Teamwork To SaaStock: Meet Peter Coppinger

Ahead of his appearance at this September’s SaaStock event in Dublin, Teamwork Founder, CEO and Lead Developer Peter Coppinger talks to SaaScribe Editor In Chief (and SaaStock maker) Alexander Theuma about building a category-leading B2B SaaS business – and keeping it headquartered in Ireland.

What excites you about the State of Enterprise SaaS in Ireland?
I’m excited about the rate of growth in the SaaS space in Ireland. We don’t have a land connection to the rest of the world, which makes shipping physical products expensive – but one thing we can provide very well is software. I feel we should go all-in on SaaS software, so it’s great to see so many large SaaS companies like HubSpot expanding here.

What impact have Global SaaS Companies based in Dublin had on Teamwork.com?
Having more leading SaaS companies clustered here is helping attract great developers to Ireland, which in turn is helping us find great talent. The number of events in the space has also taken off, which helps foster collaboration and innovation. We can share and learn advanced techniques from each other; from a business point of view, CEOs and CMOs can discuss which growth strategies worked and which to avoid.

Will Teamwork keep Ireland as its HQ or will you need to move to the US?
We are definitely staying headquartered here in Ireland. This is our home and we have built the business to where it is from here, so we know we can continue to support our global customers’ needs from here.

Teamwork.com is bootstrapped. Have you not been tempted to take VC money as fuel for rocketship growth?
We don’t want to report to a board, we’d prefer to stay lean and agile. Without VC involvement, we can make faster decisions and follow the direction we want to go. We came this far on our own and can continue to grow without being tethered to financial backers who may not share the same passion for our work and our customers. At the moment, we are doing well and have plenty of cash reserves, no shortage of vision, and a dedicated team. What do we need that a VC could offer?

What’s your view on the Importance of events like SaaStock for Ireland and Dublin in particular?
Ireland needs a conference like this. Many SaaS companies here don’t know each other, or work to help each other, and we need to fix this. Having SaaStock here is a great platform for the industry as a whole, not just those of us based in Ireland. I’m really looking forward to the inaugural SaaStock. It gives companies like Teamwork the opportunity to share and learn from one another.

What will you bring to SaaStock that will differ from the other speakers?
We are one of the few self-funded SaaS companies in Ireland to get to over $10m in sales, and this gives us a unique perspective and agenda that we want to share and pursue.

What does Peter Coppinger believe it takes to build a category-leading B2B SaaS business?
It takes a customer-focused approach to building software. This means, you know who your customer is, have a large enough market to sustain growth, and you listen to what the customers need – and respond accordingly and swiftly. We treat our customers like honored guests and their feedback helps us define our development roadmap. Have the passion for what you’re doing. Entrepreneurship is challenging enough, you need drive to get you through the late nights. Use your own product extensively. At Teamwork, we refer to the approach as “Eating Your Own Dog Food”: and it is essential for building a strong knowledge base that feeds into customer support and product development. No matter your product, this is key. Trusting your team is something else that is often overlooked in a business plan, but is a necessary element of success. Build a strong team, hire the right people, and trust them with your vision.

What’s next for Teamwork?
We are just getting started. We currently have three products and are doing about $12m in revenue. Our plans are to build out the world’s best suite of apps to run all aspects of the company and grow our revenue to $100m in annual sales. We are currently fitting our beautiful new 18,000-square-foot HQ, which we hope to move into at the end of this summer. We are also just about to release a new version of our market leading product Teamwork Projects which I am very excited about.

Peter Coppinger will be speaking at SaaStock 2016, which takes place on 22 September

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