From A(ccel) to Z(uora): What Went Down at SaaStr Europa 2018

Last week was a whirlwind in Paris, and it all culminated in the epic event that was our very first SaaStr Europa.

And boy, what a trip.

There was the spectacular backdrop provided by the historic venue, the 1600+ SaaStr fans taking advantage of a multitude of networking opportunities, the incredible lineup of speakers, the delicious French food, the action-packed expo hall—every aspect of the day came together to create a truly unforgettable experience.

saastr-europa-paris

From learning about how to grow a startup across the pond to hearing best practices for aligning sales and marketing around the same business goals—not to mention Braindates and hobnobbing with the international SaaSt community at large—there was plenty to soak in at this first-of-its-kind European event. We’ll be releasing photos, videos, and more from SaaStr Europa in the days and weeks to come, but first, here’s a peek at what went down in Paris last Friday:

What Works (and What Doesn’t) from Unicorns, Founders, and Revenue Stars

Europa saw several SaaS industry leaders sharing their personal experiences and biggest learnings from their careers. Covering everything from their biggest failures to proudest moments, these speakers’ presentations and conversations inspired and amused.

Sessions included:

  • Jorn Lyseggen, CEO of Meltwater, in conversation with Creandum Partner Carl Fritjofsson about what it really takes to turn a startup into a unicorn.
  • UiPath CMO Bobby Patrick spoke with Accel’s Luciana Lixandru about what breaks—operationally, technically, and otherwise—as a business moves into hyper-growth mode.
  • Stripe’s Head of France &  Southern Europe Guillaume Princen talked about the important SaaS business metrics that every company needs to track.
  • Nicolas Dessaigne spoke with LaunchDarkly’s Edith Harbaugh about his experience building and scaling the company culture that caused Algolia to become Glassdoor’s highest rated SaaS company.
  • Our highly-anticipated CEO Confidential panel, moderated by Foundation Capital’s Joanne Chen, featured Jason alongside Founders and CEOs of Showpad, Insider, and Platform.sh discussing hiring hiccups, co-founder struggles, moving a business across continents, keeping employees happy, and more.

The Next Big Things in Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success

There are so many moving pieces to think about as you build and scale a startup, it can be hard to keep track of it all and stay on top of the newest trends and current best practices. From sales and marketing leaders to customer success extraordinaires, we brought in the cross-functional bigwigs who know a thing or two about mastering every touchpoint in the customer lifecycle.

Sessions included:

  • We kicked things off with two informative morning jumpstart sessions—Predictable Revenue’s Aaron Ross talked about what you need to know when building a world-class outbound team in today’s SaaS environment, and Outfunnel’s Andrus Purde shared his no-BS framework for scaling your SaaS marketing efforts. And even with the early call times, they both presented to a packed house.
  • Dimitar Stanimiroff, Ex-Head of European Sales at StackOverflow and current Founder of Heresy, offered best practices for how to make the sales process in your organization more agile.
  • A panel featuring sales and marketing aficionados Dayna Rothman (CRO at SaaStr), Maria Pergolino (CMO at Anaplan), and Bill Binch (CRO at Pendo) discussed how to get these two sometimes-at-odds teams to actually work well together.
  • For the latest in the ever-evolving SaaS customer success function, we pulled together a panel of experts—Xeneta CMO Katherine Barrios, Customer Growth Advisors’ Emilia D’Anzica, and M4 Communications’ Sue Duris—to share their takes on current best practices for maximizing revenue, improving NPS, and keeping the focus on the customer’s happiness.

The Exit Successes

Who doesn’t love a good success story? These two fireside chats covered the ins and outs of building great businesses and brands, and successfully scaling teams and company cultures:

  • Fresh off MuleSoft’s acquisition by Salesforce, company Founder Ross Mason spoke with Harry Stebbings about how he came to learn to love the art of sales as a technical founder.
  • Zuora President Marc Diouane, who recently led the company to IPO, was onstage with Jason Lemkin talking about how to build truly great teams as your business grows.

The VC Pitches

Founders, CEOs, and, well, pretty much anyone interested in fundraising found
Friday afternoon’s VC-focused sessions especially useful. Capping off a jam-packed day in conjunction with a celebratory happy hour, attendees had the opportunity to gain actionable tips and advice straight from the VCs themselves.

Sessions included:

  • Adara Ventures’ Liz Fleming shared the stage with Co-Founder and CEO of Userzoom Alfonso de la Nuez to discuss how to navigate the risky waters of raising of a series B.
  • David Hornik of August Capital gave the audience a peek into the minds of VCs as he ran through the top things most VCs won’t tell founders upfront.
  • Dawn Capital’s Evgenia Plotnika shared her thoughts on how you can use your product, revenue, and scale timelines to pinpoint the perfect time to start fundraising for your business.

For more Europa content, be sure to check back in as we start releasing more photos and videos from the event in the next couple of weeks.

And if you want to take advantage of ultra bird savings, be sure to get your tickets to SaaStr Europa 2019 now!

Big thanks to our SaaStr community as well who shared their thoughts on the event:

And take a look back at some of the best of Europa from Twitter here:

Published on June 21, 2018

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This