Salesforce, Notion, Octopus, MMC Unveil $6.5M Challenge To European Startups

Salesforce.com and the European venture firms Notion Capital, Octopus Investments and MMC Ventures unveiled an Innovation Challenge for European start-ups building enterprise cloud apps on the Salesforce platform. The winning startups will have the opportunity to pitch for about $6.5 million of venture funding.

PRESS RELEASE

Salesforce.com Announces Euro 5 Million Innovation Challenge for European Start-ups Building on the Salesforce Platform

Winning start-ups will receive opportunity to pitch for a total of euro 5 million in funding from venture capital firms including Notion Capital, Octopus Investments and MMC Ventures

Eligible start-ups to present at Innovation Challenge pitch events to be held across Europe from September to November 2013

Demand for enterprise cloud apps in Europe expected to attract 159% more cloud developers by 2018 and generate 2.7 billion pounds Sterling in revenue, an increase of 206% over the next five years

LONDON, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Salesforce.com [NYSE: CRM], the enterprise cloud computing company (http://www.salesforce.com/cloudcomputing/), and leading European venture capital firms including Notion Capital, Octopus Investments and MMC Ventures, today announced the €5 million Innovation Challenge—a new competition for European start-ups building enterprise cloud apps on the Salesforce Platform.

Innovation Challenge Launches Today

The €5 million Innovation Challenge is designed to inspire the next generation of start-ups in Europe to develop and deliver innovative new enterprise apps on the Salesforce Platform. Eligible start-ups will be invited to present their ideas to professional investors at a series of Innovation Challenge pitch events throughout Europe hosted by salesforce.com from September to November 2013.

The winning start-ups will have the opportunity to negotiate with the participating venture capital firms for seed funding to jump-start a new business or for a Series A investment to accelerate growth of an existing business. Winners will also be able to build, package and sell their apps on the Salesforce AppExchange, the world’s leading business apps marketplace.

Comments on the News

“London is brimming with tech talent which is breeding a wave of innovative start-ups with the potential to grow fast. Salesforce.com’s Innovation Challenge presents a fantastic opportunity for London’s silicon entrepreneurs to take their business to the next level of success,” The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said.

“The explosion of growth in Europe’s enterprise app market is fueling innovation across the region. Salesforce.com is excited to join forces with leading European venture capital firms to launch the Innovation Challenge and reward Europe’s top entrepreneurs and enable them to accelerate their innovation and time to market,” salesforce.com EMEA Chairman, Dr. Steve Garnett, said.

“The European enterprise app market has reached a tipping point and we see the Salesforce Platform as a key enabler for start-ups with a great idea to build a revenue-generating business in record time,” said Chris Tottman, Partner, Notion Capital. “We are excited to see the potential investment opportunities within the vibrant European start-up community.”

“This is a unique opportunity for innovative start-ups in the enterprise app market here in Europe to receive commercial support to allow them to compete on a global stage,” said Luke Hakes, Principal, Octopus Investments. “The Salesforce Platform provides an unrivalled launch pad for innovative companies looking to tackle the enterprise market.”

“MMC is pleased to be supporting the Innovation Challenge. The Salesforce AppExchange is an increasingly important channel to market for enterprise app companies. As an investor, having direct access to the best of these new software companies is a very exciting opportunity,” MMC Ventures Investment Director, Jon Coker, said.

The Enterprise App Revolution in Europe

The demand for enterprise apps presents a lucrative opportunity for developers and entrepreneurs.  According to a new study conducted by the Centre of Economic Business Research (Cebr), the demand for enterprise cloud apps is expected to attract 159% more cloud developers in Europe over the next five years, with the enterprise cloud app economy projected to generate £2.6 billion in revenue, an increase of 206% by 2018.

Additional Information on the Innovation Challenge

Entrants’ business plans will be reviewed by a panel consisting of representatives from the venture capital firms and salesforce.com, along seven main criteria:
•    An existing product developed to beta or later stage
•    Demonstration of traction, customer success and user adoption
•    Market opportunity & go-to-market strategy
•    Track record and passion of the entrepreneurial team
•    Planned or existing adoption and innovative utilisation of the Salesforce Platform
•    Competitors
•    Financial plan

For more information, contest rules and to apply, please visit: www.salesforce.com/uk/challenge.
Salesforce Platform: The Cloud Platform of Choice for Customer Companies

The Salesforce Platform is the world’s most trusted cloud platform for building enterprise apps. It powers Salesforce CRM, 1,800 partner apps on the AppExchange, and more than three million custom apps built by customers. More than one million developers and business analysts use the Salesforce Platform to quickly build and deliver apps on any device.
Companies are turning to the Salesforce Platform to build and deliver cloud apps that are location-aware, accessible on any mobile device and connected to social graphs. Offering the same services, frameworks and ecosystem that are driving the explosion of consumer apps, the Salesforce Platform is bringing the app revolution to business and helping customer companies connect to customers, employees, partners and products in new ways.

