After running two global SaaStock conferences and a dozen On Tour events, we have learned a hard truth about SaaS. Starting-up and growing a SaaS business has never been as difficult.

There are many reasons behind that — many suppliers offer similar enough solutions and features, and the competition is fierce; products get outdated very quickly; the industry is filled with demands and expectations which can be challenging to stay on top of. And that is all before the crucial subject of funding comes at play, which requires building many relationships and navigating unknown territories. There are exceptions to the rule but that is what they are: exceptions and outliers, not averages.

While these challenges are not going anywhere and if anything, starting a SaaS company will only get more difficult, we firmly believe that should not impede the ambition of anyone. Entrepreneurial spirit needs help and fostering when it’s most fragile — at the very start when the mountain and the competition seem absolutely unsurmountable.

We want to gamify the competition and make it a little more fun, which is why we are launching the very first SaaS-only Global Pitch Competition. The winner will hold the title Best SaaS Startup for 2018.

Why participate?

While the title will bring the young companies much-needed publicity and heightened interest by 400 attending investors and many partners, the principal advantage of running the competition lays elsewhere. Most Startup Competitions are industry and vertical agnostic and only help startups with general advice on their pitch and value proposition. It’s a title that doesn’t come with much more support.

We, on the other hand, are well positioned to offer SaaS startups tailored assistance. Starting with educational support and adding hands-on advice and guidance from our community of SaaS trailblazers can make all the difference for these upstarts.

This is our way of supporting the grassroots of software innovation by creating a global platform for startups to apply, which links to our Startup Program. The greater Startup Program we are running provides upstarts with traction, education and investment opportunities.

How to Apply

To be eligible, B2B SaaS startups must have less than $1M ARR or have less than $1M in investment and offer a subscription-based product. Application is open until September 16th and we will announce the selected 16 on September 18th.

Selected startups will pitch throughout the duration of the conference on a designated stage. They will receive real-time feedback from a judging panel, helping them refine their go-to-market strategies, sales tactics, metrics they gather and all other fundamental to the success of a SaaS company elements.

Six finalists will be selected to present at the final, which will take place on the main stage at the end of the conference. We will broadcast the Startup Competition final live, giving an even more significant exposure to the participating startups.

We already have the support from Zendesk, Voxbone and Frontline VC, an early-stage fund focusing on SaaS and B2B. SaaStock will be announcing more partners and prizes as participants apply to get in the final shortlist.

The Prize

The winning startup will be awarded a monetary prize of $25,000 as well as free licenses and support from many of SaaStock’s partners worth a lot more. Startups interested in the Startup Competition can apply here. For more information, please email [email protected]