Over one hundred fifty attendees representing Bay Area’s Tech community joined SAP Startup Focus, Open Innovation Club and SAP.iO to learn more about the challenges and opportunities around blockchain on Wednesday, July 19th.
In addition to helping promising startups build quality solutions on SAP technology to accelerate their market traction, we also wanted to provide attendees with a unique opportunity to create great and valuable connections. So we decided to join forces with Open Innovation Club, whose mission is to connect startups with corporations, and SAP.iO, SAP’s Fund & Foundry that invests in the next generation of enterprise startups to give startups the opportunity to connect with investors, incubators, thought leaders, and large enterprises such as Airbus and Schneider Electrics, just to name a few.
Ram Jambunathan, SVP and Managing Director at SAP.iO kicked off the event with a fireside chat with Elizabeth Stark. Elizabeth is the CEO and Cofounder of Lightning, where she is building a programmable financial layer for the internet through fast, scalable blockchain transactions. The Lightning Network is a protocol dependent upon the underlying technology of the blockchain. By using real Bitcoin/blockchain transactions and using its native smart-contract scripting language, it is possible to create a secure network of participants which can transact at high volume and high speed.
Elizabeth discussed public blokchain, smart contracts, and the need for trust and authenticity. In fact, public decentralized blockchains can provide a new protocol for the internet and transactions. For example, it can enable peer to peer marketplaces, such as Open Bazar, an open source, decentralized marketplace that doesn’t have any company or middleman that remove or block listings, charge fees, or hold money.
Following the fireside chat, we hosted a vibrant panel discussion with Rebecca Liao, VP of Business Development and Strategy at Skuchain, Peter Ebert, Senior VP Business Development at Cryptowerk, Simon Bain, CEO at BOHH Labs, and Andreas Fichter, Business Development and Customer Engagement Manager at SAP, moderated by Abhishek Gutgutia, Blockchain and AI Lead at Accenture Ventures.
Our panelists discussed the challenges and opportunities of blockchain from an enterprise adoption perspective and shared firsthand experience, generating an energetic discussion and great interaction with the audience.
In case you missed the event, here are three key takeaways:
- Everyone talks about blockchain, but not everyone is using it. Immutability and transparency are two of blockchain’s most appealing features. However, the tradeoff between transparency and privacy is an enigma many institutions are currently try to address. Besides, many industries are heavily regulated and disruption might not happen soon.
- Blockchain can improve our lives. Although benefits are not visible in our everyday lives yet, this new technology can streamline a lot of processes, especially in those areas that are paper-heavy. For instance, universities could implement blockchain to store information and companies could run background checks on blockchain. Airline companies could streamline routine processes and rely on the power of blockchain to store and protect sensitive data.
- Do not implement blockchain just because of the hype around it.
The event featured a pitch session with some enterprise focused blockchain startups. Identify 3D, Shocard, Tailor CV, Blocknotary, and TNBX took showcased their innovative solutions.
A big thank-you to our partner Open Innovation Club, as well as SAP.iO and our amazing speakers for sharing their experience and expertise with the audience.