Financial Innovation – Eq Muscle Release Tue, 24 May 2022 09:47:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Financial Innovation – Eq Muscle Release 32 32 ASML N: participates in the new Dutch deep-tech fund of 100 million euros Tue, 24 May 2022 09:18:23 +0000

Strategic investors and co-initiators of the fund include ASML, Philips, Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (BOM) and the research institute TNO. PME Pension Fund and Invest-NL will also invest in the fund. DeepTechXL Fund I targets a minimum fund size of EUR 100 million. The fund also received a €9 million loan from the Dutch government institute RVO (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland), specifically earmarked for start-up investments.

Deep-tech is a category of advanced enabling technologies developed in research facilities to address major societal challenges as defined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the fields of health, energy transition and sustainability, safety and food. Deep technological innovation enables long-term sustainable economic success and creates high value-added jobs in advanced high-tech manufacturing.


The Brainport region is the technology hotspot of the Netherlands and North West Europe. Yet many tech startups spend an average of more than 50% of their time raising seed money, as many existing investors lack the specific knowledge to assess technology potential for future business impact. As a result, every year dozens of promising high-tech proposals remain unexplored in the Netherlands.

Investor partners

The fund’s team, made up of experienced venture capitalists, engages in a unique strategic collaboration with leading technology companies in the sector, regional and national investors and Dutch research institutes, with the aim of ‘offering promising cutting-edge technology companies access to the combined financial innovation ecosystem to drive innovation. , accelerate growth and have a positive impact.

The fund received investments from ASML, PME Pension Fund, Invest-NL, Philips, BOM and TNO. The investments of ASML, Philips and PME Pension Fund are an important signal from the Dutch industry partners and their firm commitments to make significant contributions to strengthening the Dutch high-tech manufacturing industry. Invest-NL, BOM and TNO are already among the most active players in deep technological innovation in the Netherlands. In addition to the industrial sector and impact investors, Dutch family offices and the fund manager itself also participate in the fund.

Specifically for seed investments, DeepTechXL received a €9 million loan from the RVO 2021 “Seed Capital Deep Tech” tender of €21 million in total.

DeepTechXL Fund I plans to make approximately 20 seed investments and 15 follow-on investments to fund growth. As such, the fund aims to provide life-cycle financing and support to promising cutting-edge technology companies.


Due to the inherently complex nature of building high-tech companies, access to finance alone is not enough. Therefore, DeepTechXL aims to be much more than just an investment vehicle. Working with industry investing partners, the fund provides high-tech startups and scale-ups with access to knowledge, network, technology, licensing and business development support. The fund aims to introduce launch customers, find supply chain partners, help enter new markets and expand manufacturing. DeepTechXL originated from and will work closely with HighTechXL, the prestigious builder of high-tech companies also backed by ASML, Philips, TNO and BOM.

Industrial partners

The fund operates from the High Tech Campus Eindhoven amid Brainport’s high-tech ecosystem, a unique and highly concentrated cluster of knowledge institutes, technology companies, supply chain partners, co- investors and hundreds of technology experts providing active support. DeepTechXL is a long-standing desire of regional players and partners in the sector to provide a leverage effect in the creation of sustainable jobs with high added value. With the involvement of leading tech companies, the initiative will help attract entrepreneurial tech talent.

“Through continuous investment in long-term innovation, ASML plays an active role in building the sustainable competitive advantage of our unique Brainport ecosystem. The fact that DeepTechXL can intensively leverage the strong knowledge base and experience in cutting-edge technology in the region makes this stand out. In this way, we establish the much-needed combination of access to knowledge, talent and funding for promising cutting-edge technology startups and scale-ups. in the Netherlands,” said Peter Wennink, President and CEO of ASML.

Why AI is everywhere except your business Sun, 22 May 2022 17:00:01 +0000

Not a day goes by without a new achievement, investment or national plan powered by artificial intelligence being reported. AI is embedded in many apps and software we use, and it makes features like voice interaction a reality.

Yet the adoption of AI itself is largely absent from most organizations we interact or work with directly. While apps that were only a dream a few years ago have gone mainstream, their development is still limited to a handful of savvy companies.

