When is it on?
SaaStock takes place October 15-17th in Dublin. October 15th is SaaS.City, which offers 8 bootcamps throughout the city, while October 16th and 17th are the two main days of the conference at RDS.
How many years has it been going?
The conference was started in 2016 and this year will be the third edition.
What was the inspiration to start it?
Until 2016, there were no B2B SaaS conferences this side of the Atlantic. Learning the trades, connecting with the SaaS folk, and building important relationships required hopping on a long haul flight to cross the ocean. Not many Europeans were prepared to pay the financial or time cost for that.
We created Europe’s first and only SaaS conference. We chose Dublin because of its welcomeness, broad spectrum of International SaaS giants as well as indigenous startups and scale-ups, and the sheer goodwill from everyone to help us make it happen. Bringing European SaaS together was the initial premise for SaaStock. Even in its first year, we outgrew that proposition. Attendees from 34 countries made it a global conference with a European heart. Last year we welcomed attendees from over 40 countries. This year, we are welcoming more attendees than ever from over 50 countries, making it one of the most global SaaS gatherings.
What exciting things can people look forward to for the 2018 version?
More of everything that was great last year plus some cool new additions. We are welcoming 130 speakers who will offer more tactical content than ever, leaning heavily on keynote talks. You will get inside your buyers head, learn how to reach 1000% YoY growth, how to price your product right and fix how broken it is, figure out how to position your product right so it stands a chance, how to raise capital if you need to and how to grow your company if you don’t want VC money, among many other topics. Speakers include David Skok, Corey Thomas, Cal Henderson, Morten Primdahl, April Dunford, Heather Zynzack and many others.
Some of the exciting new additions this year are a Startup programme Day, Global Pitch competition seeking to find the best saaS startup of 2018, Investock, and a Podcast studio, hosting some of the best B2B podcasts. We are also introducing a new stage – Rocket Fuel, designed especially for those on the Seed and series A funding path to get all the valuable and actionable advice they need. We will also have an expanded version of SaaS.City, our 1-day accelerator, filled with insightful and fun satellite events, spread throughout the city. This year we have 8 bootcamps running simultaneously during the day and all concluding with pub crawls and am opening party. Software City, the exhibition space we run, will showcase more startups and scaleups from the SaaS Universe than ever.
What opportunities are on offer for people / startups / investors and companies attending?
For the founders, it is an opportunity to meet SaaS thought leaders and other founders who are a bit ahead on the journey and have a ton of advice that they are openly sharing. They talk about the mistakes they have made and the wins they have banked so others can shortcut some of those. It is also a great place to meet the right investors interested in SaaS. Speaking the same niche SaaS language of metrics and expectations increases the likelihood of taking the conversation further. It is also a great opportunity to foster relationships with multiple potential outcomes – customers, partnerships, mentoring or a pure Saas friendship.
One thing that differentiates SaaStock from American SaaS conferences is the priceless opportunity to have a condensed look at the state, mentality and strengths of European SaaS. A continent of 743 million people, 50 countries, and 24 official languages, it’s also a giant market with many nuances. What may be lost in translation, can be compensated through the face to face interaction.
What tips would you give to people attending to get the most out of it?
Know what you want to learn and whom you want to meet in advance. One of the main reasons we created SaaStock is because the Saas industry is very fragmented. Even when residing in the same city, we do not know each other. That is as valid in Ireland as it is a pan-European problem. By bringing people together who are all trailblazing a SaaS path we are rebuilding a strong communities whose effects take into place throughout the rest of the year.
Whether you want to meet potential investors, partners, clients or friends, knowing who you would want to meet in advance is vital. Go to the attendee section of the website as well as the app to help your research. Contact the people in advance through the app or look for soft intros through common connections. Stay hydrated – the days and nights at Saastock are long and to make the most of them you will want to have your energy levels.
Tell us a little more about the Startup Program and Competition
Starting-up and growing a SaaS business has never been as difficult. This year we are trying to help startups as much as we can.
One way is by introducing a Startup Program as part of SaaStock and an additional Startups-only day on October 15th, filled with workshops and mentoring at Zendesk’s HQ in Dublin. We are topping that by running the very first SaaS-only Global Pitch Competition, seeking to find and support the best SaaS startup of 2018.
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. Combining educational support and hands-on advice and guidance from our community of SaaS trailblazers, we believe will truly make a huge difference for these upstarts.
Tell us about SaaS.City?
It’s a 1-day accelerator for SaaS companies, which has proven to be one of the favourite parts of SaaStock for many attendees. It takes place on Monday, the 15th and offers an array of events. We are bringing SaaS thought leaders from Intercom, Drift, HubSpot, OpenView Ventures, Evernote, Clearbit, ProfitWell and others as the mentors on the day. Participants roll up their sleeves in in-depth bootcamps that offer advanced level mentoring for Growth Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, Pricing and Product-led Growth. Three workshops tackle subjects like pricing, sales and scaling. Pub crawls, investor gatherings and the SaaStock opening party conclude the day in good spirit.
How can people book tickets for SaaStock?
You can buy one online. SaaStock are offering a special discount for Irish Tech News readers. Just use code ITN20 at checkout to save 20%. Get your ticket before October 1st when prices are increasing to save a further €200. We recommend buying as soon as possible as for the best price and to be sure you get in.