SaaStock welcomes the ‘Irish mafia’ with stellar speaker lineup

SaaStock is a global conference with a European heart, and it happens on the door step of some fine Irish-born and Irish-adopted SaaS heroes. We have rounded up a part of them to give you an idea what they are achieving and how they are punching above their weight. Whether from Dublin itself or other reaches of Ireland, these individuals represent the Irish Mafia of the SaaS world — people you can’t miss and don’t want to ignore.

There is still time to meet them in person. We still have a few a 1-day tickets available.


1. The Intercom trio, starring Des Traynor, Co-founder, Chief Strategy Officer, VP of Marketing; Darragh Curran, VP of Product, and Stan Massueras, Director of EMEA Sales

What can we say that hasn’t already been said? Intercom has raised $115M to become a globally recognised SaaS company, and it still seems they’re just getting started. Much more than a customer messaging platform, Intercom has developed a world-class brand through creative, interdisciplinary content and their annual world tour. Des will open day two of the conference by sitting down for a coffee with Christoph Janz, Managing partner of Point Nine Capital. Stan will then sit on a panel at 10 am and share how Intercom reaches the six figure deals. Last and not least Darragh will share how he builds a culture to attract great engineers at 16:00, as part of the CTO track.

2. Peter Coppinger, Co-founder, and CEO of Teamwork

Peter bootstrapped his company Teamwork, which currently has €18 million in ARR and a suite of three products. The business is still headquartered where it began, in Cork. Peter is one of the nicest and most transparent people in the SaaS space. He also kickstarted SaaS Network Ireland, his attempt to help make Ireland the center of the universe for SaaS. You can meet him and some of the other members at their drinks reception on Monday at The Bridge. Then hear his keynote about the company’s journey: “Bootstrapping to $18m ARR: Lessons learned building Customer Success and Sales.”

3. Ronan Perceval, CEO, and founder of Phorest

Ronan is another bootstrapper, who only took a small seed around along the way. Phorest, a business management software for salons, has €10 million in ARR and operates right here in Dublin. Ronan has been running it for ten years now. He has been on the Irish entrepreneurship scene for some time and is part of the renown Trinity College mafia that includes Sean Blanchfield, founder of Pagefair and Dylan Collins, founder of Super Awesome. Before Phorest, Ronan was co-Founder of Demonware, which was acquired by Activision Blizzard for €13M. Catch him at SaaStock where he’ll give all his tactical advice in a fireside chat titled, “A no BS guide to achieving a $45,000 LTV and a sub-5% churn rate in the SMB space.” You can get a taster of his talk in the latest episode of the SaaS Revolution Show.

4. Dave O’Flanagan, Founder and CEO of Boxever

Dave started Boxever, and has raised $19M so far. With their business intelligence and marketing product, Boxever is the first company to apply a good machine learning solution to the travel tech space. Despite working in at least six different countries over the years, Dave has stayed true to the city of Dublin, where he received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees. He recently graduated from the Enterprise Ireland Propel II and NDRC Launchpad programs, and continues to run Boxever here in Dublin. At SaaStock he’ll participate in the CEO panel: “Build and Scale Your Startup: Lessons learned and what to avoid to find long term success.”

5. Claire McHugh, Co-founder and CEO of Axonista

Claire is one of the founders of Axonista, a company providing creative, interactive media (OTT) solutions for the world’s leading TV networks and video companies. In fact, Axonista have just recently launched a project with the Irish Film Institute to stream the IFI Archive on phone, tablet and other TV connected devices. Claire also serves as an advisor for TechIreland, a non-profit devoted to cultivating Irish innovation. Be sure to see Claire at SaaStock, where she’ll sit on a panel about building a presence in the US.

6. Claire Burge, Founder and CEO of This is Productivity

Though originally from South Africa, Claire chose to build her second company, This Is Productivity, here in Dublin. She’s very active and well-known in the Irish tech scene and has been described as “part chaos, part rocket fuel.” She will bring an energy not to be missed, so catch her SaaStock keynote: “Forget the product, Bring the human.”

7. Duncan Lennox, Co-founder and CEO at QStream

Duncan Lennox is a technology veteran. He was born, raised, and educated in Ireland — spending several years at University College of Dublin as a researcher in software engineering and later founding WBT Systems. Eventually, Duncan settled in Boston to start his latest company, QStream. He also founded blurgl, which offers consulting on building and scaling B2B SaaS products. At SaaStock, Duncan will participate in a panel of CEOs discussing just that: “Build and Scale Your Startup: Lessons learned and what to avoid in order to find long term success.”

