practices

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

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

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

Meet the Startups

iGeolise Selected as Top Story of 2018 by Profit Magazine

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

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

Meet the Startups

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

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

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

Meet the Startups

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

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

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

Meet the Startups

Belgium Startup Supercharging the Instore Experience for Fashion Retailers

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

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

Program News

Oracle Helping To Enable The Rise Of The Rest. Globally.

  In his book, “The Third Wave”, visionary entrepreneur and co-founder of AOL Steve Case introduced the phrase “The Rise of the Rest” to describe the emergence of innovation outside the traditional hot pockets of Silicon Valley and New York to places like Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis and Raleigh. Case is right of course, but the rise of the rest isn’t just an American phenomenon. It’s global. According to a recent report by the Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE), global venture capital deals increased 73% in just seven years. That’s a lot of new startups. While the United States remains the global leader, its percentage of the investment pie went from 95% in the mid-1990s to 50% today. The global startup ecosystem is growing and becoming much more diversified. While cities like San Francisco, Beijing, London and Tel Aviv continue to lead, cities all across the globe are quickly gaining ground. The advancements in cloud and mobile technologies are key reasons why. They are leveling the playing field. That’s why we, at Oracle, are dedicated to supporting and accelerating startups at scale. Oracle wants to reach and engage with startups in practically every corner of the world.  From the highest ranks of our company, starting with Larry Ellison, arguably the original Silicon Valley entrepreneur, we understand the value of supporting emerging businesses and reaching a new generation of entrepreneurs to help drive innovation forward to build a better world. We see it every day with the companies that are part of Oracle’s global startup program, representing startups of all sizes and stages from cities and regions all across the globe. Our program puts the extensive global resources of Oracle behind these innovators to enable their technology prowess and business growth while driving innovative, cloud-based solutions. We are creating an ecosystem of collaboration and co-development across our startups, customers and Oracle. And that’s enabling a virtuous cycle of innovation. So how do we accomplish such lofty goals? First, by establishing a scalable, sustainable and resource rich program.  The startups get access to the industry’s most robust and complete cloud technologies through free credits; then access to the deepest discounts available after the credits expire. The startups can also tap into world-class product portfolio and partner ecosystems; diverse and experienced mentoring; marketing, events and media exposure; and engagement opportunities with Oracle’s 430,000+ customers. Furthermore, we seek to provide technology support for their development or migration efforts. Second, we constantly evaluate, learn and iterate. Our team functions like a startup inside of Oracle, continually learning and adapting to find the right balance of speed and execution for scalable and successful growth. As the CAE report referenced above proves, entrepreneurs across the globe are helping drive the latest technologies that will change and improve our business and personal lives as well as our communities. The rise of the rest is indeed a global trend—one we aim to support and accelerate. In 2019 and beyond, our program is positioned to reach and engage with thousands of new startups, across the globe, regardless of location, providing the support and resources only Oracle can uniquely deliver.  But don’t take my word for it. The startups tell their stories best: From iGeolise earning top story of the year in Oracle Profit magazine to BotSupply saving 40% in costs and experiencing white-hot growth to a new generation of startups learning that Oracle is indeed for startups. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

  In his book, “The Third Wave”, visionary entrepreneur and co-founder of AOL Steve Case introduced the phrase “The Rise of the Rest” to describe the emergence of innovation outside the traditional hot...

Meet the Startups

I'm an Entrepreneur, a Woman and a Kick-Ass Coder

Pictured, ​Jenny Griffiths of Snap Tech moderates a session with university students to talk women in tech and diversity during Oracle Modern Customer Experience.  This blog post was authored by Jenny Griffiths, Founder of Snap Tech My name’s Jenny.  I’m an entrepreneur, a woman, and unashamedly a software engineer. I founded my company, Snap Tech, at the age of 23, after years of engineering in the background and writing the algorithms that power the shape recognition piece of what we do when I was just 19 years old. Fast forward to now, where I’m 31 and have quite a few experiences under my belt.  I’ve grown our company in London, licensing our technology to retailers and publishers, and integrating with Oracle’s Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud products.  I’ve raised investment from one of the biggest media companies in the world.  I’ve won awards; from an MBE for services to innovation to being named on Forbes’ Top 50 Women in Tech in the World and 30Under30 lists.  Last week we even won a Markie Award for innovation at Oracle Modern Experience in Las Vegas. Yet despite all of this, I find myself struggling daily with society’s perception of women, often being labelled as “not ambitious enough” or “too quiet to be a CEO,”  and this is where the true problem of being a woman in business lies, and in the workplace in general.  Your accomplishments can get whittled down based on gender, age and personality types. To be honest it can be a little bit crushing.  You constantly have to prove yourself and surprise people.  If you’re a brilliant engineer, sometimes it’s not enough to be consistently good at your job.  You have to remind people.  If you’re a good business woman who happens to be softly spoken and looks young, you have to constantly battle against the predefined image of “what good looks like”.  I have developed a system for myself over the last few years, which I revisit often, and is satisfyingly scientific.  It lets me keep touch with what I’m good at, what I’m not good at, and gives me the best chance of surviving in any new situations I find myself in.  Understand your ecosystem - Pattern Matching One of the first things you should do when you find yourself in a new ecosystem—whether that’s a company you’ve created or a new job—is fully understand the ecosystem.  I’m not talking about what skillsets are advertised on a job board. I’m talking about really getting under the skin of the psychology of what allows people to really thrive and go places in this ecosystem. In the world of entrepreneurship, this has been studied to the max, and it’s commonly referred to as Pattern Matching.  When you think of a tech entrepreneur you think of Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison.  In fact, type it into Google and these are the images that are returned. Don’t get me wrong, all of these company founders are truly amazing.  But they all have common personality traits which can be grouped together.  You’ve got the university dropouts and the founders who wear the same outfits every day. And then it gets more prejudiced – the underlying traits that are there in people’s minds but aren’t vocalized.  Male…  White… There are some things that you can change about yourself and there are some things that you can’t.  But understanding the environment you’re in is so important.  You need to know your strengths and marry these up against what you’re “meant to be” in the eyes of others.  Then you decide what to do. Some people decide to try and emulate these characteristics.  This can go incredibly well, although sometimes it can go spectacularly badly.  The one that is most cited of late is Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes with her deep voice and only wearing black turtlenecks like Steve Jobs. Map Your Characteristics Out However, the school of thought that I fall into is that of authentic leadership.  If you want to create a tribe, you need to power through these stereotypes and prove that because you’re not the cookie cutter perceived ideal in your industry, it doesn’t make you any weaker.  But how do you do this? This is where it gets nice and scientific:  work out what skillsets you have (like being a kick-ass coder), ones you want to develop (like being a good public speaker), and the ones that you can’t achieve (like being male), don’t want to achieve (like becoming the person who hits the desk every meeting) and fundamentally disagree with.   Cast aside the ones you disagree with and don’t sit well with you on a cultural level. You don’t want them surrounding you and you don’t want them infiltrating the culture of the company or team you’re building. Specifically hire or work with people who have the skills you can’t or don’t want to achieve but know are important.  For instance, if you need someone more aggressive than yourself for sales negotiations, make sure you’re looking for that characteristic in your next hire in that space.  The last thing you want to do is hire carbon copies of yourself.  Sure, they’ll be easy to manage but it won’t help you succeed. Set yourself time to develop the skills you know you need and want to learn – take a course, read a book, find a mentor… however you learn best. And then really, really work on promoting the skills that you have.  Put yourself in a position where these skills will get to shine.  And to the managers who may be reading this – this is to you.  Give people opportunities to surprise you.  If someone asks to put themselves out there, they’ve probably overthought it already and they’re confident in their skills and abilities.  Even if you test it in a low-risk environment… test it.  Give them the opportunities that they may be missing for a variety of reasons. So this is my mapping: It means that over the years I’ve managed perceived weaknesses into strengths – like being an introvert.  I’ve hired for the “gaps” in these areas, and I’ve engrained my beliefs into the company culture and you can do exactly the same in your companies, your business units, your teams – just by working with the right people for you. At that point you’ll be really thriving in your ecosystem. About Jenny Jenny Griffiths is the founder of Snap Tech, a visual search platform well known for its work in the fashion industry, which leverages proprietary AI and machine learning technology to map content and images to products online. Jenny invented the basis of the fashion-finding technology whilst studying for her Masters in Computer Science at Bristol University, with the ambition of changing the way that people search online; shifting user behaviour from the keyboard to the camera. A bit of a veteran in the AI world, Jenny has been scaling the company for 8 years, with Snap HQ being based in London and satellite offices in New York and Bristol. She regularly partakes in panel discussions and speaking opportunities around Snap Tech, the visual search landscape and machine learning and is passionate about encouraging more women into the world of technology and engineering. About Snap Tech Snap Tech is an intelligent fashion matching technology for enterprise retailers and publishers needing to increase online platform profitability, satisfy consumer purchase intent and improve digital customer experience. Snap Tech improves product discoverability by displaying visually similar products based on items that consumers are looking to buy, either from product images or editorial images. Snap Tech automatically curates and displays similar items to buy at any point in the customer journey, increasing conversion by over a third, doubling time spent on site and increasing visibility of long tail items. Snap Tech's proprietary technology allows retailers and publishers to bring visual search online, on mobile and instore. Snap Tech is the only platform in the market to combine deep neural net machine learning with mathematical heuristics to categorize and match specific product attributes without the need for human-readable meta data. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

Pictured, ​Jenny Griffiths of Snap Tech moderates a session with university students to talk women in tech and diversity during Oracle Modern Customer Experience.  This blog post was authored by Jenny...

Meet the Startups

Virtual Humans on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure HPC

Editor's Note: This piece originally published in the Oracle Cloud Infastructre Blog by Taylor Newill on 3rd January 2019. A great cloud success story is how Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has enabled ELEM Biotech. We've invited ELEM Biotech founders Mariano Vazquez, Chris Morton, Guillaume Houzeaux, and Jose Maria Cela to share how Oracle Cloud Infrastructure High-Performance Computing (HPC) enables them to make Virtual Humans. Check out their company at http://www.elem.bio/. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is at the heart of the revolution that ELEM Biotech wants to lead. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure provides the flexible and secure HPC power that we need, especially thanks to the performance of its bare metal instances. ELEM Biotech develops Alya Red. With a software as a service (SaaS) model deployed in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Alya Red allows users to set up and run advanced simulations and analyze them through a sophisticated, tailor-made biomedical interface. Alya Red is the biomedical interface, the cloud deployment and orchestration, the simulation engine, and a cloud-based database. Pacemakers, valve replacements, stents, anti-arrhythmic drugs, obstructive pulmonary diseases and asthma treatments, drug pumps—all of these scenarios can be set up now using Alya Red. Our Virtual Humans are created in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, where medical devices manufactures, pharmaceutical companies, and CROs can analyze their products and optimize the treatments to better fit patients. The Alya Read team has almost 50 developers at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and another 40 developers elsewhere. We have provided services to and received funding from Juan Yacht Design, Repsol, Iberdrola, and Medtronic. Alya Red is running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure’s HPC instances with large cases, using up to 1,000 cores. The results are extremely promising: we are seeing the same scalability on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure HPC that we see in our dedicated MareNostrum cluster, and we are able to get the results back 90 percent faster because there is no queue time. It's worth mentioning that the code, which was tuned for MareNostrum, was compiled and run on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure's bare metal instances with RDMA without requiring any additional libraries or tuning—truly "lift and shift." Public HPC resources are largely focused on academia, and they can't provide the required quality of service that software such as Alya Red needs. That's where Oracle solves the problem with its HPC instances and cloud infrastructure. Thanks to the Oracle for Startups program and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure's HPC offering, ELEM Biotech has been able to hit the ground running in the HPC world. Our vision is that with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Alya Red will progressively include more human systems and organs, all of them validated and certified by regulatory agencies for their context of use. Our Virtual Humans will contribute to largely reducing animal and human testing, and reducing product costs and time to market. We hope to reduce the healthcare gap between rich and poor by streamlining innovation in medical devices and pharmaceutical industries.     JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

Editor's Note: This piece originally published in the Oracle Cloud Infastructre Blog by Taylor Newill on 3rd January 2019. A great cloud success story is how Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has enabled...

