Creating the next East Coast SaaS mafia8 min read

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We are super excited to announce that SaaStock East Coast 2019 taking place in New York on June 4-6, is now open for registration. Limited early bird tickets are now available – grab them before they are gone.

Building on last year’s event we held in the city that doesn’t sleep, as well as the success of three flagship conferences in Dublin that have brought together thousands of SaaS founders, execs and investors, we’re taking this SaaS show global, touching down on a total of 5 continents in 2019.

The third stop will be New York, where 400+ SaaS leaders will gather to connect and share what they’ve learned about growing and scaling their SaaS. Unlike last year’s event, which mainly focused on New York, this year we are expanding our reach and relevance to cover the entire East Coast. With a world-class speaker line-up being added to every day, content devised to maximize return for SaaS businesses, and an invaluable networking opportunity, SaaStock East Coast is an unmissable opportunity for founders, execs, and investors.

The SaaStock ecosystem on the East Coast

New York is the beating heart of the SaaS ecosystem on the East Coast. In fact, it beats so strongly that the New York metropolitan area is the second biggest hotspot for SaaS companies, giving Silicon Valley a run for its money. What’s interesting though is that it’s not employing the same ways of growing.

There is something saner about it. It’s down-to-earth, yet scrappy. It’s muted, yet filled with hustle. In its essence, the New York SaaS ecosystem is driven far more by executing on recognized use cases where a SaaS solution makes sense, rather than on the perceived hype it’s the next big thing. Products are started to solve problems first and are a natural extension of deep customer research. In the context of New York that is relatively easy as the region is home to the biggest cluster of Fortune 500 companies and financial institutions.

Between its boroughs, New York boasts a higher concentration of SaaS companies relative to its total tech ecosystem than Silicon Valley. In recent years, SaaS companies started there have been making the headlines with their exits – MongoDB, Flatiron Health and Yext going public, Conductor being acquired by WeWork.

However, where it gets particularly interesting is in the roster of growth stage companies. We looked into some of them last year and made a meaty list of 40 SaaS companies featuring Datadog, Bizzabo, Dataiku, Movable Ink, Pipedrive, Splash, UiPath, InVision, Digital Ocean, PeopleDoc, Namely, Greenhouse Software to name a few.

They are successful in their own right but they haven’t become successful in isolation. There is something else at play. Something TechCrunch calls the mafia syndrome. Not the gangster kind though.

According to TechCrunch, ecosystems take off when there is a sufficient density of talent, a strong desire to help one another, and an open ambition to compete. The rise of mafias centered on some of the city’s leading companies such as Voxel and Digital Ocean has contributed to that. Many learn their trades in these companies and go off to start their own companies afterwards.

New York isn’t the only SaaS powerhouse in the region with Boston exhibiting its own catalog of exciting companies and boasting a similar tech mafia extending from companies such as HubSpot and DataRobot. Kendall Square, an area located near to MIT, has been dubbed ‘the most innovative square mile on the planet.’ Together with Harvard and all other universities in the area, there is no shortage of grads keen to be part of the SaaS Revolution. Yesware, Wordstream, InsightSquared, and ProfitWell are just the tip of the iceberg in what is a strong hub for SaaS, which though isn’t overcrowded.

Don’t be fooled, however, as these statements remain valid as you traverse the East Coast.

From Atlanta’s SalesLoft and Calendly, down to Fort Lauderdale, FL, where we find superstars like Ultimate Software who just boldly went private in a $11 Billion cash deal, gumption and hustle reign. Even when traversing more far flung places, we find companies like comScore in Reston, VA, Pendo in Raleigh, NC and RainKing in Bethesda, MD.

And don’t even get us started on what happens once you cross the border over to Canada – category creator Influitive, video superstar Vidyard, audio production powerhouse LANDR are just the tip of the iceberg. There are companies to be found everywhere, regardless of the size of the cities they are in. Examples like Swept in Halifax, NS and Introhive in Fredericton, NB come to mind.