8. Joe Morley, Global Marketing Partnerships at Facebook

Joe Morley, director of Global Marketing Partnerships at Facebook, is a Dubliner with a background in industrial design. That design focus has guided his career into business, media, and technology over the years. Now at Facebook’s international headquarters in Dublin, Joe is focused on helping Irish and European startups, and innovators maximize their growth. At SaaStock he’ll sit down with Anssi Rusi (CFO and COO of Smartly) for a fireside chat called, “Maximising product development speed through company culture.”

9. Rory O’Driscoll, General Partner of Scale Venture Partners

Rory O’Driscoll was born in Ireland, but now resides in San Francisco as the General Partner of Scale Venture Partners. At Scale Venture, he is particularly interested in enterprise software and SaaS. His current investments and board roles include Box, DocuSign, DataSift, DroneDeploy, Katch, OneLogin, Pantheon, WalkMe, and Wrike. Hear what he thinks about what many say is the next big opportunity at SaaS when he delivers his keynote speech, “Does AI matter for Enterprise Software?”

10. Tom Lyons, Deputy Editor, Sunday Business Post

Tom is currently the Deputy Editor of the Sunday Business Post where he writes about tech and banks among many other topics. He was previously senior business correspondent with The Irish Times, deputy business editor of The Sunday Independent and business editor of Newstalk. An award winning investigative journalist, he is the co-author of two books: ‘The FitzPatrick Tapes, the rise and fall of one man, one bank, and one country’ and ‘Fingers, the man who brought down Irish Nationwide.’ At SaaStock he will sit down with Ronan Perceval to unlock the secrets to great LTV and low churn rates.

Irish VCs

11. Conor Stanley,

Conor is a founder of, an early stage and Series A venture fund based in Dublin. focuses on outstanding Irish SaaS startups; some of their notable investments include Intercom, Boxever, Glofox, and Phorest. Conor was educated over in Galway before coming to Dublin and starting his own technology company, Clearscape. After Clearscape merged with Arekibo Communications in 2009, Conor moved into the VC world.

12. Will Prendergast, Frontline Ventures

Will is a founding partner at Frontline Ventures, a Dublin-based fund focusing on seed-stage B2B companies in Europe. An Irishman with a background in chemical engineering, Will’s career has moved from advising enterprise companies on their technology purchases to investing in enterprise-potential startups, specifically in application and infrastructure layer software companies. He’s a board member of Boxever and a fellow in the Kauffman Fellows Program, a network of 200+ venture capital professionals from top firms around the world.

13. Paul Murray, Atlantic Bridge

Paul is the Investment Director at Atlantic Bridge, a global growth equity fund with an office right here in Dublin. Paul leads the firm’s engagement with the Irish startup ecosystem. Prior to VC, he worked in various engineering and management roles at companies such as Analog Devices, Parthus, and Phyworks. He was a co-founder of ChipSensors, a fabless semiconductor company, and even holds several US patents!

14.Brian O’Connor, Irish Strategic Investment Fund

The Irish Strategic Investment Fund invests on behalf of the Irish government to catalyze economic growth and employment throughout the country. Brian works in the private equity realm of the €8B fund, and he has a keen interest in AgTech.

15. Nicola McLafferty, Draper Esprit

Nicola is an investment director at Draper Esprit, a European venture fund that invests in early and growth stage companies. After studying business and finance in Dublin, she got most of her VC experience in London. Nicola also caught the entrepreneur bug: she built and sold an online retail business, Covetique. She came back to Dublin to join Draper Esprit.

16. Maoiliosa O’Culachain, NASDAQ

Maoiliosa is the business development director for the European arm of the NASDAQ Private Market. He has extensive experience in investment and equity within Ireland, particularly with bringing large, outside investments into the country. In his career, Maoiliosa has often worn several hats, serving as board member, council member, and part-time director for organizations such as Global Equity, The eaga Trust, and the Irish ProShare Association.

17. Donnchadh Cullinan, Enterprise Ireland

Donnchadh is the manager of banking relations & growth capital at Enterprise Ireland, a government agency responsible for supporting Irish businesses in the manufacturing and internationally traded service sectors. Educated in Limerick and Dublin, with a background in design engineering, Donnchadh has spent the last ten years at Enterprise Ireland focusing on the finance software sector and helping portfolio companies access the right financing.