Oracle Blockchain Platform Delivers 30% Faster Deployment, Ease of Use Over Competitors

This blog post was authored by Margo Johnson, Sr. Product Manager, Transmute and Orie Steele, Co-Founder & CTO, Transmute Transmute ID offers trust at scale using Oracle Blockchain Platform Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem partner Transmute recently released their blockchain-secured identity application Transmute ID as a key milestone in the Oracle startup program. The team leveraged the Oracle Blockchain Platform as a rapid ideation and testing tool, resulting in 30% faster deployment. Transmute ID is launching first in the supply chain logistics space with early adopters to establish benchmarks for improved process efficiency and cost savings. Transmute ID: Blockchain Identity for Business Transmute ID is a blockchain identity (BCI) and workflow management tool that bridges existing and emerging technology to secure critical, trust-based steps in business processes for increased speed and minimized risk. Transmute ID integrates with existing IT infrastructure to provide three core functions: Creating and managing identities of people, companies, and assets. Creating and attesting to (signing) important business credentials. Optimizing and tracking multi-party business processes. The necessity to support enterprise integrations contributed to testing Transmute ID on the Oracle Blockchain. CEO Karyl Fowler shares, “When we partnered with Oracle, we were introduced to Oracle Blockchain Platform, and we quickly identified a critical technology opportunity for enterprise identity integrations.” Scaling Blockchain Identity Transmute contributes to a number of Open Source Identity initiatives that support the concept of user-owned or “decentralized” identities (DID). These identities have unique business and consumer value in terms of portability, security, and privacy. One important DID-related initiative is called the Sidetree Protocol. Transmute is helping develop this protocol to support cost and performance scaling creation and management of DIDs that can be anchored to any blockchain, including the Oracle Blockchain Platform. In order to understand what makes Oracle Blockchain Platform a powerful tool for business-to-business blockchain applications, readers first need to understand foundational concepts of DIDs. The DID Spec is an emerging standard for linking cryptographic keys to an identity that is often anchored to a blockchain and managed directly by a user, organization or device. The spec allows for a shared understanding of authentication and digital signatures, which help support securing business workflows and access to sensitive data. On public ledgers like Ethereum, the identity controller or owner often is charged with protecting private keys associated with signing. Transmute ID helps provide a managed experience which removes this burden from users by centralizing trust in Transmute. This is where HyperLedger Fabric can add value. HyperLedger nodes are operated by companies, who are implicitly trusted to manage the network and secure any associated data. By leveraging Transmute ID and the Sidetree Protocol, HyperLedger Fabric Networks can easily support millions of decentralized identities and without ever storing personal identifying information on chain. This use case is ideal for IoT devices that support data ingestion, where the provenance of a shipment reading or sensor feed is critical, but direct connection to the consortium network is not possible. By leveraging Oracle Blockchain Platform and HyperLedger Fabric, companies like Transmute enable Participants to create Anchor Assets and then anchor identity transactions in a standards compliant manner: {  "$class": "org.transmute.sidetree.SidetreeAnchorTransaction",  "asset": "resource:org.transmute.sidetree.SidetreeAnchorAsset#3939",  "anchorFileHash": "QmTJGHccriUtq3qf3bvAQUcDUHnBbHNJG2x2FYwYUecN43",  "transactionId": "3eb28fbdc31c8af0a67d20db23596ac3355ea465f2e3bbc097d9e3133e2ad1e8",  "timestamp": "2019-02-12T16:55:48.535Z" } By leveraging Oracle Blockchain Platform, Transmute was able to develop its Decentralized Identity and Verifiable Credentials platform 30% faster. The managed blockchain-as-a-service helped engineers focus on chaincode development, testing and integration instead of DevOps. In a side-by-side comparison, the Transmute team found hosting Private Ethereum Networks to be much easier to use on Oracle Blockchain Platform over Azure Kubernetes Engine. The experience was also significantly less expensive when accounting for all the engineering time spent chasing infrastructure ghosts. The team estimates a cost savings of $20,000 per engineer over the course of a year.   JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

This blog post was authored by Margo Johnson, Sr. Product Manager, Transmute and Orie Steele, Co-Founder & CTO, Transmute Transmute ID offers trust at scale using Oracle Blockchain Platform Oracle...

Meet the Startups

Data Queries as Fast as Two Beats of a Hummingbird’s Wings

There’s fast, and then there’s 20 milliseconds fast. As in 0.02 seconds. That’s the time it takes a hummingbird to beat its wings almost twice. The shutter speed of a modern camera. Roughly speaking, it’s around as short an interval of time as we humans can perceive. In a world where real-time data, analytics and action means everything, that’s the speed of winning. So, when Higinio (H.O.) Maycotte saw his re-engineered technology reduce data queries from 20 seconds to 20 milliseconds he knew it was a game-changing breakthrough. “We thought it was a mistake. Then ran it again and again and realized it wasn’t. And we were like, ‘Oh boy, we have invented something crazy.’ That was mid 2017. Since then, Maycotte and his Austin-based team have been hard at work pioneering a new way to help businesses crunch big data faster while focusing that speed on powering real-time, intelligent applications. Spun out of a previous startup, Molecula is a streaming AI service that creates a scalable way to quickly query massive databases, data warehouses and data streams to accelerate a variety of workloads that make decisions in real-time. In a nutshell: It allows enterprises to understand and act on data instantly, no matter how complex, fragmented or large. “The platform’s superpower is securely moving traditional analysis workloads to the cloud by joining data lakes with data streams in real-time,” said Maycotte, founder and CEO of Molecula.  “We are enabling businesses, scientists and engineers to focus on the fundamental research needed to solve complex problems—very rapidly and securely—and without the expensive and difficult data management usually required.” Molecula plays in the crowded world of data aggregation and analytics but with direct competition only really coming from the complex and tangled Hadoop ecosystem. So, what makes Molecula so special? Their unique value is the data storage and distribution method they use for speeding up queries. Instead of making copies of data points and values like a typical index, they convert those into a knowledge representation of the data and distribute it across multiple machines. Further, the Molecula Streaming AI service leverages the latest in orchestration and microservices techniques to deliver a truly serverless query. Maycotte explains: “It’s a way to rapidly translate massive amounts of data into literally zeroes and ones, converting data into its rawest, most basic form. We are avoiding the concept of making better organized copies of the data like most indexes. By breaking down data sets into intersections, we turn each value into a yes or no question, a zero or one, then load that into memory and distribute it across many high-performance compute machines, like those found in Oracle Cloud, to rapidly process and return queries at previously unimaginable speeds.” Detecting sepsis infections early, stopping a suicide, preventing human trafficking before it happens, finding a cure for cancer are all use cases that Molecula is actively working on.  “What is fascinating about these problems, is that they can all be solved with data,” he said. To reach global scale, Molecula needed a partner with deep technology resources, business expertise and credibility. They found those qualities in Oracle’s global startup program. “We wanted that instant credibility you get with Oracle,” said Maycotte. “Access to Oracle’s technology, engineers, product marketers and sales teams would provide the exposure, expertise and credibility we were lacking.” Molecula joined the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem in October of 2018 and have quickly leveraged Oracle Cloud infrastructure technologies including Bare Metal machines and integration with Oracle GoldenGate. To power their platform, they are leveraging Oracle Kubernetes Engine, Event Hub Service (Kafka), Fn (serverless) and other developer tools to autonomously deploy their streaming AI service. “Oracle’s cloud technology helps us continually deliver the highest-performing results in the most efficient, secure and scalable manner.” The startup is also working with Oracle’s sales teams and exploring customer engagements across industries such as Life Sciences/Healthcare, Connected Devices and Financial Services. “Arguably no one sells better into the enterprise than Oracle. Having access to that expertise and real-time feedback and candor is invaluable for us as we scale globally and continue to pioneer in the continuous data-streaming space,” he said. “Our biggest surprise has been the quality of people at Oracle. I’ve been blown away. We jokingly thought it would be the evil empire. But it’s an incredible group of dynamic, high-quality, smart people who are heavily invested in their partners’ success.” Molecula is growing quickly with more than 1,600 companies using their products and with Oracle as a partner, they show no signs of slowing down. So where does Molecula go from here? “With our Streaming AI service, we think we can own everything between data and decision. In five years, we want to be the supply chain of data for all of AI and machine learning. We can pioneer in this space and Oracle is a key partner to help us do so.” With his ground-breaking technology, proven track record and entrepreneurial know-how, we’re betting he’ll succeed. Plus, the pioneering spirit is something that runs deep in Maycotte’s blood considering his great-grandfather allegedly shot off the leg of Pancho Villa, a Mexican revolutionary, in this military-turned-entrepreneurial family. But that’s another story. Snapshot of Molecula Running Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI); bare metal machines Integration with Oracle GoldenGate (extends functionality) Moves analytic and machine learning workloads from legacy systems to OCI Leveraging Oracle Kubernetes Engine, Event Hub Service (Kafka) and Fn (serverless) Ingests from databases, data lakes and data streams Solution provides unmatched speed, returns queries in milliseconds Focused on healthcare, connected devices and security/fraud Holds nine patents on proprietary technology Showcased and presented at Oracle Cloud Day in New York, Chicago & Boston; HIMSS    Conference and Startup Grind Global Conference. Raised $5.4 million seed round led by Skylark Partners JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

There’s fast, and then there’s 20 milliseconds fast. As in 0.02 seconds. That’s the time it takes a hummingbird to beat its wings almost twice. The shutter speed of a modern camera. Roughly speaking,...

Meet the Startups

UK-based Startup Using Technology to Close the Gender Pay Gap & Create Fair & Equal Workplaces

The importance of fair remuneration, transparency and inclusion is rising on the agendas of organizations around the world. UK-based startup Gapsquare is partnering with companies to help close the gender and ethnicity pay gaps with cloud-based software that analyses a company’s remuneration structures with gender pay gap analysis, ethnicity pay gap analysis and pay transparency. As part of the Oracle for Startups program and with their entire technical infrastructure and platform running on Oracle Cloud, Gapsquare has realised several benefits including scalability, credibility and new business opportunities. Siân Webb, VP Partnerships & Growth at Gapsquare, explains that the World Economic Forum predicted it could take more than 200 years to close the gender pay gap.  That was something Gapsquare founder Zara Nanu would not accept, and she set out to use technology to accelerate the pace of change. “And from that lightbulb moment Gapsquare was born,” Webb said. “If we can use data to inform and educate employers about the key drivers or issues that are causing inequality and use machine learning and AI to place recommendations for companies to help narrow their gap faster, then we can accelerate the rate of change to close the gender pay gap.” She continues to explain what makes Gapsquare’s software is unique. “Often, we find that in order to do the calculations and also understand where different gaps arise, we need to have data analysts going through that data. However, they might not always have that equality and diversity expertise or perspective and HR managers might not always have the data expertise. AI and data science can take out the potential human bias.” Gapsquare brings together the data analysis and technology with the equality and diversity expertise. This makes it easier for companies to understand what the core issues are and what is driving the gap, which Gapsquare have built into their machine learning algorithmic software as recommendations to help organisations act faster. “The main pain points we are solving relate to time and resources. In the UK particularly, legislation requires large companies to report annually on their gender pay gap and we are seeing corporates having to spend six to eight months to get the data and do the analysis. Gapsquare can get all that data analysis in a matter of seconds. Our software also tracks a company’s progress and allows you to become aware of issues and be proactive before things get worse. The results have a positive long-term impact on areas such as retention of talent,” Webb explains. Gapsquare has experienced tremendous success throughout its journey, with a growing customer base that includes organizations like Vodafone, London Metropolitan Police, Condé Nast and the Office of the Mayor of London. Oracle’s startup program is introducing Gapsquare to Oracle customers, creating international business growth opportunities. Jason Williamson, who leads Oracle’s global startup program, immediately recognized the company’s potential.  “Gapsquare’s software has the power to help organizations do something they know is right but struggle to accomplish because it’s a massive data aggregation and analysis pain point. Gapsquare’s solution is helping businesses create more fair and transparent workplaces—leveraging the latest technology to aid where human bias might arise. It’s truly a transformational technology for business and to better our society.” Gapsquare is currently exploring integrations with Oracle’s Human Capital Management (HCM) cloud, which would allow Gapsquare to easily extract HR and payroll data safely and securely to deliver more value, insights and solutions to Oracle customers.   “Oracle’s startup program is helping us grow both our product and our business. Running on Oracle Cloud is a big win for us, as we need scale and power with the highest levels of data security. And the global exposure, like OpenWorld in San Francisco and OpenWorld London, has provided incredible business growth opportunities.” She continued, “We are collaborating from both a business and technology perspective to build the future together.” Snapshot of Gapsquare: Running 100% on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Working towards integrations with Oracle Cloud Human Capital Management Using Container Engine (OKE) and Image Registry (OCIR) to host their production and staging environments; Oracle Object Store and Oracle MySQL as a Service OCI has enhanced Gapsquare’s data security and credibility, empowering them to work with bigger and larger clients Gapsquare has supported numerous businesses worldwide including Vodafone, London Metropolitan Police and Condé Nast Showcased at events including OpenWorld and OpenWorld Europe Featured on podcasts, social media, blogs, videos and with global media and analysts JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

The importance of fair remuneration, transparency and inclusion is rising on the agendas of organizations around the world. UK-based startup Gapsquareis partnering with companies to help close the...

Meet the Startups

Podcast: IDenTV's Bob Milani on AI, Video and What It's Really Like To Work With Oracle

The latest episode of the OracleNext podcast features IDenTV CTO Bob Milani, who talks about IDenTV, what makes them an innovative startup, and why they decided to partner with the Oracle for Startups program. IDenTV uses machine learning and AI to convert unstructured video into searchable and actionable metadata to transform how users understand and interact with video assets. Their solutions are deployed in both the commercial and federal sectors, to help tackle challenges for organisations through AI-enabled computer vision for video. Bob discusses what attracted the startup to the Oracle global startup program, what they have learned from Oracle, and the benefits they have enjoyed from being a startup within the ecosystem. They also discuss what IDenTV has learned from Oracle's go-to-market strategy and what Oracle can learn from a small but fast-moving company like IDenTV. The OracleNext podcast features wide-ranging conversations about how companies are putting emerging technologies to work. Listen to the podcast episode here:   JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

The latest episode of the OracleNext podcast features IDenTV CTO Bob Milani, who talks about IDenTV, what makes them an innovative startup, and why they decided to partner with the Oracle for Startups...

Meet the Startups

Podcast: Eventador Founder Kenny Gorman on Entrepreneurial Spirit and Scaling Businesses

The latest episode of the OracleNext podcast features Kenny Gorman, CEO and Founder of Austin-based startup, Eventador, and a member of the Oracle for Startups program. Eventador is a fully managed, enterprise-grade Stream Processing as a Service platform built on Apache Kafka® and Apache Flink®. The company was founded to address a critical business problem: to alleviate the complexities and enable the building of applications that use real-time data at their core. Eventador enables developers to quickly create and painlessly manage real-time data pipelines to gain time-to-market, actionable insights, and technology advantages. In this podcast episode, Kenny chats about Eventador, how it got started, and why they chose Austin as a base. Kenny also discusses the focus for the next period of Eventador as they scale their business as an Oracle partner, highlights from attending Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, and what advice Kenny would offer as an entrepreneur. The OracleNext podcast features wide-ranging conversations about how companies are putting emerging technologies to work. Listen to Eventador on the OracleNext podcast: JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

The latest episode of the OracleNext podcast features Kenny Gorman, CEO and Founder of Austin-based startup, Eventador, and a member of the Oracle for Startups program. Eventador is a fully managed,...

