Hidden Gems: The Rising Star Speakers of SaaStock1913 min read
We’re at a distinct turning point in the year. There’s a slight chill in the morning air, the shops are stocking up on knitwear, and Instagram is overflowing with #pumpkinspice everything. For some, this means the onset of Fall. For anyone working in the SaaS space, it can mean only one thing; SaaStock19 is just around the corner.
One of the biggest benefits of attending our flagship event is the capacity for the advantageous new discoveries that catch you off guard. We all tend to approach community gatherings with a set of goals and expectations. The breadth and depth of our multi-day program mean that there’s real scope to be pleasantly surprised by sessions and speakers who may not previously have been on your radar.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the names who most people have heard of, but who all pack a serious punch when it comes to the quality of content and the insight they’ll provide to our audience. We hope you’ll enjoy digging into the exceptional experience and expertise on offer as you sip your seasonal caffeinated beverage of choice.
CEO & Founder, Trint
It’s always inspiring to see the huge range of backgrounds that folk succeeding in the SaaS space come from. Jeff Kofman, CEO, and Founder of automated subscription service Trint, is a former reporter and current university lecturer. During his years in journalism, he was the first foreign news correspondent to report on the trapped Chilean miners, spent a month in Haiti in early 2004 when guerrillas took control of much of the country and won an Emmy for his coverage of the downfall of Gadhafi in 2011. In the years that followed September 11th, 2001, he also completed six tours in the Middle East, embedded with U.S. Marines in the south of Iraq. SaaS can be an intense environment, but with a resumé like that, we’re sure Kofman is destined for similar accolades and success with Trint.
Head of Product, Klaus
It’s fair to say that the way we work has changed irreversibly over recent years. Remote working is here to stay, and many would argue, set to become the future norm. Geographical location is no longer a deal-breaker for recruitment. This has opened up a world of possibilities in terms of talent and diversity but also leaves companies open to a range of potential leadership pitfalls. Thörner is a real authority on building high functioning, empowered remote teams. In fact, she quite literally wrote the book on the topic. Recently moving from Automattic to Klaus, we’re excited to see what she brings as Head Of Product. Check out her Tuesday session to learn about the steps needed to create an intimate connection between your customers and your product team.
Co-Founder & Chair, FirstCapital
Mergers, acquisitions and venture capital specialist, we’re delighted to have Hazel Moore joining us in Dublin this year. As the co-founder and chairman of FirstCapital, Moore received an OBE in the 2017 New Year’s honors list for services to Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She was recently appointed as a non-executive director to the Board of British Patient Capital – a £2.5bn fund of funds, investing in venture and growth capital. Moore was also named as one of this year’s most influential women in mid-market M&A by Mergers and Acquisitions. We love her commitment to bringing more women into the demanding but rewarding world of investment banking; First Capital are one of the very few tech investment banks to be led by women, and thanks to a well-structured recruitment process, to benefit from a 40% female workforce.
With more than 25 years of global marketing and technology experience (20 of those years based in Hong Kong) Dominic Powers will be lending his considerable APAC expertise to the moderation of our SaaStock Discussion Panel, “Forget the US, our next step is Asia” at SaaStock19. Acting as CEO with digital media aggregation wizards CtrlShift since early 2018, Powers previously spent 14 years growing Europe and Asia Pacific for Epsilon, one of the world’s leading marketing services companies. Additionally, he acts as an investor, advisor, and connector, helping brands, agencies and technology companies traverse and shake up the world of consumer engagement.
Director, Marketing Strategy, Sprout Social
We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Tara Robertson for the SaaStock blog. A passionate advocate for Voice Of The Customer research, she’s known for getting incredible results for companies looking to grow exceptionally satisfied, loyal customer bases. Heading up Sprout Social’s lifecycle marketing efforts, Tara’s team manage Voice Of The Customer research across the entire marketing funnel and have seen some really remarkable success in the last couple of years. Running our Growth Marketing Bootcamp alongside the immensely talented Georgiana Laudi, Robertson will be helping participants learn to leverage existing customers for revenue growth (a 5% increase in customer retention can have a 75% increase in profitability.) A fantastic opportunity to design an expansion revenue growth plan to keep you successfully growing year over year.
