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SaaS District

SaaS District

By Akeel Jabber/Horizen Capital
Top rated SaaS podcast for entrepreneurs and investors.

Learn how to optimize your growth strategy for your SaaS startup from beta all the way to exit. We cover topics topics such as investing, acquisitions, leadership, B2B sales, growth marketing, scaling, hiring, conversion optimization, productivity, bootstrapping, venture capital, private equity and innovation.

By sharing industry leader expertise, we want you to implement the best proven tactics to help you scale your SaaS company.
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#22 The Impact of Branding and Building Innovative Digital Products When Launching your StartUp with Dmytro Grechko

SaaS District

#26 Managing Hyper-growth Campaigns and International teams for B2B SaaS Companies with The Chapman Brothers
The Chapman Brothers are the Co-Founders of SocialChaps, a Marketing Agency described as a no-nonsense B2B agency focused on growing pioneering businesses by understanding them and working towards their goals. Elliot and his brother Dom, after years of searching for a good marketing agency in the B2B space they decided to roll up their sleeves and founded SocialChaps, after 3 successful years of growth they decided that the systems & processes they put into place are replicable across all types of B2B businesses, which we will discuss today. During this interview we cover: Searching for a Marketing Solution, not finding it & building it yourself Methodologies, Analytics, Software Tools, & Growth Marketing Tactics for B2B Startups How SocialChaps Work With Founders to Ensure they’re actually ready to scale Top rated scalable channels for B2B SaaS companies   Dealing With Leads, Sales & business Growth on Hyper-growth Marketing Priorities While on Hyper-Growth VS Normal Growth Step By Step to Generate leads Is There Still Value in Podcasting? Benefits & Challenges When Building & Operating an International Team Tools For Remote & Modern Workflows Links and mentions: Get in touch with The Chapman Brothers: Elliot’s Linkedin Social Chaps website Dom’s Linkedin More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
July 24, 2020
#25 How to Hire Professionals and Freelancers Effectively Online and NOT get Burned with Liz Pearce
Liz Pearce is the CEO of Seattle-based Fresh Chalk, where they aim to build a faster and more efficient way to find highly-vetted professionals, everything from doctors to plumbers to landscapers to photographers online. The site allows users to create profiles and search through service providers to see which have been recommended by their friends. They can also offer their own recommendations across more than 500 categories. Fresh Chalk is taking on the giants of Facebook, Google, Yelp, and other giant platforms. Liz holds a B.A. and M.A. from The George Washington University. Prior to starting Fresh Chalk, Liz was with LiquidPlanner for 11 years, starting as the company's marketing contractor and working her way up to COO in 2011 and ultimately to CEO in 2012. Before LiquidPlanner, she held marketing roles at Amazon, Google, and PlayStation and ran an independent marketing consulting business. During this interview we cover: Lessons Learned Working on Amazon, Google & Sony How Hunger & Proactively Acquiring Responsibilities earn you the CEO Position Liz’s Best Management Practices FreshChalk: Idea and Development Maximizers VS Satisfiers Raising 2M in VC Founding The Value of Connection & Recommendations from friends Owners Reviewing other Owners Post-COVID Service acquisition trends Two key questions for hiring higher quality Professionals Liz’s Approach to Challenges & Opportunities Links and mentions: Fresh Chalk website Get in touch with Liz: Liz’s Linkedin More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
July 22, 2020
#24 Q2 Deals Review at HoriZen Capital and 2020 Goals with Pierre Heurtebize
Doing something a little different for this episode. I want to make it more personal and openly share what’s going on behind the scenes inside HoriZen both good and bad over the last 3 months, post-COVID and what our plan is for going into Q3. Pierre is the investment manager ate HoriZenc Capital, he's an expert in financial modeling, Business Plan modeling, Financial Due Diligence, Corporate finance, and private equity investments. He holds an MBA from top tier Business School ESSEC (Paris / Cergy), formerly an investment associate in small caps private equity, he has over 4 years of experience in M&A financial due diligence at PwC, one of the big 4 on professional services for enterprises, he builds business plans and has advised several entrepreneurs in Europe and Australia. As an entrepreneur, he's building a start-up in the wellbeing industry and has recently worked as an investment associate in a newly created For Purpose social investment vehicle supporting OZHarvest, Australia's leading food rescue charity. Pierre has a full-time Data Scientist training where he learned how to leverage his business analysis skills using Machine learning and deep learning techniques that allows him to go deeper in his understanding of businesses and dig up valuable insights from big datasets. He has also created a list of very effective Excel Models and efficiency tools that everybody can download and use for free. During this interview we cover: Pierre’s background before joining HoriZen The numbers wizard (Joining HoriZen and main focus) Analyzing 3 HoriZen deals: (Revenue size, churn, age, size, risks) Post-COVID impact on deals Focus on helping more SaaS entrepreneurs on growing their business and applying our playbook Hiring interns and job opportunities at HoriZen Capital The main reason to reject a deal and what we do and what we do not. The average timeline for deals Goals for Q3 Links and mentions: Get in touch with Pierre: More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