So what is the state of SaaS on the East Coast? In a word, it’s amazing. For what it is, there isn’t much showmanship that would spell this out in news headlines, however. That’s because most companies and founders are focused on growing a thick skin, expanding their networks and hustling away. We are fascinated with that mentality and want to help it, by forming something of an East Coast SaaS mafia and bringing it together for three days.

Why New York?

The beating heart of SaaS on the East Coast, New York will once again be the home for our conference. A diverse melting pot of nationalities and cultures, it’s the best base for a bigger and more inclusive event that helps companies of all flavors conquer and expand out from the region. As we go back to New York, we will gather the entire coast’s best and brightest in the heart of Manhattan, where the mantra of “It is all about who you know,” rings truer than anywhere else.  

The fundamentals of SaaStock East Coast

Having seen the benefits of bringing the New York community together at last year’s SaaStock on Tour New York and adding to that the experience of bringing the SaaS community in Europe together for three years in a row, we understand the power of fostering a healthy ecosystem.

We know what it’s like to be on the fringes, where it’s that much more difficult to gain traction and grow, where many borders need to be crossed for scalable growth, with each crossing accompanied by new regulations, legal systems and, most importantly, cultural perceptions to tackle.

As we aim to be an inclusive and attractive event for not just a metropolis but an entire coastline, SaaStock East Coast will be diverse in more than just its geography. At its heart, it will offer a behind the scenes view into some of the fundamental topics when it comes to succeeding in SaaS. The founders and companies we put on stage are often just a few steps ahead of many sitting in the audience. They are operators in the trenches too. This is very deliberate.

What they focus on in their talks is how they have taken the next few steps – How they went from managing under ten customers to a few dozen, then a few hundred and maybe a few thousand. How they tailored growth internally so they kept the same level of service. How they kept their attention to detail despite the scale. How they dared with the next step, yet maintained operational efficiency all along.

Our agenda on the main day of the conference is built around the most relevant themes for the market:

  • Scaling sales and marketing
  • Instilling discipline in sales execution
  • Building intuitive products
  • Improving customer to product feedback loops
  • Hiring, engaging and maintaining culture with limited resources
  • Internationalizing beyond the East Coast
  • Landing and expanding on the East Coast
  • Traversing the fine line between growth and burnout

To address these and many other topics, we are adding speakers all the time. The speakers already confirmed include:

  • Tommaso Tamburnotti, CEO, Easyship
  • Sujan Patel, CEO, Mailshake
  • Patrick Campbell, CEO, Pofitwell
  • Eran Ben-Shushan, Co-Founder and CEO, Bizzabo
  • Ashley Murphy, Senior Director of Growth, OpenView Ventures
  • Logan Bartlett, Principal, Battery Ventures

Beyond the content, we offer generous time for questions, discussions and networking with the very same people that take the stage to dig into their story and their lessons further.

What is in store during the 3 days

SaaStock East Coast will bear all the hallmarks of our flagship event, with tailored content, meaningful relationships, and actionable takeaways that your business can see the benefit from immediately. It will include:

SaaS.City, the pre-event day filled with hands-on workshops and bootcamps taking place all around New York

Our one-day conference with content based on company stage and topics of interest

Investock, an exclusive investor-only event, which gathers angels, LPs, principles and partners of leading Saas-focused funds to connect and discuss some of their key challenges in increasing their portfolio and helping their existing one.

SaaS expo showcasing the latest and greatest, local and international SaaS products

Investor meeting zone with advanced matchmaking to ensure that the no potential opportunity is missed

Startup Program, providing early-stage start-ups with invaluable mentoring and the chance to pitch to relevant investors

SaaSociety, the leaders retreat for founders who have reached $3M+ ARR.

All of that, combined with the chance to take a break from the grind, socialize with like-minded peers, and enjoy the bustling New York nightlife at one of our parties or a pub crawl, makes SaaStock East Coast an absolute must for SaaS people.

There’s a reason why we’ve been referred to as the “Disneyland for SaaS Companies”. We live and breathe SaaS and make it our business to ensure that every element of the SaaStock experience adds value to our attendees. If you’re excited to be part of it and join us in New York in June, you can find out more or register to attend here.

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