For example, Meta (formerly Facebook) is building the world’s largest supercomputer. The company said its power was needed not to run the metaverse but to train AI models “that can learn from billions of examples; work in hundreds of different languages; Seamlessly analyze text, images and video together. . . and much more”.

The number of days or months required to train an AI model can determine the extent of innovation and competitiveness. For a company like Meta, shortening development time to enable faster experimentation is key to being competitive.

Financial Times Executive Education Ranking 2022

But adoption of AI is painfully slow in most businesses, unlike other technological disruptions, from cars to digital photography to smartphones. The reason for this is the specific requirements for the adoption of AI. For many technologies, it is simply a matter of buying an innovation, such as a smartphone, where local applications speed up processes.

In other cases, such as the Internet or social media, significant local infrastructure and support is needed to create relevant content and drive network effects and adoption.

This leads to relatively slower adoption curves. AI requires even more complex preconditions and active business involvement. In “Artificial Intelligence as Increased Automation: Implications for Jobs” – my article with Feichin Ted Tschang in the Academy of Management Perspectives journal – we highlight how AI enables companies to modularize and control work routine and, in doing so, requires the transformation of their structures.

The disturbance can be significant. In the early eras of automation, the loss of jobs was compensated by the growth of new sectors and jobs, and the loss of routine and medium-skilled jobs with a polarization of jobs between high and low-skilled jobs. In the age of AI automation, this can be made even worse.

Such hurdles mean that we are seeing a two-speed adoption in which AI can seem to be everywhere except in our own organizations. Yet AI is increasingly essential to compete effectively, offering zero marginal cost and rapid scalability.

The consequence is a large productivity gap between the “frontier” companies and the others. The amount of information is greater in service industries than in manufacturing, so service companies are where the differentiation is most important – and those without AI risk falling even further behind.

The introduction of AI leads to the translation of routines into code and the creation of new tasks that cannot be done by other means. For many interconnected OECD countries, wage increases are being driven by inflation and worker mobility, meaning it will be essential for businesses to tackle productivity with AI to stay competitive.

We are seeing the integration of AI into products and solutions. The best examples are warehouses using bots and the widespread deployment of recommendation engines, image recognition software, fraud detection and prediction systems, and chatbots.

However, the adoption of AI requires changes in the business and operating models of organizations. This, combined with an ever faster pace, explains our two-speed world. This also explains why non-border organizations face increasingly stiff competition.

Acceleration requires new capabilities, including both sufficient AI talent and ways to foster innovative practices through a more supportive, can-do culture. Effective talent generation requires a network to produce, attract and retain qualified people. This can mean leading universities and research centers for training and developing expertise, as well as the prospect of high salaries and challenging enough projects to ensure specialist staff can be recruited and motivated to stay.

Esteve Almirall

Esteve Almirall, associate professor at Esade Barcelona

Computing power is also needed. While cloud platforms are now widely available, harnessing their potential also requires the presence of cloud-savvy universities and organizations.

Finally, organizations need specific data to give them a competitive advantage. This can be internally derived, which means it must be collected and processed; or externally, in which case it must go beyond basic transactional data to be useful.

Capacity alone is insufficient. Progress in AI goes through competitiveness clusters. While knowledge has gone global, innovation remains local. Without a better understanding of all these factors, a growing number of businesses will be left behind by the AI ​​revolution.

But as AI-driven automation increasingly replaces labor and most of the remaining jobs are concentrated in a smaller, highly technical workforce, we also need to think about how to use the new technologies to promote sustainable forms of work and livelihoods.

Esteve Almirall is Associate Professor in the Department of Operations, Innovation and Data Science at Esade Company & Faculty of Law in Barcelona

Innovation keeps palliative care philanthropy afloat despite COVID Fri, 20 May 2022 21:59:29 +0000

Hospices are finding opportunities to bolster their philanthropic fundraising, which has plummeted for many organizations due to the pandemic. As some events and other fundraisers begin to rebound, providers are taking with them the lessons learned from the tougher years.

