With over 50 startups, 2 inspiring speakers, and amazing weather, the second edition of SaaStock Barcelona once again created a space for great minds to connect.
Here’s what you should know!
First of all, why did we decide to bring SaaStock back to Barcelona?
Ranked fourth in European cities with the most funding rounds, Barcelona is quickly becoming the most compelling SaaS and startup hub in Europe and we at Cledara are eager to build a strong community of startup founders.
That’s why SaaStock chose Cledara to run the Barcelona chapter of the events brand that has brought together more than 30,000 SaaS founders, executives, and investors since 2016.
A great mix of attendees and speakers
This time around we brought together a diverse group of attendees ranging from pre-seed startups like Outcome all the way to Capchase, a potential unicorn! This mix of experiences fostered an active exchange of insights between attendees, complemented by the varied content brought forward by our speakers.
We were joined by Georges Arnaout, VP of Customer Success at Exabeam who spoke about unlocking growth through customer success, and Eduardo Cruz, CEO at Qustodio on how to build a successful company from zero to exit.
Unlock growth through Customer Success, with Georges Arnaout
Georges, our first speaker of the night, shared his strategy for scaling customer success in a fast-paced environment. He’s a Customer Success professional with experience leading CS teams at startups like CloudHealth and scaleups like Exabeam and VMware. His key takeaways:
- Implement a scalable framework: Use your CS metrics to build a scalable framework that will take CS efforts from reactive to predictive.
- Hire the right profile: As a startup, hire “builders”. Builders are those people who won’t just execute what needs to be done but will help establish the processes required to scale CS efforts.
- Set the right expectations: It’s easier than you think to exacerbate customer churn during the handover between sales and CS. Make sure these teams are on the same page.
- Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good: Over-engineering processes can lead you astray. Sometimes keeping it simple allows for a big picture view of what’s going on.
From Zero to Exit with Eduardo Cruz
Eduardo Cruz, a cybersecurity serial entrepreneur who has founded three companies over the last 15 years and holds two successful exits under his belt, including a $52M one this past month (Qustodio) sat down with COO and co-founder at Cledara Brad van Leeuwen to discuss his experience of building a startup from scratch and achieving a successful exit. His key takeaways:
- Starting from scratch is difficult, but very rewarding: In the beginning, it may feel like it’s you against the world, and that’s normal. Building something you believe in isn’t easy, but once the momentum sets in, the fruits of your labor will appear.
- You usually exit with someone you already know: This was the case for Qustodio. So make sure you invest in building genuine relationships with potential investors and partners.
- In the early stages of M&A, avoid discussing the details: Serious investors will know many details already. If they didn’t do their due diligence, that’s a clear red flag.
- Speak to decision-makers: Discussing M&A can be risky if you have to disclose sensitive company information. To reduce this risk, make sure you’re speaking to someone with the authority to make decisions.
Themes of the Evening
Reflecting on the two sessions, it was interesting to see the common themes that most resonated:
Theme 1: Build the right relationships
The right relationship is extremely important. Whether you’re about to hire your first employee or you’re deciding which investor you should partner with, getting it wrong during either of these situations can make the difference between success and failure. Stick to the core values of your organization and let it guide decision-making.
Theme 2: Be proactive, not reactive
This is the difference between companies that scale successfully and those that don’t. Both speakers discussed this concept in their own right. No matter the stage of the business, a proactive approach often enables you to minimize those risks faced by startups and scale-ups.
Theme 3: Invest in data
Both Georges and Eduardo made it clear that investing in data from the get-go is the best way to make better decisions in a fast-paced environment. From the point of view of CS, having the right data helps speed up the process to get you from reactive to proactive. Similarly, ensuring your financial data is solid enables you to move quickly when you’re closing in on an exit.
After our speakers wrapped up, attendees joined us at the rooftop deck for networking drinks and tapas and we enjoyed seeing the spirit of connection and engagement - it made for an enjoyable and productive evening.
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