CEO & Founder, Perx Technologies
A Silicon Valley veteran with over a decade spent working with some of the Bay Area’s brightest and best, Anna Gong has a well-deserved reputation as the queen of turnarounds. Hired as CEO to loyalty app Perx back in 2014, her impact has been monumental; in the first year, doubling the number of registered users from 200,000 to 400,000 and clocking up 5 million app impressions. The real game-changer was her vision to pivot and expand the app’s reach into the enterprise market. Today Perx helps to power some of the giants of Asia’s banking and insurance sectors. At SaaStock19, Gong will be leading a section of our Moving Up Market Bootcamp, with her “Winning SaaS Frameworks between East and West” session. Expect to review frameworks, hacks, and use cases of how to move UpMarket and scale between East and West.
Co-Founder & CEO, quintly
Co-Founder & CEO of a powerful analytics platform, quintly, (recently featured on our “20 Exciting European SaaS Companies With Real Euro Vision” article), Alexander Peiniger brings bags of hands-on entrepreneurial and bootstrapping experience to the table. Founding quintly with his brother, they’ve had an unconventional approach to funding (at one point buying back shares from an early US investor back in 2012.) A longtime friend of SaaStock, we’re delighted to be welcoming him back in 2019.
Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Equality, Dublin City University
A self-described ‘design thinker with an entrepreneurial spirit,” Sandra Healy is a powerful champion of diversity and inclusion, with experience strategy, implementation and best practices across industry and higher education. Currently Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Dublin City University, Healy previously held a number of leadership positions spanning two decades working within the telecoms industry across both the UK and Ireland. She chaired the Vodafone Women’s Network and their Diversity and Inclusion Committee, placing Vodafone on the map for best practice in Diversity and Inclusion. She also sits in an advisory capacity on several boards and committees including the National Anti-Bullying Research & Resource Centre and the Network Ireland Advisory Committee.
Founder & CEO, Hi Inov
A passionate venture capitalist, Valerie Gombart has backed over 50 businesses within the Communication and IT sectors, with several backed from the very earliest days right through to IPO. To date, her portfolio has returned more than €116M of net gross profits to LPs. Today she leads venture capital firm Hi Inov, which places a strong focus on early-stage B2B digital start-ups. In Dublin, we’re lucky enough to have her share some of this expertise as part of our Getting Ready To Scale Your SaaS bootcamp, during which she’ll lead a session on “Best Practices for Working with Investors at Critical Transitions.” You’ll learn how to approach VC’s at different stages of a SaaS company’s lifecycle, and have the opportunity to present a 30-second pitch to Hi Inov, gaining real-time feedback.
Reporter, NBC News
A well-known face in Silicon Valley, Alyssa Newcomb is an NBC News’ technology reporter, covering the latest tech and digital happenings. Stationed in San Francisco until last year, today she covers the East Coast scene, based out of the Greater New York area. A daily contributor to NBC News, TODAY.com and Fortune.com, she is also a regular on the industry events circuit, hosting panels and leading interviews with the great and the good of the tech scene. In Dublin, she’ll be moderating our “Driving disruptive growth in the feedback economy” panel, and sitting as a panelist for our live “Pitch The Press” demo, which will give valuable feedback and advice on the dos and don’ts of courting PR attention.
Co-founder and CEO of scheduling tool, youcanbookme, Bridget Harris brings her valuable insight into bootstrapping and developing a viable digital product. Her fascinating resumé also includes a long stint in politics (doubtless advantageous in the world of SaaS!) with roles including Special Advisor to the UK’s House of Lords and Consultant Speaker for the British Council in Zimbabwe. In Dublin this October, she’ll be bringing all of this expertise to our panel discussion “Empowering a team of digital superheroes,” which will explore how to create, sustain and motivate a remote workforce – without sacrificing culture across digital borders.
Co-Founder & CEO, Bevy
Hailing from Palo Alto, Derek Anderson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Bevy, a white-labeled Community Hub for all of your community groups, members, and events to live. Clearly all about the power of human connection, Anderson is also well known as the founder of Startup Grind, the largest independent startup community, nurturing startup ecosystems in more than 125 countries around the globe, through events, media, and partnerships. In his Wednesday session at SaaStock, Anderson will be advising on the future of business, and how we can best harness its potential. Join us to learn more about how the customer to customer (C2C) is rapidly gaining traction, as companies learn more about the huge untapped potential that lies in tapping into their brand’s community and fandom.
