Announcing the final agenda for TechCrunch Sessions: SaaS 2021

TechCrunch Sessions is back!

On October 27, we’re taking on the ferociously competitive field of software as a service (SaaS), and we’re thrilled to announce our final packed agenda, overflowing with some of the biggest names and most exciting startups in the industry. And you’re in luck, because $75 early-bird tickets are still on sale — make sure you book yours so you can enjoy all the agenda has to offer and save $100 bucks before prices go up!

Throughout the day, you can expect to hear from industry experts and take part in discussions about the potential of new advances in data, open source, how to deal with the onslaught of security threats, investing in early-stage startups and plenty more.

We’ll be joined by some of the biggest names and the smartest and most prescient people in the industry, including Javier Soltero at Google, Kathy Baxter at Salesforce, Jared Spataro at Microsoft, Jay Kreps at Confluent, Sarah Guo at Greylock and Daniel Dines at UiPath.

You’ll be able to find and engage with people from all around the world through world-class networking on our virtual platform — all for $75 and under for a limited time, with even deeper discounts for nonprofits and government agencies, students and up-and-coming founders!

Our agenda showcases some of the powerhouses in the space, but also plenty of smaller teams that are building and debunking fundamental technologies in the industry. Check it out!

Survival of the Fittest: Investing in Today’s SaaS Market
with Casey Aylward (Costanoa Ventures), Kobie Fuller (Upfront) and Sarah Guo (Greylock)

  • The venture capital world is faster and more competitive than ever. For investors hoping to get into the hottest SaaS deal, things are even crazier. With more nontraditional money pouring into the sector, remote deal-making now the norm and an increasingly global market for software startups, venture capitalists are being forced to shake up their own operations — and expectations. TechCrunch sits down with three leading investors to discuss how they are fighting for allocation in hot deals, what they’ve changed in their own processes and what today’s best founders are demanding.

Three Easy Steps to Capture Global Opportunities (Sponsored by KUDO)
with Fardad Zabetian (KUDO)

  • As our economy becomes increasingly global, is your business prepared to succeed? KUDO co-founder and CEO Fardad Zabetian shares his insights on how to capture global opportunities.

Data, Data Everywhere
with Ali Ghodsi (Databricks)

  • As companies struggle to manage and share increasingly large amounts of data, it’s no wonder that Databricks, whose primary product is a data lake, was valued at a whopping $28 billion for its most recent funding round. We’re going to talk to CEO Ali Ghodsi about why his startup is so hot and what comes next.

SaaS Security, Today and Tomorrow
with Edna Conway (Microsoft), Wendy Nather (Cisco) and Olivia Rose (Amplitude)

  • Enterprises face a constant stream of threats, from nation-states to cybercriminals and corporate insiders. After a year where billions worked from home and the cloud reigned supreme, startups and corporations alike can’t afford to stay off the security pulse. Find out what SaaS startups need to know about security now and in the future.

Data Warehouse: The Foundation of the Modern Data Stack (Sponsored by RudderStack)
with Soumyadeb Mitra (RudderStack), Ben Gotfredson (Snowflake)

  • The modern data stack is changing rapidly, with new technology emerging everyday. Increasingly, though, architectures are being built around the data warehouse. In this panel discussion, experts will discuss why this new architecture has emerged, what specific technologies are driving the trend and what the data stack of the future looks like.

Automation’s Moment Is Now
with Daniel Dines (UiPath), Laela Sturdy (CapitalG) and Dave Wright (ServiceNow)

  • One thing we learned during the pandemic is the importance of automation, and that’s only likely to be more pronounced as we move forward. We’ll be talking to UiPath CEO Daniel Dines, Laela Sturdy, an investor at CapitalG and Dave Wright from ServiceNow about why this is automation’s moment.

How do High-Growth Companies use Technology to Inform Strategy and Drive Results? (Sponsored by SAP)

  • Fast-growing companies are in a constant state of transition, as high performance and growth can lead to ever-changing business priorities and challenges. Hear from a couple of SAP’s hypergrowth customers about how they use technology to inform their strategy and ultimately drive business results. SAP Managing Director, Midmarket and Ecosystem, Greg Petraetis will share how businesses grow from being innovators to disruptors to category leaders and how the technology they choose can impact the future of their business productivity.

Was the Pandemic Cloud Productivity’s Spark?
with Javier Soltero (Google)

  • One big aspect of SaaS is productivity apps like Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Drive. We’ll talk with executive Javier Soltero about the role Google Workspace plays in the Google cloud strategy.

AI Ethics at Enterprise Scale
with Kathy Baxter (Salesforce) and Nashlie Sephus (AWS)

  • Keeping AI models fair and unbiased is a tough enough job in the lab or with a single product. How can it be accomplished at the scale of business being done by Amazon and Salesforce? Amazon AI Applied Science Manager Nashlie Sephus and Principle Architect of AI Practice Kathy Baxter will discuss the responsibilities as opportunities of putting ethical practices to work in enterprise applications.

