Last week, the US Chapter of the Global Open Innovation Network held a Techmeeting devoted to Blockchain at’s office. With more than 150 attendees, many large corporations showed interest in the topic and participated in the event including Airbus, Schneider Electric, Accenture, Valeo, Samsung, Bosch, Flex, Blue Shield of California, Macy’s, PG&E, Accenture, BNP Paribas, UBS private bank, Siemens and of course SAP.

After a short introduction to the SAP Startup Focus program by Domitilla Caputo, Ram Jambunathan, SVP and Managing Director at SAP.iO kicked off the event with a fireside chat with Elizabeth Stark, CEO and Cofounder of Lightning, a protocol based on blockchain. By using real Bitcoin/blockchain transactions and using its native smart-contract scripting language, Lightning creates a secure network of participants which can transact at high volume and high speed.

Elizabeth mentioned that the redundancy inherent to the public blockchain makes it extremely secure, but it also makes it slow and wasteful. The public blockchain is also very interesting if full transparency and anonymity is one of the benefits searched.

Following the fireside chat, Abhishek Gutgutia, Blockchain & Artificial Intelligence Lead at Accenture Ventures, moderated a panel discussion with:

  • Rebecca Liao, VP of Business Development and Strategy at Skuchain
  • Andreas Fichter, Business Development & Customer Engagement Manager at SAP
  • Peter Ebert, Senior VP Business Development at Cryptowerk Corp
  • Simon Bain, CEO at BOHH Labs.

The panel focused mostly on the challenges and opportunities of blockchain from an enterprise adoption perspective. They also shared the use cases that would likely drive adoption and their experiences on implementing the technology, generating an energetic discussion and great interaction with the audience.



To close the event, 6 startups pitched their solutions and products: Identify3D, True North Business exchange, TailorCV, ShoCard, Blocknotary and Healthlinkages.


If you are interested in joining the Open Innovation Club, or pitching at one of our next events, please contact us.

Thank you to our partner SAP Startup Focus, as well as SAP.iO for hosting the Global Open Innovation Network, and to our amazing speakers for sharing their experience and expertise with the audience.


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More about SAP Startup Focus Program:
The SAP Startup Focus program is a global program helping startups in the big data, predictive and real-time analytics space develop new applications on SAP HANA and accelerate market traction

They offer: 1. Immediate access to the cutting-edge HANA technology platform.

  • Access to HANA training and technical experts.
  • Marketing & sales enablement support reaching SAP’s 225,000+ global customer base (for qualified, market ready startups)
  • Opportunities to pitch to the venture community including SAP Ventures and its HANA Real Time fund.
  • A ready community of entrepreneurs, partners, investors and thought leaders.

The SAP Startup Focus does not take equity from participating startups and offers all its services at no cost.

More about SAP.IO

SAP.iO Fund makes strategic investments in startups who drive customer value from digitization. They are investing in startups who can leverage SAP’s data, APIs and technologies.