Annual - Ascent Conference Annual - Ascent Conference

Connecting Thought Leaders in SaaS

The Ascent Annual Conference

October 6 – October 8, 2021

1000

Invite-Only Executives

+40%

C-Level

+50%

VP-Level

$20m+

Annual Revenue

Speakers

Many more to be announced very soon!

Tom Keiser

CEO Hootsuite

Rashmi Gopinath

Partner B Capital Group

Daniel Chait

Nicholas Carlson

Global Editor-in-Chief Insider

Virginia Liu

SVP of Marketing & Ecosystems Agora

Annie Scranton

President & Founder Pace PR

Steve Pockross

CEO Verblio

Matt Hulett

President Rosetta Stone

Krish Subramanian

CEO Chargebee

Prashanth Chandrasekar

Tom Keiser

CEO Hootsuite

Rashmi Gopinath

Partner B Capital Group
Rashmi Gopinath is a Partner at B Capital Group, where she focuses on growth-stage investments in cloud infrastructure, cybersecurity, devops, and artificial intelligence and machine learning. She was previously a Managing Director at M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, where she led investments globally in the enterprise space. Prior to M12, Ms. Gopinath was an Investment Director with Intel Capital.

Daniel Chait

Daniel Chait is CEO and co-founder of Greenhouse Software, which builds tools to help companies make recruiting a competitive advantage. Daniel has been a technology entrepreneur in New York for over 20 years. Before Greenhouse, he co-founded Lab49, a global firm providing technology consulting solutions for the world's leading investment banks.

Nicholas Carlson

Global Editor-in-Chief Insider
Nicholas is the Global Editor-in-Chief of Insider. Before that, he was Insider's chief correspondent. Carlson is also the author of "Marissa Mayer and the Fight To Save Yahoo!" His investigative reporting rewrote the histories of Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon. He is the author of "The Truth About Marissa Mayer: An Unauthorized Biography" and "THE COST OF WINNING: Tim Armstrong, Patch, And The Struggle To Save AOL." Longform.org named "THE COST OF WINNING" the best long-form business story of 2013. Carlson's coverage of Yahoo won Digiday's award for Best Editorial Achievement of the year in 2014. In 2015 Carlson wrote a New York Times Magazine cover story, "What Happened When Marissa Mayer Tried to Be Steve Jobs." It was a finalist for a Mirror Award for best in-depth/enterprise reporting. Carlson began his journalism career at InternetNews.com and then Gawker Media's Valleywag. He went to Davidson College.

Virginia Liu

SVP of Marketing & Ecosystems Agora
Virginia Liu is SVP of Marketing and Ecosystems at Agora.io. Virginia brings more than 15 years of marketing, developer relations and strategic partnership experience in the software industry, with track record in delivering drastic growth and business transformation.  Virginia joins Agora.io from Microsoft, where she held several leadership roles in developer marketing, business development, and product marketing.  She also served as a board member and managing director for AppCampus, a $24M mobile accelerator jointly funded by Microsoft and Nokia.  She holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Zhongshan University and an MBA with honor from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Annie Scranton

President & Founder Pace PR
Annie Scranton is President & Founder of Pace PR. She has 8+ years experience as a TV producer at major networks including CNN, Fox News, CNBC, MSNBC & ABC, where she booked guest appearances for popular shows like Good Morning America. For the past decade, Annie has been leveraging this experience and expertise to grow her own agency, Pace PR, a 2020 Inc. 5000 company, where she focuses on getting her clients like Hint Water, Fast Company, Albert, ConsenSys, and others regular TV and media coverage to build their brands.

Steve Pockross

CEO Verblio
Fortune 500, and nonprofit experience to his role at Verblio. As CEO, he applies leading marketplace and SaaS principles to create an industry-leading content creation platform with 3,000 U.S.-based writers supporting the creation of premium content at scale in every niche. Verblio has been named an Inc 5000 winner 2x, a Mercury growth winner 5x, and was named a Colorado Company to watch in 2020. He also served in marketing, strategy, and operational leadership roles at LiveOps, Tendril, Western Union, Marketing Technologies Group and HSBC.

Matt Hulett

President Rosetta Stone
Matt has more than 30 years of experience building and leading world-class SaaS and consumer companies. Throughout his career, he’s led the growth of companies including Rosetta Stone, RealNetworks, Expedia and more, and has had multiple turnaround successes as a public company president as well as a private company CEO. At Rosetta Stone, he drove the transformation and growth of all aspects of Rosetta Stone’s Consumer and Enterprise & Education language businesses. He also led the company’s evolution from a declining perpetual business to a thriving software subscription business. Currently, Matt is working with entrepreneurs and business leaders to help them drive growth for their organizations and is in the process of publishing his upcoming book, "UNLOCK: 5 Questions to Discover Your Business Potential"