July 14, 2020
#23 Leveraging the 4 Rules of Smart Budgeting to Grow your Startup with Jesse Mecham
Jesse Mecham is a founder, CEO, and Bestselling author of You Need a Budget, which is not only an award winning software and proven budgeting tool but also an education company  where they teach people a whole new way of thinking about their money so they make better financial decisions, get out of debt, and build the life they want. During this interview we cover: Why Your SaaS StartUp Need a Budget From Personal Finance Spreadsheets to One of The Best Budgeting Tools The 4 Budgeting Rules ( Personal finance and Business Owners ) Why solutions are squeezed out of scarcity Focusing the Product Usability and Intentionality as a Differential from Your Competitors The Importance of Making Better Hiring Decisions Why Never to Tell Your Users When to Expect a New Version Founders Affiliate and Partner To Early Jesse’s Investment tips. Links and mentions: YNAB (You Need a Budget) Get in touch with Jesse: Jesse’s LinkedIn Profile More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
July 10, 2020
#22 The Impact of Branding and Building Innovative Digital Products When Launching your StartUp with Dmytro Grechko
Dmytro Grechko is a self-taught Entrepreneur & Software Engineer who found his passion & borrowed his inspiration from the constant process of learning and meeting new people, his skills and interests range from emerging technologies and latest market trends to sports and music. As a Founder and CEO of Deskree & Deskree Studio, he specializes on helping brick and mortar companies, digitalizes their operation and reinvents their business with the latest technologies, his personal goal is to help early-stage startups and entrepreneurs uncover their potential in new unique markets, and connect them with like-minded investors and the right people for the job. During this interview we cover: After launch CTO for non-tech founders Deskree playbook on founder resource management Assessing the market viability for Startups Trends on innovation and automation solutions for startups The importance of branding design for startups Differences in the investment and startup ecosystem between Canada, Europe, and the US Focusing on the functional features, the problem that the solution aims to solve, and the solution that delivers the maximum value Deskree’s ideal profile of entrepreneurs to work with Dmytro’s top underrated digital tools for SaaS founders Raising a VC fund focused on teaching branding, sales and development Links and mentions: Deskree Webflow Firebase Intercom Get in touch with Dmytro: Dmytro’s LinkedIn profile More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
July 8, 2020
#21 Where to Invest Your Digital Marketing Budget in 2020 with Neil Patel
Neil Patel is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and analytics expert who specializes in SEO and digital marketing, he has co-founded several marketing tech. companies including KissMetrics, Hello Bar, and Crazy Egg. He also now runs his own ad agency called Neil Patel Digital and a KW research tool, UberSuggest. Over the years he has helped big companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Airbnb, Google, and HP  to help them grow through his amazing marketing skills. Among his many achievements, Neil has been recognized as a New York Times bestselling author, a top influencer by the Wall Street Journal, a Top 10 Marketer by Forbes, a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by former US president Barack Obama, a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations, and he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies according to Entrepreneur Magazine. Neil also runs a blog about marketing that has generated over 3 million visitors per month, he co-hosts his own podcast with Eric Siu,  Marketing School, that has generated over 1 million listens per month and a YouTube channel about marketing that has over 10 million views.  During this interview we cover: Digital Marketing trends  Risk & opportunities for SaaS founders & Marketers   Ubersuggest Freemium to Customer conversion rate numbers  The right time to make the switch to go from freemium to paid vs. Raise VC capital to keep fueling user growth   Comparing keyword research tools in the market and where does Ubersuggest stands   SEO Automation an AI  Digital marketing and investing trends for 2020 and during COVID-19  Key Metrics and Red Flags to look for when Investing   Building a SaaS company VS Marketing Agency   Real SEO experts and high-value products VS frauds/lower quality ones  Where to focus your Marketing efforts and budget in 2020   Focusing on Mid or Top of funnel content marketing? Links and mentions:  Neil Patel Digital  Get in touch with Neil:  Neil’s Linkedin profile  More about Akeel:  🐦 Twitter -  💼 LinkedIn -  🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
July 2, 2020
#20 How to Land More Clients with Your Proposals and Launch a Spin Off Product in A Very Competitive Market with Ruben Gamez
