California Dreaming: The 33 Star Speakers Ready To Rock SaaStock West Coast21 min read

Copy of WC - General - Promo 1

Hosted in the spiritual home of tech innovation, entrepreneurial ambition and startup success, SaaStock West Coast brings top talent from around the globe to our stage in San Francisco. 

When building out the schedule, three elements were front of mind; a broad range of experienced voices, tangible, actionable content and a laser focus on the growth stage. As is common within a startup culture, some names you’ll immediately recognise, while some are set to become your new favourite sources of wisdom.

With over twenty hours of solid content, the West Coast program offers an incredible insight into the intricacies of growing a company to $10M in ARR. All sessions, workshops and bootcamps are geared towards ensuring our attendees gain concrete tactics, frameworks and strategies that they can start putting to work right away.

Without further ado, we’re very proud to introduce the line up of this year’s SaaStock West Coast.

Dan Adika – CEO & Co-Founder, WalkMe

Session: The SaaS Founder’s Playbook for Going from Startup to Scale-Up

Dan joins us from WalkMe, a Digital Adoption Platform which has won so many industry awards that we fear for the sructural integrity of their trophy cabinet. As one of the latest of the SaaS stable to sprout their unicorn horn, we’re delighted to have Dan with us to share his first hand experience of building a billion dollar company from scratch.

Having grown from a small Israeli startup to a global operation with over 800 employees on the books, Dan has valuable insight into the trials and tribulations of scaling. If you’ve got ambitious aspirations for the expansion of your own business, his isn’t a session to miss. 

Solu Nwanze – Director, Business Operations, Zendesk

Panel Discussion: Nailing Company Culture & Mission – How to Build an Environment Fit for Scale

Currently heading up Business Operations at Zendesk, Solu is also a certified executive coach and an incredibly dynamic, inspiring speaker. With the uncanny ability to see the best in – and get the best from – people, Solu brings valuable insight to our Inclusion and Diversity panel, which she will kindly moderate.

All too often startups are tempted to chase glamourous growth and scaling stats, neglecting company culture and workforce diversity. Solu’s deep knowledge helps businesses to avoid this pitfall, building teams that fire on all cylinders, as a holistic unit, greater than the sum of their parts.

David Appel – Head of Software & SaaS Vertical Marketing, Sage Intacct

Session: The SaaS Metrics that Count – How to Measure Success Like an Investor

With a stellar track record for helping subscription companies scale, David Appel joins us from Sage Intact. Drawing on extensive past experience with the likes of Bill.com and Netsuite, he’s perhaps best known for his series of Mid-Market sales playbooks, which are responsible for generating over $2.1B in market capitalization for his clients

Additionally, David acts in an advisory role to start-ups out of Y! Combinator, Techstars, and First Round Capital on vertical SaaS go-to-market strategies. Drawing on this incredible breadth of knowledge, at SaaStock West Coast he’ll be cutting through the vanity stats and revealing the success metrics that actually matter into today’s competitive marketing. If you’re ready to think like a unicorn, his session on Wednesday is for you.

Guillaume Cabane – Growth Advisor

Workshop: The Playbook to Running Growth Experiments 

With over 15 years of experience in building out growth marketing strategies, and with a strong focus on ROI, we’re thrilled to have Guillaume joining us as part of our SaaS.City Bootcamp: Growth Marketing deep dive. This full day programme enables attendees to get hands on with a broad spectrum of SaaS-focused marketing tips and techniques.

Guillaume’s expertise in the B2B space is well known, and he currently advises a broad range of companies (Gorgias, MonkeyLearn, Madkudu and more,) having left a role as VP of Growth at Drift earlier in the year. His bootcamp session will revolve around lessons learnt bringing startups from seed to series C, and hinge on the best ways to compete – and win – in a crowded market.

Chris Cabrera – Founder & CEO, Xactly

Session: Redefining Sales: The $1b SaaS Story Starting With The First $10m

CEO of Xactly Corporation, Chris Cabrera is a seasoned executive with senior management experience at both early-stage and public companies. Author of highly regarded sales strategy book, “Game The Plan,” he’s a noted expert in the realm of sales performance management, sales compensation and commission, and also sits as a board member for TopOPPS.

