Ahead of B2B Rocks 2022, we sat down with Steve Lurie to learn more about the booming SaaS community and what his team has planned for the upcoming event.
B2B Rocks is back in Montpellier this June 9-10. We're asking 8 questions to their Chief Engagement Officer to understand why SaaS companies can also rock the world.
Where should we begin for those who may never have heard of B2B Rocks? What sets this event apart from other events?
Like similar events, we like technology for the wealth creation, innovation, and opportunities created. However, we are also excited by our industry's possibilities. Technology entrepreneurship is creating a worldwide network of optimistic problem solvers with shared values precisely when our world needs these types of people.
So for B2B Rocks, our industry is really about people and disruption.
This year's central theme is "How Tech and entrepreneurship can empower change?" Why such an impact-driven theme?
We believe innovation should lead to better outcomes for people and the Earth. Otherwise, what is the point? Look at technology's promise.
Take Fintech: FinTech can increase access and reduce costs to financial services. FinTech can positively impact peoples' lives, especially in the developing world. Or IoT and Big Data which can improve how we manage water. Managing water is vital to our collective economic and personal well-being. Better water management could even help prevent wars. Technologies like AI, Big Data, and 5G, along with empowered people, will help us revolutionize whole industries.
The key to bringing these solutions to market is empowering people. We want entrepreneurship to spread to the four corners of the globe. Growing talent is critical both to the continued expansion of our industry and the Planet. It is also why we support Women-In-Tech and 1% for the Planet.
How will this year's event be structured?
Many founders and industry influencers will share their experiences on June 9 & 10 on various subjects from growth to international scaling on all themes, including marketing, sales, customer success, raising capital, bootstrapping, PLG, etc., with particular attention paid to increasing proximity and knowledge exchanges.
Participants can schedule brain dates or face time with the speakers, and the evenings will wrap up with music, beverages, and networking, emphasizing attendee facetime with people whose success they'd like to replicate.
Finally, we added a third day, the 11th, focusing on team building and networking activities.
The conference is drawing attention from numerous leading companies worldwide. What makes B2B Rocks so valuable to a global audience?
Well, in one word opportunity.
Start-up investment and value creation in Europe are booming. Europe not only has over 65 cities with unicorns, most in the world but just a dynamic, diverse, deep technology ecosystem of start-ups and scale-ups of all sizes.
Entrepreneurs want to know how to do it. Investors want to know who is doing it. And corporations, once innovation laggards, are now very interested in using technology to disrupt instead of being disrupted.
Everybody is paying attention because not only are all the industry indicators pointing up, but the rate of innovation and value creation is accelerating across Europe and the world.
What makes B2B Rocks such a great opportunity for SaaS entrepreneurs?
How and who builds great companies is changing.
Before, start-ups were the domain of an intrepid elite with the right combination of education, access to capital, and courage. And because SaaSes didn't exist, they built more from scratch, slowing innovation while increasing risk.
Thanks to SaaSes and the democratization of tech entrepreneurship, the risks, time-to-market, and capital needed to start a company, all the historic barriers have been significantly reduced.
The results? Looking at the numbers, tech entrepreneurship and the rate of innovation continue to accelerate.
What are the investors most excited about at B2B Rocks this year?
Many people like to ominously state the obvious that there is more money than ever waiting to be invested. Somehow believing a lot of money is a bad thing.
The truth is investors are increasingly sophisticated, and so are entrepreneurs. Today's start-ups start with a more substantial business foundation than ever. Not every company will become a unicorn. Some ideas can create huge profits by serving a niche or being acquired.
Investors are savvy people. They understand the correlation between market size, people power, ideas, and financial opportunity. Europe and the world check all the right boxes.
What are some key learnings attendees can expect to take away from the event?
Today, the fastest way to build the technology behind a company is often using pre-existing SaaS services, no-code/low-code, and off-the-shelf infrastructure for many services.
Similarly, the fastest way to build your organization, your talent, your value proposition, and get funded is to co-opt the ideas of successful entrepreneurs who have gone before you.
B2B Rocks is an opportunity to learn about the latest lego blocks, both ideas, and technology you can use to build your company and, of course, do some networking.
Regarding the World Pitch Contest, what opportunities will participants have to connect with investors or other ecosystem players thanks to the competition?
Starting at the top, the final four will have an opportunity to present to Montpellier Capital Risk along with other start-ups, in addition to the prizes offered.
Additionally, just being at the event, participating in the pitch contest, and speaking with investors will provide many opportunities for young companies to hone their skills and get visibility.
Pitching is one thing. The experience of meeting and being vetted by investors takes it to a whole other level.
Startups can apply until April 20th, 2022: bit.ly/B2B-Contest.
Join us at B2B Rocks in Montpellier this June 9-10 & get your tickets here.