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Salesforce eager to support startup culture sweeping Europe

Salesforce’s head of startup relations shares why it’s partnered with accelerator Startupbootcamp

A startup culture is sweeping across Europe and Salesforce.com is eager to support it, according to Ludo Ulrich, head of startup relations at Salesforce.

The Salesforce for Startups programme has partnered with Startupbootcamp to provide tech startups with access to the cloud customer relationship management (CRM) company’s technology to enable growth.

The partnership is designed to provide Startupbootcamp’s portfolio of companies with access to technologies for customer acquisition, which can range from building apps on the Salesforce1 Platform to managing customer service with Desk.com. 

Salesforce will also provide expertise through content and events, in addition to resources to enable startups to give back to their community.

“We wanted to package everything Salesforce has to offer for startups,” Ulrich told Computer Weekly. 

“There is a risk-taking culture growing in the European startup movement. Salesforce can relate to that, so we’re excited to bring the enthusiasm and energy into that culture,” he said. 

Founded in 2010, the Copenhagen-based Startupbootcamp has grown to 11 accelerators in nine cities throughout Europe, the Middle-East and Africa. Some 250 startups have completed the accelerator programme, of which 71% have raised investment and 80% are still active.

Startupbootcamp selects 10 startups to receive seed funding, free office space, mentoring, introductions to investors and access to its global partners’ technologies.

“There is a lot Salesforce can offer a startup through mentorship if it has ambition,” said Ulrich.

“If you are building a software-as-a-service company or an enterprise cloud business then you need to know how to sell to your customers. Account executives at Saleforce will help with that and with more specific things, such as insurance. 

“The mentors will show you how to sell, market and provide customer service. Salesforce employees give their time to support others, whether with marketing, sales or whatever else necessary,” he said. 

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According to Ulrich, it is currently a great time for startups to find support and get off the ground, regardless of where they are based. 

“The idea that Silicon Valley is the only place to succeed is not true any more – there are other places to succeed. You might want to go to Silicon Valley for funding later, but thanks to the cloud you can build a good company anywhere,” he said.

Andy Shannon, Startupbootcamp’s global head of operations, said: “I’m thrilled to welcome Salesforce as our newest global partner. Access to Salesforce's amazing mentors, technology and global resources provides an incredible advantage for Startupbootcamp companies.”

The accelerator plans to extend its reach to the US at the end of 2015 with the announcement of two new programmes. Other Startupbootcamp global partners include Amazon Web Services, Deutsche Telekom, Google, Intel, PayPal and Samsung.

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