Optimizing SaaS Productivity: Why SaaS Sprawl Prohibits Growth? (Sponsored by LeanIX)
with André Christ (LeanIX)

  • SaaS represents an increasing share of the installed software estate — in cloud-born companies, often 100%. If not managed and optimized, an uncontrolled adoption leads to SaaS sprawl, sometimes called “Shadow IT.” Sub-optimized usage of SaaS subscriptions, increased risk and audit exposures will become a headache when scaling a business. This talk illustrates frequent pitfalls and proposes the needed processes, skills and capabilities of the emerging SaaS management discipline for CEOs, CFOs and CIOs.

The Future Is Wide Open
with Abby Kearns (Puppet), Aghi Marietti (Kong) and Jason Warner (Redpoint)

  • Many startups today have an open source component, and it’s no wonder. It builds an audience and helps drive sales. We’ll talk with Abby Kearns from Puppet, Augusto “Aghi” Marietti from Kong and Jason Warner, an investor at Redpoint, about why open source is such a popular way to build a business.

How Microsoft Shifted from On-Prem to the Cloud
with Jared Spataro (Microsoft)

  • Jared Spataro has been with Microsoft for over 15 years and he was a part of the shift from strictly on-prem software to that which is dominated by the cloud. Today he runs one of the most successful SaaS products out there, and we’ll talk to him about how Microsoft made that shift and what it’s meant to the company.

How Startups are Turning Data into Software Gold
with Jenn Knight (AgentSync), Barr Moses (Monte Carlo) and Dan Wright (DataRobot)

  • The era of big data is behind us. Today’s leading SaaS startups are working with data, instead of merely fighting to help customers collect information. We’ve collected three leaders from three data-focused startups that are forging new markets to get their insight on how today’s SaaS companies are leveraging data to build new companies, attack new problems and, of course, scale like mad.

Taking Your People from Startup to Scale (Sponsored by SAP)
with Max Wessel (SAP)

  • As your business grows, you need to help your people grow with you. And, in a world that is transforming faster than ever, the methods of developing your team don’t cut it. In this session you’ll hear from Max Wessel, chief learning officer at SAP, about how to build a culture and workforce that is flexible, adaptable and fit for a rocket ship.

Building a Hypergrowth SaaS Startup in a Remote World
with Deidre Paknad, Workboard

  • It’s hard to stand out in today’s startup market, given the sheer number of companies building, launching and fundraising. But despite all the busyness, Workboard has made waves. Competing in a crowded niche, Deidre Paknad’s upstart tech company has posted huge growth despite COVID-19’s disruptions. We’ll sit down with the CEO to dig into how she managed to scale her company in both revenue and human terms, despite the pandemic. Founders, expect to learn something!

What Happens After Your Startup Is Acquired?
with Jyoti Bansal (Harness), Nick Mehta (GainSight) and Monica Sarbu (

  • We’ll speak to three founders about the emotional upheaval of being acquired and what happens after the check clears and the sale closes. Our panel includes Jyoti Bansal who founded AppDynamics, Nick Mehta from GainSight and Monica Sarbu who founded Elastic.

Setting Data in Motion
with Jay Kreps (Confluent)

  • Confluent, the streaming platform built on top of Apache Kafka, was born out of a project at LinkedIn and rode that from startup to IPO. We’ll speak to co-founder and CEO Jay Kreps to learn about what that journey was like.

Future Forward: How Machine Learning and Human-in-the-Loop Approaches Are Expanding the Capabilities of Automation (sponsored by Akasa)
with Varun Ganapathi (Akasa)

  • Digital transformation efforts in a number of industries have driven massive adoption of robotic process automation (RPA) over the past decade. The hard truth is that RPA is a decades-old technology that is brittle with real limits to its capabilities. It will always have some value in automating work that is simple, discrete and linear. However, the reason automation efforts often fall short of their aspirations is because so much of life is complex and constantly evolving — too much work falls outside of the capabilities of RPA. In this talk, Varun Ganapathi, Ph.D., co-founder and chief technology officer of AKASA will discuss how exceptions and outliers can actually make automation stronger and how emerging machine-learning-based technology platforms combined with human-in-the-loop approaches are already expanding what it is possible to automate across a number of industries.

Pro tip: Keep your finger on the pulse of TC Sessions: SaaS. Get updates when we announce new speakers, add events and offer ticket discounts.

Why should you carve a day out of your hectic schedule to attend TC Sessions: SaaS? This may be the first year we’ve focused on SaaS, but this ain’t our first rodeo. Here’s what other attendees have to say about their TC Sessions experience.

“TC Sessions: Mobility offers several big benefits. First, networking opportunities that result in concrete partnerships. Second, the chance to learn the latest trends and how mobility will evolve. Third, the opportunity for unknown startups to connect with other mobility companies and build brand awareness.” — Karin Maake, senior director of communications at FlashParking.

“People want to be around what’s interesting and learn what trends and issues they need to pay attention to. Even large companies like GM and Ford were there, because they’re starting to see the trend move toward mobility. They want to learn from the experts, and TC Sessions: Mobility has all the experts.” — Melika Jahangiri, vice president at Wunder Mobility.

TC Sessions: SaaS 2021 takes place on October 27. Grab your team, join your community and create opportunity. Don’t wait — jump on the early-bird ticket sale right now.