Ruben Gamez is a specialist in Bootstrapping, marketing, User Experience, and software development, he is the founder of Bidsketch, a professional web app focused on designing, tracking, and customizing proposals in no time. In the past, Ruben owned 9thSign, a small business specialized in web development and consulting, after that Ruben worked In Oasis Outsourcing as a Web development Manager, the largest privately-held PEO at the time, then Ruben decided to quit his job and founded Bidsketch where he’s been growing and improving since 2009. During this interview we cover: Shifting from part-time gig to running a full time startup Clearly identifying your startup idea & problem you're solving VC vs. Bootstrapping your company Growth Strategies that worked well for Bidsketch Failures & how to use them as experience Key differences when comparing winning or losing business proposals Conceiving other ideas to integrate with your StartUp (Docsketch) Proposals for closing SMB’s vs. Enterprise leads Trends in e-Signature Market during COVID-19 Making Docsketch Competitive Considering Merger or Acquisition as a way to grow Links and mentions: Bidsketch Docsketch Get in touch with Andy: Ruben’s LinkedIn Profile Personal Blog More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
June 30, 2020
#19 Leading the World’s Largest Online Workplace (UpWork) and What is The Future of Work with Gary Swart
Gary Swart is a tech and healthcare investor at Polaris Partners and a former executive with experience in general management of all size organizations, including leading sales, operations, staffing, and strategy. Up until April 2014, Gary was the CEO of oDesk (UpWork now), the world's largest online workplace. He guided the company to industry leadership and through a merger with eLance, while serving as a leading voice for the future of work and the emerging online work industry. Gary is passionate about helping entrepreneurs build their businesses, where he regularly shares his knowledge and provides mentorship on how to craft a successful path with fellow business people and anyone building their career. His past positions included: -VP of Sales and Operations at Intellibank, a SaaS collaboration platform -Business Unit Executive (SMB Division), IBM Rational Software -Director of Corporate Sales, Rational Software -Western Region Sales, Pure Atria Gary is an expert in the future of work, fundamentals of management, effective interviewing and staffing methods, entrepreneurship, online marketplaces/platform strategy and sales/go-to-market During this interview we cover: Going through a merger and getting  acquired by IBM Leaving IBM and Gary’s career path criteria Growth and development not to steep that you go off of the cliff Turning down an offer on Netflix as employee #3 Why you should consider merging with a better business model (oDesk & eLance merge) User Experience as the best marketing tool. Insights on the Future of Work and the landscape after COVID-19 Hiring talent criteria as a SaaS founder Investing trends surrounding Healthcare and Technology Adding value to a company post-acquisition Productivity and effective leadership habits advice (Hint: ABR) Book Recommendation: That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea Links and mentions: UpWorks Website Polaris Partners Website Get in touch with Gary: Gary’s LinkedIn Profile More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
June 25, 2020
#18 Why you Should Always Stick to Your Values When Building and Growing Your Startup with Peldi Guilizzoni
Peldi Guilizzoni is the Founder and CEO of Balsamiq, a fully bootstrapped ISV focused on prototyping UI/UX. After studying  Computer Science in Italy he moved to San Francisco, where he worked for a couple of years. Through his experience at adobe systems as an Engineering lead, he discovered an opportunity to develop a tool that could make everyone more productive and help them do a better job, something he describes as a “no going back technology”. After a series of events that lead to quitting his job at Adobe and focusing on his project, he decided to go back to Italy and found his successful company. During this interview we cover: Early Web Apps and conceiving Balsamiq from the beginning Staying bootstrapped & the love of the craft (money as a consequence) How to compete as a bootstrapped company vs VC funded competitors Longevity rather than growth Building a business in a non-VC friendly market Specialist product for non specialized customers Usability & customer service as a grow strategy How a transparent startup gains customer trust Why you can copy technical, but you can’t copy people (the golden puzzle concept for customer output) Why is it important for a SaaS company to teach you what to make for dinner (unique customer interactions) Who can start wireframing and how can someone like me get good at it Plus policies & investing in people for remarkable results The importance of developing company values for a better work culture (to comepte with Google, Apple) Links and mentions: Balsamiq Website *(Get Balsamiq cloud web app free for 3 months! Enter the code: SAASDISTRICT)* Join the office hour program at Balsamiq for advice on: Founders and business UX wireframing Product design Careers in product design And many more… Get in touch with Peldi: Peldi’s LinkedIn Profile Balsamiq Twitter More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
June 23, 2020
#17: Why Human Experience, as an Investment, Enhances the SaaS Onboarding Experience with Andy Mura