Fundraising and philanthropy are often the primary source of funding for programs such as complementary therapies, hospices, homeless programs, and hospice services. The reduction in fundraising funds caused by the pandemic has resulted in a significant drop in income for some organizations.

Some providers, like Maryland-based Hospice of the Chesapeake, have been able to adapt quickly to changing conditions to keep their programs afloat. After the organization had to cancel its annual gala — its biggest fundraiser of the year — they realized they had to adjust their strategies.

By acting quickly, the hospice was able to exceed its annual fundraising goal, even at the height of the pandemic.

“When we realized that we weren’t going to be able to organize the event, we asked our donors to support us during the pandemic. So many of them have actually transferred their funds to a COVID fund for us,” Chris Wilson, director of advancement and volunteer services for Hospice of the Chesapeake, told Hospice News “We have a very comprehensive program where we really have a strong major donor program. We organize events, but this is not our main source of funding. We were able to really change and be very nimble, we actually hit our revenue target.

The Hospice of the Chesapeake has seen a drop in memorial giving, in which families ask mourners to donate to the organization that cared for their loved one instead of sending flowers or gifts. other gestures.

But early in the pandemic, fewer families were able to hold funerals or memorial services than they otherwise would have, slowing the flow of those donations, Wilson said.

Some suppliers have been hit harder than others. Among them were the many organizations that operate thrift stores to raise money for their hospice.

Many of those stores had to close during the pandemic, the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) wrote in a November 2020 letter to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar. The letter sought clarification on whether lost fundraising dollars could be included in Vendor Relief Fund (PRF) applications.

Revenue from these thrift stores paid for care of uninsured patients as well as bereavement programs, NHPCO said. In one case, a supplier lost $100,000 for each month their store remained closed.

Ultimately, HHS allowed hospices to recover some of their lost fundraising dollars through the PRF. Currently, no specific data is available as to the extent to which this has mitigated losses.

An encouraging note is that while many fundraising efforts have suffered nationally, in some cases the pandemic has galvanized the commitment of some donors to support palliative care providers caring for them. community. according to Kathy Rabon, director of philanthropy and marketing for the Suncoast Hospice Foundation, member of Empath Health.

“I think people have seen the news. They watched it on TV. People were sick. People were afraid. People were alone and isolated, and our donors tended to be there,” Rabon told Hospice News. “And for some people, their motivation has actually increased because of the pandemic. People who give for these kinds of reasons want to give more.

Anecdotally, a trend that seems to have developed is that although some providers now have fewer donors, they are giving larger amounts, said Wilson of the Hospice of the Chesapeake.

As with the rise of telehealth services for patient care, many providers have relied on technology to bridge their gap.

For example, when their annual fundraiser was postponed due to shelter-in-place, Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Kentucky created an online event website as an alternative. The site featured an online silent auction and social media photo posts to encourage participation in a Kentucky Derby-related fundraiser.

The Suncoast Hospice Foundation has stepped up telephone contact with potential donors, as well as online videos, social media and video conference calls to stay in touch with financial supporters.

In some cases, awareness-raising activities specifically aimed at raising funds nevertheless resulted in donations.

“We created a small group of like-minded people and made informative Zoom calls. Not to ask for money, but just to let them know how we were responding to the pandemic because they wanted information. They wanted to be educated. They wanted to be inspired and they wanted to help,” Rabon said. “We used new tools; we tried new things.

Hospice of the Chesapeake also worked to reach donors through multiple communication channels, according to Wilson.

This included a phone call campaign and a print and mailed newsletter as well as social media and other modes of communication. The hospice also offered a virtual memorial service for families and the public to celebrate the lives of their deceased loved ones and comfort each other in their grief.

This also generated donations, even if it was not the main purpose of the event.

“We all had to learn new lessons. First and foremost, I think you really have to keep an open and innovative mind and seek to understand the needs of your donors. We must support them; they don’t just need to support us,” Wilson said. “We did a campaign of phone calls, contacting everyone, not to ask for money, but to verify them. They have been there for us for so many years to support our organization and our mission, so we wanted to be there for them.

