Lessons Learned From A Year Of Expansion


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A 12 months in the past, Oracle introduced the worldwide growth of its Startup Cloud Accelerator program to a complete of eight places, constructing on the success of an incubator began a couple of months earlier in Bangalore, India. Over the course of 2017, we added Bristol (England), Delhi, Mumbai, Paris, Sao Paulo, Singapore, and Tel Aviv.

As the worldwide lead and an enthusiastic champion of this program, I wish to share what now we have discovered thus far and preview our plans for 2018. Having began three firms with out ever associating myself with an incubator or accelerator, I took it as a problem to construct a program—an ecosystem, actually—that I’d discover invaluable if I have been main a startup right now.


Any new group, whether or not it’s an unbiased startup or a program inside a multinational firm, learns classes the arduous means because it finds its footing. We’re no totally different. We took some missteps and acted on some unhealthy assumptions, however we additionally discovered rapidly. A part of the trick was determining what Oracle is uniquely positioned to supply to startups that they’ll’t get elsewhere.

My perception was at all times that Oracle would profit as a lot from associating itself with these younger, cloud-based know-how firms as they might acquire from aligning themselves with us. Actually, we needed to show them to Oracle Cloud and faucet Oracle sources within the course of. However the true wins come the place we will allow co-creation and co-innovation that advantages all of us—the startups, our prospects, and Oracle.

It seems that what the startups prize most are introductions to Oracle’s prospects and an opportunity to show their applied sciences within the context of great enterprise functions. At any time when we might match a startup with an progressive product and a enterprise with a necessity for that innovation (and a willingness to beta check), that was a wonderful factor.

In the hunt for these alternatives, we discovered ourselves pulled towards working with later-stage startups over absolute novices—startups with merchandise fairly than merely concepts for merchandise. That made a few of our program advantages, corresponding to entry to coworking areas, much less related in lots of instances. And it helped in our considering for shaping future growth methods.

Main Steps Ahead

Whereas we didn’t get every thing excellent out of the gate, here’s what I’m most pleased with:

  • Proving the naysayers flawed, we launched new accelerator places at a fast clip, recruiting 5 to 6 startups in each.
  • We attracted functions from 1000’s of startups, with rising applied sciences corresponding to synthetic intelligence, healthtech, fintech, human capital administration, blockchain, advertising automation, provide chain, and hospitality.
  • We garnered curiosity from 50-plus Oracle areas/cities wanting their very own program.
  • We introduced 15 startups from world wide to Oracle OpenWorld, giving them an opportunity to satisfy Oracle Government Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison at an intimate founder-to-founder occasion at his San Francisco residence.
  • We recognized and created ecosystems inside Oracle to spur co-innovation and co-creation throughout our startups, Oracle, and prospects.
  • We graduated our inaugural cohort, in Paris, and our second one, in Tel Aviv, with Sao Paulo and others to observe shortly. We’re making ready to open functions for our subsequent spherical of startups.

Main Takeaways

From the start, we mentioned we’d embody a “startup mentality,” studying, adapting, and iterating as we develop. As such, we’ve discovered some key classes this previous 12 months:

  • Mature startups ought to be a stronger focus. Earlier-stage startups are nonetheless in play, however we’ll maintain a more in-depth eye on late-stage startups, particularly as we think about increasing. This focus is healthier suited to these ecosystems of co-creation and co-innovation—the true win for all.
  • We don’t want bodily places in every single place to make a big effect. A 12 months in the past, we have been intending to ascertain 20 or extra bodily places. Now, we’ve determined it makes extra sense to develop on the premise of a lower-touch, “digital” fashion program that may attain extra of these later-stage startups. In the meantime, I believe there’s extra we will do to optimize our current bodily places and add a couple of extra down the highway.
  • Localize every program for its distinctive market. One of many issues I believe we bought proper was various and adapting this system based mostly on its location, and also you’ll see us proceed with that technique. It’s frequent sense, actually, however localization is vital, because the wants of firms in Tel Aviv usually are not the identical as these in Paris or Bristol or Sao Paulo or Singapore. We now have a blueprint for this system, however we deal with it as a place to begin fairly than the ultimate phrase.
  • Deliver extra range to this system. Though range was a criterion in our preliminary startup choice course of, we wish to do a lot better. For instance, final 12 months we had about 20% ladies founders in our startup cohorts. We wish that share, together with different range elements, to rise.

A giant focus will proceed to be connecting startups with Oracle’s international prospects to create and nurture these ecosystems of co-development and co-innovation. We will probably be tapping sources corresponding to Oracle’s new Business Innovation Advisors group and the Oracle Innovation Design Engine, our platform for co-innovation on consumer expertise design, in addition to many different inside and exterior sources.

The following technology of entrepreneurs is constructing a cloud-based future—and Oracle will probably be alongside these folks as they permit enterprise transformation. Our startup initiatives will help democratize the Oracle model whereas supporting international entrepreneurism and fueling future improvements.

A 12 months from now, I hope to have the ability to report extra progress, however I don’t anticipate to have achieved perfection. One factor I like about working with startups is the training by no means ends.

Reggie Bradford is Oracle’s senior vp of Startup Ecosystem and Accelerator.

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