Andy is an expert on Marketing, Business Strategy, Leadgen, SaaS, Digital Transformation, User Onboarding, and UX. He is a marketer, founder, speaker, and mentor with over 10 years of experience in SaaS, Digital Transformation, and Growth. Andy's focus is on the HX (Human Experience), making sure that companies invest resources in creating a great employee experience to support successful change management processes that lead to an enhanced customer experience Over the past years, Andy has been working directly (as a founder or head of marketing) and indirectly (as a mentor or consultant) with over 200 companies in North America and Europe and he's now in charge of marketing operations at ExB Group, an AI/ML-driven natural language processing platform that provides cognitive process automation for insurers. During this interview we cover: Current COVID-19 Strategy Pre & Post Investment SaaS company Grow Advice Lead Generation VS Product Focused The importance of U/X (Tips & strategies) Effective Marketing Budgets Trial to Paid VS Enterprise Focused Sales Cycles & how to shorten them Links and mentions: ExB Website Get in touch with Andy: Andy’s LinkedIn Profile Andy’s’s Twitter Profile More About Andy More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
June 18, 2020
#16: Using Storytelling, Unsuccessful Exit, and Adaptive Marketing to Grow your Marketplace with Murali Satagopan
Murali Satagopan is a strong marketer and storyteller who loves communication and solving problems in the web space. He founded a company, got funded, grew it big and then had an unsuccessful exit where he left with no money and lots of experience. He used that experience at Freshdesk to help grow their marketplace. Product GTM, Content Marketing, telling great stories and crafting creative marketing campaigns are some of his many strengths. He is currently Head of ISV Partnerships and Partner Marketing at Freshworks Marketplace where he handles marketing for the Freshworks Marketplace - one of the hottest horizontals at Freshworks.  Murali is also a standup comedian with a strong theatre background. He was invited to the Short+Sweet Festival in Sydney where he performed.  During this interview we cover:  The importance of leveraging strategic partnerships and integrations to grow your startup  How an “unsuccessful exit” was the foundational experience for a successful  Marketplace Working beyond the scope for personal and professional growth  The do’s and dont's when building a product.  Trying again to start a business VS joining a company  Why to use Freshworks as a leveraging channel for growth  COVID-19  customer trends and unique approaches to problem solving  How can a SaaS founder or marketer validate whether a partner program will be worthwhile for their SaaS?  The 2 best practices to build better products  Links and mentions: FreshWorks website  Get in touch with Murali:  Murali’s LinkedIn Profile  Murali’s Twitter Profile  More about Akeel:  🐦 Twitter  💼 LinkedIn 🔈 More Podcast Sessions 
June 16, 2020
#15 How To Stand Apart From your Competitors through Better Product Positioning and Messaging with Praval Singh
Praval is an expert at brand, product positioning & messaging, go-to-market strategy, demand generation, and content-led marketing initiatives. He is a serial entrepreneur and has co-founded several start-ups. He worked as a freelance content marketer for web publishers and blogs in Europe, South-east Asia, and India. Also, he was the Co-Founder of Dokito, an in-house social media analytics tool at Media Redefined; a digital media agency in New Delhi he also Co-Founded. He worked as a Senior Product Marketing Manager and Marketing Head at Zoho Corporation, where he is now Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience. Praval leads marketing for and focuses on brand, positioning, messaging, communication, and other marketing initiatives. He also works closely with various product teams and helps them with go-to-market strategy and special projects. As one of the official spokespersons, He also represents Zoho before media and analysts, as well as at various international conferences and forums. During this interview we cover: The importance of standing out through messaging and positioning for B2B SaaS companies. How using social media helps customer experience for growth Working beyond the scope for personal and professional growth The marketing strategy approach of  large product  company VS  a SaaS business Building an all- in-one SaaS business ecosystem solution as a differentiator from the competitors The current value and impact of remote work tools Links and mentions: Get in touch with Praval: Praval’s LinkedIn Profile Praval’s Twitter Profile More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
June 11, 2020
#14: How to Create an Epic Content Marketing Plan for your B2B SaaS Company with Bree Brouwer
Bree Brouwer is a specialist in the B2B SaaS and online video industries. She has created blog posts that landed on the #1 and #2 spots in Google search for their respective keywords, re-written home page copy which increased product downloads by more than 64.5% and written blog posts that generated $40K in extra revenue.   Bree has a Bachelor’s degree in English Writing.   Bree’s professional experience includes being a Staff Writer and Digital Media Journalist at Tubefilter, a Freelance Copywriter at Tubebuddy, a Public relations consultant at Unreel Entertainment, An Online Video and Digital Media Contributor at Forbes, an Online video Columnist at EContent Magazine, a Blogger and Content Marketing Writer for Asset Panda, a Freelance Public Relations Consultant at Unscreen, and  B2B Content Marketing Consultant and Writer for video and tech brands at Brouwer Power Media LLC.    Most recently, Bree was a Content Marketing Writer at Tubular Labs, and now she is the Editor-In-Chief of Tubular Insights.  