In 2021, after managing to foster our community through the pandemic, we reflected on where SaaStock really adds value and looked at ways we could deliver that all year round. 

We consulted with founders and those who’d attended our events. What they valued about SaaStock was the opportunities to build a network and make powerful connections that made the founder journey less lonely… And so, the SaaStock Founder Membership (SFM) was born. 

Since then, we’ve hosted over 100 events for SFMers, travelled to three stunning destinations for our annual retreats, and founders all over the world have made new connections. But the SFM journey is just beginning. We’ve got the bold ambition of creating the world’s largest support organisation for SaaS B2B founders, and helping 1000 founders get to +$10M ARR.

As we continue to grow this community, consider new ways to add value, and watch our members put their learnings into action, I wanted to take a step back to explain the story behind SFM and look forward to what’s next.

How it all began…

Unlike many startups, the SaaStock story didn’t begin in a basement with some laptops and a few founders. Rather, I’d been working in sales, in the telco industry, selling equipment and cloud computing software. During this time, the new kid on the block, SaaS, piqued my interest.

At the time, most blogs about SaaS were sales-based and written by companies themselves. There was a clear gap in the market for a neutral, non-vendor blog. But back then, I wasn’t an experienced writer, or a SaaS expert so I created a community-driven blog and became the editor, pulling in thought leaders who were experts on various aspects of SaaS to create the content.

It was actually a little bit easier than I thought, everybody was willing to contribute content to this unheard-of blog. And I think the reason was, because they bought into the ‘why’.

With the community growing, next came The SaaS Revolution Show podcast. At a time when podcasts themselves were quite new, it took me out of my comfort zone. It also put me in contact with those that were leading the charge in SaaS: Founders and CEOs of great SaaS businesses that are unicorns today.

As I connected with more players in the SaaS industry, I realised that, despite a clear need for human connections, there were no SaaS meetups in London. I had the hunger in my belly, the fire to take it upon myself. And so I did. The first one was called London SaaS Meetup in 2015, and 120 people attended from all over the UK. 

Those early meetups demonstrated just how important meaningful connections were in this – and any – industry. We could see that there was obviously a real need for it. People just love connecting with other founders, entrepreneurs, and SaaS executives. 

Next came a conference in Europe. I’d no experience in conferencing but in 2016, with the audience I’d built, the first SaaStock conference brought together 700 founders from 34 countries.

At this and following conferences, I could see the magic of facilitating SaaS founders making meaningful connections at our in-person events. Watching them learn from one another, transfer knowledge, share war stories, and offer feedback ‒ whether at the event, over dinner at the RDS or even as part of the SaaS Society ‒ was powerful and had a lasting impact on SaaStockers. It‘s about helping founders connect and thrive, and making sure they don’t have to go it alone.

Facilitating connections through the pandemic

Just as we’d built SaaStock to a point where we were ready to scale globally – the Covid-19 pandemic hit. 

As in all industries, these were difficult times of uncertainty and isolation. Worst of all for us, it was the end of all in-person events and the conferencing business around the world ground to a halt. But I was determined that Covid-19 would not mean the end of SaaStock. I’d built a team by then and had a responsibility to them and the community we’d created.

Like others we had to pivot quickly. We hosted virtual conferences in 2020 to survive. These were a good substitute, providing people with a productive platform for coming together and learning but they didn’t offer the same level of value as in-person events. The focus had become more on content and education, where previously the true SaaStock value had revolved around networking and those serendipitous moments where founders could connect and help each other.

The next step: The SaaStock Founder Membership

Fast forward to early 2021, the next step finally clicked into place. How could we offer the same value that the in-person conferences provide, all year round and online? And so the concept of a SaaStock Founder Membership (SFM) community was born. 

As a team, we spent three months consulting with our audience to find out what their specific needs were, in terms of a membership platform. 

We heard that being a founder is lonely, a sentiment that’s echoed in every podcast I do. We found that because of this, SaaS founders mostly felt they needed support and an open forum to share the challenges they were facing, and how to overcome them. 

To make the journey less lonely, we created a space that meant founders don’t have go it alone. Instead, they can do it with a tribe of people to have their back. SFM officially launched in April 2021, with the aim of helping large numbers of B2B SaaS Founders on their journey from $0-$10M ARR. 

The three pillars of our community

Today, SFM offers all those valuable engagement opportunities that were first offered at the in-person conferences: peer-to-peer support groups, networking events, access to a global network of SaaS Founders, specific education from SaaS experts, and various in-person events, all of which help members scale towards $10M ARR and beyond more quickly.

“SFM connected me with a vibrant community of SaaS founders, offering weekly sessions for tailored problem-solving. These intimate groups provide bespoke advice, more effective than generic solutions.

The Founder Circles, with monthly meetings, are particularly invaluable. We share progress, best practices, and brainstorm solutions to diverse challenges. This collaborative environment has been a cornerstone of my journey with SaaStock,” Osman Koc, Co-founder & CEO, Userguiding

The membership has a simple, three pillar structure:

  • Support 
  • Network
  • Education

Each founder member is put into a curated mastermind group, where they meet with other founders on a monthly basis. It’s really for the founders to get together and build this support group on their journey. One that’s going to hold them accountable, help unstick them, help them progress with their business and build relationships – making it all less lonely. It’s good for inspiration as well as for moral support.

Outside of that mastermind group, there’s a resource hub where members can post questions, and other founders from all over the world can help solve problems and create connections. This is about building that network, and paying it forward.

Lastly, SFM aims to give specific education around the stage that each founder is at, to help them get to the next stage. We’ve built up a fantastic network of the best people in SaaS. I can pick up my virtual black book and say, ‘Hey, look, we’ve got a person who’s fantastic at internationalisation’ and bring that person in to do a session with our members. It puts us in a unique position to be able to run regular workshops and events specifically for members, that help them understand what they need to do and make decisions with more confidence and with speed.

We run on average 30+ events for SFMers each year: 20 virtual, 1 retreat, 8 quarterly dinners and an SFM day at each conference.

Being a founder is hard. Managing people, strategy, execution, and cash is a big responsibility with a fast and hard learning curve. Together, these three pillars help our members boost their business’ velocity and increase their chances of getting to $10M or $100M ARR.

Interested in joining? Download the SFM guide to find out more. 

What’s next for SFM?

SFM takes the most valuable elements of the SaaStock events and replicates them all year round for our members.

“[SFM is]A group of people to discuss challenges and gain diverse perspectives. A group of people to have some fun at on-site retreats like Mykonos or Marrakesh. The SFM community has been a game changer for me in terms of access to people.

“The amount of founders I know today is 50x what it was years ago. I deeply appreciate our monthly exchanges. The insights you gain are priceless, contributing not only to your personal development but also for the growth of your business,” David Neuhaus, Founder & CEO, SocialHub

I’m proud of what we’ve created but we’re only just getting started. We’ve got the bold ambition of creating the world’s largest support organisation for SaaS B2B founders, and helping 1000 founders get to $100M ARR. 

Although SFM began with just one tier and founders were required to have $10,000 in monthly recurring revenue to join. After a lot of feedback from founders at different stages of growth, we now have: 

  • A Traction group for those at $100k – $1M ARR
  • A Growth group for those $1M – $10M
  • And a Scale group for founders over $10M ARR that want to scale to $100M ARR.

Apply to join us

It doesn’t have to be lonely at the top. Our community is designed to provide you with a powerful support network that can help you propel your SaaS to new heights. 

Whether you’re looking for advice, guidance, or inspiration, our community has the resources you need to succeed.

Applications are open now to Founders of SaaS businesses with over $100k ARR. 

Apply now.