At SaaStock West Coast, he’ll be going head to head with Nathan Latka, himself notorious for taking no prisoners when it comes to digging into the detail of companies’ success. The session will focus on how Chris grew Xactly from its first $10M in revenue, to an IPO and $540m private equity buyout. Expect some great insights.

Patrick Campbell – Co-Founder & CEO, ProfitWell

Session: Being an Executive: Your Journaling and Meditation App Won’t Save You 

Co-Founder and CEO of ProfitWell, Patrick Campbell is master of the recurring revenue business. He brings a wealth of pricing experience within the SaaS space. Prior to the founding of ProfitWell, Patrick lead Strategic Initiatives for Boston-based Gemvara, was an Economist at Google and also spent time within the US Intelligence community.

ProfitWell, formerly Price Inteligently, is utilised by over five thousand subscription companies, including Meetup, HubSpot, and Teamwork.com. A freemium model, they offer industry-standard financial metrics, to help reveal sources of untapped revenue through unrivalled subscription intelligence.

Vijay Chittoor – Co-Founder & CEO, Blueshift

Workshop: Making Every Functional Team in Your Company a Growth Function

Having founded the pioneering Customer Engagement platform, Blueshift, back in 2014, we’re delighted to have Vijay joining us in San Francisco to share his wisdom on all things AI, growth and big data. After founding Mercado in 2010 and seeing it later acquired by Groupon, to become Groupon Goods, he also has great insight into the acquisition process.

His workshop session will form part of our full day CEO Bootcamp, running on Tuesday. In his segment, he’ll walk participants through valuable frameworks for growth, and deliver non-intuitive lessons & rules of thumb on growth levers.

Sophia Eng – VP Marketing, Trade The Fifth

Workshop: Understanding the SaaSy Buyer: Why We Buy

A Bay area local, Sophia Eng is here to help supercharge your growth marketing. With an entrepreneurial background, she built two businesses from the ground up, which grew to generate six- and seven-figure sales annually.  Today she designs and delivers global content strategies, and channel distribution plans for startups, billion-dollar brands and everyone in between. 

Her session at SaaStock West Coast will form part of our Growth Marketing bootcamp, and provide a fascinating insight into the often misunderstood and overlooked habits of female vs male buyers vs. men, through the lens of biology, psychology and underlying motivations.

Emma Eschweiler – VP, Silicon Valley Bank

Panel Discussion: Nailing Company Culture & Mission – How to Build an Environment Fit for Scale

As Vice President at Silicon Valley Bank, Emma Eschweiler is well versed in strategic programming and process optimization, with a deep understanding of the needs and ambitions of startups within the SaaS space.

A panellist in our Company Culture and Mission session, she’ll be addressing issues such as societal expectations and employee demands, defining company mission, and how to build out a productive and engaged workforce made up of people with more than just the right set of practical skills and experience.

Sarika Garg – Chief Strategy Officer, Tradeshift

Panel Discussion – Building Better Recurring Revenue Models for Traction & Growth

Software Executive, Angel Investor and Board Advisor, we’re very excited to have Sarika joining us at this year’s SaaStock West Coast. Her broad experience is founded in a deep understanding of product, with 11 years at SAP under her belt and a career taking in stints at Ariba and Fyle before settling as Chief Strategy Officer at Tradeshift.

Sarika will be moderating a panel discussion centred on baking better traction and growth into your recurring revenue model. You’ll learn how to optimise your pricing, and utilise feedback from customers effectively, increasing uptake and retention of carefully targeted buyers.

Sonja Gittens Ottley – Head, Diversity & Inclusion, Asana

Panel Discussion: Nailing Company Culture & Mission – How to Build an Environment Fit for Scale

Sonja is a woman on a mission, working tirelessly towards a world where teams function frictionlessly, and collaboration feels effortless. She’s a huge proponent of feeling able to bring your “full self” to work – enabling employees at Asana, where she heads up Diversity and Inclusion, to reach their full potential.