Tubular Labs is the leading global video measurement and analytics platform that powers broadcasters, publishers, and brands to create successful content and scale audiences faster.    During this interview we cover:  - When contenting marketing becomes important for a B2B SaaS company in their growth journey  - Effective strategies and what you need to get started to if you’re a founder or marketer looking to use video marketing to real drive ROI  - The blog post you wrote that helped drive $40k in revenue and why was it so successful  - Habits, tools and proven strategies to overcome writer's block and produce high quality content  - Using pillar content as a strategy to distribute to many channels as a SaaS company  - Providing a great experience to your audience and stand apart to get the Wow factor About Bree: Bree’s self bio:    Bree’s Twitter profile:     Bree’s LinkedIn profile:     Bree’s website:     Tubular labs:    More about Akeel:   🐦 Twitter -   💼 LinkedIn -   🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
June 9, 2020
#13: Using an Omnichannel Approach In your Marketing Campaigns to Drive More Sales for your Startup with Rytis Lauris
Rytis Lauris (@RytisLauris) is a serial entrepreneur of various start-ups, and an expert on E-commerce, Online Marketing and Email Marketing. In 2009, he was the Founder of Treenex, which was a company focused on environmental services. Rytis was also the Co-Founder of IQ Polls, which is an easy to use voting tool that interacts with audiences during conferences, seminars and training sessions. In 2009, he became the Founder and CEO of Soundest, which first started off as a digital marketing agency operating in the Baltic states but then in 2014 transitioned to focus on a newly built email marketing platform. 3 years later Rytis is still the Co-Founder and CEO of the now renamed platform, known today as Omnisend. His startup Omnisend, is an all-in-one and omnichannel e-commerce marketing automation platform that helps companies boost their sales by converting their visitors and retaining their customers through personalized messages. During this interview we cover: Covid-19 e-commerce trends that he's experienced Omnichannel marketing for your marketing campaigns Effective omnichannel trends and stats Target audiences and sales cycle Why and how to use segmentation effectively Links and mentions: Get in touch with Rytis: Twitter: @RytisLauris More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
June 4, 2020
#12: How to Get Your First 100 Customers with Confidence and Clarity with Asia Orangio
Asia Orangio joins us for a 1-on-1 interview, where her focus is on working with early-stage startups and high-growth technology companies. She is an expert at helping SaaS companies define their go-to-market strategy, craft a data-driven approach to growth, implement marketing strategies and programs that help them win an audience in their market and to beat the "90% of startups fail" statistic. Asia is currently the CEO and Founder at DemandMaven, a company focused on helping startups  either get their first 100 customers, or help them get to the next stage in their growth. She was also head of marketing at Hull, an Advisor at Atlanta Tech Village, and is currently a mentor at companies like Tinyseed and GrowthMentor. During this interview we cover: Defining Demand generation Getting your first 10 and 100 customers as a Start-up Her recommended SaaS marketing strategies The biggest marketing mistakes Startups make How to approach conversion optimization in the marketing funnel Top underrated growth hacks Links and mentions: Get in touch with Asia: Twitter: @AsiaMatos More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions - 
June 2, 2020
#11: How to Make Better Decisions Around Cost Management with Hani Abdou
Hani is Founder and CEO of Tradogram, an online purchasing system that helps businesses manage their purchasing process and control their business spending. Tradogram also offers advising and coaching for organizations on the implementation and development of a better procurement process. Prior to Tradogram, Hani was the manager at the Magdi Store Company, An importer and wholesaler of dry foods, and was also Partner and Managing Director at Madji Food Centre, where he was able to manage several large projects such as establishing a new factory, conduct business analysis, implementation, and configuration of a Sage ERP system. He played a major role in negotiating the deal and in planning the entire set up when the company was acquired by another large corporation. Finally, Hani has more than 30 years of experience in business management including working in Wholesale supply, Food Processing, and Business Services. During this interview we cover: Procurement process: Risks and challenges Making better decisions when managing your costs in a startup Growth channels that helped him build Tradogram (hint: PLG) Better cost control frameworks Links and mentions: Tradogram Get in touch with Hani: Email: More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
May 28, 2020
#10: How Podcasting Can Still be a Powerful Marketing Channel for Your Startup with Tom Hunt