So far in 2020, fundraising options are on the rise again. Many thrift stores were able to stay open and some live events returned.

Nonetheless, many providers, including Empath Health and Hospice of the Chesapeake, will continue the new methodologies they adopted during the pandemic to bolster their traditional approaches.

“We had to be very creative in how we could talk to people, and we were successful with those campaigns,” Rabon said. “I think we’re finding that people now have a better understanding of the differentiation that hospice brings. That we were always there every step of the way do whatever we needed to do to bring comfort and care to the family, wherever they may be.

U of A Small Business Development Center Recognized for Excellence and Innovation Wed, 18 May 2022 05:15:37 +0000

ASBTDC, UA Fayetteville

Left to right: Edward Haddock, Arkansas SBA Director, Lori Lieblong, ASBTDC Consultants, Stephanie Parsons, Mary Beth Brooks (Director), Scott Lacy, Catherine Corley, Laura Fine, State Director of the ‘ASBTDC.

The U of A Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center received the 2022 Arkansas SBDC Center of Excellence and Innovation Award on May 3 at the meeting of the ASBTDC in Little Rock. Arkansas SBA Director Edward Haddock presented the award to U of A Center Director Mary Beth Brooks and her team.

“Our team is honored by this recognition from the SBA,” said Brooks. “We work diligently to provide the necessary services to our small business customers in the Northwest Arkansas region. Their success is essential to the vitality of the regional economy and is at the forefront of our daily work.”

The ASBTDC is a unit of the U of A’s Economic Development Division and part of a statewide network of academic centers that work with all types of small businesses through confidential consultation and individual at no cost to the customer. ASBTDC’s consultants, specialists and contract experts provide support to startups, small businesses seeking expansion and growth, struggling businesses and entrepreneurs buying or selling a business. “I am extremely proud of the innovation and creativity this office demonstrates through advice, outreach and events. Mary Beth and her team are essential partners in economic development and champions for small businesses in all sectors,” said ASBTDC State Director Laura Fine.

With offices in Fayetteville and the U of A Collaborative in Bentonville, the center serves six northwestern Arkansas counties: Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton, and Washington. Consultants and specialists offer expanded services in business planning, financial analysis, marketing and social media strategy to small business clients. Since 2018, the center has recorded 135 start-ups, 1,452 jobs created or maintained, 175 in-person and virtual workshops, and a capital injection of $82.2 million. “This well-deserved award from the SBA recognizes the important work the great team at ASBTDC does every day to help small businesses and entrepreneurs in Northwest Arkansas. This important service is a great example of the how the U of A is positively impacting Arkansas’ everyday economy.”

TradeTech: Is innovation in the Close going in the wrong direction? Mon, 16 May 2022 13:08:18 +0000

During a panel discussion at the recent TradeTech 2022 in Paris, panelists expressed concern that the extension of the closing auction should not be the focus of trading venues going forward. .

Panelists noted that the close has evolved to include increased broker internalization and the involvement of more sophisticated market makers. However, in light of the growing attention in the final minutes of the day, panelists were divided in their opinions on how to innovate the auction going forward.

“We are seeing interest in the closing auction. It’s a recurring dialogue. Over the past 10 years it feels like we are now operating a bifurcated market and the nature of continuous session liquidity is so different,” said Euronext Head of Liquidity and Derivatives Simon Gallagher.

“One thing that exchange operators need to ask themselves is do we have the right parameters? Is five minutes too long? Should it be three or two minutes? lots for uncross? We have huge data that participants should optimize.”

However, other panelists suggested that in light of previous recent attempts to shorten market hours, this was not the direction the move in the close should be headed.

“We are here in mental health awareness week and not too long ago we were talking about shortening market hours and in fact we are extending them. I don’t see this as a good step forward,” said Jeremy Ellis, T Rowe Price’s head of equity trading for Europe.

Other panelists noted the fractional levels of volumes traded in pan-European markets compared to the United States, despite already extended market hours.