Reimagining Startup & Enterprise Innovation

A Decade at a Tech Giant ... 10 Years So Far

I recently passed a significant milestone. In early 2009 I landed a job at Oracle. 10 years later, I’d like to share some personal reflections from a decade at a tech giant and why I’m still here. For context, I joined Oracle in an era when Great Britain had no tennis Grand Slam contenders. January 2009 was pre-iPad, pre-bitcoin, pre-AWS reserved instance model. In 2009, Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, the movie Avatar was released and Lady Gaga exploded onto US and UK charts. 18 months after finishing university and working for a small business in the UK, I took my first steps into building 510 on Oracle’s Thames Valley Park campus. Ties were a little more optional at this point, but everyone wore a suit. I was excited to start a job at a large organization and pleased to discover that there was complementary fruit juice in every kitchen, on every floor of the building! I had made it to the big leagues! A colleague showed me around and we wandered down to the Security Office for the obligatory photo. My badge was ready for collection at the end of the day. By the way, a quick hint to my corporate colleagues, if your security badge or LinkedIn profile photo is 10 years old (we all know by the way!), it’s time for an update. I have had a number of roles within my career at Oracle and I’m now part of the team delivering the Oracle for Startups program, an accelerator initiative for startups. When I get the chance to speak with founders, I often share my observations of Oracle’s evolution and trajectory. It’s been an amazing journey and I believe we’re just getting started! There will be a range of opinions and perceptions out there about Oracle. I’ll leave licensing practices for another debate! Here’s what I’ve observed historically. Even Oracle’s most bitter opponents generally agree that the technology has always been world-leading in terms of capability. Oracle’s hallmarks have long been ‘enterprise-grade’ security, scalability and availability. For a long time, ‘complete, open, integrated’ captured the engineering vision behind Oracle software.  The delivery mechanism has changed (more about cloud later), but the commitment to excellence in technology has not. Oracle is a highly acquisitive company. This has significantly shaped our business and the technology stack. A year into my career at Oracle, 2010 saw the acquisition of Sun Microsystems. I think this was met with confusion by many in the industry and curiosity by visionaries who began to piece together the potential jigsaw that would emerge years later. From Java and MySQL right down to tape storage, Sun came with a lot of significant building blocks and represented a key shift in Oracle’s evolution as a business. Combining software from Oracle and hardware from Sun (or was it HP initially?!), Oracle made huge investments in the Appliance / Converged Infrastructure market with an expansive family of ‘Engineered Systems’; optimized solutions, engineered to simplify IT.   Significant application acquisitions were ‘before my time’ including, JD Edwards, Siebel and Peoplesoft. Undoubtedly ‘legacy’ but given an enduring roadmap under what Oracle has labeled an “Applications Unlimited” strategy. There are numerous examples of Oracle’s respect for heritage, as well as a forceful pursuit of what is next. I argue that our history enables our future. It’s difficult to single out the most important acquisitions in recent years; there have been several. Netsuite? Dyn? Eloqua?... Each came with its own story to build into the narrative.  When Oracle acquired Vitrue in 2012, Oracle’s Social Relationship Management capabilities gained a boost. More importantly, in my opinion, we gained founder Reggie Bradford plus a team that had successfully built multiple startup businesses. Reggie spearheaded Oracle’s fledgling efforts to engage with the startup ecosystem around the world. Reggie sadly passed away last year. A bold, envisioned team continues to build on the foundation laid under his leadership. The highest priority in recent years has been Cloud. I’ll be candid, Oracle was late to the Cloud party and we’ve mostly stopped pretending otherwise, certainly in terms of Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure (IaaS). Two important points on this. Firstly, Google was late to the Search Engine party. However, they got it right and no one has asked Jeeves for anything in a long time! Secondly, Oracle’s Cloud engineering effort in recent years has been phenomenal. Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure capabilities (and price list) are not only on par with better known public Cloud providers but now in our - albeit biased - opinion, decisively outstrips the competition. In the last decade at a tech giant, I’ve witnessed and been part of an extreme transformation. I’m not referring to my dress code alone. In 10 years, Oracle have continued to build upon foundations of world-class engineering and a mission to simplify technology, enabling innovators. Additionally, thanks in no small part to revolutionary shifts in Cloud, Oracle has become relevant and valuable not only to the largest of corporate customers but also to the emerging businesses who will shape the coming years. What will the next decade bring? JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

I recently passed a significant milestone. In early 2009 I landed a job at Oracle. 10 years later, I’d like to share some personal reflections from a decade at a tech giant and why I’m still here. For...

Meet the Startups

RupeeCircle The New Age Peer to Peer Finance Company

RupeeCircle is the new age Peer to Peer finance company that strives to “make borrowing better and lending smarter”. Founded in 2017, RupeeCircle’s proprietary credit scoring model leverages data science, technology & cloud infrastructure to accurately underwrite first time borrowers and new to credit customers. Backed by Oracle for Startups program & other marquee investors, we aim to drive financial inclusion to millions of unbanked & under-banked creditworthy borrowers in India. We provide an online marketplace to connect creditworthy borrowers with investors looking for high return on their investments. We believe that with increasing internet penetration, digital footprints & real time analytics individuals can act as “Banks or Financial Institutions” themselves and thereby extend financial services to the last mile. A deep dive into understanding the potential of Peer-to-Peer lending to reach the unbanked in India, is showcased in the infographic below:     The potential of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending to reach the unbanked in India As per world bank estimates, approximately 11% of the global unbanked population lives in India. These 400+ million individuals are outside the reach of traditional financial institutions like Banks. NBFCs etc. due to various reasons like - High cost of sales & service More than 41% of the unbanked individuals live in rural areas. North-east India ranks the highest when it comes being financially excluded with 67% population outside the ambit of formal financial institutions. Lack of consumer awareness Majority of the Indian women still do not participate in the financial decision making and 47% of the unbanked individuals come from poor households with lack of basic financial services like credit. Absence of sufficient credit history & credit bureau data Using the data from all the major credit bureaus in India like CIBIL, Equifax, Experian & High Mark, formal financial institutions are able to reach out to less than 50% of the Indian population & more than 60% loan applications from first time borrowers get rejected annually. 55% of these unbanked individuals still use informal sources of credit at very high costs. However with increasing internet penetration, availability of digital footprints, government focus on improving the digital infrastructure, Aadhaar Stack & rapid adoption of smartphones, new age fintech models like Peer-to-Peer (P2P) are challenging the status quo. At RupeeCircle, we have been able to provide INR 20 million of short term unsecured personal loans to new to credit segments within the last 6 months. Leveraging P2P finance, digital footprints, cloud architecture & advanced analytics we have managed to ensure less than 1% default while at the same time providing 24% average annual returns to lenders. “By further upgrading our machine learning algorithm & risk grading model, we are confident of reaching out to one million unbanked individuals by 2025” – Nikhil Prabhakar, Head of Marketing & Products, RupeeCircle. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

RupeeCircle is the new age Peer to Peer finance company that strives to “make borrowing better and lending smarter”. Founded in 2017, RupeeCircle’s proprietary credit scoring model leverages...

Program News

Oracle Helping To Enable The Rise Of The Rest. Globally.

In his book, “The Third Wave”, visionary entrepreneur and co-founder of AOL Steve Case introduced the phrase “The Rise of the Rest” to describe the emergence of innovation outside the traditional hot pockets of Silicon Valley and New York to places like Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis and Raleigh. Case is right of course, but the rise of the rest isn’t just an American phenomenon. It’s global. According to a recent report by the Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE), global venture capital deals increased 73% in just seven years. That’s a lot of new startups. While the United States remains the global leader, its percentage of the investment pie went from 95% in the mid-1990s to 50% today. The global startup ecosystem is growing and becoming much more diversified. While cities like San Francisco, Beijing, London and Tel Aviv continue to lead, cities all across the globe are quickly gaining ground. The advancements in cloud and mobile technologies are key reasons why. They are leveling the playing field. That’s why we, at Oracle, are dedicated to supporting and accelerating startups at scale. Oracle wants to reach and engage with startups in practically every corner of the world.  From the highest ranks of our company, starting with Larry Ellison, arguably the original Silicon Valley entrepreneur, we understand the value of supporting emerging businesses and reaching a new generation of entrepreneurs to help drive innovation forward to build a better world. We see it every day with the companies that are part of Oracle’s global startup program, representing startups of all sizes and stages from cities and regions all across the globe. Our program puts the extensive global resources of Oracle behind these innovators to enable their technology prowess and business growth while driving innovative, cloud-based solutions. We are creating an ecosystem of collaboration and co-development across our startups, customers and Oracle. And that’s enabling a virtuous cycle of innovation. So how do we accomplish such lofty goals? First, by establishing a scalable, sustainable and resource rich program.  The startups get access to the industry’s most robust and complete cloud technologies through free credits; then access to the deepest discounts available after the credits expire. The startups can also tap into world-class product portfolio and partner ecosystems; diverse and experienced mentoring; marketing, events and media exposure; and engagement opportunities with Oracle’s 430,000+ customers. Furthermore, we seek to provide technology support for their development or migration efforts. Second, we constantly evaluate, learn and iterate. Our team functions like a startup inside of Oracle, continually learning and adapting to find the right balance of speed and execution for scalable and successful growth. As the CAE report referenced above proves, entrepreneurs across the globe are helping drive the latest technologies that will change and improve our business and personal lives as well as our communities. The rise of the rest is indeed a global trend—one we aim to support and accelerate. In 2019 and beyond, our program is positioned to reach and engage with thousands of new startups, across the globe, regardless of location, providing the support and resources only Oracle can uniquely deliver.  But don’t take my word for it. The startups tell their stories best: From iGeolise earning top story of the year in Oracle Profit magazine to BotSupply saving 40% in costs and experiencing white-hot growth to a new generation of startups learning that Oracle is indeed for startups.   See Also: Growth of Conversational AI Startup BotSupply is White-Hot… and Getting Hotter JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

In his book, “The Third Wave”, visionary entrepreneur and co-founder of AOL Steve Case introduced the phrase “The Rise of the Rest” to describe the emergence of innovation outside the traditional hot...

Meet the Startups

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

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

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

Meet the Startups

Indian Startup Drives Incredible Efficiency for the Fashion Retail Ecosystem

Talk about improving the efficiency for fashion brands and retailers in India and the first name to pop up is Increff, short for Incredible Efficiency, the most sought after fashion merchandising and supply chain solution provider in the country. In 2016 Romil Jain, Rahul Jain and Anshuman Agarwal formed Increff with the vision to deliver a significant and sustainable increase in sales and inventory efficiency to fashion and lifestyle brands and retailers. Through their technology and data-backed intelligence, brands can transform their merchandising, design and fulfillment operations. Inventory efficiency can be further categorized under poor demand sensing and poor demand fulfillment. Increff has a developed solution to enable brands achieve growth: IRIS - Science of Merchandising: This product enables brands to make data-driven intelligent decisions based on complex and fashion-focused algorithms. ASSURE - Smart Fulfillment:  It enables smart inventory placement across a network of managed warehouses, provides a single view of inventory and achieves 100% inventory and fulfillment through its unique method of serialization of inventory and human-error proof warehousing processes driven by technology. The Bengaluru-based startup raised $2 million in its first round of funding led by Sequoia Capital in 2017. “The fashion industry, including brand houses, retailers and e-commerce players, is struggling to grow and generate profit even though they have huge margins. Increff makes a huge impact on top line and bottom line by bringing in technology led automation on the Supply Side.,” Rajul Jain, CEO, Increff. Increff is a part of the Oracle for Startups program and has come a long way since its inception into the program in India. The startup uses various Oracle technologies that are built as part of IAAS and PAAS which includes, API Gateway, Java, MySQL, MySQL Cluster, VM Server for x86, VM Virtualbox and Registry (OCIR) and Loadbalancers. The Oracle for Startups team has helped Increff with their knowledge of technology and in guiding them in choosing the right Oracle services. Increff have successfully deployed ASSURE and IRIS products on Oracle Cloud with the help of the Oracle team. Oracle’s tremendous expertise helped in improving Increff's product architecture. These valuable inputs helped to scale applications and automation of deployments using Docker and Kubernetes services. Increff also explored the option of Oracle Analytics services for improvising the IRIS product.   The road ahead looks extremely promising for Increff as they look forward to participating in Oracle Open World 2019 in Dubai. Oracle Open World Middle East provides a chance to network within the Oracle ecosystem. Oracle’s deep domain expertise and the understanding of the market is critical to innovate and build future technology solutions catering to the global market. This event offers a platform to interact directly with end users, present solutions and get perspectives from different stakeholders. Which in turn will help Increff shape strategy, and develop a global expansion plan. “The Oracle for Startups program is an amazing platform for all startups. It not only provides infrastructure, mentoring and investor connects but more importantly for a company like Increff, it gives an opportunity to engage with Oracle's clients and its global ecosystem,” Rajul Jain, CEO, Increff. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

Talk about improving the efficiency for fashion brands and retailers in India and the first name to pop up is Increff, short for Incredible Efficiency, the most sought after fashion merchandising and...