Tom Hunt has experience at building several startups and SaaS businesses from scratch. After graduating from the Imperial College in London, he decided to  build Virtual Valley, a marketplace connecting online entrepreneurs and virtual assistants from scratch whilst travelling the world. He then sold 90% of the businesses in 2017. He then joined Repairly as the COO, which was on demand mobile phone repair delivery service.  He is now the Co-Founder of BCast, a podcast hosting platform for high growth businesses. Tom is also the Managing Director at SaaS Marketer, where they  publish biweekly SaaS growth case study and runs his own podcast: Confessions Of A B2B Marketer. At SaaS Marketer, he also helps SaaS businesses grow with their own profitable podcast. Finally, Tom is an Angel investor at different companies, such as Gleam, Dusk Foundation,, Ebsta, Parabola Labs and Stashbee.  During this interview we cover:  Exiting his first business after get burnt out Deciding on moving forward on a startup vs. shutting down at Repairly The value of launching your own podcast for your startup  Why he decided to start angel investing in startups Underrated growth hacks that startup founders should consider and work really well Links and mentions: BCast.Fm  SaaS Marketer   Get in touch with Tom:  More about Akeel:  🐦 Twitter -  💼 LinkedIn -  🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
May 26, 2020
#9: How to Find your Next Disruptive Ideas for your Startup with Dan Sallis
In today’s episode, Dan Sallis  joins us for a 1-on-1 interview on the SaaS District podcast. Dan is a Software Architect and Database Designer. He is an expert in Software Development, E-commerce, Enterprise Software and Strategic Planning. He is also a serial entrepreneur and Co-Founder and CEO of Cynch! (formerly OrderStorm), a global provider of the next generation of ERP. Cynch is a unified commerce platform that enables small to large enterprises to manage their sales and services both offline and online including online commerce, in-store sales, CRM, inventory, purchasing, and after-sales operations including repair, warranty claims, service contracts, and 3rd party repair operations. Dan is also the founder of Repair Storm,  an all-in-one platform built for growing and optimizing the modern service center and repair business.The application is designed to save time  automating tedious tasks and delivering a professional, smooth experience to both workers and customers. During this interview we cover: Finding a disruptive product in an industry that others may find boring How he previously hired one junior sales rep close 157 stores in 15 months His proven model for his sales and and growth process Dan's framework on how to uncover new business models that are worth exploring in 2020 Links and mentions: Cynch! Get in touch with Dan: More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
May 21, 2020
#8: Validating and Building your Startup through Industry and Corporate pain points with Thomas Petersen
In today’s episode, Thomas Petersen (@Hello_World)  joins us for a 1-on-1 interview on the SaaS District podcast. Thomas is a serial entrepreneur and startup expert in Service & Product Design, Innovation, Branding, UI/UX and just generally building great innovative Start-Ups from scratch. He has worked with hundreds of different organizations spanning from early stage startups all the way to large Fortune 500 companies. Thomas also co-founded Hello Group in 2006 which was sold to NOA Group in 2018, while  spending time with a company called 80/20 before they were acquired by Square in 2012. He was the Creative Director at Square for 5 years, where he developed some of the core products and services that exist there today, taking it from a start-up idea all the way until their successful IPO. He is now the Co-Founder and CEO at First Principle, a Creative Venture Studio focused on starting, helping and funding businesses, including founding several companies such as WeekendHacker and Ghostnote. At First Principle, Thomas and his team help entrepreneurs and corporations create category defining products around the world. Some industry leaders they’ve worked with to build these startups, include: Adobe, Intel, Verizon, HP, Fidelity, Sony, Google, CitiBank, Nokia, Amazon among many others. During this interview we cover: Creative Venture Studios: what they do Validating your ideas Ranking idea products Underrated growth strategies for startups The importance of design principles Links and mentions: First Principle Get in touch with Thomas: 🐦Twitter: More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
May 19, 2020
#7: Bootstrapping Your Startup to Acquisition with Einar Vollset from TinySeed
Einar (@einarvollset) is currently the Co-Founder and General Partner at Tinyseed, a remote-based startup accelerator designed for early stage, bootstrapped SaaS Founders which provides funding, community, guidance, advice and mentorship. He is also the Managing Partner of Discretion Capital,  a technology enabled Investment Bank focused on M&A, due diligence and strategic partnership development for tech & technology enabled services businesses. Einar was a professor of Computer Science at Cornell University. He is a serial entrepreneur who founded many companies like ReMail which was acquired by Google in 2010, Octopus Mercantile, and AppAftercare, a company which was built from scratch, with zero outside funding, which was completely bootstrapped from zero revenue until acquisition in 2016. Einar was also CEO at Left Coast R&D, and an advisor at and Biomeme. During this interview we cover: Exiting to big corporations like Google Managing the investment strategy during a crisis The importance of having a specific investment criteria and what he looks for in funding startups Initial traction and acceleration programs Benefits of Bootstrapping vs. VC funding of your startup Links and mentions: Get in touch with Einar: 🐦Twitter: More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
