Shared Services & Outsourcing Week Startup Zone Competition Winner Announced

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New York, New York 16 September 2020 – The 24th Annual North American Shared Services & Outsourcing Week event took place virtually from August 25 – September 4th and was host to the first ever Startup Zone and Startup Zone pitch competition.

The Startup Zone is a place for business services solution startups to showcase critical new tools and services that SSO executives need to be aware of. The Startup Zone featured a pitch competition where participating organizations shared information about their unique product, value proposition and the ROI they bring to shared services and GSB organizations. Each participant pitched the attendees on how their product differentiates from what is currently in the market and the problem it solves for business services. Participating organizations included: qBotica, Microsoft for Startups, TalentAlpha, Klever Insight, Bid Ops, Starmind, Roots Automation, and Ignite IPA.

Following these pitches, the esteemed panel of judges, as well as the Shared Services & Outsourcing Week audience, picked the top three startup companies who would then head to the finalist round. The top three organizations included Starmind founded by Pascal Kaufmann and Marc Vontobel, Roots Automation founded by Chaz Perera and John Cottongim, and Bid Ops founded by Edmund Zagorin.

Concluding the finalist round, the judging panel deliberated on who would be recognized as the Startup Zone pitch competition winner. The Startup Zone judging panel was comprised of:

  • Tony Saldanha, President, Transformant
  • Lee Coulter, Chair, IEEE Working Group On Standards In Intelligent Process Automation
  • Suzanne Leopoldi-Nichols, President, GBS, UPS
  • Deborah Kops, Managing Principal, Sourcing Change
  • Michael Frankel, SVP, Financial Shared Services, XPO Logistics
  • Marc Thewes, EY Americas Global Business Services Leader, EY
  • Shakti Jauhar, Board Member & Former PepsiCo SVP, Global HR Transformation & Operations
  • Vasanthi Chalasani, VP, IT, Shared Services Automation CoE, Procter & Gamble
  • Tarun Chopra, President and CEO, Clements Worldwide

After discussing the presentations, the judges named BidOps the winner of the competition.

Bid Ops was founded in 2017 and is a sourcing enablement software powered by AI to provide smarter, data-driven decisions.  

Bid Ops founder, Edmund Zagorin, sat down with SSON’s Barbara Hodge following his win where he said, “It’s a tremendous honor and I am very grateful for the opportunity to present to the SSO Network and community.”

The full interview can be seen here.


For further details on the Shared Services & Outsourcing Network visit


Contact information (and for information on how to participate in the 2021 Startup Zone):

Geena Monaco

Event Marketing Manager


Shared Services & Outsourcing Week | SSON Impact Awards