“If you couldn’t find the other side of a trade at 4:30 p.m. and you couldn’t find it in the auction, what makes you think it’s going to magically appear,” said a panelist.


Given the growing share of order flow taking place at the close, Euronext’s Gallagher has been asked to consider pricing-related changes.

Panelists noted that while Turquoise’s Trade At Last did not attract critical mass, Aquis’ Market at Close (MaC) saw market share increase as an alternative method of interacting with the Close using a lesser cost.

“I think that’s something Euronext should look at. We support Aquis as an innovator and fee compression, the real benefit is in fees. As an exchange operator, not just Euronext, if you look at your cost model, I think that would reduce some of the competition,” said Brian Gallagher, Head of Electronic Trading at Exane BNP Paribas.

“The [are] no problems with customer-to-customer correspondence [on Aquis MaC] and pre-trade transparency means concerns about fragmentation mean users are able to re-aggregate volume with the theoretical uncrossed volume that occurs on the main exchange, whereas with an SI it is not available.

Why Nigerians Should Be Careful With Online Investments Says JeroidNG CEO Sat, 14 May 2022 17:03:20 +0000

Nigerian entrepreneur, Adeduni Jeremiah Mayowa has called on Nigerians not to be left behind in leveraging Bitcoin and other digital assets to achieve their financial freedom.

According to the CEO, and Founder of JeroidNG, a leading e-commerce platform, encouraged Nigerians to engage with a global currency such as Bitcoin which can help boost economies and create jobs.

Jeremiah said the advent of crypto as well as blockchain technology in general will disrupt traditional banking, including central banking, in ways we haven’t dreamed of yet, it’s only good for many people who still doubt this innovation to be educated and join the train.

He further stated that Blockchain technology has presented a number of different opportunities for Nigerians trying to diversify their sources of income and protect themselves from economic downturns, despite poverty, inflation and unemployment levels in record highs, and with COVID-19 as an additional threat. .

“Disruptive technology can reduce barriers to financial inclusion in Nigeria, according to Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) which promotes financial inclusion through financial sector development.


“The report says Africa’s largest economy could see its gross domestic product increase by $29 billion by the end of the decade.

Jeremiah also said that “Cryptocurrency transaction is a challenge that people are facing all over the world. I implore Nigerians to conduct a thorough study to understand how it works.

“The common take is that it can easily be deployed to fund criminal activity, but it came to stay, and if we’re going to allow it in the future, we should start learning about it now,” he said. he advises.

Founded by Adeduni Jeremiah Mayowa, JeroidNG is a leading platform that trades unused Bitcoin, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play gift cards and the company also engages in cryptocurrency business.

JeroidNG has grown from what started as an idea to a team of over 20 employees within its headquarters in Lagos, changing lives and creating self-made millionaires, all with their business strategies.

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Zipaworld Innovation plans to raise $0.5M for a $14M valuation Fri, 13 May 2022 05:24:36 +0000

Digital logistics startup Zipaworld Innovation announced on Friday that it plans to raise $0.5 million (approximately Rs 3.8 crore) at a valuation of $14 million, in a first round of investment from angel investors from the pharmaceutical and chemical industry.

The startup plans to leverage the funds to mobilize and accelerate AI and ML-based logistics and supply chain services, anticipating market trends and risks as well as supporting consequential research and development , among others, he said in a statement.

In addition, the funds will be used to strengthen infrastructure; workforce expansion; global market penetration and development of an international network, he added.

“As per our strategy, we planned to be ready for investors by the start of the current fiscal year and we were able to stick to our strategy. In this fiscal year, we are looking at an investment of $5 million as we look forward to accelerating growth and expansion globally,” said Ambrish Kumar, Founder-CEO of Zipaworld Innovation Pvt Ltd.

Zipaworld said it has remained self-funded, which is part of its business strategy, adding that while researching, developing and upgrading technology is a constant process, the company is developing an online platform of integrated multimodal logistics for users first and foremost. types of investments could be pursued.

