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Salesforce.com’s Incubator: René Bonvanie (Part 9)

Posted on Thursday, Jun 14th 2007

René shares some recent Incubator success stories. As the Incubator matures, the number of these stories is undoubtedly going to increase.

SM: I know you have only been going for five months so far, but do you have any success stories you can share with us? RB: In the past few months a number of the partners in this effort have been successful. I will tell you about two which I think are very interesting because it combines both Incubator as well as the AppExchange.

The first is a company called ClickTools, they build surveys which are a very popular way to get customer feedback for sales support. This company was a pure UK based company, and they sold on-demand. They came into the Incubator in January, and they started to work on the AppExchange. Today, 80% of their business is sourced from the US. The Incubator has allowed them to have a presence in the US to drive up 80% of their revenue. The company has grown by leaps and bounds, and they have been very successful in this model. They are very open to discussing this, and I am sure they would love to give you their perspective.

The other company is Apperio, which was born out of professionals who worked at Borland and SAP. They were a very early company, and in fact their whole presence is in the Incubator. They have done a number of things. They have built great applications which were sourced from the IdeaExchange, which is our public forum that exposes ideas, in record time they have developed and monetized the ideas through the AppExchange. Being close to Salesforce, they have been able to land a very big deal with CFC Health for the automation of emergency response. They have effectively boosted themselves entirely out of the Incubator and the AppExchange with a lot of help from our sales folks. These two companies are definitely good examples of companies being successful with this model.

SM: What are the evolution plans for the Incubator? Do you see yourselves becoming like a venture fund? RB: Funding and enabling are two different things. The venture network is there to provide the financing. We do a great job of teaching these companies how to do it. I think we can help them build the value proposition to get the right funding. We are still proving this model as we speak; as you said, it is four months and a bit old. We want to make sure we have a repeatable model. We will soon have 61 companies in the building, and believe me they are keeping us busy.

My next step will be to look at other places around the world where the desire to become an entrepreneur are high, the skills are high and the market demand is high. Those places could include cities where there is lots of supply so think of Southern India, think of China, and places were there is demand for Salesforce applications like the UK and Japan. The motivations are different; whether it is a lot of supply (to build a supply for the globe) which is the aim with India as they do not have a large domestic demand.

[to be continued]

[To be continued]

[Part 8]
[Part 7]
[Part 6]
[Part 5]
[Part 4]
[Part 3]
[Part 2]
[Part 1]

This segment is part 9 in the series : Salesforce.com’s Incubator: René Bonvanie
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[…] [Part 9] [Part 8] [Part 7] [Part 6] [Part 5] [Part 4] [Part 3] [Part 2] [Part 1] […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Salesforce.com's Incubator: René Bonvanie (Part 10) Friday, June 15, 2007 at 6:18 AM PT

[…] [Part 9] [Part 8] [Part 7] [Part 6] [Part 5] [Part 4] [Part 3] [Part 2] [Part 1] […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Salesforce.com's Incubator: René Bonvanie (Part 10) Friday, June 15, 2007 at 6:18 AM PT