Point Nine Event: How to build a global SaaS Winner out of Munich

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In the last couple of months I spent more and more time in Munich for Point Nine. What I find most exciting about the ecosystem there:

  • there is lots of great talent nurtured by the TU Munich, CDTM and LMU Munich
  • if you are selling to enterprise companies you will find a ton of them in 2–3h of Munich
  • the ecosystem is evolving, i.e. former entrepreneurs become business angels and support new entrepreneurs (e.g. Stylight founders)
  • there are many former executives with 20+ years of industry experience who share industry insights
  • growing interest from international investors, e.g. Celonis (Accel), Lilium (Atomico), Konux (NEA)

While there are many meetups in Munich, especially from corporates, I realized that there are not many events that focus on knowledge sharing among founders. Since this is something we think is hugely valuable (e.g. our annual SaaS meetup), we thought it would be a good idea to do that in Munich. So we brought ca. 70 SaaS founders and a few friendly investors together for an afternoon talking about SaaS.

Talk: What I’ve learned about SaaS in 10 years (Christoph Janz, Partner Point Nine Capital)

Christoph mainly talked about hiring, raising capital, forecasting and customer acquisition among others. Based on the feedback in the audience, many founders could especially relate to the slide about corporates that are discovering entrepreneurship, i.e. corporate incubators, corporate VCs, etc.

He will upload his slides in the next couple of weeks and I will add them to this post, but to give you a glimpse:

Panel: Opportunities and Challenges for early stage startups selling to enterprises

Norman, Veronika, Alexander, Oliver and myself (from right to left)

When listening to the questions and experiences founders shared, some of the biggest challenges are:

  • customization vs. building a product, i.e. how do you know when it’s time to listen to your customers, and when should you just follow your own view?
  • lead generation, i.e. does a classical inbound marketing strategy work in “older school” industry or do you have to use “older” playbooks, i.e. more events, direct sales, etc?
  • building a sales team, i.e. are you going to hire junior people or more experienced people, will you hire a VP of Sales, and from which pool can you hire those people in Munich?

Norman and Oliver, who both sell to industrial companies, especially emphasized the big pain of legacy systems and the differences of the factory stack.

Talk: Lessons learned in scaling Sales (Heiko Schwarz, Co-Founder Riskmethods)

Heiko has many years of experience in sales and co-founded Riskmethods in 2013. They are hunting elephants and are now 120+ people, which includes a big sales team that Heiko is managing. I can highly recommend his presentation for anybody who is scaling sales, and wants to learn more about running deal clinics, how to build a sales academy and the difference of ABC vs. ABQ.

You can find his slides here.

Heiko from Riskmethods

Thanks everybody for joining, contributing and thanks to the whole Point Nine team for organizing. I’m in Munich frequently and happy to meet more founders and people from the ecosystem there in person, just reach out here.

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