A first look at all new and exciting things at SaaStock189 min read
Whether you have never stepped foot at SaaStock or you are a seasoned SaaStocker and have seen us grow from 0 to 700 to 1500 attendees, you are in for a treat this year. SaaStock18 will be the biggest and best conference we have had to date. As the conference is coming close we are running out of space so grab a ticket now.
We are back at the RDS for the main part of the show on 16th and 17th of October, all the while taking over Dublin’s co-working spaces, accelerators, SaaS multinationals and famous watering holes on the 15th.
We are keeping the things that we saw working well last year. One is how our agenda is organised. Content will be working on three tracks simultaneously. Each is loosely connected to the three main stages a SaaS company undergoes:
- Scale, featuring companies that have either passed the $100M ARR threshold or are well on the path towards it. You will hear from companies like Zendesk, Slack, Rapid7, Drift, Intercom and other scale stage companies.
- Growth, featuring the topics that founders climbing the $1 to $10 million ARR ladder urgently need. Expect to hear from Botify, Nathan Latka, Hotjar, TravelPerk and more.
- Traction, featuring the early-stage stories addressing the fundamentals of having a great start such as user onboarding, customer feedback, first international steps, financial plans, and how to grow even if you are not leaving your daytime job. On the second day Traction will be transformed into Rocket Fuel, a track featuring some of Europe’s leading Early Stage VCs delivering tactical keynotes about raising Seed or Series A funding rounds.
At each track, you will see more keynotes than ever: 55 at current count. We are working with each keynote speaker to ensure this year’s content delivers nothing but actionable, practical lessons for you to apply to your SaaS business to help take it to the next level.
You will get inside your buyer’s head with David Skok, rock demos with Dan Martel, fix your broken pricing with Kyle Poyar; unlock growth in noisy markets with April Dunford and many more.
We are also keeping our SXSW-style pre-event, SaaS.City. We are, however, filling it with more bootcamps and workshops than ever. Sales, Pricing, Growth marketing, Exits, Going International and others. We are also running even more pub crawls so you can unwind from rolling up your sleeves with the SaaS stars and ease you into a party mood for our Opening Party, which is in a cool new venue. Speaking of new things…
On October 15th, we are adding two entirely new stand-alone events the same day – the Startup Programme Day and Investock.
The Startup Program and Competition
Starting-up and growing a SaaS business has never been as difficult. This year we are trying to help startups as much as we can.
One way is by introducing a Startup Program as part of SaaStock and an additional Startups-only day on October 15th, filled with workshops and mentoring at Zendesk’s HQ in Dublin. We are topping that by running the very first SaaS-only Global Pitch Competition, seeking to find and support the best SaaS startup of 2018.
While the title will bring the young companies much-needed publicity and heightened interest by 400 attending investors and many partners, the principal advantage of running the competition lays elsewhere. Most Startup Competitions are industry and vertical agnostic and only help startups with general advice on their pitch and value proposition. It’s a title that doesn’t come with much more support. We, on the other hand, are well positioned to offer SaaS startups tailored assistance. Combining educational support and hands-on advice and guidance from our community of SaaS trailblazers, we believe will truly make a huge difference for these upstarts.
This year our investor team has carefully thought about how to optimise SaaStock’s value proposition for investors. That started by asking what they needed and wanted more of.
While deal flow was an obvious one, the value put on catch-ups was a bit of a surprise to us. Turns out, just like founders and executives, investors too need the space and time to catch up and talk about the challenges and wins they have. That is why, this year we’re introducing Investock, our first investor-only event!
Taking place on Monday 15th, the day before the main conference kicks off, Investock will be the day to calmly network, before back to back meetings with potential investees begin on Tuesday. We will gather 200 SaaS VCs and some LPs to network and connect over carefully selected content that addresses some of the most pressing issues that investors face.
Here are a few highlights:
- Panel discussion on portfolio value-add with different perspectives from EQT’s Ali Mitchell, SVB’s Martin Afshari-Mehr and Notion’s Stephen Millard
- Software 2018 a state of the market and cloud talk with Battery Ventures’ Logan Bartlett
- What do LPs look for in VCs?
