The Boast team was on the road again last week to connect with leading tech entrepreneurs at SaaS North 2023 in Ottawa.
It was a jam-packed week of booth visits, keynotes and after parties with friends from across the North American tech ecosystem.
Standing out in a sea of SaaS
One of the key themes throughout the week was the emphasis on “brand differentiation,” which was especially important in light of the deluge of new artificial intelligence (AI)-driven solutions coming onto the tech scene since last year’s SaaS North.
This was the main topic of keynote speaker Jason Smith of Klue, who learned through years of experience helping create entirely new sectors that losing sight of the competition can be a recipe for disaster for founders at any stage.
As Jason put it, “In my 25 years of tech, I’ve never seen such a tough selling environment.”
But the picture he paints isn’t one of doom and gloom. Instead, he emphasized the need to focus on brand differentiation, and for founders to “take their blinders off” when it comes to recognizing their competitors.
By putting a laser focus on serving existing customers, startups risk being leapfrogged by competitors who are broadening their offerings and disrupting markets faster than founders realize.
But beyond offering sage startup wisdom, Jason also emphasized how great the SaaS ecosystem looked from his vantage.
“I’m just stoked for Canada and giving the world MORE Canada.”
New founders and old friends
Along with catching speeches and workshops from leaders like Jason, the Boast team was thrilled to catch up with partners like the amazing team at Outforce to help spread the word around our shared mission.
Michelle Marufu and her team were on fire throughout the event, as she explains what a whirlwind Day 1 was as we prepared to join forces for an even more exciting Day 2.
Capturing the “Good Vibes” with Goodlawyer
Our pal Grant Lahring of Goodlawyer stopped by booth A10 to chat with Paul Davenport and the Boast team about the great vibes throughout the show.
As Grant points out, founders remain optimistic about the saas ecosystem—even with economic uncertainty over the past year.
Partners driving innovation
Their team has created an AI-powered assistant that enables users to swiftly uncover answers to pressing business questions, craft impactful content, and much MUCH more.
Connecting remote teams
Vasvi Balasaria of Sidi.io loves connecting with her remote first team at events like Saas North 2023 almost as much as networking.
We had a blast learning about their SaaS and letting them know about the unique advantage founders get by partnering with Boast to unlock the true power of R&D!
Familiar Faces at Booth A10
The buzz around Booth A10 was contagious! Our location right next to the main stage made it easier for us to share with new connections the details on how Boast helps saas startups across North America unlock the true potential of their R&D.
Meeting of the minds with The Founder’s Edition
After 2 days of connecting with a bevy of entrepreneurs from across Canada, the vibe never lagged and the energy in the room remained incredibly positive!
We were thrilled to learn more about Mimi’s mission to share stories from remarkable founders who are “shaping the world in their own way.” It’s a goal we share here at Boast and we can’t wait to see and hear more.
A Day 2 Happy Hour from Boast
Finally, we wrapped up the show with an awesome Happy Hour sponsored by the Boast team.
The ability for the founders and startup teams in the room to keep the energy up and drive some very meaningful connections was inspiring.
We had a blast sharing our knowledge of the many avenues for non-dilutive funding and strategies for unlocking the true potential of R&D with the amazing leaders in Ottawa this week.
We had a fantastic time in Ottawa and look forward to connecting with even more founders at conferences throughout North America in the New Year! To learn more about how Boast can help startups from across Canada tap into the non-dilutive funding they need to extend their runway and drive innovation, talk to an expert today.
To better understand what funding is available throughout your journey as a founder—from grants to tax credits to private equity—download our latest Lifecycle of a Startup Guide.