Additional information:
•    Learn more about Salesforce Platform: www.salesforce.com/platform/overview
•    Like Developer Force on Facebook: www.facebook.com/forcedotcom
•    Follow @forcedotcom and @salesforce on Twitter

About Salesforce.com
Founded in 1999, salesforce.com is the enterprise cloud computing leader. Salesforce.com’s social and mobile cloud technologies enable companies to transform into customer companies by connecting with their customers, employees, partners and products in entirely new ways. Based on salesforce.com’s real-time, multitenant architecture, the company’s apps and platform revolutionize the way companies sell, service, market and innovate.
•    Grow your business with the #1 sales app, Salesforce Sales Cloud
•    Deliver amazing customer service with the #1 service app, Salesforce Service Cloud
•    Listen, publish and advertise with the #1 social marketing app, Salesforce Marketing Cloud
•    Build and deliver social and mobile apps with the Salesforce Platform, and extend success with the world’s leading enterprise app marketplace, the AppExchange

About Notion Capital
Notion is a venture capital firm focused on high potential businesses in the Cloud Computing and Software-as-as-Service (SaaS) markets. The Notion team has unique expertise and experience in the Cloud Computing market having founded, built and exited Star and MessageLabs, two highly successful businesses in the space. Companies within Notion’s portfolio include Brightpearl, eSellerPro, NewVoiceMedia, Shutl, The Currency Cloud and Tradeshift. For more information go to www.notioncapital.com.

About Octopus Investments
Founded in 2000, Octopus is one of the UK’s fastest growing investment management companies. We currently manage £3 billion assets on behalf of 50,000 customers.

The Ventures team at Octopus are straight talking human investors that back talented people rather than specific sectors. We focus on identifying fast growth businesses which can scale explosively to create, transform or dominate an industry.  We can invest from £250,000 to £5 million and prefer to partner teams based in the UK.

The work of our ventures team is supported by access to the Octopus Venture Partners, a network of approximately 100 outstanding business leaders, entrepreneurs and private investors providing an invaluable wealth of expertise and resource for our portfolio companies, as well as investing on a deal-by-deal basis alongside Octopus venture funds. This blend of knowledge and skill has allowed us to help many great companies across several sectors thrive in recent years including Zoopla; Graze.com; SwiftKey; and,Secret Escapes. For more information visit www.octopusinvestments.com.

About MMC Ventures
Founded in 2000, MMC Ventures is an active investor and award-winning venture fund manager, focused on technology-enabled sectors where the UK is a world leader -particularly financial and business services, business software, digital media and e-commerce.  With circa £100 million under management, MMC invests £10–15 million per annum in a combination of new investments and add-on capital for existing portfolio companies.  MMC specialises in fast-growth early-stage businesses, partnering with entrepreneurs and impressive management teams to achieve substantial scale and profitability.

MMC’s existing portfolio includes AlexandAlexa, Base79, Interactive Investor, Knowledge Mill, LoveHomeSwap, Reevoo, The Practice, NewVoiceMedia, Tyres on the Drive, Masabi, Consilium, Safeguard, Creativity, iJento, Neoss, Breathing Buildings and Small World. For further information about MMC Ventures please visit: www.mmcventures.com.
London & Partners

International firms are increasingly looking to London as the world’s capital for business, with unrivalled access to a talented workforce, technology and as a creative gateway to Europe where ideas and trends are born. Salesforce.com has been supported by the Mayor’s promotional organisation London & Partners which offers free and impartial advice to global businesses in the UK’s capital.

Legal Notice
This press release contains forward-looking statements about the Innovation Challenge, including without limitation details about its timing, the amount of investment funds available, its geographic scope, the eligibility criteria, the rules and procedure, the benefits to winners, and the participating venture capital firms.  The achievement or success of the matters covered by these forward-looking statements involves risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If any such risks or uncertainties materialize or if any of the assumptions prove incorrect, the  results of the Investment Challenge could differ materially from the results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements we make.  These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, any failure by us to reach final agreement with the participating venture capital firms, any decision by such venture capital firms to discontinue their participation, any failure of one or more of the venture capital firms to come to agreement with the winning participant(s) on investment terms, compliance with financial and other regulatory requirements, and the suitability of start-ups applying to the Innovation Challenge. Salesforce.com assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase salesforce.com applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce.com has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CRM.” The contents of this press release should not be viewed as promoting the products or services of any person other than salesforce.com. Nothing in this press release should be regarded as investment or other advice or as a recommendation of any kind. For more information please visit http://salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE

© 2013 salesforce.com, inc.  All rights reserved.  Salesforce, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, AppExchange, Salesforce Platform, and others are trademarks of salesforce.com, inc.  Other brands featured herein may be trademarks of their respective owners

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