Another Silicon Valley local, she’ll be a panellist on our session that aims to set the stage for a company environment fit for scale. This discussion will have a strong focus on looking at broader approaches to employee experience, giving practical advice on how to not only hire the best fits for your business but to make them feel fully enabled to perform at the top of their game, authentically.

Indranil Guha – SVP Marketing & Alliances, Signifyd

Workshop: Customer Marketing is Growth Marketing: Weaponizing Client Success to Silence the Competition It’s 2019.

Another Bay Area native, Indranil joins us to share some of his deep wisdom within the realm of marketing. Currently heading up marketing operations at Signifyd, who provide revenue optimization and fraud management to a wide range of retailers (from Walmart brands to digital natives like Stance), Indy also has a wealth of investment experience, and currently serves as a Senior Adviser at Bain Capital Ventures. Somehow he also finds the time to serve on the boards of Wrike, Kenshoo, 6Sense and Bench.

At SaaStock West Coast, he’ll be contributing to our Growth Marketing bootcamp, with a session aimed at challenging our perceptions of how we can outmanoeuvre the competition, and use authentic customer voice to drive our growth programs instead. Not one to miss for anyone looking to double down on growth.  

Travis Kaufman – VP Product Growth, Gainsight

Panel Discussion: Experts Under Fire – Tips, Tricks & Trends for Scaling a Valley-Based SaaS

A true expert in the field of refining relevant, highly functional products, Travis Kaufman joins us from Gainsight. With over a decade in the product game, his career spans conversational marketing experts LiveWorld, automation giants Marketo and CDP Leadspace.

We’re delighted to have him joining our “Experts Under Fire” panel, a no holds barred grilling of the Bay Area’s top SaaS experts that will aim to answer some of the most pressing questions facing today’s growth-stage founders.

BJ Lackland – CEO, Lighter Capital

Panel Discussion: Nailing Company Culture & Mission – How to Build an Environment Fit for Scale

Another highly valued panellist within our Mindset Shift discussion, we’re honored to have BJ Lackland joining us next month. He has first-hand experience of startup leadership, venture debt and capital, fund formation and much more, and currently heads up revenue-based financing lender Lighter Capital, who are known for their particular focus on small technology companies.

With a longstanding passion for building out highly functional, well-balanced operating teams, BJ is a great fit for this panel and we’re really looking forward to the insight he can provide based on his own experiences of building some of Inc 5000’s fastest growing companies in the USA.

Nathan Latka – Founder of SaaS Database, GetLatka.com

Session: Too many to list

A perennial favorite of SaaStock, and of the startup scene in general, Nathan Latka will be popping up at multiple points throughout the event; running a session within our CEO bootcamp, participating in our Founders’ Retreat, and interviewing the aforementioned Chris Cabrera. Additionally, he’ll be delivering a keynote based on the extensive set of data he’s collected from thousands of CEO interviews, via his wildly popular podcast, The Top.

With a reputation for going for the jugular when it comes to getting straight answers out of the folk he grills, Nathan’s insight into revenue data, valuations, customer counts and more sheds incredibly valuable light on the state of SaaS in 2019. Don’t miss this informative and eye-opening session.

Evan Liang – Co-Founder & CEO, LeanData

Session: Key considerations for successful fundraising at SaaSociety

We’re thrilled to have Evan Liang joining us at SaaStock West Coast this year; he’s bringing a lot of incredible data handling knowledge to the party. Founding LeanData after managing a data-cleanup project at his last company and experiencing the pain of cleaning CRM data by hand, earlier in the year Evans raised $27.5 million in Series C funding following record growth

Prior to LeanData, Evan was the GM and VP Products at Caring.com, where he grew a small acquisition into the company’s main business, generating over 50% of the company’s revenue over 2 years. Before Caring.com, Evan worked at Shasta Ventures, a leading venture capital firm focused on end-user-driven businesses.