Making the hop from COO to CEO at Typeform at the end of 2018, today Joaquim leads the Barcelona based surveying tool. He brings considerable past experience to the role, all tempered with his trademark understated leadership style. His session at SaaStock ‘19, “The Life Changing Art Of Letting Go” will reflect this “light touch” approach to empowering teams through a relaxed grip on the reigns. In conversation with his co-founder, David Okuniev, Lecha will explore and challenge the idea that as founders, we need to have total control over and control over all business decisions.
Venture Partner, Frog Capital
Joe Krancki is a technology investor and advisor with over 20 years’ experience – half of this time having been spent rising up through the ranks to his current role of Venture Partner at Frog. His career to date reflects a strong focus on helping to build up and transform in the USA and Europe, with a specialism in software, data & analytics, tech-enabled services, and online marketplaces. In Dublin this October, he’ll be part of an incredibly important panel we’ll be running, shining a light on the ongoing mental health catastrophe plaguing the tech scene. We’ll be taking the opportunity to dig into the need for top-down action, with investors starting to take a more active role in advocating for best practice in the founders that they work with.
CEO, Receptive (acquired by Pendo)
An absolutely epic industry success story, Hannah Chaplin journey into the tech sector started behind a reception desk. She founded her own SaaS business, Receptive, in 2015 – a platform providing companies with the ability to make data-driven product decisions, translating demand from customers, internal teams and the market into actionable insights. They were acquired by Pendo at the start of 2019. Unsurprisingly, Chaplin will be bringing her insight to our Mergers, acquisitions and exits panel!
Founder, Front Digital
Peter Loving has built a career and well-deserved reputation on his ability to help propel SaaS-based businesses to growth through canny UI and UX based improvements. Your technology or service may be exceptional, but if the face you’re presenting to the world is dated or underselling the power of your product, you’ll always struggle to obtain the traction you’re seeking. At SaaStock ‘19, Loving will be leading a deep dive session into creating a value-based dashboard for your users, promising increased utilization, better retention and a higher NPS.
VP of Marketing, Hotjar
We’re very excited to have Sançar Sahin bringing his incredible passion for meaningful marketing to SaaStock ‘19. Having previously led marketing teams at Typeform and GetApp, today Sahin heads up the department at market leading behavioral analytics and user feedback tool Hotjar. In Dublin, he’ll be leading a session focused on the importance of brand editing, a topic which is only increasing in today’s crowded marketplace. For some advance insight into the approach he takes, check out Sahin’s excellent blog, SaaSyness.com.
Founder & CEO, Cruxy & Company
The hardest working woman at SaaStock19? Quite possibly. Carrie Osman will be bringing her one-woman battle against mediocrity in tech and FinTech strategy to not one, not two but three sessions in Dublin this year! Founder and CEO of Cruxy and Company, Osman has extensive consultancy experience within the SaaS space. As part of our Internationalization bootcamp, she’ll be exploring taking SaaS international – where do you place your bets? Additionally catch her contribution to our Refocusing Your Priorities On Profitability panel and our Reverse Pitch: What Happens When Investors Pitch To Founders?
Associate, Balderton Capital
Hired by prominent venture capital firm Balderton Capital in May 2018, Cayetana Hurtado previously worked on several tech IPOs, private placements, and M&A deals as an associate in the Tech M&A Team at Goldman Sachs in London. With several years spent advising tech companies on fundraising and evaluating key growth levers and paths to profitability, today she spends a lot of her time looking at B2B SaaS and is particularly interested in the ongoing ‘consumerization of SaaS’ trend.
Global Diversity Events Manager, Twilio
Making the move to Twilio six months ago, Andrea Long previously spent time managing offline engagement activities with Lyft and has a strong Communications background. Today she manages diversity events strategy and executes global Twilio After Hours events, bringing diverse communities together for a night to remember. She’s known for her expertise, passion and total commitment to driving towards company-wide 2023 diversity goals and inclusion initiatives, and we’re thrilled to have her joining us in Dublin next month.
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If this rundown has inspired you to start digging deeper into the 40+ hours of content on offer at SaaStock19, we recommend checking out our agenda building tool to start to plan your time with us. Using your attendee log in, you can filter sessions for topics of particular interest, check for clashes, register your interest in attending certain talks and secure your seat at our highly popular bootcamp sessions. Grab a ticket for SaaStock now.
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