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10 Practical Tips for early-stage SaaS Entrepreneurs

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10 Practical Tips for early-stage SaaS Entrepreneurs

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Workshop at HEC Paris, Seed Conference, April 2017

0. Quick intro, SaaS?

I. 3 Tips for SaaS Entrepreneurs during the ideation phase
1. Pick a problem you are REALLY passionate about
2. How will you finance the business? VC or not VC?
3. Don't underestimate TECH

II. 3 Tips for SaaS Entrepreneurs in their first 6 months
4. Don't re-invent the wheel
5. Choose your first customers well
6. Pricing

III. 3 Tips for SaaS Entrepreneurs who start scaling
7. Don't waste your money on paid marketing
8. Don't end up in the SaaS graveyard
9. Focus on the right metrics

Workshop at HEC Paris, Seed Conference, April 2017

0. Quick intro, SaaS?

I. 3 Tips for SaaS Entrepreneurs during the ideation phase
1. Pick a problem you are REALLY passionate about
2. How will you finance the business? VC or not VC?
3. Don't underestimate TECH

II. 3 Tips for SaaS Entrepreneurs in their first 6 months
4. Don't re-invent the wheel
5. Choose your first customers well
6. Pricing

III. 3 Tips for SaaS Entrepreneurs who start scaling
7. Don't waste your money on paid marketing
8. Don't end up in the SaaS graveyard
9. Focus on the right metrics

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10 Practical Tips for early-stage SaaS Entrepreneurs

  1. 1. 10 Practical Tips for early-stage SaaS Entrepreneurs @louicop, Point Nine Capital, HEC SEED, April ‘17
  2. 2. Agenda Short intro 3 tips for SaaS entrepreneurs during the ideation phase 3 tips for SaaS entrepreneurs in their first 6 months 3 tips for SaaS entrepreneurs who start scaling
  3. 3. Disclaimer
  4. 4. Want more info? Check the last slide for additional resources
  5. 5. Agenda Short intro 3 tips for SaaS entrepreneurs during the ideation phase 3 tips for SaaS entrepreneurs in their first 6 months 3 tips for SaaS entrepreneurs who start scaling
  6. 6. Tech studies Business studies VC Startup Tech & Business studies VC MS in Applied Maths & Computer Science Telecom Paristech 2011-2013 | Paris, FR Master in Management HEC Paris 2013-2014 | Paris, FR Analyst Alven Capital 2014-2015 | Paris, FR Entrepreneur in Residence OptioPay 2015 | Berlin, GER Master of Science in Management Studies MIT Sloan School of Management 2015-2016 | Cambridge, MA, USA Associate Point Nine Capital 2016-Present | Berlin, GER & Paris, FR @louicop
  7. 7. @PointNineCap SaaS - Data & ML SaaS - Dev Tools SaaS - App. Layer @PointNineCap Other Marketplaces Early-stage (100k-1m), +150m in funds 80 portfolio companies, 20 countries Berlin-based
  8. 8. SaaS? SaaS: Software-as-a-Service - No installation - Continuous deployment & update - Accessible everywhere Why it’s great? Why VCs like it? - Zero marginal cost - High margin - Recurring revenues + Up-sell - Global scale from Day 1
  9. 9. Agenda Short intro 3 tips for SaaS entrepreneurs during the ideation phase 3 tips for SaaS entrepreneurs in their first 6 months 3 tips for SaaS entrepreneurs who start scaling
  10. 10. Become an animal Pick a problem you are REALLY passionate about Why now? Why you? Find your edge 1.
  11. 11. 2. Plan accordingly How will you finance the business? VC or not VC? Speed vs. Control? Market size, competition?
  12. 12. 3. Good tech? Checklist Don’t underestimate TECH CTOs are managers Tech is SaaS’ cornerstone
  13. 13. Agenda Short intro 3 tips for SaaS entrepreneurs during the ideation phase 3 tips for SaaS entrepreneurs in their first months 3 tips for SaaS entrepreneurs who start scaling
  14. 14. 4. Right tech, your developer brand Don’t reinvent the wheel Code scalability Outsource non-core parts
  15. 15. 5. Don’t go on-premise Choose your first customers well Hire AND fire Do things that DON’T scale
  16. 16. Pricing Trials > Freemium, Discount > Free 3 Cs, not 1C 6.
  17. 17. Pricing 6.
  18. 18. Pricing Trials > Freemium, Discount > Free 3 Cs, not 1C 6. 10-15% of the value provided
  19. 19. Agenda Short intro 3 tips for SaaS entrepreneurs during the ideation phase 3 tips for SaaS entrepreneurs in their first 6 months 3 tips for SaaS entrepreneurs who start scaling
  20. 20. Start writing content early Don’t waste your money on paid marketing Make your value proposition crystal clear Build a world-class product 7.
  21. 21. 8.8.
  22. 22. 8.8. …then about LTV Start thinking about CAC.. Choose your SaaS model Don’t end up in the SaaS graveyard
  23. 23. 8.9.
  24. 24. 9. Focus on the right metrics 1 Role / 1-2 Metrics 1 Stage / 2-3 Metrics
  25. 25. Questions?
  26. 26. 10. Get in touch! louis@pointninecap.com @louicop submit@pointninecap.com
  27. 27. Thank you!
  28. 28. Resources 1. Point Nine loves Animal by @chrija: http://christophjanz.blogspot.fr/2012/04/point-nine-loves-animals.html 2. 1. Speed vs. Control by Noah Wasserman, HBS: http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/14-090_9901a957-a740-47b2-abce-4f93070d21fe.pdf 2.  SaaS Funding Napkin by @chrija http://christophjanz.blogspot.com/2017/01/saas-funding-napkin-2017-edition.html 3. A Technical Due Diligence Framework for Early Stage Startups by @decodingVC: https://medium.com/point-nine-news/a-technical-due-diligence-framework- for-early-stage-startups-c24d5408256e 4. How APIs are eating the Product Stack by @clemt : https://medium.com/point-nine-news/how-apis-are-eating-the-product-stack-914a3d6e1216 5. 1. On Hiring and Firing Customers by @DecodingVC: https://medium.com/point-nine-news/on-hiring-and-firing-customers-in-saas-63550687b215 2. Do things that don’t Scale by Paul Graham: http://paulgraham.com/ds.html 6. 7 DOs and DONTs for Seed-stage SaaS Pricing by @DecodingVC: https://medium.com/point-nine-news/7-dos-and-donts-for-seed-stage-saas- pricing-911acf88ca2 7. What’s the Lead Generation Profile of Fast Growing SaaS by @clemnt: https://medium.com/point-nine-news/whats-the-lead-generation-profile-of-fast-growing- saas-7df3d8c86e43 8. SaaS: Three Checklists to Choose your Sales Model by @clemnt: https://medium.com/point-nine-news/saas-three-checklists-to-chose-your-sales- model-17da9680df4b 9. The 8th DO for SaaS startups: Stay on top of your KPIS by @chrija: http://christophjanz.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-8th-do-for-saas-startups-stay-on.html

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