May 14, 2020
#6: How to Unlock your Potential and Become a More Effective CEO and Leader for your Startup with Mark Green
Mark (@MarkEGreen) is a Speaker, Author, Strategic Advisor and a Business & Leadership Growth Coach. He facilitates workshops with executive teams to help them stay on track, hit their goals and continue growing. He coaches CEOs and executive teams all over the world, where he’s worked with thousands of different business leaders, helping them unlock more of their potential and also teaching them how to do the same for their teams. Mark is also a Certified Behavioral Analyst, a Certified Values Analyst, and a Certified Attribute Index Analyst. He is the founder and president of Performance Dynamic Group, where he helps organizations accelerate their revenue and profit growth. We’ll share Mark’s expertise and advice in today’s interview. During this interview we cover: Being a more effective leader for your team Leadership habits Inspiring your team to become more productive Accountability practices for your startup Importance of developing your network Links and mentions: Activators: A CEO's Guide to Clearer Thinking and Getting Things Done  by Mark Green Creating a Culture of Accountability by Mark Green Twitter: @MarkEGreen Linkedin: More about Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - @akeeljabber 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Episodes -
May 12, 2020
#5: Generating High Quality B2B Leads Through LInkedIn for Your Startup with Isaac Anderson
Isaac (@realzeeko) has his LinkedIn Industry Top 1% SSI certification meaning. Meaning he is an all LinkedIn Expert. Including marketing, consulting, conversion optimization, and business strategy. He was the former COO at an online marketing agency, TEV Marketing, where they specialized in LinkedIn, Adwords, and SEO. Isaac is currently the CEO of Zeeko, a platform that uses LinkedIn to create real, meaningful relationships between clients and customers so that businesses can improve their ROI. He is also a LinkedIn instructor and educator at Data Driven U, an online training program platform for people who want to master the skills of digital marketing. He has a video course: “LinkedIn Jumpstart”: to teach other business owners how to use LinkedIn to do market research and create relationship-driven leads, which we’ll cover more on today’s interview. During this interview we cover: Running an effective LinkedIn Campaign Cold Email Outreach vs LinkedIn Engagement through targeted outreach How to leverage semi personalized messaging Top tools for prospecting leads The Quad Method ROI through lead generation Content sharing strategies through LinkedIn Links and mentions:  LinkedIn Outreach Bootcamp Course Twitter: @realzeeko Linkedin: Get in touch with Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - @akeeljabber 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Episodes- 
May 7, 2020
#4: How to Validate and Launch a Successful Product in the Market with Mike Watts
In this episode, Mike Watts (@mike100w) joins us for a 1-on-1 interview on the SaaS District podcast. Mike is an experienced entrepreneur who has 6 startup companies under his belt including founding three consecutive multi-million dollar companies in the last 10 years. He has successful exits from three companies including one for over $6 million, and he had a business partnership with Shark Tank famous: Daymond John. He currently serves as Founder and CEO of LoveHandle, a fast-growing American manufacturer of custom smartphone grips. His products which have been featured on Good Morning America, QVC, HSN, The Today Show and sold through major retailers such as Walmart, CVS, Home Depot, Lowe’s, RiteAid, Office Depot and more. Mike is also a regular keynote speaker for entrepreneur and inventor group, a guest professor at Texas AM University's entrepreneur program in College Station, a 2-time winner of the Aggie 100 Award for fastest growing companies and has been listed on the Fortune 5000. In today’s interview Mike shares his tips and experience on how to overcome the market’s most challenging scenarios. During this interview we cover: Challenges when starting off as an entrepreneur Sourcing and manufacturing a product during a crisis Finding a reliable supplier for your product Increasing the odds for success Finding a valuable investor/mentor Steps on overcoming the “perfect” idea Validating your business model Dealing with competition Links and mentions: LoveHandle's Website: Get in touch with Mike: Linkedin Profile: Twitter: Instagram: Get in touch with Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Sessions -
May 7, 2020
#3: How to Run More Effective Growth Experiments with Your Startup with Emilia Chagas, CEO of Growth Hackers
In today's episode, Emilia Chagas joins us for a 1-on-1 interview on the SaaS District podcast. Emilia is an expert in online marketing, enterprise content management, content strategy, growth hacking, and entrepreneurship. She started her career as a content manager at a marketing agency, managing multiple projects for enterprises and SMB’s. In 2015, Emilia founded ContenTools, a streamline content creation software. Ever since then, she has been a full-time serial entrepreneur. Last year, Contentools joined operations with GrowthHackers, a company originally founded by Sean Ellis, to offer a full stack of software for growth and marketing using A.I. at its core. Emilia is currently the CEO of GrowthHackers, an online community for the growth-obsessed to connect and get inspired by other top marketers in the industry. In today's interview, Emilia shares her experience on how she managed to grow her company to the point it is today. During this interview we cover: Building and maintaining a network for growth Effective channels for growth Growth strategies for startups Growth through acquisition Growth acceleration programs Tools for GrowthHacking Growth Experiments Links and mentions: Growth Master Training Course: GrowthHackers website: GrowthHackers Conference: Get in touch with Emilia: Email address: Twitter: Linkedin:  Contact Akeel: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Episodes -