18. Stefano Francavilla, Growing Capital

Though originally from Milan, Stefano is helping cultivate Irish innovation through his work at Growing Capital, a seed investment firm based in Dublin. He has a background in software engineering, spending some years as CTO of DigitAlchemy and founding his own software development company, Wise Emotions.

19. Clive Lennox, Silicon Valley Bank

Clive oversees Ireland Business Development at Silicon Valley Bank, after years of finance and banking experience. SVB offers lending and banking services to technology companies in Ireland, with credit solutions such as growth loans, working capital, and acquisition finance.

SaaS founders and executives

20. Eamon Leonard, Cohort

With a background in engineering and the typical friendly Irish charm, Eamon has set out to make professional networking meaningful again. That’s why he started Cohort nearly two years ago: to help you find the people you need, through the people you already know and trust. The company is funded by Irish Angel investors and based in Dublin. Previous to Cohort, he co-founded Orchestra, which was acquired by Engine Yard in 2011.

21. Siobhan Hasner, HireHive

Siobhan is the managing director of HireHive, an easy-to-use software that allows companies to manage recruitment from end to end. Based in Cork, HireHive is a bootstrapped company that doubled in size just last year. Siobhan is a Cork native herself and has been with the company since 2015.

22. Conor O’Loughlin, Glofox

Conor was a professional rugby player for years, even through his education in Galway and Dublin. With Glofox he has wed his two passions for fitness and business, creating a comprehensive studio management software that allows owners to monitor and grow their business (even if they’re on the go). He started it in Dublin in 2014, and earlier this year he raised €2 million, whose origins trace back to meetings he had with Partech Ventures and at SaaStock 16.

23. Luca Boschin, LogoGrab

Another Italian transplant to Dublin, Luca founded his company here in 2014. He spent years working with machine learning solutions, which culminated in LogoGrab: an image recognition technology that can detect logos and SKUs in all kinds of visual content. This helps tech companies, agencies, and others better understand how consumers and creators engage with their brand, and with that understanding comes the opportunity to monetize.

24.Paul Quigley, NewsWhip

Paul is an Irish lawyer turned entrepreneur. He’s the co-founder and CEO of NewsWhip, a media technology company based in Dublin (and New York). The NewsWhip tools track stories and trends over and throughout all the niches of social media, allowing their customers to stay ahead of the curve. The company announced a Series A earlier this year, led by Ireland’s own

25. Paul Campbell,

Another Irish bootstrapped company, Tito provides an online platform for event organizers to sell and manage tickets. Working at the intersection of e-commerce and SaaS, Paul founded the company here in Dublin. We at SaaStock are very happy users of it.

26. Niamh Bushnell, TechIreland

Niamh is the CEO and founder of TechIreland, which maps and tracks all product innovation in Ireland and is on a mission to tell the story of Irish innovation to the world. It operates as a not-for-profit. Previously, she was Dublin’s first ever Commissioner for Startups, a role she held for almost three years. In fact, it’s the role that brought Niamh back to Dublin, after spending 16 years in NYC. She is an Angel Investor at ERANYC and Co-founder of IDIRUS and EIR Talent Tech Labs. She sits on the board of FoodCloud and New Ireland’s Millennial Board.

27. Drew Wilkinson, BriteBiz

Drew is the growth manager at BriteBiz, where he focuses on business development as well as building an inbound marketing strategy. Dublin educated, with a background in global accountancy, Drew recently moved back to Galway, where BriteBiz is headquartered. The company helps high-growth companies scale, providing an end-to-end business management solution that scales up admin systems and processes so that nothing falls through the cracks.

28. Des Martin, Perkbox

Des is a chartered accountant turned entrepreneur and tech marketing expert. Currently, he’s the marketing director at Perkbox in the UK. Previously he was CMO at nearForm and marketing manager at Qualtrics, both based in Dublin. Perkbox is the UK’s leading employee and customer engagement platform, who just announced an $8.6M Series C led by Draper Esprit.

*Bonus: Sarah Leahy, Startup Dublin

Sarah is the Community Manager and Resident Tech Concierge at the Office of the Dublin Commissioner for Startups. She is responsible for promoting Dublin as a great startup city and running programs that help startups to scale. She looks after international media, serial entrepreneurs and investors who travel to Dublin, and events such as the 1stFriBrekkie. She manages the ‘Dublin Makes Me’ campaign that celebrates Dublin as a great city of creativity and innovation.

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