Alliances that Extend the Runway

by Ron Wessels, Global Alliances at SAP Startup Focus


Runway: [ruhn-wey]


1. a way along which something runs.

2. a paved or cleared strip on which planes land and take off.

3. a similar strip on which cars, trucks, or the like may park, load, or enter the stream of traffic.

When you are talking about startups, runway is the amount of time until your startup crashes and burns, (goes out of business). Runway is typically calculated by dividing your cash by the current monthly burn rate, (if revenue and expenses stay constant). For startups nothing is more important than knowing and managing your runway.

One of our primary goals in Global Alliances is to extend your runway and our relationship with the AWS Activate program is a great example of how we do this. AWS Activate partnered with the SAP Startup Focus program to provide over $180,000 in infrastructure credits to startups in our program in 2014.  By the way, AWS credits are good for 2 years, allowing you to draw your usage out during the early days.

In 2014 we had three AWS startup support credit types:

  1. Startup Forum
  2. Startup Focus
  3. Powered by SAP HANA

AWS credits are allocated based on your level of engagement and achievement. Over 26% of the Startup Focus credits were completely used, so be sure to talk to your solution architect about maximizing your stage and credit access. Little known fact, most accelerators worldwide cannot offer the same level of AWS support that we do.

All of our current AWS credit support levels remain in effect for 2015 and in fact AWS has approved a new – fourth tier – Startup POC. We have committed to AWS that you will use the POC credit level to do just that – develop and deliver POC’s.

Join the conversation @SAPStartup or follow me @RgWessels. To learn more about SAP Startup Focus, please visit here.