I still remember the first SaaS meetup I ever ran where I brought three SaaS founders I admire on stage to speak in front of a crowd of SaaS enthusiasts in London. One of them, Janna Bastow, Founder of ProdPad, gave a presentation about Product-Market Fit. The other two, Paul Joyce, Founder of Geckoboard and Duane Jackson, Founder of Supdate and Kashflow then joined her on stage for a panel discussion about the road to product-market fit, which I moderated. The topic was far more elusive in September 2015 than it is now. Especially for someone like me who was just getting a handle on SaaS.
I had started SaaScribe, a blog about SaaS, nine months earlier as a way to feed my interest in SaaS and understand it. I figured the best way to do that was by interviewing the founders who had the SaaS chops. I blogged and produced what would become the first ever SaaS podcast, the SaaS Revolution Show. I did all that quite scrappy from my bedroom. I quickly saw that the hunger for knowledge about SaaS in Europe spanned to more than just content online, with founders and execs wanting to interact with and learn from each other’s experiences. That meetup in September 2015 was my first attempt at that.
Little did I know that the small meetup in London, where the fire alarm blasted in the middle of the panel discussion, would turn into a global series of conferences on five continents, bringing thousands of SaaS trailblazers together.
Today I am happy to announce that we come full circle launching SaaStock Local, our global initiative to help build and nurture regional SaaS ecosystems around the world. In a way, we are going back to our roots. That is because even with six major events, the need for local ecosystems that are active all year long rather than just once a year has remained. This is where the SaaStock Local platform comes into play.
What is SaaStock Local
SaaStock Local aims to build pockets of SaaS ecosystems in cities around the world through regional small scale meetups and events. While we do not have the bandwidth to run them ourselves, we certainly have learned a lot about how to bring the community together successfully. We are disseminating that knowledge through the SaaStock Local platform and empowering local SaaS champions to deliver regular, highly-focused events with our know-how, values, and support.
Events will include a variety of content including speaker panels and Q&As, as well as small conference-style events. Each local chapter will aim to run six events a year. Leading the events will be City Leaders – individuals who possess both an expert level of SaaS business knowledge and a high degree of local clout. They will receive foundational support from SaaStock.
Those events will not only help local communities but also create a better connected SaaS network worldwide. Existing meetups and independent events don’t have a connection from city to city. SaaStock Local bridges the gaps, connecting organizers and SaaS leaders from all over the world as one network.
Where can you find SaaStock Local chapters already
There are six SaaStock Local Chapters already active with their respective City leaders and launch events set – London, Barcelona, San Francisco, Helsinki, Kiev, Chennai. If you are based in any of these cities, sign up now. We will be looking to add many more cities to the roster so stay tuned.
Who are the City leaders
London, UK – Nick Dunse
Nick is continually breaking things at Pay with Bolt as they aim to be the go-to payments platform for SaaS. He has been the CMO for Pay with Bolt for nearly two years and looks after everything fluffy. He has previously run creative teams, been a digital transformation consultant, a speaker at startup events and developed and sold software whilst working on a research project at Oxford University. Nick has also led teams delivering media and communications for events of 7k+ people over 4 days twice per year (hopefully with everyone’s help SaaStock Local London can run like clockwork). Currently trying to balance work and home life with the belief that it’s possible.
San Francisco, USA- Liam Boogar-Azoulay
Liam Boogar-Azoulay is the Head of Marketing at MadKudu. Born in Silicon Valley, Liam has spent his career connecting Silicon Valley and Europe, both as the founder of Rude Baguette and more recently, leading marketing at Algolia and now MadKudu. The entire MadKudu team is excited to bring the SaaStock community together in San Francisco.
Barcelona, Spain – Peter Loving and Javier Darriba
Peter Loving is obsessed with product design and innovation. With a background in design and having founded a London based agency, Peter soon became passionate about SaaS and decided to specialize. He helps SaaS businesses make product improvements that drive growth. His mission for SaaStock Local is to provide exposure, insight, and connection for the cities most promising SaaS companies. Supporting them to succeed and ultimately building Barcelona’s ecosystem as one of Europe’s brightest hubs for SaaS.
Javier Darriba is the founder of the SaaS Institute and is passionate about SaaS. He founded the biggest SaaS startup in Spain (UserZoom), and sits on the board of some of the most interesting SaaS companies in Spain: Forcemanager, Whisbi, Signaturit. As a business Angel in SaaS companies, he runs his own meetups to improve the ecosystem of the SaaS community in Barcelona. It’s why he joins forces with SaaStock Local to connect the dots better.
Helsinki, Finland – Noora Halttunen
Noora Halttunen is an Account manager and Client executive at Seidat. Noora got sucked in the SaaS world about a year ago, and since then there has been no return. She didn’t even know what SaaS meant, how she could do business with it and what kind of a community was behind it all! This whole new world has taught her to look at business in a way she never thought possible, and Noora now wants to give back to the community by creating more places to share information, learn new things and networking with different companies. As she says herself, there can never be enough places for networking, learning and challenging one’s knowledge. That’s why she wants to be part of bringing the best SaaS Community to Finland, so together everyone can take their businesses to the next level and learn first hand what is going on in the world of SaaS.
Chennai, India – Nivas Ravichandran
Nivas Ravichandran is a product marketer at Freshworks. Nivas wants to build a thriving SaaS community in Chennai and Bangalore. Growing his network among SaaS folks who are developing exciting platforms and applications. He has learned a lot from the global network Freshworks has and sees SaaStock Local as a way to pay it forward to the communities in India.
Kiev, Ukraine – Max Pecherskyi
Max Pecherskyi is the CEO and Co-Founder of PromoRepublic.Max’s personal mission is to promote the SaaS business model to Ukrainian and Finish ecosystems. He is already organizing meetups in Kiev and in 2018 has brought over 1000 people together in them from companies such as Grammarly, TemplateMonster, Competera, YouScan, Readdle, Preply, Talkable, Serpstat, Quokka, Looqme, Crello, SetApp, Depositphotos, and PromoRepubliс. Aside from leading SaaStock Local in Kiev, Max will also be helping Noora in Helsinki.
Our mission is to build the biggest SaaS community on the planet. We believe SaaStock Local will help connect the dots more effectively, creating a more significant impact for all of the members, partners, founders, and investors who are passionate about SaaS.
The SaaStock platform is designed for city organizers to easily create, promote and deliver events with minimum time commitment and effort. We provide all the necessary assets, guidelines, and resources. If you want to bring SaaStock Local to your city and get involved as a City Leader, drop us a line.