Zipaworld Innovation is the logistics start-up of Delhi-based parent company AAA 2 Innovate. The company serves over 25,000 PINs across India. PTI IAS DRR

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Lemongrass accelerates cloud innovation for SAP users with Wed, 11 May 2022 13:00:00 +0000

ATLANTA, May 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Lemongrass, the SAP on Cloud Company, announces the launch of four new services for businesses running their mission-critical systems with SAP. The offerings are designed to accelerate the process of migrating SAP users to the Cloud, provide solutions to meet SAP S/4HANA migration deadlines, complement RISE with SAP and “Cloudifier” SAP with automation and service integration cloud-native data. The announcement was made today in Orlando, Florida at Sapphire 2022, the annual SAP customer conference.

Time is running out for SAP ERP customers who must migrate to SAP S/4HANA by 2027 or face increased support costs for their legacy systems. The deadline has motivated SAP users to think more broadly about digitizing and using cloud-native data services in addition to the RISE with SAP solution. Most SAP users want to upgrade to the latest version of SAP S/4HANA before end of support, but a successful migration depends on planning and testing, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Lemongrass’ new offerings respond to these changes and build on its reputation as a leader in planning, migrating, operating and automating SAP in the cloud. Lemongrass manages over 8,000 SAP servers and over 400,000 SAP users. Here are highlights of the new Lemongrass offerings, which can be found here:

  • Lemongrass SAP S/4HANA Greenfield – Lemongrass will provide customers with a production-level landscape for updated SAP S/4HANA in just days, including full monitoring, security, and operational support, at extremely low cost.
  • Lemongrass SAP S/4HANA Express Labs – SAP S/4HANA Express Labs is a sandbox with a full landing zone and management tools that allow SAP users to run the tires on their real SAP ERP data in a live public cloud environment. Lemongrass will operate the lab for users for one month, with no obligation.
  • Lemongrass SAP RISE+ – Lemongrass will convert and migrate the client’s ERP system to RISE with SAP and create sister VPCs for non-RISE applications. Lemongrass will also leverage non-RISE applications and provide initial BTP integration mapping. It starts with a funded assessment to chart a rapid migration to RISE with SAP, categorize non-RISE applications, provide an integrated approach to migration, complete with a supporting business case.
  • SAP Analytics Lemongrass Accelerator – For customers using or wanting to use cloud-native data services such as Redshift, BigQuery, Synapse, and Snowflake, Lemongrass will recreate SAP data structures in these tools to enable easier movement of data. The goal is to empower business users with self-service data capabilities to run machine learning and AI on their datasets.

“Our approach with these offerings is to help SAP users make a smooth transition to the cloud, while enabling all the best features that the best cloud providers have to offer,” said Eamonn O’Neill, CTO at Lemongrass. “Once an SAP user decides that a cloud migration is right for them, Lemongrass is the only partner they will need.”

About Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a software service provider, synonymous with SAP on Cloud, which focuses on delivering superior quality and highly automated managed services to enterprise customers. With a unique combination of experience, expertise, and best practices designed to deliver the desired results of an SAP transformation, Lemongrass designs strategies and services that enable economy, scale, and business agility. large-scale computing while unleashing business innovation and controlling risk and uncertainty. Lemongrass Cloud Platform (LCP) enables near-zero downtime migrations to the cloud and differentiated managed services for SAP and its associated workloads. Our customers span multiple verticals and geographies across the Americas, EMEA and APAC and we partner with AWS, SAP, Microsoft, Google and other global technology leaders.


Kevin Wolf

]]> Arçelik will provide $5 million support to 7,000 entrepreneurs Fri, 06 May 2022 13:46:33 +0000

Institutions’ investments in open innovation continue to grow alongside their global commitments.

Arçelik, an appliance giant, is aiming for global leadership by expanding its research and development (R&D) and innovation collaborations globally with the Garage Innovation Hub, its planning and execution department for the innovation and entrepreneurship.

Arçelik Garage Innovation Hub, a growing global open innovation platform, has so far interacted with over 2,000 partners, spotted over 1,800 startups and developed cooperation with over 80 startups.

Garage Innovation Hub organized an Open Innovation Day with the participation of a large number of startups, business leaders and investors from all over the world to help spread the culture of open innovation.