Meet the Startups

Podcast: Zara Nanu of Gapsquare On Bridging The Gap On Diversity And Inclusion

  Listen to the latest episode of OracleNext podcast, where host Roland Smart talks to Zara Nanu, CEO and founder of UK-based GapSquare, which works to solve the persistent problem of disparities in diversity and inclusion within the workforce. Companies with diverse workforces are more successful, such as delivering innovative solutions that increase profits for companies. Research shows more women are working in tech but it also shows that more women are leaving tech after working in the sector for a handful of years. Gapsquare, a cloud-based SaaS solution, can help HR and payroll teams identify, engage and retain talent within an organisation. In this episode of OracleNext, Zara shares some of her experiences in how she learned to overcome stereotypes she encountered at school to found her own company with a strong maths focus. Roland and Zara also discuss why Gapsquare decided to join Oracle’s startup program and the benefits they have gained from their partnership with Oracle. The OracleNext podcast features wide-ranging conversations about how companies are putting emerging technologies to work. Listen to GapSquare on the OracleNext podcast here. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.     

  Listen to the latest episode of OracleNext podcast, where host Roland Smart talks to Zara Nanu, CEO and founder of UK-based GapSquare, which works to solve the persistent problem of disparities in...

Meet the Startups

Podcast: Startup BotSupply Talks Conversational AI and Scaling with Oracle

  In the latest episode of the OracleNext podcast, Roland Smart talks to Asser Smidt, CEO and founder of Copenhagen-based BotSupply. Asser has been a tech entrepreneur since 2004, leading his company to join the Oracle for Startups program earlier this year. Hear from Asser on how BotSupply has found its place in a crowded market, the importance of conversational AI, and how he has been working with Oracle as part of the Oracle for Startups. He also provides his predictions for the future of this market. BotSupply live in the intersection between creativity and technology. The business is deeply rooted in design thinking, using technology to create customer experiences. BotSupply’s suite of products and services enables any enterprise in any industry to successfully implement Conversational AI to drive their business outcomes. Currently BotSupply work in more than 30 languages including Danish, Finnish, German and French. The OracleNext podcast features wide-ranging conversations about how companies are putting emerging technologies to work.   Listen to BotSupply on the OracleNext podcast here.   JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

  In the latest episode of the OracleNext podcast, Roland Smart talks to Asser Smidt, CEO and founder of Copenhagen-based BotSupply. Asser has been a tech entrepreneur since 2004, leading his company...

Startup Life

Fintech Startups in India: A Boon to Many

Since the dawn of money, businesses and individuals have needed capital. Earlier it was the local moneylender providing this service, later banks came into existence, offering capital in times of need and crisis. These individuals and banks performed an indispensable job helping communities and businesses. As societies evolved, the process of lending became more institutionalized and technical terms like collaterals, debt financing, debt-equity swap, credit score and Know-Your-Customer became part of lending lingo. As the economies of the world flourished, communities had access to cheaper capital to an extent that even sovereign nations started borrowing via the IMF and world banks. All this points to a great financial future but there is a huge swathe of people who have no access to financial services. They are people who have no collateral or are migrants or extremely poor and cannot even be considered as potential customers. There is a huge underbelly of underprivileged people who are unable to avail the benefits of conventional sources of capital. For such people, the only option to raise a small amount of money is from local moneylenders at exorbitant rates or suffer due to lack of capital, especially in remote areas. These financially excluded people across the world are still outside the formal lending ecosystem. For centuries, local moneylenders have had a complete grip over the capital needs of the poor and immigrants.  Such a need has given rise to the micro financial institution. These micro financial institutions are willing to lend small amounts - as little as USD100 to people who really have no collateral or credit history. These financial institutions quickly prequalify and then lend at affordable interest rates for short durations like a month. Typically, a large financial institution would ask the following details before considering someone for a loan: Good Credit Score Valid Address proof 2 – 3 Months of Bank Statements (or Income Tax proof) Individuals who fail to provide these details do not qualify to apply for a loan. Poor people need money for various reason like a death in the family, marriage or short duration educational loans. For such needs, micro financial institutions are the quickest way of raising capital without the bureaucratic red tape that envelops the bigger organizations. Despite all the effort and help from governments, there continues to be challenges in reaching out to people in need of money. This is a problem that is being solved by startups. Armed with new ideas and technology, startups are looking at modern ways and means to help raise capital for those who need them. The advent of Aadhar, large populations of smart phone users, access to Bank accounts and mobile apps have made this whole ecosystem suddenly come alive with new ideas. With the press of a button, a person’s details are available to the lending institution. Startups are well equipped with these details and artificial intelligence to make quick decisions on the eligibility of the borrower and disbursement of a  loan. As part of the Oracle for Startups program in Mumbai, we get many applications from startups operating in the Fintech lending space. In the current cohort, we have 2 startups operating in the space of micro and peer-to-peer lending. RupeeCircle is a peer to peer lending platform that helps borrowers get personal or business loans and also provides loans to anyone who needs capital,thus providing an alternative to traditional loans and investing options. The key route to success for RupeeCircle has been access to quality credit for borrowers at attractive interest rates through a simple, tech-enabled experience. Eduvanz finance is an NBFC (Non-Banking Finance Company) and private finance company which offers low interest rates on student, education, career and skill development loans and caters to customers for whom access to traditional sources is restricted. Creating channel partners and partnering with enterprises to widen the footprint is a market strategy to reach out to the unserved. Both these startups rely heavily on data science artificial intelligence for handling loans and collections. Technology and online platforms provide added push in reaching out to borrowers in a simpler and effective way. The next step in the evolution of such lending platforms would be wide usage of Blockchain- based technologies, providing security and transparency to the digital lending platform. This would reduce inefficiencies, duplication and the cost of doing business. With tech-enabled platforms and increased operational efficiency, these companies have been able to lower the intermediary costs. This enables them to offer loans at lower or competitive interest rates as well and allowing lenders to make higher returns. Not surprisingly, the NPAs (Non-Performing Assets) are very low and defaults are rare. Unlike private moneylenders, these startups work with formal financial institutions and people who need money, thereby bridging the  connectivity gap that arises due to the size of the loan and eligibility factor of the borrower resulting in an all-inclusive and long-term sustainable financial ecosystem. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

Since the dawn of money, businesses and individuals have needed capital. Earlier it was the local moneylender providing this service, later banks came into existence, offering capital in times of...

Meet the Startups

iGeolise Selected as Top Story of 2018 by Profit Magazine

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

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

Meet the Startups

DriveOn Launches Mobility Blockchain Token ICO

This blog post was authored by Expedito Belmont, CoFounder & CEO at DriveOn Blockchain Mobility   The new age of payment for personal data Unlike major technology players who receive user data and monetize with them and users do not earn anything for it, DriveOn, a startup accelerated by Oracle, wants to reward with digital assets, all of the mobility data sent by users to the platform. Have you ever imagined using the time you spend driving, for example, earning discounts on your car insurance by recording in blockchain the way you drive and exchanging this data for discounts and benefits in the platform marketplace,  generate reports to better negotiate your vehicle, or even, through your partner exchanges, exchange for crypto-coins or money? Cryptomiles tokens, launched by StartUp DriveOn (www.driveonauto.com), has a proposal that intends to innovate the way the data produced by drivers are used. Through the use of Cloud and Oracle Autonomous Blockchain, DriveOn will be building, with complete security and transparency, an automotive ecosystem which, on the driver's side, rewards good driving and good vehicle maintenance through Cryptomiles (www.cryptomiles.me) tokens and, on the side of companies interested in mobility data, makes available through the purchase of Cryptomiles tokens, the data authorized by these drivers connected to the platform. The system works as follows: an OBD II hardware is connected to the OBD port of any vehicle manufactured from 2010 (plug and play installation) and from that point on, this hardware collects data on driver behavior and vehicle health and sends it to the Oracle Cloud. The DriveOn algorithm generates a score from these data and records it in the Autonomous Blockchain, guaranteeing the truth and reliability of the data. The user downloads the DriveOn application free of charge and begins to have access to their driving behavior information (sudden braking, sudden acceleration, speeding, among other indicators), and receive guidance for driving direction and access to vehicle health so that it can perform preventive maintenance and not be caught by surprise with, for example, a flat battery. As the user goes online on the platform, their validated information generates tokens that are transferred to it for use on the platform itself. The application has two versions: the standard version, with presentation of some information collected and the premium version, which gives access to all the information captured by the OBD device. To access the premium version, the user can use their own cryptomiles gained from their driving behavior and data shared on the DriveOn platform. As an agnostic platform, DriveOn also turns cryptomiles into the telemetry data generated by the use of its mobility application or other mobility applications available on the market by prior configuration to the platform. The Cryptomiles project, which has embedded Oracle Cloud and Blockchain solutions, enabled DriveOn to be ranked as the 39th most innovative startup in Latin America by the Innovation Latam Awards and its pioneering actions do not stop there. In December 2018, DriveOn launched its Initial Coin Offering (ICO), which aims to promote the project to more than 1 million Brazilians who are part of the crypto ecosystem and acquire resources to further improve the platform through the sale of Utility Tokens Cryptomiles. To learn more about the project and participate in the Cryptomiles ecosystem, visit the website http://www.cryptomiles.me DriveOn, founded by Expedito Belmont, Marcio Pessoa and Rodrigo Bezerra, is a company that was born in Manaus, Amazonas, but registered in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, due to the great opportunity to be accelerated by Darwin Startups, an accelerator that has 5 large corporate partners: Neoway (Big Data), CNseg par (arm of the National Confederation of Insurance Companies), RTM (Infrastructure for the Stock Exchange) and B3 (the Stock Exchange itself). In its journey, with the Cryptomiles proposal already in hand, DriveOn was also accelerated and graduated by InovAtiva Brasil (Federal Government innovation program), by the Startup School (pre-acceleration school of Y Combinator), and  by the Liga AutoTech (having access to four major automotive corporations - Mercedes-Benz, EATON, CUMMINS, Webmotors). Drive connected! DriveOn! JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

This blog post was authored by Expedito Belmont, CoFounder & CEO at DriveOn Blockchain Mobility   The new age of payment for personal data Unlike major technology players who receive user data...

Meet the Startups

Startup community heads to London for Oracle OpenWorld Europe

  Oracle OpenWorld Europe kicks off this week in London, and attendees can expect to see Oracle Cloud Infrastructure users from many smaller organizations and startups networking and attending informational sessions. It's an exciting time for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure as we continue to expand across the globe  at a rapid pace. We're proud to be fostering an inclusive, global community that consists of businesses of all types and sizes. After all, large enterprise companies aren't the only ones that require enterprise-grade infrastructure. In today's business environment, many startups need access to a low-cost, high-performance cloud that can help them keep pace with the competition. Oracle is committed to delivering the results they need. Many of the smaller organizations attending the conference became Oracle Cloud Infrastructure users through the Oracle for Startups program, which gives startups access to Oracle Cloud credits, mentoring, partners, and much more. Most of them are businesses targeting enterprise customers, so their focus on governance, security, data management, compliance and hyper scale makes them perfect customers. Some of the startups on hand at Oracle OpenWorld Europe include BotSupply, Snap Tech, Macty, BrandTotal, ELEM, LettUs Grow, Sauce, We Build Bots, and Gapsquare. BotSupply is a Copenhagen, Denmark-based company that drives next-generation customer engagements and experiences. The company's platform helps brands create engaging and relevant customer experiences that take advantage of cutting-edge technologies like conversational artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing. London-based Snap Tech offers world-class visual search tools for publishers, retailers, and influencers in the fashion industry and beyond. Snap Tech leads consumers to exactly what they want to buy online through a blend of visual search, AI, and ML. Macty is a Leuven, Belgium-based artificial intelligence company that helps businesses grow by enabling the latest technology in computer vision and natural language processing. With Macty, retailers can easily integrate novel and fun ways for consumers to discover products both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. BrandTotal, which is headquartered in Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, uses ML and AI methodologies to help organizations reverse engineer the marketing strategies of their competitors. The BrandTotal platform provides actionable insights that enable companies to adjust marketing strategies in real time and easily adapt to the competitive landscape. Barcelona, Spain-based ELEM is a biomedical software technology company that creates virtual humans for use in clinical trials. The company uses the power of mathematical modelling on high performance computers in the cloud to help biomedical companies test and improve medical devices and drug efficiency. LettUs Grow, based in Bristol, England, designs efficient irrigation and control technology for indoor farms. The company's aeroponic grow beds and farm management software deliver higher crop yields while reducing production costs and making farmers' lives easier. London-based Sauce is a cloud-based video collaboration platform that empowers businesses to create video content with their teams and communities around the globe. Powered by smartphones, the Sauce platform makes video production easy, affordable, and authentic. Based in Cardiff, Wales, We Build Bots is the creator of IntelAgent, an enterprise AI and analytics platform that changes the shape of customer service. Working across web, messaging platforms, voice assistants, and social media, IntelAgent quickly resolves customer issues, identifies up-sell opportunities, and profiles customers based on their interactions. Gapsquare, another Bristol-based startup, is a provider of pay transparency, gender, and ethnicity pay gap analysis. The company combines technologies like ML and big data analysis with equality and diversity expertise to provide insight into pay and wage equity and data-driven recommendations for change. "We’re very excited about joining Oracle’s global startup program as it provides us opportunities to co-create innovative approaches to pay transparency and ensure they can reach a global market quickly," said Zara Nanu, Gapsquare's founder and CEO. "We are excited about scaling our technologies and working with great people at Oracle." If you can't make it to Oracle OpenWorld Europe—no problem—we’ll continue to share content like this to educate and evangelize! We've also got conferences and meetups happening around the world all year long. Remember: Oracle OpenWorld Middle East begins in Dubai February 11th. And Oracle OpenWorld Asia is coming to Singapore on March 26th. We hope to see you at one of our conferences soon. Learn more about the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem and the startups attending OpenWorld Europe today! JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.     

  Oracle OpenWorld Europe kicks off this week in London, and attendees can expect to see Oracle Cloud Infrastructure users from many smaller organizations and startups networking and attending...

