Top Japanese incubator, led by former head of Oracle Japan, gives salesforce.com highest honor
SAN FRANCISCO, CA and Tokyo, Japan— May 2, 2002 — SunBridge, the leading incubator of IT startups in Japan, and salesforce.com, the market leader in online CRM, today announced that SunBridge has named salesforce.com Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff as its 2002 "Entrepreneur of the Year." Founded by Allen Miner, former president of Oracle Japan, SunBridge has helped launch over 50 new Japanese businesses since its inception in 2000. The SunBridge awards celebrate achievement within Japan's rapidly developing venture community, and its annual Entrepreneur of the Year award honors a top executive who exhibits both world-changing vision and ability to implement that vision. Benioff, the first non-Japanese recipient of a SunBridge award, was selected for the prestigious honor on the basis of his global business leadership and philanthropic contributions.
"The SunBridge nomination committee feels that Marc Benioff's vision, his performance and his focus on delivering significant value to both customers and society should be considered as a model for the Japanese entrepreneurs we work with daily," said Takaaki Nagayama, SunBridge Chief Investment Officer.
"Under Marc Benioff's leadership over the past year, salesforce.com has added more CRM customers than Siebel, PeopleSoft, SAP and Oracle combined and crossed the crucial milestone of positive cash-flow," said SunBridge CEO Allen Miner while presenting the award at the SunBridge 2002 Venture Leadership Awards Celebration earlier this month. "And his vision doesn't stop there. He is committed to not only bringing about 'the end of software' but also catalyzing 'the end of philanthropy', the tight integration of public service with business activities in a mutually-beneficial relationship."
"I am pleased to be recognized by SunBridge for my business and community contributions and extremely honored to be the first non-Japanese recipient of a SunBridge award," said Benioff. "Salesforce.com is seeing a global swell of support for its innovative online service, and I am pleased that our sister notion of 'business as service' has the same international resonance."
Each year SunBridge recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals and organizations in its extensive network of partners, clients and portfolio companies on the anniversary of the opening of its first "Venture Habitat" incubation center in Tokyo. Other 2002 award recipients include "Start-up of the Year" Accela Technology, a Fujitsu spinout that successfully launched the world's fastest XML-integrated multi-lingual business document server. "Take-off of the Year" honors went to G-mode, which soared up the ranks of Japan's online game providers following the launch of its single and multi-player games for Java-enabled mobile phones in January of 2001, securing its leadership position with both the #1 and #2 most-played mobile internet game services.
Benioff founded salesforce.com in the spring of 1999 with a vision of catalyzing "The End Of Software," and has led salesforce.com to its current position as the fastest-growing CRM company according to Morgan Stanley. He was formerly senior vice president at Oracle Corporation reporting to company Chairman Lawrence J. Ellison. In July 2000, with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell publicly endorsing the initiative, Benioff founded the salesforce.com/foundation, a multi-million dollar philanthropic initiative focused on helping under-served youths succeed in the digital age. He was recently honored as a World Economic Forum Global Leader for Tomorrow, class of 2002.
Salesforce.com currently has over 4,300 customers for its online CRM solution, including global leaders such as Le Meridien, Autodesk, and Daiwa Bank. Salesforce.com provides companies of all sizes with an enterprise-class CRM solution at a fraction of the cost, fraction of the time, and fraction of the risk of traditional software systems. Salesforce.com delivers its CRM solution as an online information utility via a Web Services infrastructure.