I have read about startup founders who don’t (or stopped) attend events – justifiably so. In ecosystems where there is now an entire industry of events springing up (i.e. it feels to me that some people’s startup in itself is all about organizing events), it becomes very difficult to separate the wheat from the shaft. Overall, value gets diluted in a bid to make profit. SaaSx2 is in its own class by all standards, hey, not because profit wasn’t the motive, but purely because of the value delivered. I couldn’t have asked for more.
The journey to SaaSx2 started at the Microsoft Ventures office in Bangalore at around 5:16am. All roads lead to Chennai. For the first time, I decided to take a bus ride longer than 3 hours in India. I couldn’t look away from the opportunity to take a bus ride with fellow entrepreneurs. I thought it’ll be fun; and yeah, it was. To ensure we didn’t sleep, Prasana of Microsoft Ventures made all of us do a quick introduction. All entrepreneurs got a chance to introduce themselves, their startup, why they launched, lessons learned so far and what they intend to learn at SaaSx2.
SaaSx2 exposed SaaS entrepreneurs to insights and strategies to capture several segments of the market. From targeting “Elephants” (i.e. big clients) to chasing “Rabbits” (small clients), SaaSx2 had all startups covered. You just have to pick the context that applies to you. From Aneesh’s (cofounder and CEO of Capillary Technologies) fire side chat to Girish’s (Founder and CEO of Freshdesk) session and then to Hiten Shah’s closing session, growth tips were just flying around everywhere in the hall. Badass all through. The panellists were real, the “one thing” sessions were direct and insightful. Emm, my secret admiration for the founder of FreshDesk, “Girish Mathrubootham” just rose to another level.
In a buzz word dominating industry, it’s easy to get swamp in grammar instead of reality. So, instead of just using those fancy words like “disrupt”, “pivot”, “grow”, each of the panellists actually went deeply into how to do all of those. From sharing real numbers to walking us through the journey, they couldn’t have delivered more value than that.
At the unconference, entrepreneurs shared some of the issues they have and asked the audience for help. Talk about entrepreneurs seeking help from fellow entrepreneurs.
No sycophancy. No bullshitting. No flattery. SaaSx2 had a floorless execution and is an example of how startup events should be. iSpirt has raised the bar. Beat yourself if you didn’t attend. Rice, Soup Very Plenty (RSVP) – Did I mention that food and beer was all in surplus? Ah, emm, thanks to FreshDesk for the dinner.
And thanks to the point man himself, the man who I think prefers to be at the background, Avinash Raghava :-).
Looking forward to SaaSx3.