Startup Life

Building Intrapreneurial Culture

This blog post was authored by Matthew Price, Business Development, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem.    Setting out to write an article about intrapreneurial culture throws up some challenges, beyond simply spelling and wondering if ‘intrapreneurship’ is a real word! In this piece, I share some observations and examples of what I believe it means to be an intrapreneur and take actions to contribute and build a culture of entrepreneurship in larger organizations.  I’ve reviewed several definitions for intrapreneurship and the role of an intrapreneur, often framed in relation to the arguably more well-known title, entrepreneur. I’ve been drawn to the following: “An intrapreneur is responsible for innovating within an existing organization…” Aja Frost https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/intrapreneurship-vs-entrepreneurship “[An intrapreneur] is someone who thinks and acts like a business owner within an organization. Intrapreneurship leads to a sense of achievement when things go well, a drive to fix things when they go wrong and a company that is unstoppable.” Mike Kalis https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/308572 Reflecting on entrepreneurs, Dominic McVey shared some wonderful insight with me earlier this year. From an early age, Dominic was identifying opportunities to create and build profitable businesses. He’s the head of a highly successful, multinational organization. In a London pub, he comments, “I’m not an entrepreneur, I’m entrepreneurial”.  This is important; Dominic, like many inspirational founders and business leaders I’ve had the privilege to interact with, has an unyielding determination to get things done.  I don’t believe this is about job titles or positions within an organization. Intrapreneurship is about ownership, attitude and appetite for progress. It’s simple actions that get things done. In a challenging article, ‘The Myth of the Intrapreneur’, https://hbr.org/2018/06/the-myth-of-the-intrapreneur , Andrew Corbet provides an excellent definition, “entrepreneurial creativity and innovation within large, established organizations” and argues that “Companies need to institutionalize innovation rather than expect it to simply flow forth from intrapreneurs operating within existing structures.” That made me think! For the greatest impact and lasting change within a large organization, I tend to agree. A mandate for transformation from the highest levels of organizational leadership, reinforced by appropriate structures, perfect tools and flawless communication would be great to have in our organizations. However, we work in challenging, less than ideal, organizational realities. We cannot accept that as an excuse not to take small, simple steps that lead to results. I’m inspired by the successes and struggles of those aiming to lead change and drive innovation within large organizations. Over the last few years, I’ve had the chance to engage with the Co-linked Corporate Innovation Community www.colinked.io. Participating in this community has given me the opportunity to meet amazing people and has allowed me to share Oracle’s vision for Cloud and the Startup program. I’m energized when I spend time with individuals who are dialed in to the vision and need to change, improve and explore new possibilities within their businesses – and the stark realities, struggles and common barriers to bring this vision to fruition. We share experiences candidly and create connections to help. At an event a few months ago, I happened to be sat next to Mel Nurse, Cancer Research UK. In a brief conversation, I realized that Sauce Video, part of Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, could be a great fit to enable collaborative video content creation and help the charity engage audiences. Knowing that Sauce are active in the charity sector, I was keen to make a connection. Taking responsibility for some simple actions and making an email introduction on the train journey home may not seem like profound innovative endeavors. However, just a few months later, CRUK are now using Sauce and loving the capabilities to help them better execute on their mission. I’m proud that Oracle Cloud underpins and enables those capabilities. Regardless of your organization. If you want to grow intrapreneurial culture, don’t get caught up in titles and whether innovation and activity is focused inside an organization or outside. Instead, start small and simply get stuff done. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

This blog post was authored by Matthew Price, Business Development, Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem.    Setting out to write an article about intrapreneurial culture throws up some challenges, beyond...

Startup Life

2018: Tailor-made approach to startup-enterprise innovation

  This is the third in a trio of blogs from our team, looking back on our our successes from 2018. Earlier this year, I was given the golden opportunity to head Oracle’s startup program across Israel, France and Singapore. Many people have asked me what these three regions have in common and why Oracle gathered them all to the same hub. Tel Aviv, Paris and Singapore are all mature ecosystems. They’ve all been listed in the Top 20 Hottest Startup Ecosystems in The World and are all locations with high penetration of technology and an active venture capital community. Driving innovation in mature ecosystems can be challenging. The high level of competition creates high expectations, and we realised that in order to leave a mark we had to drive value. I believe that the best way to drive value is with a tailor-made approach. Even though we work with thousands of startups, each region is different and each startup is unique and has its own needs. Israel is an export- only market, due to its small local market size. Therefore, by nature, Israeli startups demonstrate advanced technology, based on military intelligence competencies and could greatly benefit from getting support in accessing other markets, in order to scale globally. One example, 3DSignals, an Israel based startup, found that sound is something every machine makes. If you can process it, get the data right, you can actually predict failures. They collect ultrasonic sound data 5x stronger than a human ear can hear, process the data into mechanical data and analyse it in the cloud. 3DSignals have built a solution on Oracle Cloud, to facilitate deeper collaboration. Oracle IoT applications and 3DSignals partnered to build a solution which introduces a revolutionary, automated process for Industrial IoT by automating the entire process of fixing industrial machines. France has a well-developed local market and many startups focus their strategy on delivering their product to local banking, insurance, telecom and transportation companies, for example. DialOnce, a Paris based startup, provides an intelligent contact hub, which helps companies to unify the customer journey through all communication channels and deliver a better customer experience. DialOnce have migrated their technology to Oracle Cloud and have built product integrations with Oracle Service Cloud. They’ve had multiple interactions with Oracle enterprise customers in France, who were very impressed with their solution. Singapore is a very small market but it has a huge advantage in providing a gateway to other Asian markets, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and many others. Singapore has a unique and international business culture and you can find locals working alongside entrepreneurs from all over the world. An interesting case study from the Singapore center is RLClub, a startup which builds and operates white-label mobile engagement platforms for partners (telecoms, malls
and banks) that reward their consumers for brand engagement and shopping. RLClub have built their solution on Oracle Cloud and have started getting wide interest from Oracle customers in the telecom space, with the potential of becoming business deals, through the facilitation of the Oracle ASEAN field teams. All of the startups we work with have the opportunity to enjoy our global reach. San Francisco, New York, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Singapore and many others – our startups have been travelling worldwide this year to share their innovation in events, conferences innovation days and customer meetings. Part of our mission is to help startups build innovative solutions on Oracle Cloud. The cloud revolution has opened incredible opportunities for startups and enterprises and we believe that with great infrastructure and supporting resources, magic can happen. Our team of technical experts have been committed to helping startups build the most suitable architecture in the cloud while improving performance and saving costs. 2018 was great and it has gone by so fast! We have worked with hundreds of startups and interacted with thousands of founders, industry experts, technology minds, investors, internal stakeholders, enterprise customers and more. It never gets boring to see that even though entrepreneurship comes in all shapes and sizes, across different cultures and regions, it is always exciting to take part in startups’ journeys to solve problems and make lives better. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.   

  This is the third in a trio of blogs from our team, looking back on our our successes from 2018. Earlier this year, I was given the golden opportunity to head Oracle’s startup program across Israel,...

Startup Life

India Looks Back On The 2018 Roller Coaster Ride!

  This is the second in a trio of blog posts that look back on Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem in 2018. This blog post was authored by Pavan Cheruvu, Program Director Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem.   2018 went by as a blur for us in the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem (Oracle GSE). Here is the India perspective on the year as we look forward to 2019! The year started off the back of a fantastic 2017, with a single minded focus to increase value to Startups and Oracle. 2018 Successes 2018 opened up with the startups moving to the Universal Credit Model (UCM) of cloud credit consumption, which allowed a startup to explore all Oracle Cloud Services. While startups continued to adopt and migrate existing workloads to the Oracle Cloud, services like Oracle Analytics Cloud, Oracle Big Data Cloud and Oracle Container Services saw high interest Marketing outreach and Customer Connect for Startups has been the cornerstone for Oracle GSE. 2018 saw these strengthened with partnership across Oracle Financial Services team, Customer Innovations events & Joint Blogs with Oracle Digital and active participation in the Oracle Cloud Events at Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore. The adrenaline flowed every week. Oracle Open World 2018 at SFO, was the event which we were working towards and it was nice to see two from India make it to the final day. These were: www.disperz.com (“What I Learnt From Larry Ellison”) and www.teknospire.com 2018 Lessons                   We have rewired our processes to enable higher number of startups in shorter timelines to leverage the Oracle Cloud. Startups are offered a unique Milestone linked agile journey with active support from Oracle Cloud Architects, Marketing SME’s and dedicated Oracle Customer Connect teams.  At OGSE, we visualize ourselves as the “Catalyst” between the “Triangle” of Startups, Oracle Cloud Services & Oracle Customers. To this end, we have now moved to a continuous round the year, location-independent model of working with startups. Adding value to startups in a VUCA (Volatile, Complex & Uncertain) world needs a partner who brings multiple intelligences to the table. At Oracle GSE, we have a worldwide team, who act locally and are aligned globally in supporting startups reach their goals. Be Bold! JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

  This is the second in a trio of blog posts that look back on Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem in 2018. This blog post was authored by Pavan Cheruvu, Program Director Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem.   2...

Meet the Startups

A Promise of Big Data Analytics on Electricity

  SustLabs has published an Infographic detailing data analytics on electricity. The startup is an advanced metering infrastructure system (AMI) and data analytics company which leverages Big Data on energy and water. By deciphering real-time electricity consumption from the home, SustLabs can analyse smart meter data even from heavy appliances. This unlocks a wealth of information that electricity supply carries; generating valuable insights for utilities, appliance manufacturers, market research companies and many more. As a part of the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem program in Mumbai, SustLabs leverages Oracle’s products as an IaaS service (Infrastructure as a Service), to record, treat and store these datasets which come with super velocity and high granularity. It uses Oracle's resources to effectively setup data pipelines, run complex analysis and build interfaces. Furthermore, SustLabs is looking at Oracle's Analytics Engine as a prospective platform to handle the amount of data generated with scale in the near future.   Infographic created by Eliricon, H Alberto Gongora, Martin Markstein, Noura Mbarki and Sahua D from Noun Project. JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

  SustLabs has published an Infographic detailing data analytics on electricity. The startup is an advanced metering infrastructure system (AMI) and data analytics company which leverages Big Data...

Startup Life

What an Amazing First Year! Sao Paulo Reflects on 2018

  As we close the year we are looking back on our accomplishments and lessons from 2018. This is the first in a trio of blogs from our team. This blog post was authored by Lucas Nobeschi, Program Manager Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, Sao Paulo.   A little more than a year ago, I was invited as a guest author to share my thoughts and experience about our, at the time soon to be started, accelerator operation in Sao Paulo (check out the post here). I can’t believe how fast time has passed and how many stories and successes (also a lot of failures!) we had in such a relatively short period of time. Reading my previous post now, I can feel all the excitement before our operation began. I remember, as if it was yesterday, the spark in everyone’s eyes as we went through day one. Everything was new, the expectations were high, entrepreneurs have never had such a close relationship with Oracle before - being there was like exploring a new world, a world full of possibilities. What happened next? We got things DONE! It is hard to understand how so many projects have been accomplished in only 398 days – it was truly an amazing year (and a bit). Working from COW (the coworking space where we are based) has proved to be an incredible, creative and open environment that facilitated ideas to grow – during last year we had uncountable meetings with Oracle clients & partners and our startups, also many meetings with internal Oracle teams and our entrepreneurs. We successfully completed our first cohort, having worked together with Nexus Edge, NMIND, Runrun.it, Intelipost, Netshow.me and In Loco Media. Within this group we had entrepreneurs going to Larry Ellison’s house during Oracle Open World 2017, startups becoming Oracle suppliers (case of Netshow.me) – we used their solution to livestream Oracle events in Colombia, Mexico and Tel Aviv, startups being early adopters of our new services and being able to disrupt the market (Intelipost with the use of our Blockchain) – Intelipost was beta tester of our blockchain solution, using it to track all steps of the supply chain management of the delivery and logistics industry, bringing more value to Oracle customers and, of course, accomplishing our ultimate goal: having the startups integrate with Oracle’s ecosystem of clients and partners, using our technology to take them to the next level and achieve a hyper-growth phase. Less than a year of graduating in our program, Nexus Edge, has reached USD 1.5M in gross sales due to projects created with us and running in our cloud. Most recently, during the last days of November, we participated in CASE 2018 – Brazil’s biggest startup event. We brought tons of content to the more than 10,000 people that attended the event. Our presence included panels with entrepreneurs from our program discussing relevant topics of the local ecosystem, a booth to leverage connections, a keynote session with our Vice-President of Oracle’s startup ecosystem, Jason Williamson and also a Demo Day of our second cohort in the region! More than 17 entrepreneurs from our ecosystem participated actively with us on stage and presented their solutions and projects, created with Oracle, to the market.  Besides these few examples, there were also: countless events and meetups, mentoring sessions with Oracle’s executives and specialist engineers, workshops, new connections, happy hours… So what have we learnt in the past 365 days?  In the future I will look back in time to this article and remember the exciting phase we are currently in. As Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, we are bigger than ever, we have also scaled up! In Latin America alone we are working with more than 50 startups coming from countries all around the continent. I can’t wait to tell the stories we are creating with companies such as Jobecam, Pay4Brain, Smartrips, Aquarela Analytics, Consu.me, PhishX and all the other amazing companies that are using our technology and expertise to grow faster. During all this time only one thing hasn’t changed at all - I can still see the same spark in the eyes of everyone. This not only makes me proud of our Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem family, but also shows we are going along the right path and the future holds even greater stories for us! JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup. 

  As we close the year we are looking back on our accomplishments and lessons from 2018. This is the first in a trio of blogs from our team. This blog post was authored by Lucas Nobeschi, Program...