May 7, 2020
#2: How to Manage your Startup Through Uncertainty with Arvind Jha
In this episode, Arvind Jha(@jalajboy) joins us for a 1-on-1 interview on the SaaS District podcast. Arvind is the director and co-founder at Pariksha Labs, a software consulting and development company working with global start-ups and SMEs. He’s the founder of Partee Hai, a lead generation platform & marketplace for party services, and the founder of a cloud video startup, Movico, India's leading video asset management company. Arvind has built and led large software R&D teams for major global players in delivering leading products. His specialty has been in conceptualizing innovative new products and building businesses from scratch. He now mentors tech startups in India. Finally, I’d describe him as a Startup Evangelist, Advisor, and Investor for over 10 companies, including an exit of a notable company, Signals. In our interview, Arvind shares his experience and views on the SaaS industry. During this interview we cover: World’s current environment of the SaaS industry Strategies to plan around uncertainty Main challenges we can expect to face in the SaaS industry Focusing on a strategy to gain initial traction Growing your SaaS business pre and post-investment Strategic partnerships Investment criteria/strategies Links and mentions: Get in touch with Arvind: Linkedin Profile: Twitter: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Episodes - 
May 7, 2020
#1: How to Create Sustainability in Your SaaS Business with Josh Patrick
In this episode, Josh Patrick joins us for a 1-on-1 interview on the SaaS District podcast. His specialty is helping private business owners grow and create more value in their business. He has over twenty years of experience as an adviser to private businesses. For nineteen years (1976-1995) he owned a vending and food service company, where he managed to take it from 1.5 to 90 employees before successfully selling the business. During that time he admits to having made a lot of mistakes, but now, he uses that experience as part of his advising strategy, which we share throughout the interview. During this interview we cover: Business sustainability Lessons on how to be a better entrepreneur Maintaining sustainability in your business during  a crisis Mistakes when seeking for success and financial freedom Setting appropriate expectations for your business Setting an appropriate Business strategy Effective hiring Underrated resources to grow your business Overcoming the “finding the right idea” hurdle and taking action Links and mentions: Josh is the author of his Stage 2 blog: “Creating Value” ( He’s also a writer for American Express Open as well as, The Huffington Post, and Josh is also the author of the book: “Sustainable: A Fable About Creating a Personally and Economically Sustainable Business”.  ( He’s the host of the podcast called “The Sustainable Business” (, where he talks with leaders to help his audience think about the future of their business and clients. The cash flow code: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 More Podcast Episodes -
May 7, 2020
Episode Zero: Welcome to SaaS District
We're Live! Time to learn more about everything SaaS. In this episode, our host Akeel Jabber introduces himself and the new SaaS District Podcast. Akeel is a former petroleum engineer turned entrepreneur investor. He runs a micro private equity firm called HoriZen Capital focused specifically in SaaS businesses, where he is a general partner and investment director. Akeel started in the online business world five years ago building, selling, and building websites. He is a serial entrepreneur who has founded several start-up businesses. Before starting HoriZen Capital, Akeel worked with another private equity firm called Wired Investors, where he helped raise limited partnership capital and grew their product-type service and SaaS companies, including 99 Dollar Social. He also worked closely with the CEOs from the company’s portfolio. He collaborated with them to improve operations, growth, marketing, and to become more effective leaders. Akeel’s expertise is getting deep into the trenches of operations, growth, and running a business. Each week, we will have episodes where we will host 1-on-1 interviews with experts from the industry to learn from their experience, stories, and strategies. The SaaS District Podcast is meant for highly driven SaaS founders, operators, Private equity or VC investors, SaaS consultants, SaaS Growth Marketers or anyone who wants to learn more about entrepreneurship, Growth marketing, hiring, raising capital, exiting, scaling, difficult challenges, balance and productivity, bootstrapping, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Investment philosophy, and other topics focused on running a business in the right direction. Links and mentions 99 Dollar Social Case Study: Learn about HoriZen Capital: 🐦 Twitter - 💼 LinkedIn - 🔈 Other Podcast Episodes -
May 7, 2020