Having joined UiPath in the first half of 2017, I consider myself fortunate to have experienced it for a short while as a scale-up company with a startup mindset, but also to have been part of the exciting journey of it becoming the global organization it is today.
It was probably during the first all hands meeting I attended that I heard UiPath Co-Founder and CEO Daniel Dines mentioning customer centricity as one of the core tenets of the company. “Guys, the customer knows better and is smarter than us,” he was pointing out. More than three years down the line, we believe this made all the difference for the company. More on this a bit later on.
There is a common sentiment for everyone in UiPath to keep honoring our roots and giving back. And it’s the very thing that birthed an exciting initiative, the UiPath Automation Awards CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) & Turkey. The competition was pioneered last year by our Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Vargha Moayed. In his own words:
“Not long ago, we at UiPath were also a struggling startup from this region. Today, we would like to extend a helping hand to our fellow entrepreneurs so they can also make their dream come true.”
UiPath Automation Awards CEE & Turkey 2020 winners
Yesterday, the second edition of the competition designated its two winners, one for the ‘start-up’ category and the other for the ‘scale-up’ category, and (alongside our jurors*) we are happy to congratulate them:
Romania-born Neurolabs is the start-up category winner. A team with backgrounds in computer science and mathematics got together in 2018 and created a unique artificial intelligence (AI) object recognition solution. It uses computer vision and deep learning to generate data to accurately recognize objects, enabling companies to automate a wide array of tasks:
- Recognizing products on trays in cafeterias and reducing the checkout process to mere seconds
- Individual product detection on supermarket shelves for real-time updates on inventory levels
- Performing an initial utensil count and maintaining the tracking of surgical tools in operating theaters, etc.
The most compelling reasons for the jurors to designate Neurolabs was the wide applicability of the solution, across industries, but also in robotic process automation (RPA). Most of the team members met while studying at the University of Edinburgh and with dedication and passion succeeded in opening offices in Romania and Scotland. They came forth with a professional and structured presentation on a technology already proven in many use cases.
"For Neurolabs, this is a great moment and the best validation we could’ve received regarding our vision to democratize computer vision, especially in the automation space. We cannot wait to get started on working together with the team from UiPath to help our solution reach the RPA community—the timing couldn’t have been better, as we’re launching our platform specifically for RPA developers."
- Paul Pop, Co-Founder and CEO, Neurolabs
Polish company Salesbook has won the scale-up category. After 10 years implementing mobile IT projects for global customers, the team created an innovative sales tool compatible with any customer relationship management (CRM) system that is already used by global customers. The solution automates important segments of a salesperson’s work:
- Information gathering
- Needs analysis
- Reporting into CRM systems, etc.
The jurors were impressed by the complexity of the product which is already enabling salespeople to spend their time more efficiently and become more successful. The multitude of features makes for a very clear value proposition, and the tool is applicable to a wide range of customers.
"This award shows that it is worth to take a risk while thinking about your startup idea. Once we thought: 'what if consultative sales is automated in a way that we see in e-commerce? Can we help sales representatives by getting rid of the most tedious work in a sales process? Can we add the data-based decision quality to it?' And that is how we created Salesbook. Thanks everyone for this amazing year—not only have we increased our customer base by over 600%, but also won UiPath Automation Award 2020!"
- Jacek Maciak, Co-Founder and CEO, Salesbook
As I was saying at the beginning, the UiPath Automation Awards CEE & Turkey is meant to offer support to the ‘start-up’ and ‘scale-up’ ecosystem in the region. Neurolabs received a €50.000 cash prize that was offered by Microsoft, director-level mentorship, tech support for the next 12 months, and 30 hours of marketing support from UiPath. Salesbook will be introduced to at least four UiPath customers, have their solution showcased in the UiPath Virtual Immersion Lab, and benefit from C-level mentoring, 12-month tech support, and 30 hours of marketing counseling.
Recommendations for emerging tech companies to win global customers
I also promised to return to the practice of customer centricity which was the most prominent common thread in a debate fueled by our chief evangelist Guy Kirwood on how startups and scale-ups can empower themselves and become successful when selling to corporate customers.
Some pearls of wisdom emerged out of a conversation with:
- Nishant Redekar, Solution Architect for Data and Analytics Services at Wärtsilä (one of the earliest UiPath customers)
- Michelle Simmons, Microsoft’s Central and Eastern Europe Marketing & Operations Leader
- Adrian Cernat, the CEO & founder of SmartDreamers (last year competition’s scale-up category winner)
Here’s a list of their recommendations for regional emerging tech companies to succeed in the big league and win global customers:
- Dig deep to understand your customer’s business
- Understand their problems and present a compelling solution to fix them
- Don’t just focus on your technology, but also focus on how the customer can actually apply it
- Show willingness to go above and beyond in the interest of the customer
- Build relationships
- Make use of your potential to bring innovation and agility to a global ecosystem
- Focus on the right industries looking for fast-growing sectors (especially prevalent now, with COVID-19 affecting global marketplaces)
- Be agile and adapt your pitch to each and every prospect
- Offer relevant case studies
- Invest time to build a referral support with networks, associations, programs, and (most importantly) existing happy customers
- Look into some of the exciting opportunities Microsoft offers such as the Microsoft for Startups Program and the Microsoft Partner Network
Get inspired, go sell, and stay tuned for the announcement of the third edition of the UiPath Automation Awards CEE & Turkey!
And were you able to join us for the Reboot Work Festival this week? Organizations from around the world shared stories of how they are using automation to scale and transform their businesses. You can still register to access the session recordings and catch up on what you missed.
*The jurors of this year’s competition were:
- Violeta Luca, General Manager at Microsoft Romania
- Dan Lupu, Partner at Early Bird Capital, the first-ever investor in UiPath
- Stephen Allott, Venture Partner at Seedcamp, another of the earliest investors in UiPath
- Vargha Moayed, Chief Strategy Officer at UiPath
- Boris Krumrey, VP of Automation Innovations at UiPath
- Andrei Roth, Director Strategic Initiatives at UiPath
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.uipath.com/blog/uipath-automation-awards-cee-turkey-2020-winners