Cloud Foundations for Startups

Migration Paths

Oracle Cloud continues to evolve, offering several new and improved services. If you are running on Classic tools, there may be opportunities to migrate. To smooth the transition, we have developed migration paths from retired to upgraded services, as well as our recommendations to accelerate your enterprise readiness. If you are new to Oracle Cloud, please refer to weeks 1 - 4 of the Cloud Foundations series. Note: Not all new services are available in the same regions as earlier versions. Please check the mapping for  your region. Retired Services CURRENT SERVICE NEW SERVICE OCI Compute Classic OCI Compute OCI Load Balancer Classic OCI Load Balancer OCI Object Storage Classic OCI Object Storage Oracle Application Container Cloud Service OR Oracle Container Cloud Service Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes (OKE) Oracle MySQL Cloud Service OCI Compute Oracle Data Hub Cloud Service OCI Compute Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service Oracle Analytics Cloud – Standard Oracle Mobile Cloud Service Oracle Mobile Hub AND/OR Oracle Digital Assistant Oracle IoT Cloud Service None Oracle Messaging Cloud Service None Oracle Self-Service Integration Cloud Service None   Improved Services CURRENT SERVICE NEW SERVICE Oracle Database Cloud Service – Enterprise Edition Extreme Performance OR Oracle Database Exadata Express Cloud Service Autonomous Transaction Processing OR Autonomous Data Warehouse Oracle Analytics Cloud Classic Oracle Analytics Cloud – Standard Oracle API Platform Classic Oracle API Platform Oracle Big Data Cloud Service – Compute Edition Classic Oracle Big Data Cloud Service – Compute Edition Oracle Content and Experience Cloud Classic Oracle Content and Experience Cloud Oracle Data Integration Platform Classic OR Oracle GoldenGate Cloud Service Oracle Data Integration Platform Oracle Data Integrator Cloud Service Classic Oracle Data Integrator Cloud Service Oracle Developer Cloud Service Classic Oracle Developer Cloud Service Oracle Event Hub Cloud Service Classic Oracle Event Hub Cloud Service Ravello on OCI Classic Ravello on OCI Oracle Integration Cloud Classic Oracle Integration Cloud Oracle Java Cloud Service Classic Oracle Java Cloud Service Oracle Management Cloud Classic Oracle Management Cloud Oracle SOA Suite Cloud Service Classic Oracle SOA Suite Cloud Service Oracle Visual Builder Cloud Service Classic Oracle Visual Builder Cloud Service Oracle WebCenter Portal Cloud Service Classic Oracle WebCenter Portal Cloud Service   Recommendations CURRENT SERVICE NEW SERVICE OCI Database – Enterprise Edition Extreme Performance Autonomous Transaction Processing OR Autonomous Data Warehouse Ravello on Third-Party Regions Ravello on OCI From here, you can continue on to our post on Migration Instructions. 

Oracle Cloud continues to evolve, offering several new and improved services. If you are running on Classic tools, there may be opportunities to migrate. To smooth the transition, we have developed...

Meet the Startups

Fast-Growing Fintech Startup Finding Success & Scale Running on Oracle Cloud

  Indian fintech startup CashPundit is scaling their business and driving customer growth—and Oracle is playing a big role in their success. A member of Oracle’s global startup program, CashPundit is a cloud-based Cash Flow Management (CFM) solution that is helping CFOs across the globe better manage cash flow and identify potential shortfalls in cash balances to avoid cash flow problems and save money.  In short, this startup is making CFOs look like superstars, while simplifying their business lives. Developed by veteran CPAs, the award-winning startup is crediting their partnership with Oracle for many of their successes.   “Our business is accelerating in large part due to the benefits of running on Oracle Cloud, connection to enterprise customers, and world-class mentoring,” said CashPundit CEO Govindraj Muthyalu.  “With Oracle Cloud infrastructure, our speed, ease of use, and performance is far better than what AWS offers. And this is allowing us to help solve a major pain point for financial executives faster, better and more efficiently.” A veteran CFO of many multimillion-dollar companies, Muthyalu says ask CFOs how they manage their cash flow and a vast majority would say manually in Excel. He says the No. 1 reason why businesses go bust is because they run out of cash. Essentially, CFOs across the world are struggling to manage their cash flows.  It was Muthyalu’s similar frustrations as a CFO that lead him to develop CashPundit. “Cash flow includes managing sales, receivables, payables, overheads and inventory. Most of our competitors focus on receivables management alone, whereas we focus on all the aspects of cash flows, and that’s giving us a unique value proposition that no one else in the industry can offer,” he says. That competitive edge is helping CashPundit land some large and valuable customers, including Africa’s biggest IT distributor; a Dubai-based group that has operations across six continents; and a publicly listed Indian company which is a leading player in woven fabrics. The Oracle partnership is helping CashPundit position for further scale and customer growth—particularly on the technology side of things.  The company was running on AWS and migrated over to Oracle Cloud infrastructure upon joining the Oracle Global Startup program. “Oracle Cloud has the fastest, most performant, and robust cloud infrastructure in place,” Muthyalu says.  “In place upgrades to the Cloud instance are handled in a much better and easier way in Oracle Cloud than in AWS. And the security features in Oracle surpass those of AWS in every sense.”  “Due to our multi-tenancy architecture, we were a little worried about how the migration to Oracle Cloud would happen. But the migration from AWS to Oracle Cloud was seamless without any hurdles or disruption in services. Firing up a new instance on Oracle was pretty straight forward and easy to set up,” commented Muthyalu. CashPundit is using multi-tenancy architecture: The front-end is built on MS Visual Studio 2015 using ASP.Net hosted on IIS 7.0 on windows 2008 R2 Enterprise; and the back-end is running on SQL 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition. CashPundit integrates with ERPs and helps businesses effectively manage sales, receivables, and inventory across regions, sales teams, divisions and by customers. Users can instantly access the reports through their laptops and smartphones, 24/7 from anywhere in the world.  Additional features and benefits can be found on their website. CashPundit is also benefitting from introductions to Oracle’s global customers, as well as future marketing opportunities such as being showcased at Oracle and third-party events and media and storytelling exposure with PR and AR activities. “The Oracle Global Startup program is the best thing that has happened to us,” said Muthyalu.  “Our startup journey will be much faster and smoother with the Oracle partnership.”

  Indian fintech startup CashPundit is scaling their business and driving customer growth—and Oracle is playing a big role in their success. A member of Oracle’s global startup program, CashPundit is a...

Cloud Foundations for Startups

Migration Instructions

Once you have migrated from an existing subscription to an Oracle for Startups cloud account, these step-by-step migration instructions will help you leverage updates on various services. If you are new to Oracle Cloud, please start with the Cloud Foundations series, working all the way from Onboarding to Emerging Technologies.   Note: Not all new services are available in the same regions as earlier versions. Please check the mapping for your region. OCI Compute Classic to OCI Compute/OCI Object Storage Classic to OCI Object Storage OCI Classic to OCI Migration Concepts OCI Classic to OCI Migration Tools Migrating Infrastructure Classic Workloads to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure OCI Compute to OCI Compute/OCI Object Storage to OCI Object Storage  OCI to OCI Migration  OCI Database – Enterprise Edition Extreme Performance/Oracle Database Cloud Service – Enterprise Edition Extreme Performance/Oracle Database Exadata Express Cloud Service/ATP/ADW to ATP/ADW Loading Data With Autonomous Transaction Processing Loading Data with Autonomous Data Warehouse Oracle Analytics Cloud Classic to Oracle Analytics Cloud OR Oracle Analytics Cloud to Oracle Analytics Cloud Migrate Oracle Analytics Cloud Using Snapshots Oracle Application Container Cloud Service to OKE Migrating Oracle Application Container Cloud Service Applications to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Oracle Content and Experience Cloud Classic to Oracle Content and Experience Cloud Migrating Legacy Oracle Content & Experience Cloud to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) (requires My Oracle Support registration) Oracle Data Hub Cloud Service to OCI Compute Migrating Oracle Data Hub Cloud Service Clusters to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Oracle Data Integration Platform Classic to Oracle Data Integration Platform Migrating Data Integration Platform Cloud Classic Instances to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Oracle Data Integrator Cloud Service Classic to Oracle Data Integrator Cloud Service Migrating Oracle Data Integrator Cloud Instances to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Oracle Developer Cloud Service Classic to Oracle Developer Cloud Service Migrating Oracle Developer Cloud Service to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Oracle Event Hub Cloud Service Classic to Oracle Event Hub Cloud Service Migrating Oracle Event Hub Cloud Service to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Oracle Integration Cloud Classic to Oracle Integration Cloud Migrating Oracle Integration Classic Instances to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Oracle Java Cloud Service Classic to Oracle Java Cloud Service Migrating Oracle Java Cloud Service Instances to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Oracle Mobile Cloud Service to Oracle Mobile Hub Migrate to Oracle Mobile Hub Oracle MySQL Cloud Service to OCI Compute MySQL Workbench Manual – Database Migration Wizard – MySQL Migration Oracle SOA Suite Cloud Service Classic to Oracle SOA Suite Cloud Service Migrating Oracle SOA Cloud Service Instances to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Migrating Oracle MFTCS Instances to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Oracle Visual Builder Cloud Service Classic to Oracle Visual Builder Cloud Service Migrating Oracle Visual Builder Classic Instances to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Oracle WebCenter Portal Cloud Service Classic to Oracle WebCenter Portal Cloud Service Migrating Oracle WebCenter Portal Cloud Service Instances to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure   Continue to learn more about Service Limits. 

Once you have migrated from an existing subscription to an Oracle for Startups cloud account, these step-by-step migration instructions will help you leverage updates on various services. If you are...

Cloud Foundations for Startups

OCI to OCI Migration

Compute It will only take a few steps to migrate virtual machines or bare metal servers from your existing OSCA, Scaleup or Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem subscription to the new subscription using the OCI console, CLI (recommended) or REST API.   Step 1: Export/Import Image You will need to export your images to object storage in the existing subscription, import them in the new subscription, and then use them when creating new instances, as described in the OCI documentation. Currently OCI doesn’t support exporting Windows images. QUICK TIP: You may want to take this opportunity to configure boot volume backup (minimum recommended policy: Silver).   Step 2 (Optional): Migrate Block Volumes If you have any block volumes, you will have to use OS utilities or third-party software to migrate them to the new subscription. QUICK TIP: It is a best practice to have all your application data in block volumes instead of boot volumes. Also, you may want to take this opportunity to configure block volume backup (minimum recommended policy: Silver). Don’t forget that in OCI block volumes are encrypted by default using AES-256 or your own keys (recommended).   Step 3 (Optional): Update Load Balancing and DNS Whether you are using OCI’s load balancing or DNS service or a third-party’s, you will need to update these services with the new instance IPs after you migrate to the new subscription.   Step 4: Migrate Other Resources All other resources (e.g.: VCNs, subnets, route tables, internet gateways, security lists, DHCP options, NAT gateways) will need to be re-created manually using the OCI console or existing automation (Terraform, Chef). QUICK TIP: Your security lists will need to be updated at least for the new instance IPs, but you may also want to take this opportunity to remove any outdated or unused rules.   Object Storage Like with OCI Compute, it will also only take a few steps to migrate buckets and objects to the new subscription. If you only have a few buckets and objects, it may just be easier to download your objects from the existing subscription, re-create buckets and upload objects to the new subscription manually using the OCI console.   QUICK TIP: You may want to take this opportunity to move any objects that you seldom or rarely access to archive storage. Otherwise, you may want to create a “staging” server in OCI Compute with enough storage capacity for your objects, and use the CLI (recommended) or REST API to re-create buckets and download/upload objects following the instructions in the OCI documentation. Don’t forget that in OCI objects are also encrypted by default using AES-256 or your own keys (recommended).   Go back to Migration Instructions. 

Compute It will only take a few steps to migrate virtual machines or bare metal servers from your existing OSCA, Scaleup or Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem subscription to the new subscription...

Cloud Foundations for Startups

Service Limits

You may need to request new service limit changes as you migrate to your new subscription. As in every competing cloud, service limits are initial quotas or allowances that you may need to raise to meet your specific requirements: Infrastructure or database services: directly from the OCI Console or through My Oracle Support Other platform services: only through My Oracle Support CURRENT SERVICE LIMIT CURRENT DEFAULT VALUE NEW SERVICE LIMIT NEW DEFAULT VALUE OCI Compute Classic – Compute Capacity Cumulative 8 OCPUs OCI Compute – VM.Standard2.1 1 per availability domain OCI Compute – VM.Standard2.2 1 per availability domain OCI Compute – VM.Standard.E2.1 1 per availability domain OCI Compute – VM.Standard.E2.2 1 per availability domain OCI Compute – Any other shapes 0 OCI Compute Classic – High I/O Compute Capacity Cumulative 8 OCPUs OCI Compute – Any other shapes 0 OCI Compute Classic – GPU Compute Capacity 0 OCI Compute – Any other shapes 0 OCI Compute Classic – Block Storage Capacity OR OCI Compute Classic – High Performance Block Storage Capacity 5 TB OCI Compute – Block Storage Capacity 30 TB per availability domain OCI Object Storage Classic – Storage Capacity 5 TB OCI Object Storage – Buckets 10K per compartment per region OCI Object Storage – Objects per Bucket Unlimited OCI Object Storage – Maximum Object Size 10 TiB per region OCI Object Storage – Maximum Object Part Size 50 GiB per region Oracle Database Cloud Service – Enterprise Edition Extreme Performance Cumulative 8 OCPUs ATP – Total OCPUs 8 OCPUs per availability domain ADW – Total OCPUs 8 OCPUs per availability domain Oracle Analytics Cloud – Standard Edition OR Oracle Analytics Cloud – Enterprise Edition Cumulative 8 OCPUs Oracle Analytics Cloud – Standard Edition OR Oracle Analytics Cloud – Enterprise Edition Cumulative 8 OCPUs Oracle Big Data Cloud Service – Compute Edition – Compute Capacity Cumulative 8 OCPUs Oracle Big Data Cloud Service – Compute Edition – Compute Capacity Cumulative 8 OCPUs Oracle Container Cloud Service Classic – Compute Capacity Cumulative 8 OCPUs OKE – Clusters 1 per region OKE – Nodes 1000 nodes per cluster per region Oracle Data Integration Platform – Compute Capacity Cumulative 8 OCPUs Oracle Data Integration Platform – Compute Capacity Cumulative 8 OCPUs Oracle Event Hub Cloud Service – Compute Capacity Cumulative 8 OCPUs Oracle Event Hub Cloud Service – Compute Capacity Cumulative 8 OCPUs Oracle GoldenGate Cloud Service – Compute Capacity Cumulative 8 OCPUs Oracle Data Integration Platform – Compute Capacity Cumulative 8 OCPUs Oracle Integration Cloud – Compute Capacity Cumulative 8 OCPUs Oracle Integration Cloud – Compute Capacity Cumulative 8 OCPUs Oracle SOA Suite Cloud Service – Compute Capacity Cumulative 8 OCPUs Oracle SOA Suite Cloud Service – Compute Capacity Cumulative 8 OCPUs You can also review the full service limit list here. Next up, Frequently Asked Questions. 