As part of the United Nations Generation Equality Forum commitments, Arçelik plans to reach 7,000 entrepreneurs, including 5,000 women, by 2026, and help them reach approximately $5 million in financial support with the Garage Innovation Hub.

Partnership with venture capital funds

“As a growing global innovation platform, with our nearly 2,000 stakeholders, including mentors, investors, universities and entrepreneurs around the world; we provide business development, access to financial support and mentorship to entrepreneurs, right from the idea stage,” said Arçelik Chief Strategy and Digital Officer Utku Barış Pazar.

On its way to becoming one of the leading open innovation platforms globally, Pazar said it has set itself important goals such as supporting the incorporation of new ideas in many areas such as sustainability, artificial intelligence, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), marketing and production technologies, and healthcare, in each of the 146 countries in which they operate over the next five years.

Utku Barış Pazar, Strategy and Digital Director of Arçelik. (Courtesy of Arçelik)

“As we continue to provide startups with access to financial support, we will further increase our contribution to the ecosystem by partnering with regional venture capital funds. In February 2022, we took our first step in this direction. and became a sponsor of 500 Startups, a world-renowned venture capital fund, and in April we joined the latest fund managed by Hoxton Ventures, one of the leading venture capital funds in Europe,” said he noted.

Help for 40 start-ups

Spearheading the global spread of the culture of open innovation, Arçelik is aiming for global leadership with the Garage Innovation Hub. Arçelik Garage Innovation Hub, which has interacted with over 2,000 partners since its inception in 2017, has provided 40 entrepreneurs with access to TL 8 million ($540,000) in grants, as well as training and development support. mentoring to 274 entrepreneurs to date. With its incubation activities, it has accompanied more than 80 startups to develop business ideas.

Garage Innovation Hub aims to transform innovative ideas into products and projects by creating an ecosystem of mutual sharing through entrepreneurship, innovation programs and events that it carries out inside and outside the business.

It plays a facilitating role to enable the ecosystem to benefit from the knowledge, experience and connections of ecosystem players such as startups, mentors, investors and relevant non-governmental organizations (NGOs), representatives of private and public institutions.

Garage Innovation Hub, which designs innovation and entrepreneurship programs, also works to develop new technologies and business models that fall outside of Arçelik’s core competencies.

Garage Innovation Hub, a growing open innovation platform, aims to contribute to the development of the ecosystem in line with its goal of global leadership in the field of open innovation. It brought together innovative thinkers, companies, startups and investors from around the world for the Open Innovation Day, held for the first time this year.

Stating that the Open Innovation Day is a platform to stimulate discussions with the participation of important players within the ecosystem, Arçelik’s Pazar said that in a short period of five years, they have worked with a large number of universities, NGOs, institutions and organizations from all over the world that support innovation.

“Innovation is not a process that belongs to one institution or function alone. Open innovation platforms such as the Garage Innovation Hub can bring ideas to life, paving the way for innovations that benefit humanity. We aim to bring more and more ideas to life, wherever possible,” he noted.

Regarding Arçelik’s open innovation approach, Pazar said that they have started developing startup-friendly apps to enhance their collaborations with startups.

“We say ‘Dare, Connect, Undertake, Value.’ Our goal is to support startups in each of the 146 countries we operate in. With a view to becoming one of the world’s leading open innovation platforms, we continue to help entrepreneurs secure grants through programs such as BIGG3.”

Arçelik has more than 40,000 employees worldwide and its global operations include sales and marketing offices in 49 countries and 28 production sites in nine countries. It has 12 brands, namely Arçelik, Beko, Grundig, Blomberg, ElektraBregenz, Arctic, Leisure, Flavel, Defy, Altus, Dawlance and Voltas Beko.

It is the second largest white goods company in Europe in terms of market share, based on volumes. Arçelik achieved consolidated revenue of 6.5 billion euros ($6.85 billion) in 2021.

Arçelik’s 29 R&D and design centers and offices around the world are home to more than 2,000 researchers and to date hold more than 3,000 international patent applications.