- How to think about portfolio Exits and Merger or Acquisitions
Rocket Fuel Stage
On the second day of SaaStock, we are transforming the Traction Stage into Rocket Fuel. Devoted to the topic of funding, Rocket Fuel is a one-day track featuring some of Europe’s leading Early Stage VCs who will be delivering tactical keynotes for thoseSaaS Founders looking to raise Seed or Series A funding rounds. Expect to hear from Evgenia Plotnikova, Louis Coppey, Kris Kobylecki, Blake Bartlett, Videesha Bockle, Connor Murphy and others who will help you with everything you wanted to know about raising venture capital and how to succeed. Full line-up and agenda will be released next week.
We are teaming up with Intercom and a bunch of other great B2B SaaS podcasts to bring you the most extensive B2B podcast studio that will host 2-days of live podcasts. Expect to see recordings of SaaS Revolution Show, Inside Intercom podcast, The Top with Nathan Latka, Growth Everywhere with Eric Siu, BUILD by Openview, SaaS Open Mic and more. The studio will allow for a few audience members if you want to be part of the recording of your favourite podcast.
More ways to pick your badge
We know no one likes to wait when there are so many better things to do – listen to amazing speakers, meet incredible new friends, browse through what the SaaS world has to offer in the expo.
That’s why we are introducing many new ways to register and pick your badge. You will be able to pick up your badge on Monday, not just from the opening party but from each event, we are running on October 15th – all bootcamps, Investock, and the Startup Program Day.
Doors open at 8 am on Tuesday at the RDS with many registrations desks, so you have plenty of time to get your badge, grab a coffee and get ready for the fireside chat Christoph Janz, Managing Partner Point9 Capital will have with Morten Primdahl, co-founder of Zendesk.
A bigger and better investor zone
We are improving the experience for investors and their potential investees during SaaStock too. The conversations between founders and investors that propel businesses ahead and secure great deal flows have always been in the centre of SaaStock, pushing the whole industry forward. Each year we have tried to accommodate these conversations in the best way possible. This year we are building an investor zone, which is bigger than ever before and will facilitate meetings seamlessly through our app.
As part of it, we have reserved a space where investors can do a bit of work undisturbed. Let’s face it, there are always emails to be replied to and calls with portfolio companies to get on to. The zone will also hold a mini space for coaching sessions.
More meeting zones
We know how vital conversations are so we are providing more space than ever for you. One area we are bringing from last year is the Huckletree startup meeting space, which will not only have cosy bean bags but will also offer yoga sessions for some much-needed relaxation. Alongside Huckletree, we will have more meeting space provided by Iconiq, who are bringing an incredible setup.
We are showcasing more excellent SaaS companies than ever to show you just how strong and varied the space is. At current count, we have already over a hundred companies and startups signed up. Not only will you see SaaS’s finest scaleups and startups at their booths but they also have some cool surprises in store for you. Rumour has it we will have beer tabs, smoothies, and mechanical unicorns.
These fine SaaS companies won’t just entertain you on the SaaStock expo premises but are already planning some kick-ass parties – a football-themed party, a speakeasy, pizza parlours and distillery tours are just some of the after hours they have prepared for you. In case you get hungry from all these explorations, we will have food stalls scattered around the expo, which will be serving food all day. We still have a few spots available for you to showcase your SaaS and entertain 3000 attendees with things like an alcoholic bubble machine. Get in touch [email protected]
We are tail ending the gathering of the SaaS universe in Dublin with SaaSociety. A much smaller and intimate gathering, it brings together 50 SaaS leaders and founders to network, bond with each other and tackle some less addressed topics. To make the most of that unique opportunity, SaaSociety takes attendees away from the crowds and hustle and bustle for a 36-hour retreat in the Irish countryside. Informal conversations and time spend together, tasting fine Irish whiskeys, playing golf, clay pigeon shooting are the main parts of the “show.” Formal leadership sessions are just a small addition. The agenda is carefully curated to ensure guests can bond with the SaaS finest.
This retreat is geared towards SaaS companies that have made it over the $3 million ARR threshold. They now have slightly different challenges to tackle and opportunities to avail of, both addressed better in the calmer company of fellow founders and investors going through it too.
The venue we have chosen for SaaSociety this year is the 5-star K Club. We still have a few spots left for it so apply now.
There you go. Hope we have stirred your appetite for SaaS, Guinness and all else we have in stock for you at SaaStock. Grab your ticket, if you haven’t already and start planning. We can’t wait to welcome you to Dublin.
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