Guy Marion – CEO & Co-Founder, Brightback

Session: 6 Tips to Build a Compelling Customer-Centred Product

Joining us from customer retention automation specialists, Brightback, Guy Marion will be taking to the SaaStock stage to the five key strategies that drive a compelling customer-centric product focus that results in revenue growth.

With hands-on experience of growing ARR from $0M – $150M, and go to market strategy expertise across SMB, mid-market, and Enterprise segments, we’ll be bringing our notebooks and sharpest pencils.

Dan Martell – Chief Instigator, SaaS Academy

Session: Retaining Top Talent

We all know that hiring is only half the battle. Huge resources are poured into bagging the brightest and best minds, diligently matchmaking for culture fit and investing in ongoing development. The million dollar question is how to keep your people around for the long haul.

The founder of SaaS Academy, Dan joins us to address the key strategies and four core momentum meetings needed to create a high performing culture that fosters epic loyalty in your team, increases growth velocity and keeps everyone on board, excited and committed to be a part of your company’s ongoing trajectory.

Tim McCormick – CEO, SaaSOptics

Session: Bridging the Gap between Sales, Finance and Customer Success to Scale

With over 30 years of experience in building, launching and growing successful enterprise software businesses, Tim has experience leading multiple B2B software companies from startup through acquisition. Today in his role with SaaSOptics, Tim has helped 600+ SaaS startups raise $9B+ across more than 1600 rounds. He continues to build upon an incredible track record for increasing market share and revenue (when VP of Marketing for Internet Security Systems (ISS), he took revenue from $5M in 1996 to over $400M.)

In his SaaStock West Coast session, Tim will leverage a career’s worth of first-hand experience and expertise to bring our audience to the cutting edge of scaling successfully. 

Jon Miller – CEO & Co-Founder, Engagio

Panel Discussion: Experts Under Fire – Tips, Tricks & Trends for Scaling a Valley-Based SaaS

Marketing entrepreneur and thought leader, Jon is a well-versed and highly engaging speaker on the industry circuit, so we’re truly excited to have him joining us in San Francisco this September. He’ll be put through his paces as part of our “Experts Under Fire” panel session, which promises to provide insight into a range of approaches and solutions to problems founders find themselves continually facing.

Jon is currently the CEO and co-founder of Engagio, an account-centric platform to orchestrate and measure Account Based Marketing and Sales Development efforts. Previously, he was a Co-Founder at Marketo, a leader in marketing automation. He has also held leadership roles at Epiphany and Xchange, in addition to board/advisory roles at Scripted, Newscred, and Optimizely.

Mitch Morando – Principal, Morando Method

Panel Discussion: Experts Under Fire – Tips, Tricks & Trends for Scaling a Valley-Based SaaS

Joining Jon, Mitch Morando will also be taking a seat on our “Experts Under Fire” panel session. As the founder of The Morando Method, known for its ability to generate B2B revenue quickly, we’re really looking forward to his take on some of the hottest topics and thorniest issues that today’s founders face.

If you’re not already familiar with Mitch’s work, we thoroughly recommend checking out his book in advance of SaaStock. It promises to reveal the “one simple question that powers the perfect close” – and having been used to finalise more than 10,000 software contracts, and having gained a clean sweep of five-star reviews, we’re willing to bet Mitch’s promise of a money back guarantee isn’t keeping him awake at night.

Shane Murphy-Reuter – SVP Marketing, Intercom

Panel Discussion – Building Better Recurring Revenue Models for Traction & Growth

Professing to love nothing more than helping technology businesses move beyond early growth tactics, we’re delighted that Shane Murphy-Reuter is able to join our Recurring Revenue Models panel next month. 

Today heading up marketing ops at Intercom, the world’s first business messaging platform that delivers real-time, contextual conversations to drive growth, Shane’s background spans a broad range of VP level marketing roles at companies such as AdRoll Group and PaddyPower Betfair.

Tae Hea Nahm – Co-Founder & MD, Storm Ventures

Session: Why is StartUp Growth so Hard on the People? Unlearning is the Key to Success

Joining his co-author, Joe Tinker, on stage at next month’s SaaStock West Coast, we’re delighted to have Tae Hea Nahm on hand to explore one of the great paradoxes of personal development within our industry: often the very things which make a leader successful in the early stage, become the very things that hold them back at the next stage. 