Krish Subramanian

CEO Chargebee

Prashanth Chandrasekar

Prashanth Chandrasekar is Chief Executive Officer of Stack Overflow and is responsible for driving Stack Overflow’s overall strategic direction and results. Prashanth is a proven technology executive with extensive experience leading and scaling high-growth global organizations. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President & General Manager of Rackspace’s Cloud & Infrastructure Services portfolio of businesses, including the Managed Public Clouds, Private Clouds, Colocation and Managed Security businesses. Before that, Prashanth held a range of senior leadership roles at Rackspace including Senior Vice President & General Manager of Rackspace’s high growth, global business focused on the world’s leading Public Clouds including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Alibaba Cloud, which became the fastest growing business in Rackspace’s history. Prior to joining Rackspace, Prashanth was a Vice President at Barclays Investment Bank, focused on providing Strategic and Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) advice for clients in the Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) industries. Prashanth was also a Manager at Capgemini Consulting where he managed Operations transformation engagements and consulting teams across the US. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an M.Eng in Engineering Management from Cornell University and a B.S. in Computer Engineering (summa cum laude) from the University of Maine. Prashanth is married and has two children.

Day 1 (Oct. 6th) Theme:

SaaS Challenges in 2021

Session 1 (Panel): I Need More Funding: Tapping into VC FOMO
How to get into the VCs state of mind. This session will share psychological drivers that predict many VCs mindsets and decision-making processes. It’s all about mastering the skill of communication and showcasing why a VC can’t miss out on investing in your product. Learn how to use VC psychology to your advantage!
– Knowing the difference between how VC firms work Vs how VCs think
– Understanding VC math
– A look inside the VC decision making process
– FOMO vs. FOL

Session 2 (Fireside Chat): The Rise of the VP of Remote – Scaling Your Remote Sales Team
Global issues such as COVID-19 have accelerated the adoption of remote sales teams in companies across the world. If you are looking to mitigate risk but scale then embracing remote working is a key option.
– Are virtual teams more productive?
– Learn how a remote workforce can expand your talent pool

Session 3 (Presentation) Pricing Strategy – Taking a Value-Based Approach to Pricing
Price is a signal — to customers, the market and your team. It needs to be right! This session will focus on how SaaS companies can benefit from value based pricing strategies.
– Know your SaaS business’s value metric – measuring the value your product offers customers
– Optimize your pricing strategy as a growth lever and monetize products
– There are riches in the niches – segment your market
– Determine what’s valuable to your target market & buyer
– Building flexibility into your SaaS tech stack
– Turbo-charging your NDR – the importance of a revenue delivery strategy

Session 4 (Panel) The Never-Ending Journey – In Search of Product-Market-Fit
Figuring out how to reach customers and break through to Product-Market-Fit remains one of the hardest parts of building a successful startup.

Session 5 (Fireside Chat) Making Retention a Priority
Customer retention, training retention, company knowledge retention

Session 6 (Presentation) Content Marketing & Content-Driven Prospecting
Content marketing is a critical tool for connecting with customers online. While a lot of the foundational principles of content marketing apply to every market and industry, the key to content that converts is customization to your audience.
– Content to reduce customer acquisition costs

Session 7 (Panel): DEI – Going Beyond the Buzzword
The benefits of diversity & inclusion to SaaS companies can be seen internally with an increase in productivity. Diversity also correlates with better business results and increasing revenue.
– Growing beyond the traditional business model
– Simplifying your talent recruitment
– Leveraging a diverse workforce in company and product development

Session 8 (Fireside Chat) Digital Transformation & Integrated Security
– Integrating a security ecosystem
– Streamlining infrastructure
– Expediting threat detection and response

Session 9 (Presentation) The Benefits of Customer Lifetime Value and Making it Actionable
This session will focus on the big picture: customer lifetime value. If you want your business to last, you need to prioritize customer lifetime value. To succeed in today’s customer-centered economy, you can’t simply focus on attracting new customers.

Session 10 (Fireside Chat) Creating the Right Organizational Structure at the Right Stage
This session focuses on how a SaaS organization should be structured with respect to growth.

Session 11 (Keynote) Leveraging Pandemic Learnings and Insights to Scale in the Post-Covid World
The pandemic has changed how business runs by accelerating digital transformation efforts. The companies that acted with urgency are emerging out of the pandemic with new insights. These companies who can capitalize on these newfound insights and operations to make them better are poised to be the winners of the post-pandemic world.

Day 2 (Oct. 7th) Theme:

Growth. Period.

Session 1 (Panel) How NOT to Fail at Scale
– Maximizing sustainability
– Prioritizing scaling over growth
– Choosing the right partners
– What is the measure of success in 2021?

Session 2 (Fireside Chat): Pivoting from a SaaS Business Model to Marketplace Business Model
There are a lot of directions you can take when it comes to growing a SaaS business. Most SaaS products are used by businesses for serving their users better. If your SaaS product creates enough of a differentiating user experience to become the preferred way for consumers to engage with a business, then your SaaS product can actually become a marketplace as well.

Session 3 – (Presentation) A Revenue Leader’s Guide to Prospecting
Today’s new reality is that buyers are taking over the sales process. They play hard to get and before making any contact with a sales person, they are doing their own prospecting. What does this mean for SaaS sales teams? How can you turn this into your advantage?

