A #NightOnProcureTech — Edition 1

Rewind of an personal evening with 35 ProcureTech & SupplyChainTech veterans, entrepreneurs & executives 🍷📺🥩

Felix Plapperer
Inside SquareOne

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A growing number of tech founders, investors and corporate executives has fallen in love with Procurement in the recent past. This dynamic has largely been fueled by a group of forward thinking “shakers and makers” in the ProcureTech space. I felt that it was about time to celebrate a #NightOnProcureTech in order to bring just this group of people together for a private dinner.

So, together with our friends at Lakestar, we co-hosted the first edition of a #NightOnProcureTech

We had an absolutely fantastic evening. And rest assured: it has not been the last one. Here is what has happened:

🦄 Building a ProcureTech Giant: Fireside Chat with Noah Eisner

Noah is one of two Co-Founders of Coupa Software — one of the (arguably, the) most successful ProcureTech companies in the world, which just reached a new record market cap of ~25bn. earlier this year on the NYSE. I’ve had both the pleasure and the honor to “zoom Noah to Berlin” right next to our fireplace, in order to interview him on his journey as a ProcureTech entrepreneur.

After graduating from Stanford as an industrial engineer, Noah joined Oracle where he became a senior director in the procurement applications segment — and where he met his Co-Founder Dave. At Oracle, he was involved with the release of new product versions and to Noah’s frustration, none of them had a disruptive impact on his customer’s processes or UX. He started brainstorming and fundamentally rethought the inner workings of a procurement suite from the user’s perspective: the genesis of Coupa, where Noah had been in charge of product going forward.

As we’ve been discussing around the key challenges ProcureTech entrepreneurs face in the early stages, there have been two patterns that Noah pinpointed based on his experience as both an operator and advisor:

  1. 👂 Lack of listening (Pre-seed to Series A): be over-attentive in listening to your customers. Never skip the step of customer interviews. Before writing the first line of code Noah had more than 50 conversations with thought leaders and potential customers.
  2. 💪 Lack of confidence (Seed to Series B): be confident to hire the most impressive people, sell your vision to investors, sell your product to customers and — what even Coupa got wrong in the very early days: Set a confident price point.

🌱 Building the next ProcureTech Giant — what does it take today?

After talking to someone who had built a global champion in the ProcureTech space, the evening went on to a panel discussion spinning around the question what it will take for the ProcureTech Giants of tomorrow to be created. We’ve been lucky having had four ProcureTech veterans with us, who engaged in a highly entertaining discussion:

After insightful discussions, it’s been time to wine and dine 🍷

While Covid-19 might actually have resulted in tailwinds for many ProcureTech entrepreneurs on the business side (read my perspective from Q1 2020), the chances to meet and mingle with fellow industry entrepreneurs, angels and executives have been highly limited for the past 1.5 years. Thus and after 90 minutes packed with interactive content, the evening turned into a vibrant dinner which lasted until late into the night.

After receiving lots of feedback on the evening, we took the decision that this won’t remain a one-time event. Thus, we are much looking forward to a Night on ProcureTech — Edition 2 sometime next year. If you are the founder of a ProcureTech product business within Europe or corporate executive: We would love to have you with us next time!

A special shout out to Matthias and Nina from Lakestar (+ my colleague Charly) who helped to make this possible, to all speakers & panelists as well as to everyone who joined us for a bristling evening. And in case you are (getting) involved with building something new and exciting in the ProcureTech or Supply Chain space: Reach out!! 👋

📞→ felix@booom.vc ←📞

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