A place for innovations: SAP`s InnoTakeOff

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SAP is a big company. As with many big companies, people think: they cannot innovate. Or: they have no culture for that. Guess what, SAP is different. HANA is the proof for that, as well as programs like startup focus, InnoJam or CodeJams. Another event you may not know about is InnoTakeOff. Set in an official style, it offers SAP employees, students and startups the possibility to innovate and turning their ideas into reality using SAP technology. This is not just a small event. Look at the sponsors: SAP BI & IT and SAP P&I. The areas at SAP that create new products. Or the executive sponsors: Ingrid-Helen Arnold, Sam Yen, Carsten Linz. Yes. The current edition started in December 2015 and will end March 23rd 2016, and is divided into 3 phases: idea evaluation, prototyping and final event. The finalists of the three areas are announced, and from what I can see, this will be a hell of a competition.

What is my role?

Being an SAP Mentor, I was kindly asked if I am interested in helping with my expertise in all three phases. For the SAP employee part, I had to act upon two phases: idea evaluation and coaching. Evaluating the ideas was easy, online only, checking viability and desirability, providing feedback. Phase two added personal aspect, as I coached two teams of SAP employees whose ideas made it through to semi finales in their prototyping phase. One of those advanced to the finale! I am little bit proud of themJ. For the startups and students, I only had to evaluate the ideas. Guess what: two ideas I evaluated were also selected as finalists!

Phase 3

Final phase, grand finale, 14 teams, on site, Silicon Valley, live systems, 2 days to finalize the idea. With support from InnoTakeOff team and my manager, I was able to get funding for the flight and will be able to join forces with the onsite coaches. The mixture of people attending looks very promising. People that already have experience with HCP, HANA, IoT, UX, others only starting to work with this. All will benefit from the power of SAP`s underlying platform. At least that what I expect J If you ever participated in an InnoJam, you know that it is somewhat magic. People are working fully concentrated, solving problems and doing things in such a short time it seems unbelievable the demoed app was developed during the event. Now, with the InnoTakeOff, participants had even more time to prepare themselves, imagine how that event will be!

Yes, I am excited. See you in the valley next week.

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