The opportunity to partner with a company the size of SAP, a worldwide renown brand, presented itself in the best possible manner for Pico. Not only are they global leaders when it comes to data and customer management, they offered us a chance to participate in the SAP.iO Foundry Munich program with a focus on the amazing upcoming SAP Garden Sports complex in the heart of Munich.‘Offered’ is actually not an accurate description. It was, truth be told, a chance to be one of more than 800 startups to apply, and of which only 8 were accepted – we were fortunate for the inclusion. In addition to the startups, two giant sports organizations were added to the 3-month program as SAP partners and potential customers for a Proof-of-Concept by each of the startups. FC Bayern Munich Basketball Club and Red Bull Munich Hockey Club came on board to check innovative solutions centered around the fan experience and the new ‘smart’ arena. For them, it was an investment of time and resources, for the chance to see short and long term value in their existing arenas and later on, when all is ready, at the SAP Garden.
For Pico, the vision was clear: SAP is one of the biggest software companies in the world, managing both business operations as well as customer relations. Their existing customers count on them to properly manage their own existing customers in either a B2B2B or B2B2C model. At its core, Pico comes in and adds to the ‘C’ part of B2B2C, either in volume or in quality data points. So validating a relationship creates a potential new ballgame for SAP customers – not only will they manage their existing database with SAP, they’ll be adding to it from this huge digital space of fans and followers.
The program was awesome. The Foundry Munich staff built daily communication channels to make sure every startup need was addressed. They had to navigate through:
- 8 startups;
- 2 sports organizations (who happen to be SAP clients), managing their day to day business in the weirdest global climate possible for their operations;
- A highly-regarded team of coaches, mentors, professors and executives that were expected to share their experiences with the cohort; and
- Their own huge company to build the necessary networks, connections and the end goal of seamless integrations with SAP’s products and app center.
While we didn’t get to mingle and network in person and missed out on some great Oktoberfest activities, we’re all living through a global pandemic, so this is not the time to complain. The SAP.iO Foundry members were great with going virtual. Without the option for those face-to-face interactions, we took to Microsoft Teams and Zoom calls and found that manageable, like everybody. Frustrating at times, but well organized and conducted. The mentorship tips, MBA-style, were priceless. From Product to Marketing to Sales to Negotiations, many have been immediately adopted. The SAP tips were vital to become part of this ecosystem. Demo Day offered an opportunity with a wider audience and that responsibility was handled well by Pico’s co-founder and CEO, Asaf Nevo, running through the product and our POCs with both sports organizations. The relationships formed with them will help both ours and their businesses - which is the common goal of any “brand/vendor” partnership.
The crown jewel is the integration with SAP’s Customer Data Cloud and later on with SAP Commerce and Marketing Cloud. Being featured – soon we hope – in their app center will present huge upsell opportunities for SAP and new business and verticals for Pico. This is all just the beginning. Which means we’re not giving up on that in-person experience and definitely not on the “Mass Bier”.
Watch out our demo-day pitch!
To read more about the program: SAP.iO Co-Leads Innovation with Munich's SAP Garden