Sequentia Environics came out on top in a startup competition hosted by SAP AG in Waterloo, Ont.-yesterday, awarding them access to a database platform that could help their business crunch data more efficiently.
Eight startups in the “big data” field gave five-minute pitches at the first SAP Startup Forum. Big data is a term referring to the capability to parse a massive amount of information and extract useful nuggets of wisdom that could help guide business decisions. Sequentia Environics is developing a product to measure the performance of Web content.
“We’ll be handling millions of transactions in the course of 60 seconds,” says Jen Evans, the CEO of Sequentia Environics.
SAP’s HANA platform is a database designed to crunch big data. As the overall winner at the competition, Sequentia Environics will gain access to that tool and to SAP training on the platform. It will also be able to demonstrate its product at SAP’s Sapphire conference. The platform could help the firm take millions of data points from the Web and show businesses what paths their customers are coming through to find them, Evans says.
“That kind of analysis would be prohibitively expensive for us at this stage of our development,” she says. “But HANA would allow us to do that.”
SAP is pitching HANA to tech startups because it sees their potential to develop breakthroughs with the product, says Amit Sinha, head of database and technology innovation at SAP. The format of the competition educates the startup attendees about HANA, and SAP also learns about the startup firms. Even if those startups are offering similar services to SAP’s products, that’s OK, Sinha says.
“You probably will compete with SAP applications at some point in time, but we’re open to that,” he says. “We’re trying to be a true platform.”
SAP is also planning to host similar startup forums around the world, including in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, Paris, Seattle, and Tel Aviv.
Other winners at the Waterloo event included DossierView for best user experience. Po-Mo won for most innovative as well as most likely to succeed, and Cyborg Trading was named best big data solution.