Over one hundred and twenty attendees representing the Montreal Tech Community joined SAP Startup Focus and the Founder Institute to learn more about the challenges and opportunities around Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and the Internet of Things (IoT) on Tuesday, August 1st at SAP Canada’s headquarter in Montreal.
In addition to giving the opportunity to promising startups to pitch their solution during the event, we awarded one startup with the SAP Startup Focus – Founder Institute fellowship that grants free access to the Founder Institute Program to receive the structure, mentor support, and entrepreneurial network that early stage startups need to start an enduring company.
Cindy Fagen, Chief Operating Officer at SAP Labs Canada, kicked off the night. “SAP and startups have something in common: the desire to disrupt, to create value (…) Our customers are demanding us that we work together and that we create value together for our customers” said Cindy, discussing why working with startups to create an ecosystem of innovation is so important to SAP. Sergio Escobar, MD of the Founder Institute Montreal followed with an overview of the Founder Institute and the many programs available to startups to help them boost their growth.
For the last few years technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and IoT have excited the imagination of manufacturers, investors, entrepreneurs, and enterprises. These technologies hold huge promises and many companies are exploring how they can leverage them to generate business value and business impact. We hosted an exciting panel discussion with experts in the field who addressed this enigma and shared their expertise and experiences.
During the panel discussion, Afsoon and Frederic provided first hand insights on the theme of AR, VR, and IoT from the perspective of two series A startups – respectively, IRYStec, a leading innovator of perceptual display processing technology that replicates and emulates how the human eye sees, and Mnubo, an Internet of Things (IoT) Data Analytics company that delivers actionable business insights to manufacturers of connected products.
Although AR is an emerging area compared to IoT, both technologies can help businesses increase customer satisfaction, improve quality and reduce costs, and a growing number of enterprises are testing and adopting them. Pascal – who has been leading the SAP Augmented/Virtual Reality and Wearable Technology portfolio at SAP for more than four years, working directly with customers, different AR SDK providers and device vendors, shared the latest on the state of adoption of these technologies by large enterprises.
Here are 3 key takeaways from this passionate panel discussion:
- Use a technology to solve a problem. Entrepreneurs should not create AR/VR/IoT products just based on the popularity of these new technology trends.
- Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have a huge potential to disrupt many industries. AR/VR technologies can enhance customers’ experience through customized methods to interact with a company and its products, provide a worker with remote guidance and collaboration to help her perform tasks such as repair or maintenance, and even enable designers to model and test detailed virtual prototypes without physical construction.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) is deeply connected to VR and AR, and the integration of these technologies create a new range of opportunities. For instance, an AR display could use AI image recognition to streamline complex maintenance processes. The retail industry offers exciting new possibilities, such as augmented reality catalogs that enable users to place virtual furniture in your own home or AI-based in-store virtual assistants enhanced by AR components.
Following the panel discussion, five startups – Augmi Technologies, Mollejuo, Mnubo, Retinad, and VR Tracker – took the stage to pitch their company to a panel of three judges, namely Cindy Fagen, COO of SAP Labs Canada, Sergio Escobar, MD of the Founder Institute Montreal, and Mark Noronha, Global Lead – Startup Engagement at SAP Startup Focus.
After an exciting 40-minute pitch competition, Mnubo emerged as the “Most Transformative” solution, while Augmi Technologies was awarded as the “Most Innovative”. Augmi’s Founder Manal Siddqui – the youngest entrepreneur on stage – said that Augmi is planning to help companies pioneer and transition into the world of Augmented Reality. The competition between the brands has made it necessary for them to adapt to newer and creative technologies. As the world becomes more tech savvy, Augmi aims to connect the brands to its consumers in an era of digitization.
Retinad, represented by CEO Alexander Haque, won the SAP Startup Focus – Founder Institute Fellowship and will join the Founder Institute Program for free. Retinad’s mission is to decipher human behavior in VR/AR through data. They are on a deep quest researching and discovering the language of immersive media. Founded in 2014, they have developed a powerful data analytics platform used by industry giants to help them test, measure and improve their VR/AR campaigns. Retinad demonstrated a technology & business vision aligned strongly to the needs of the digital enterprise.
Thank you to a very enthusiastic Montreal Tech community, our speakers, our co-host Founder Institute, and all the startups that applied to pitch and pitched at the event.
Check out all the tweets from the night via #ARIOT4BIZ.