You may need to request new service limit changes as you migrate to your new subscription. As in every competing cloud, service limits are initial quotas or allowances that you may need to raise to...

Cloud Foundations for Startups

FAQ

Congratulations, you’ve made to the end of our alumni series! We’ve given you our best advice for jumping in to your new Oracle Cloud experience. In this last installment, we are going to answer some technical questions we frequently hear. For non-technical questions, please contact our business development team. Q: How can I migrate from an expired, suspended or terminated subscription? A: For a suspended subscription, you are going to have to request a short extension from our business development team to reactivate your subscription before you can migrate. The same goes for an expired subscription, although it may not be possible to reactivate a subscription that is expired for longer than 30 days. If your subscription has been terminated, you will have to start over, as terminated service instances (virtual machines, block volumes, network, etc.) are purged. Q: What should I do if a specific service is not available in the new subscription? A:  Report the issue directly to My Oracle Support, and when necessary ask for additional escalation support through the Startup Portal. Q: Are my current service limits going to be migrated to the new subscription? A: No, you will have to request new service limits through the OCI Console or My Oracle Support for infrastructure and database services, and My Oracle Support for all other services. When necessary, ask for additional escalation support through the Startup Portal. Q: Can I use the same cloud account name and e-mail address as before when signing up for the new program? A: No, you need to use a different cloud account name and e-mail address for the new subscription.

Congratulations, you’ve made to the end of our alumni series! We’ve given you our best advice for jumping in to your new Oracle Cloud experience. In this last installment, we are going to answer some...

Partners/Advisors

Why Schwag and Conferences are Important to Startups

    Entrepreneur and investor Brian Norgard recently wrote an excellent Twitter post about some of the top things that startups should avoid. I agreed with the vast majority of his points -- raising money from non-seasoned investors, not sleeping, etc. But there were two that I feel strongly don’t belong: schwag and conferences. I feel this way because we built Dyn into a global leader, as a point product IaaS provider focused on the domain name system (DNS), on the strength of our go-to-market strategy -- a strategy that featured schwag and conferences. Norgard is right in a sense; if done incorrectly, it is easy to waste money on schwag and conferences with little return on investment. But if they become an integral part of your brand, culture, community, and story, then they can become incredibly valuable -- even company-making. Schwag Go to any trade show and you know schwag is table stakes. Have a cool t-shirt or koozie, and people are willing to let you scan their badge -- even if they wouldn’t buy your product in a million years. Too many startups think of schwag in terms of its connection to lead gen. As a result, they get too cute or over the top. That may stop traffic and encourage people to take a peek, but if the schwag doesn’t line up with your ethos, target persona, use cases, and technology value, it is a lost opportunity. Back in 2008 when I came in to build Dyn’s GTM function and scale the business, our competitors were large, stuffy, publicly traded companies that didn’t represent the cloud native startups and developers building large, global, fast-growth online businesses that would benefit from a premiere DNS provider. We wanted to be their provider because our DNA was similar. We wanted to use our schwag that we gave out at conferences as a proclamation: We are different. We think differently.  We are just like you. That is why launched our #DNSISSEXY t-shirt and corresponding integrated marketing campaign. We wanted to be brash and show that we were looking at DNS, a 30-year-old protocol, in a different light. Just because we were selling internet plumbing didn’t mean we couldn’t be cool. Our prospects were the unsung heroes of a company, the IT and system admins who were tasked with creating the best user experience but were rarely publicly acknowledged for how awesome the experience was. Our t-shirt was implying that what they did was awesome and important. They were sexy to us. And they bought in. They felt like we understood them. We then carried that over into our sales approach, which was consolidative and customer-focused. For us, schwag became more than a knick knack we gave away at a conference. It was a statement on who we were as a company. And we rode that strategy to $100M annual recurring revenue -- and to this day as part of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and our real, direct, accessible approach with the DevOps community. Conferences There is a saying that goes, “half of life is just showing up.” This is not true of conferences. Going to a conference, standing in your booth, and scanning badges isn’t a strategy. It’s lazy, especially for a startup. You need to send people who are willing to hustle. You need to stand out from the crowd and OWN THE SHOW. This means creating content that you can distribute through all of your social channels, setting up customer meetings in advance, timing a press release around the event, and launching a new, innovative feature or product. Then you can tap into the events’ media partners, create a publicity stunt, or throw a happy hour. (We DDoS'ed a bar and hosted a DynTini!) If you do this well enough and you do it in enough places, then you will build a reputation as being everywhere. You actually don’t even need a booth. Just show off those peacock feathers large and bright and amplify your presence. Your market will notice. That can be a huge credibility play and make your startup seem bigger than it is. Once you get there, you can have some fun. At Dyn, we decided to start an industry event. We called it Inside Baseball and we brought all the big DNS companies together to talk about the state of the industry. In doing so, it not only gave us a seat at the table long before we truly belonged, but it placed us at the head of that table. We began to be perceived as thought leaders, and many of the talent from other companies that attended liked what they saw in us and eventually joined up. We leveraged that perception as a leader to join industry working groups and punch above our weight. All of this was possible because we were willing to be aggressive and make the most of the conference season calendar. To this day, we’re a fixture at ICANN, NANOG, IETF, and more events throughout the globe for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Again, this approach isn’t for everyone. Your efforts need to be fully integrated and fully embraced by your entire business. But I think it’s wrong to dismiss schwag and conferences outright as a waste of time. Yes, if you just go through the motions with either of them they can be. But if you’re building a startup, then you’re probably not the type of person to just go through the motions and blend in. And if you inject your passion and creativity into them, then they can play a pivotal role in your future success.

    Entrepreneur and investor Brian Norgard recently wrote an excellent Twitter postabout some of the top things that startups should avoid. I agreed with the vast majority of his points -- raising...

Interactive Scientific Announce New Nano Simbox Research

  Global Startup Ecosystem Alumni Interactive Scientific (iSci) have announced their new Nano Simbox (NSB) Research which has been designed for research labs in industry and academia who are looking for pioneering ways to accelerate discovery. The core features of this research tool allow scientists to upload a pdb file and visualize molecules in virtual reality. The features also enable users to change molecular aesthetics, save work and revisit it on a web dashboard. The research has been developed after consultation with research groups over the last year and aims to improve cross-team integrations, communication and visualization within the academic and research community. The proprietary technology, Nano Simbox, can transform big pieces of complex scientific data into striking visuals which users can interact with and investigate. This is now widely accessible thanks to the advances in high-powered computing and cloud technology. The platform can be accessed from anywhere in the world at any time, all you need is a laptop and a VR headset. Users can now download NSB Research to try for themselves. Download the app and register for your account here. iSci are keen to continue their work and develop the NSB research further in collaboration with industry and academia. If you would are interested in collaborating with iSci you can request an introductory call with their research team here.

  Global Startup Ecosystem Alumni Interactive Scientific (iSci) have announced their new Nano Simbox (NSB) Research which has been designed for research labs in industry and academia who are...

Partners/Advisors

Leaders, Don't Get Lost in Translation

As an entrepreneur, you are going to wear many hats if your tech startup is to become successful. One of the most important and often overlooked hats is that of translator. I have been a leader my entire career in tech companies – both small and large – and the one thing all of these experiences have had in common is that you are constantly speaking to diverse audiences. If you can become the shaded region of the Venn Diagram that overlaps between engineering and go-to-market, then you will provide tremendous value and set your company up for success – both externally and internally. External Translation I was the first head of sales and marketing for Dyn, which at the time was a small, self-service domain name system (DNS) company with enterprise ambitions. Prior to being hired, I interviewed with one of the company’s co-founders, Tom Daly, who is a brilliant technical mind. During our conversation, Tom pulled out what appeared to be a 10,000-page book explaining every detail, nuance, and history of DNS. He told me to read it. Never shy, I slid the book back across the table and said, "You don’t want me to read this book." More than a decade later, I can still remember the startled look on his face. He wasn’t expecting that. I wasn’t just being brash. For a tech company to succeed, you have to simplify your messaging. You have to remove jargon, get out of the weeds, and show the business value of the products and solutions you offer. I truly believed I shouldn’t bog myself down with too much technical detail. I always say, "you need to know what you need to know and draw the line." As an executive, however, you need to know your tech cold, and this comes in time and practice. But you also need to know about a wide breadth of adjacent technologies because, when speaking with high-targeted prospects or partners, you never know in what direction a conversation may go. And you must always find the opportunity. If you simply memorize a product, when the conversation veers beyond that one-pager, you’re lost, which can mean money is left on the table. So, yes, it is important to understand your products' features and differentiators, but it is also crucial to understand where your products fit into the broader market. Only then will you understand the current pain points that exist in your industry and be able to articulate how you address them for your customers. Additionally, at the end of the day – for now at least! – it is still human beings who are buying technologies. For thousands of years, humans have communicated through stories. Your tech team will give you excellent products and features. It is your job to translate those from speeds and feeds into the value that they add, the problems that they solve, and the better night's sleep that they provide. Any company can show a product checklist on their website and even compare it to competitors. Of course that is crucial. But the reality is that everyone can have reasonable tech and good products. As a founder, you’re not trying to just make a product. You’re trying to build a company. A company is a great story backed by products that fulfill the promise of that story. Internal Translation To tell a good external story, you need buy-in from within. As a leader, you’re not just communicating to the outside market. One of your most important audiences is internal. And these conversations often need translation, because different parts of a company can often times think quite differently. This is a broad generalization, but I have found that many on the tech side of the house love going deep into the nuances of products, while sales folks lean heavy on a great story, even if it isn’t 100% true today. These divergent viewpoints can create friction if not properly translated. Both sides want what’s best for the company: to create great products that people buy. But they often speak in different languages. And I’m not going to even get into the general and administrative talent in your organization, like human resources, finance, or accounting, which are critical functions to scale a company, but often times are so far removed from what you actually do and what value you provide. You need to educate them too, because they can be some of your best evangelists if armed well. As a leader, you may need to remind your engineering team that, even though one feature may be sexier, it may have to wait until one that customers are demanding is finished. Simultaneously, you may need to remind a salesperson that new products and features do not grow on trees, so they must remain patient or figure another way to add new value with the current offerings. Above all, you must get EVERYONE to believe in the story you want to tell the market. Only once your entire business is on the same stage can you deliver to your greatest potential. And delivering on your story is what will make your company an undeniable success. And you'll have the added bonus of being able to add "translator" to your resume.

As an entrepreneur, you are going to wear many hats if your tech startup is to become successful. One of the most important and often overlooked hats is that of translator. I have been a leader my...

Startup Life

Sweet Future: Will Technology Cure Diabetes?