If you’d like to check out their highly regarded publication in advance of this engaging session – Survival to Thrival: Change or Be Changed – you’ll find it packed with real-world examples from proven entrepreneurs of success, failure, learning, and unlearning and is applicable for everyone in the startup team.

Omar Nawaz – Chief Product Officer, Chargebee

Panel Discussion – Building Better Recurring Revenue Models for Traction & Growth

Passionate about building incredible products and teams alike, Omar Nawaz is a fantastic addition to our Recurring Revenue Models panel. Currently Chief Product Officer at automated subscription billers Chargebee, Omar previously spent a long stint within Specialized Management Consulting, as the founder and CEO of Rouge Group.

With a significant track record of scaling products, businesses and processes to hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, and a proven ability to deliver against mission-critical, strategic company goals, we’re very much looking forward to gaining from the benefit of his experience when he takes the mic next month.

Jason Reichl – CEO, GoNimbly

Panel Discussion – Building Better Recurring Revenue Models for Traction & Growth

Meet Jason Reichl – a sworn enemy of operational silos everywhere. In 2013, he co-founded GoNimbly, the first revenue operations consultancy to enable high-growth companies to increase the revenue of each of their customers (by as much as 26%) through eliminating silos and ironed out Go-To-Market processes.

They’ve seen stellar success in the six years that have followed, growing recurring revenue by 100%, through an innovative subscription-based consulting service offering, and creating unique RevOps frameworks that have assisted multiple SaaS & PaaS companies. He represents a fantastic final addition to our Recurring Revenue Models panel, and we’re very much looking forward to his input.

Leela Srinivasan – CMO, SurveyMonkey

Fireside Chat – Driving Disruptive Growth in the Feedback Economy

Recently announced as the newest member of Upwork’s board of Directors, Leela Srinivasan is CMO of SurveyMonkey, and is well known for her detail-oriented and strategic marketing brain. Having previously headed up the full spectrum of marketing efforts over at recruitment platform Lever, Leela has a thorough grasp of the talent market and the unique challenges it brings to the business, and so brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role. 

At SaaStock West Coast, she’ll be participating in a fireside chat with the founder of Watkins Advisory, Kelly Watkins, where she’ll share research, examples of powerful feedback, and tactics for harnessing People Powered Data at scale to innovate with impact.

Santi Subotovsky – General Partner, Emergence Capital

Fireside Chat

Entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, Santi has been focused on the world of B2B since 1999, first as a founder, worked to expand his company throughout Latin America and the US, and then as a venture investor, focused on exciting SaaS, mobile, enterprise, digital media and other technology-enabled businesses.

Today a General Partner at Emergence Capital, Santi is also a prolific board member, sitting for Chorus.ai, Crunchbase, Clearbank and more. With such a broad and immersed overview of the SaaS space we’re really looking forward to the insights he’ll be sharing at next month’s fireside chat.

Bob Tinker – Co-Founder & Board Member, MobileIron

Session: Why is StartUp Growth so Hard on the People? Unlearning is the Key to Success

We’ve already introduced Bob’s co-author and partner in crime, Tae Hea Nahm. Together they’ll storm the SaaStock stage to dig into the topic of their latest publication; Survival to Thrival: Change or Be Changed. Himself a founder, CEO and seed investor, Bob has ample hands on industry experience within the realm of enterprise security and strategic revenue growth. 

Expect an engaging presentation that challenges us to “change or be changed” – positioning ‘unlearning’ what has become second nature as the key to success in our quest to reach our fullest potential.

Derek Sather – Partner – Sales Architect, Winning By Design

Bootcamp: Sales as a Science

Specializing in advising growth-stage software firms to scale from $5M ARR to $100M ARR, Derek is particularly well placed to be running our “Sales as a Science” bootcamp session on the Tuesday of SaaStock West Coast. 

