Reimagining Startup and Enterprise Innovation

Startups Impress Analysts in the Dragon’s Den

Sarah Griffiths
Freelance Journalist

Eight startups from Oracle for Startups caught analysts’ eyes at a Dragon’s Den-style competition at Oracle OpenWorld Europe in February. 

The event brought together startups and partners to pitch a panel of IDC analysts earlier this year. The startups – all members of the Oracle startup program  – were judged on creativity, innovation, and the strength of their pitches. Presenting deep tech solutions to common customer challenges, DeepZen’s AI audiobook solution was deemed ‘most innovative.’

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Most Innovative

DeepZen, an artificial intelligence startup business focused on publishing and producing audiobooks, was deemed the most innovative at the Dragon’s Den-style competition.

The demand for audiobooks is outpacing humans’ ability to record them, according to DeepZen CEO Kerem Sozugecer. While recording an audiobook can take humans several weeks, Sozugecer says DeepZen’s AI technology can create a 10-hour audiobook in just a few hours, at a competitive price. 

IDC analysts believe the product could fundamentally shift the scalability of long-form audio content at a time when the audiobook and podcast markets are growing quicker than the overall media and entertainment market.

DeepZen was not the only startup to impress the judges. 

Best Overall Pitch

Joulica won best overall pitch with technology that streams data from platforms, virtual assistants, and AI to a real-time analytics solution that shows key performance indicators. CEO Tony McCormack highlighted Joulica’s ability to "close the chasm between the customer expectation and data processing.”

Most Creative

Retraced was named most creative. Founded in early 2019, Retraced has leveraged Oracle Blockchain to develop a complete product in just 12 months. The solution is attracting attention by tackling the fashion industry’s transparency crisis. The app allows customers to check a brand’s sustainability credentials, while a B2B platform supports fashion labels as they collect, analyze, and trace supply-chain information.


“The caliber of startups on the program was extremely high,” says IDC Senior Research Analyst Naima Camara in the report "Oracle for Startups: Deep Tech for Enterprise Scale."  

“Despite the variety of the startups' focus areas, they were unified through their creation of deep-tech solutions that solve a recurring challenge in the market.”

Read the full report. 



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