Session 4 (Panel) How to Go From $10M AAR to $100M AAR
What are the secrets to achieving high-growth in your SaaS enterprise?
– Creating a roadmap to a SaaS IPO
– Profit at scale
– Look at new metrics: getting a return on incremental invested capital and the natural rate of growth

Session 5 (Fireside Chat) Segmenting Customer Churn and Tracking the Money
Customer churn determines whether customer retention is improving. By segmenting the different groups where the churn is at its lowest or highest with your products can help to identify which customers and segments are the best for your products and services.

Session 6 (Presentation) Using Video Engagement to Grow Your User Base in B2B and B2C Markets
Video isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. This session will cover the specific strategies and out-of-the-box use cases for video to engage your ICP

Session 7 (Fireside Chat) Taking ABM to the Next Level: Pursued Marketing
Pursued marketing is the next generation of ABM, developing your relationship with your audience one person at a time.
– The fundamental difference between ABM and Pursued Marketing
– How to deploy it at your organization
– How to get the sales team’s buy in (this is crucial)

Session 8 (Panel) Product-Led Growth
Productizing your services and enabling contactless and frictionless selling

Day 3 (Oct. 8th) Theme:

Scaling Outside the Box!

Session 1 – (Panel) Choose Your Market Segments Based on Customer Profitability
Is market segmentation the best way to target your most profitable customers?
– The importance of research
– Segmenting a marketplace
– Setting a criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of market segments

Session 2 – (Fireside Chat) AI & Machine Learning – How to Automate SaaS Customer Engagement
This session will focus on how marketing automation, AI and customer engagement management drives SaaS revenue. AI & Machine learning can drive purchase decisions through prospect tracking and automation.
– Growing the the post-sale customer lifetime value
– AI & customer engagement management cycles

Session 3 – (Presentation) Understanding Buyer Behavior
This session will look at the SaaS buying experience.
– Mapping how businesses buy software
– Understanding the different customer personas – getting into the mind of SaaS customers

Session 4 – (Panel) Application Security & Testing
Striking a balance between accelerating a SaaS business’s go-to-market and safeguarding the applications that fuel its growth and productivity.

Session 5 – (Fireside Chat) Data-led Decision-Making
– Are data-driven decisions the catalyst for SaaS success?
– What are the limitations of a data-driven world?
– Defining reporting and analysis requirements

Session 6 – (Panel) How to Attract Top Talent in 2021 (and 2022)
– Finding employees with the right stuff for SaaS
– Virtual recruiting
– Hiring the best team for your growth stage

Session 7 (Panel): Consolidation & M&A
Transactions in the SaaS industry are growing in volume by approx. 25% Year-on-year. The strong appetite for SaaS businesses is being driven by solid market fundamentals and the industry’s attractive business model case.
– How do you value a SaaS business?
– Understanding the market segment growth potential and the potential growth of the company’s market share

Session 8 (Presentation) Cyber Supply Chain Management: Mitigating the Risk
The latest research shows that more than 80% of organizations have experienced a data breach as a result of security vulnerabilities in their supply chains.
– Establishing an enterprise risk assessment process
– How to verify supplier practices and procedures
– Integrating threat intelligence approaches

Session 9 – (Panel) Authenticity
According to Edelman, 81 percent of customers won’t buy from a brand unless they trust them, and authenticity is key to building that trust.

Virtual Platform

A Highly Engaging Virtual Experience – 3 Days of Virtual Content and Networking Featuring the Top Thought Leaders in the SaaS Space.

NETWORKING

Network and set up video meetings with the right people with our AI-Powered virtual platform.

INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS

Each interactive workshop is designed to help you build the skills needed to thrive.

ATTEND LIVE VIRTUAL WEBINARS

The biggest names in SaaS & Tech bringing you top-quality keynotes, panels, and firesides.

Conference Demographics

TITLES and LEVELS

C-Level/Founder (39%)
Other (19%)
Director (16%)
VP (14%)
Manager (12%)

POSITIONS and CATEGORIES

CEO/Founder (23%)
Marketing (20%)
Sales/Biz Dev (17%)
Investing (12%)
Operations (12%)
Client Success (7%)
Dev (4%)
Press (3%)

ANNUAL REVENUE

$50-100MM ARR (24%)
$100M+ ARR (18%)
$30-50M ARR (29%)
$10-20M ARR (14%)
$20-30M ARR (15%)

Previous Attendees Include Executives From:

Save Your Spot

For those who have never attended one of our conferences, here’s how registration works, and the timeline:

  • We want to create the highest quality “Growth in SaaS” conversation possible. To do that, attendees are limited to Founders, C-Suite, VPs, and Directors (and up) at growth-stage companies doing $10mm+ ARR or have raised more than $5mm in capital. If that’s you, please read on.
  • Once you submit the registration form, we do a quick check to ensure that you fit the audience profile.
  • You’ll get a confirmation email once approved, usually within 48 hours ( we have a lot of sift through but will respond to you either way).
  • After that we’ll follow up with your unique login to attend the actual virtual event.

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