With a focus on getting the needle moving right away, this practical workshop will break down the science of sales into its basic elements, guiding you through the implementation of a science-based framework. Expect clarity on analyzing sales productivity, diagnosing the root cause of bottlenecks, and creating action plans for growing a recurring revenue SaaS business. 

Steven Shapiro – VP Marketing (Americas), CleverTap

Panel Discussion: Nailing Company Culture & Mission – How to Build an Environment Fit for Scale 

The final member of our Mindset Shift panel, Steven is a highly accomplished Product Management, Digital Marketing, and E-commerce executive with a reputation for driving change, building highly successful products, and solving complex problems – all with an ultimate focus on increasing the bottom line.

With regard to our panel topic, Steven has broad ranging experience of building world-class, high-performing teams at prominent global brands including VMware, Symantec and Norton, McAfee, Hewlett-Packard, and Informatica. We’re looking forward to his contribution!

Thomas Smale – Founder, FE International

Panel Discussion: Experts Under Fire – Tips, Tricks & Trends for Scaling a Valley-based SaaS

Completing the line up for our Experts Under Fire panel, serial business entrepreneur and expert Thomas Smales steps up to the plate. After founding FE International in 2010, he was able to grow the business with zero funds from ground up, consistently doubling annual revenue, as well as the average deal size. We’ll have what he’s having.

Specializing in advising in the M&A of SaaS, e-commerce, affiliate and content businesses, Smale has consulted thousands of internet entrepreneurs on an exit strategy, growth and business development. Don’t miss his input to this panel, which promises to be a real highlight of this year’s SaaStock West Coast.

Kelly Watkins – Founder, Watkins Advisory

Fireside Chat – Driving Disruptive Growth in the Feedback Economy

Rounding off our rundown of those gracing the SaaStock stage next month, we’re delighted to count Kelly Watkins amongst our line up for 2019. Having previously acted as VP Global Marketing for Slack, today Kelly acts independently to partner with growth-stage companies to find their audience, uncover their story, and accelerate their growth.

She’ll be leading the fireside chat we host with SurveyMonkey’s Leela Srinivasan, and we’re looking forward to their combined take on the marketing leaders managing to incorporate feedback into their everyday processes to the best effect.

– – –

With just a couple of short weeks to go until the great and the good of the SaaS world descend on our San Francisco venue, we hope this rundown has showcased the breadth of experience that our 2019 lineup offers. Hundreds of years of combined SaaS experience await our attendees in September, with a packed and varied program offering multiple opportunities, ways to learn and the chance for some incredible new connections.

Armed with the insight and distilled knowledge of the 33 speakers taking to our stage next month, we’d place good money on members of our audience going on to become the stars of SaaStocks in years to come. If you’re looking to gain contacts, new skills and a fresh approach to age-old industry issues, SaaStock West Coast offers the perfect opportunity to get ahead in the fast-paced, innovative industry we all love so much. Grab a ticket before Friday, August 30th to avail of the best possible price.

how to grow a prize kabbage-2

How To Grow A Prize Kabbage: Culture, Change and Capital with Kathryn Petralia

Although impeccably polite, you get the impression that Kathryn Petralia might be a little tired of the focus placed on her unconventional path to success at the helm of FinTech giant, Kabbage. The company, which provides AI-powered access to capital, directly to SMBs, has ranked on the Inc. 5000 list as one of America’s fasting-growing…

Jason VandeBoom.001

Break all the rulebooks: How ActiveCampaign reached $70M in ARR

On this week’s episode of the SaaS Revolution Show, we speak with Jason VandeBoom, Founder and CEO of ActiveCampaign about all the unusual things he has done to reach $70M in ARR and counting. A builder and maker of things from an early age, young Jason thought that the best way to cater for that…

Copy of Copy of 34 SaaS-Focused East Coast VC Firms

Ones To Watch: 20 of the finest SaaS startups born in the past year

As we cross into the last quarter of 2019, it’s a great time to take stock of the startups looking set to make waves throughout the end of this year and well into the next. We’ve pulled together a rundown of twenty exciting and ambitious young ones, all of whom are bringing fresh and exceptionally…