  This month is the World Diabetes Awareness Month, and I thought it was a good opportunity to share a story on a more personal note. A few months ago I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, also called Juvenile Diabetes and my life has completely transformed. Most people around me thought that diabetes was a disease of elderly people who ate too many sweets and the way to cure it was to stop eating sweets. But in fact, T1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks pancreatic cells to a level that they stop producing insulin - an essential hormone responsible for promoting the absorption of glucose into the cells and the creation of energy. Contrary to popular belief, T1 diabetes is not caused by poor diet or sugar. The cause of the disease is not entirely clear but there is a strong link to stress. In fact, studies show that the risk of T1 diabetes is three times higher in children who experience traumatic events in the first 14 years of their life. T1 diabetes usually starts in children under the age of 18 and, unlike children with other chronic conditions, there are almost no external signs to suggest that the child suffers from a medical condition. That's why so many people are not aware of the demanding lifestyle which includes injections and stabbing every few hours, strict diet and exercise, avoiding stress and other risk factors, weakness of the immune system, careful planning every minute in a way that eliminates the concept of spontaneity and, especially, daily coping with a general sense of lack of control. A series of studies examining the link between juvenile diabetes and suicide has also shown that the rate of suicides among type 1 diabetics is higher than among the general population. Diabetes has a range of risks in the short term but its significant damage is caused in the long run as a result of unbalanced glucose levels and can result in many complications including kidney failure, impaired vision, damage to blood vessels, neuropathy, necrosis and amputation. About 8.5% of the world's adult population has diabetes. The numbers reach over 400 million people and in Israel are estimated at half a million people. In the United States, the economic burden of diabetes is estimated at $ 266 billion. This is perhaps the main light at the end of the diabetes tunnel. Due to the huge market size, venture capital funds invest in this field and many companies are working on research and development in order to find a cure for the disease. Many diabetics say that they believe that the cure for diabetes is on the horizon. In order to be able to benefit from that, diabetics focus on maintaining balance and managing the disease so that they will be complication-free when the cure is found. Even today we can already see how technology has come to the aid of diabetics in a life-saving way - there is a thriving technology ecosystem with cutting edge startups that are focused on improving and streamlining the various aspects of treating the disease and even working towards a cure. Daily Management of Diabetes Diabetes requires meticulous management 24 hours a day and many start-ups are working to simplify and improve the management of the disease. For example, Glucome provides a  connected glucose monitor for easier management of the disease. Sweetch , Nutrino , and Dario Health provide tools for personalized management and customized lifestyle while monitoring, analyzing and providing personalized recommendations. Lumen helps optimize metabolism through personalized dietary recommendations. Daytwo focuses on personalized nutrition, based on gut microbiome and helps type 2 diabetics. Douxmatok and A1C Foods aim to reduce sugar consumption by food engineering of low-carb foods. Insulog was invented by a diabetic after he fainted in the street because he accidentally injected twice. It provides a component that turns each insulin syringe into a connected one and enables intelligent tracking of injections. Dreamed Diabetes offers a solution for selecting the optimal medical treatment and adjusting insulin doses for type 1 diabetics. These are just some of the solutions that help diabetics live a full, dynamic and active life almost like any healthy person. According to my personal experience, one of the major problems in managing diabetes is the lack of a platform that consolidates all applications, devices, medical data and the input of healthcare professionals in one place. The patient is required to assemble a puzzle of tools and information and synchronize them manually and not always optimally. Artificial pancreas: When medical devices meet algorithms One of the main technology trends in diabetes care is the artificial pancreas system, which has been under development for many years. The term Artificial Pancreas refers to the continuous measurement of blood glucose and the automatic administration of insulin accordingly, as part of a closed loop. The artificial pancreas is based on three components - continuous glucose monitoring, an insulin pump attached to the patient's body and algorithms and software that calculate and predict the need for insulin and actually mimic the action of the human pancreas. It is already known that continuous glucose monitoring, which is one of the aspects of artificial pancreas development, is essential for the effective management of the disease. The progress of the artificial pancreas system and the automatic dosing of insulin depends to a great extent on the ability to integrate artificial intelligence into medical devices. Medical device companies also understand this and are working to improve their capabilities in the field. One example of this is Dexcom, one of the world's largest manufacturers of continuous glucose monitors, which recently acquired Typezero – a startup software and algorithms for optimizing insulin dosing. Biotechnology in the Service of Diabetes Another avenue of development deals with the issue of automatic dosage of insulin from the biotechnological aspect. Synthetic insulin has made good progress over the years and today there is a selection of insulin types that differ from each other mainly in their speed of effect. The next stage of insulin development involves the introduction of smart insulin, which can react and regulate itself according to blood sugar level. The Race to Find a Cure Efforts to find a cure for diabetes focus on the biological path. There are many areas that have been researched for years, including stem cell transplantation, various actions to protect the cells from the immune system, treatments to renew beta cells and restore their function as insulin producers and more. One example is Betalin Therapeutics, which developed an engineered micro-pancreas by creating a biological micro-environment to support harvested stem cells designated for transplant. The efforts to find a cure are backed by research and studies that require very heavy funding. One of the concerns is that some of the companies that invest in these developments are the insulin manufacturers, who are liable to lose dozens of billions from the cure of diabetes. Fortunately for us, many executives in these firms are motivated by a personal agenda – as diabetics or parents of diabetic children. First Published in Hebrew on Noam Inbar’s tech blog on The Marker        

  This month is the World Diabetes Awareness Month, and I thought it was a good opportunity to share a story on a more personal note. A few months ago I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, also called...

Meet the Startups

Nexus Edge Secures $1.5 million in Sales Partnering with Oracle’s Global Startup Program

Sao Paulo startup Nexus Edge have announced that they have reached $1.5 million USD in gross sales thanks in a large part to their partnership with the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, Oracle’s startup program supporting innovators and entrepreneurs worldwide. This has allowed Nexus Edge to grow their talented team to 21 people and also translate their AI solution in Portuguese and Spanish, which is available in the Oracle Customer Experience Portfolio. Nexus Edge is a next-generation digital advertising solution delivering proprietary technology made exclusively 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. The Nexus Edge team have been working closely with several Oracle teams to better navigate the enterprise world, as stated by Vitor Andrade, Head of Startup Ecosystem in Brazil. “Across our program, we are reimagining enterprise innovation in partnerships with startups. Together with Nexus Edge, we were able to boost our CX cloud offer and build something unique to our enterprise customers in Latin America. Their commitment to understand and engage across the Oracle ecosystem was key to achieving such great results”  Marcel Jientara, CEO of Nexus Edge, hopes their momentum it will help other startups achieve their goals: “In just one year being accelerated by Oracle we reached $1.5m USD gross sales. This proves it is possible for startups to achieve results at an enterprise level without compromising equity, cash flow and business vision.” – Marcel Jientara, CEO Nexus Edge Find out more about Nexus Edge in their Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem case study here.

Sao Paulo startup Nexus Edge have announced that they have reached $1.5 million USD in gross sales thanks in a large part to their partnership with the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, Oracle’s...

Reimagining Startup & Enterprise Innovation

Ellison Recounts Oracle Origins to Startup Founders

Editor's Note: This piece originally published in eWeek by Michael Hickins on Oct. 30. SAN FRANCISCO—Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison on Oct. 24 hosted the founders of 22 startups for a cocktail reception and engaged with them on topics ranging from how he navigated the difficult early days of the business computing giant he founded in 1977 to navigating the ever-changing technological landscape. In what has become an annual event, Ellison welcomed to his San Francisco home the leaders of startups selected for the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem, a startup enablement program that gives participants free access to Oracle cloud technology and expert mentoring. What makes the program unique is that it also provides participants access to Oracle customers as well as, in many cases, the opportunity to sell their technology jointly with Oracle sales reps, participants said. Oracle does not take an equity position in the startups it mentors--an unusual aspect of the program. Before engaging with the new tech leaders assembled in his living room, Ellison offered a toast to Reggie Bradford, the visionary Oracle executive who passed away Oct. 22. Ellison called him a “unique spirit.” Bradford founded and spearheaded the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem program. Prior to joining Oracle through an acquisition, Bradford founded several startups and “channeled his vision and optimism for the benefit of other startups,” said Amy Sorrells, who runs global communications for the program. Decide on Monday, Change Your Mind on Thursday Ellison warned the founders not to assume they will maintain technological superiority just because they are ahead today. “There are lots of very smart people out there” who are at any time capable of creating a significant new technological paradigm, he said. “The old solution to customers’ problems may no longer be the best solution. When you see that, it’s an opportunity—or a threat,” Ellison said. Companies—even startups—need to keep their eyes out for such changes and be willing to adapt accordingly, he said. Ellison, asked how he has been able to imbue his organization with the ability to react to large shifts in technology, said founders must be willing to “make a decision on Monday and then change your mind on Thursday.” “It’s our job as founders and developers to constantly change our companies based on technology available today that wasn’t available yesterday,” he added. What ‘Eureka’ Looks Like Ellison noted that the mathematical principles underlying the transaction processing database that launched Oracle had been developed by people at IBM. But the IBM researchers thought the data processing and storage applications would take too long to be practicable. “They didn’t deem it commercially viable,” Ellison said. Ellison disagreed and built a prototype to show that it could be at least as fast as contemporaneous database technology in the market. Ellison described the evening he and his team completed a benchmark of their new database against IBM and DEC databases, and confirmed that the Oracle database was not only competitive with them, but was already 10 percent faster. “I staggered out of the room, muttering: ‘We’re 10 percent faster! We’re 10 percent faster!’ over and over again,” he recounted. Encountering another executive in the building lobby, Ellison told the man what the benchmarks had proven and asked, “Do you know what this means?” The man shook his head no. “’It means ‘This company is worth at least $100 million,’ I told him. This from the guy who was still driving a used Mazda!” Ellison said. “The guy thought I had lost it,” he laughed. “But I knew I had come upon something important.” Need to Do Whatever It Takes Ellison laughed as he described his company’s early financial struggles, noting that it was more than three months between the time he struck a handshake agreement with the CIA—Oracle’s first database client—and the time the company actually got a check. “We were about a week away from not being able to make payroll,” he said. He also noted that while he and his engineers were busily building the first transaction processing database in history, Oracle generated revenue through consulting and technology development for various other technology companies in Silicon Valley. “I kept pulling people off those projects and putting them onto the database as it grew in size and complexity,” he said. The lesson, he noted, was to balance different exigencies – doing work that paid the bills but also knowing when to double down on the company’s ultimate focus. Making the World 'a Better Place' Ellison shared an optimistic view of how technology can make the world a better place. This wasn’t not surprising, given his high-profile forays into environmental, health care and other issues around the world. Cloud computing “is the backbone to make the rest of the world smart,” he said. Ellison described how his hydroponic greenhouses in Hawaii are making it possible to grow more organic food and make it cost effective while all but eliminating the carbon footprint associated with shipping food around the world. The greenhouses are run remotely using sensors and machine learning to ensure that plants get the proper nutrition at the proper time, and harvests are done using robots to further eliminate inadvertent food contamination. He used this as an example of how “everything that’s important is going to be improved by these huge compute utilities and technologies like ML.” Oracle's Global Startup Ecosystem This type of mentorship directly from Larry Ellison doesn’t happen every day, of course, but is emblematic of the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem ethos, notes Diego Pantoja-Navajas, who runs operations for the program. The program is built to “help them achieve their goals,” but also helps Oracle through partnerships with—and feedback from—startups, which provide early access to emerging technologies and new perspectives on customers. “It’s another set of eyes to help us improve our products,” he said. The ecosystem has hubs in Austin, Texas, as well as Sao Paolo, Brazil; Bristol in the UK; Paris, France; Tel Aviv; Singapore; Mumbai; Bangalore and New Delhi. “But we don’t pick startups from just those nine areas. Oracle is present in 175 countries worldwide, and we welcome startups from any one of those countries,” he said. The startups, for their part, are able to sell into Oracle’s customer base, either with Oracle’s guidance or in many cases by selling jointly alongside Oracle salespeople. “From that perspective, it’s been brilliant,” said Zara Nanu, CEO and founder of Gapsquare, which sells AI-driven technology that helps companies reduce the gender pay gap. Gapsquare, launched in 2015, now has 150 customers, most of them large enterprises. Nanu said Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has the scale-up capabilities that allowed her company to quickly ramp up resources as needed, and to pay only for the resources it consumes. (While those resources are currently free, that flexibility will be valuable when Gapsource leaves the program and becomes a paying customer.) The Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem is run by many former entrepreneurs—like Pantoja-Navajas—which helps explain why “they totally get us,” Nanu said. Dan Metzger, co-founder of OppSource, noted that his startup first began speaking with Oracle in April, and now only six months later is not only part of the program, but has been able to integrate its AI- and machine learning-driven sales enablement application with Oracle’s, helping both companies close very large deals. Other startups at the cocktail reception included Intelipost, a supply chain logistics provider based in Sao Paulo that uses Oracle Blockchain Service to complement its service.

Editor's Note: This piece originally published in eWeek by Michael Hickins on Oct. 30. SAN FRANCISCO—Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison on Oct. 24 hosted the founders of 22 startups for a cocktail...

Meet the Startups

Preview The Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem At Oracle OpenWorld 2018

  Oracle OpenWorld 2018 is only a couple of weeks away and if there is one feature of this conference that is a must see, then it is the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem Pavilion where more than a dozen startups from The Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem will be in attendance. Our ecosystem’s 2018 cohort pushes the envelope on cloud services that help make modern businesses run smoother, smarter and faster than ever before. For a second year in a row, our startup participants from around the world will showcase the businesses they have built across wide ranging industries that help solve modern cloud business challenges creatively and quickly.    This event allows us to create significant awareness of our startup community and our enterprise customers are excited to learn about the advanced technology our cutting-edge startups are bringing into the mix, – helping to create co-innovation and co-development practices that push the envelope of innovation around Oracle’s Cloud Services.   Since the inception of this program we have seen that by leveraging Oracle Cloud Services we can better unlock the full value and potential of Oracle resources for our startups. Our mission with the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem is to build a thriving global startup community that can drive the digital economy, based on collaborative partnerships that enable next-generation growth, business development and cloud-based innovation. 2018 Participants in Attendance Nearly 20 startups will have a station at the South Upper Lobby Moscone Center where founders and executives will be available to meet with the public and demonstrate their products. They will also be participating in speaking sessions, panels and special events. Here’s a sneak preview of the organizations that will be attending OpenWorld and a few examples of the business problems these companies are solving using Oracle Cloud Technology:   Gapsquare: (Bristol, UK) The World Economic Forum estimates it will take 217 years to close the gender pay gap. Gapsquare believes that by using science and technology we can skip two centuries of inequality.  Gapsquare is a leading solutions provider of pay transparency and gender pay gap analysis. Gapsquare’s solution allows organizations to be self-sufficient in analysis and understanding of the gender pay gap and managing the process of change when narrowing the gap in pay between gender or ethnicity groups. Agamon: (Tel Aviv, Israel) 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. 1 Echo: (Santa Monica, California) An employee engagement platform that helps companies modernize training strategies and content delivery to enable their workforce to align with today’s digital habits. Delivering need-to-know information through a mobile-first methodology via push notifications, 1Echo allows employees to engage “on-the-go” while providing real-time feedback and analytics. Micro-learning through mobile engagement delivers ‘just-in-time’ content using a communication model proven to boost participation, improve retention and better engage the workforce. Intelipost: (Sao Paulo, Brazil) A SaaS startup that tackles freight and transportation management by 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. All participants in the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem are also Gold Member OPN partners that integrate seamlessly with Oracle products. Bring your customers, partners and prospects to our Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem Pavilion located in South Upper Lobby Moscone Center to meet the startups. Learn more about their capabilities by scheduling one-on-one time with the founders and executives.

  Oracle OpenWorld 2018 is only a couple of weeks away and if there is one feature of this conference that is a must see, then it is the Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem Pavilion where more than a dozen...