The rapid introduction of a central bank digital currency is fraught with risks, especially for end users Wed, 04 May 2022 17:36:00 +0000 In his February 1, 2022 budget speech, Nirmala Sitharaman announced the GoI’s commitment to issuing a digital rupee. The relevant text contained three sentences in its entirety. ‘Introduction of [a] central bank digital currency (CBDC) will give a big boost to the digital economy. Digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system. It is therefore proposed to introduce the digital rupee, using blockchain and other technologies, which will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India from 2022-23.

These remarks give the impression that time is running out and that the RBI must move forward as quickly as possible. Other central banks, including the People’s Bank of China, are already piloting their digital units. The early movers, it is said, will set design standards, not just for themselves, but globally. Their digital currencies will dominate international markets. Countries that lag behind will lose digital talent to – who knows? – the Bahamas, Dubai or another early entrant. Valuable opportunities to foster financial inclusion and improve payment efficiency will be wasted.

In fact, this emergency is overworked. The case for a CBDC has yet to be consistently presented. And a premature move in the direction of issuance would create costs and risks.

Certainly, a CBDC would facilitate payments. It would be safer and more hygienic than cash, and cheaper than credit and debit cards. But India already has an efficient and all-encompassing low-cost electronic payment infrastructure, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which instantly transfers funds between retail bank accounts, using mobile platforms (e.g., smartphones) at negligible cost.

Arguments based on financial inclusion are also exaggerated. A wholesale CBDC – where commercial banks act as agents of the central bank – would only be accessible to customers of those banks, not also to unbanked people. A retail CBDC, where the central bank transfers the CBDC directly to users’ mobile phones or smart cards, would also be available to others. But only if they had a smartphone capable of downloading a digital wallet or an internet connection capable of loading a smart card.

Can you run with the hare?

These interventions would face the same geographic and infrastructural challenges as existing financial inclusion efforts channeled through the traditional banking system. And, furthermore, they would have no clear incentive to adopt among those already included in the banking system. In any event, India has more direct ways to foster financial inclusion, including Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts (BSBDAs) and the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.

Some cite the danger that the RBI, by failing to issue its own digital unit, will lose control of the payment system to private payment platforms and stablecoins. If so, the simple solution is to regulate them, rather than introduce costly sovereign competition.

Another argument in favor of a CBDC is to provide a global platform for the design and dissemination of smart contracts and other decentralized finance (DeFi) applications. Smart contracts are loans and related financial instruments that do not rely on the intermediation and monitoring of a bank. They can be built on a public blockchain, whose nodes then verify the transaction, and can be executed using the native coin circulating on that blockchain.

Currently, the majority of DeFi transactions take place on the public Ethereum blockchain, where Ether is the native coin. It is argued that a CBDC-based smart contract platform, mounted on a public blockchain, would be preferable. Its native currency would be more stable. It would be universally used. It would be a breeding ground for financial innovations.

We have our doubts. There have been a number of significant disasters with smart contracts running on the Ethereum blockchain due to programming errors. Smart contracts have allowed hackers to embezzle funds from naïve investors. Programming issues were subtle and remained hidden despite security audits and code reviews. One wonders if digital auditors working for central banks can do better. And there are fears of reputational damage to the RBI if it provided a platform for such ventures.

Finally, there are the risks associated with the rapid development of CBDCs specifically involving end users, especially if the CBDC effectively replaces cash. Vulnerable populations – even in economies plagued by digital payments – rely on physical cash as a bearer instrument. India’s experience in 2016 with the initial rollout of demonetization shows the pitfalls of rapid changes in cash-based segments of the economy.

Just hunt with the dogs

Imposing acceptance among merchants in ways that limit cash transactions could deprive vulnerable end users of key goods and services. If the CBDC is implemented through an account access framework, its ability to truly expand financial inclusion—a stated goal of several projects, including India’s—could backfire without a parallel effort to target other causes of financial exclusion, including infrastructure problems.

All of these arguments speak in favor of deliberate speed, not faster. Careful development, not rapid development, is the prudent way to go.