73 episodes

Get real stories about the birth and growth of SaaS Startups with our Host Nikolas Chapoupis (CEO @EarlyNode). Each episode gets into the trenches alongside those who were *actually* there when it happened. To reveal the full story of what's working in SaaS right now, from hiring to fundraising, marketing, and product strategy.

Brought to you by EarlyNode.com

The SaaS Operator Podcast Nikolas Chapoupis

    • Business

Get real stories about the birth and growth of SaaS Startups with our Host Nikolas Chapoupis (CEO @EarlyNode). Each episode gets into the trenches alongside those who were *actually* there when it happened. To reveal the full story of what's working in SaaS right now, from hiring to fundraising, marketing, and product strategy.

Brought to you by EarlyNode.com

    How Aleksandar Orlić Grew Randevu to Six-Figure ARR with One Decision

    How Aleksandar Orlić Grew Randevu to Six-Figure ARR with One Decision

    On this episode of The SaaS Operator Podcast, Aleksandar Orlić was our guest. Aleksandar's journey evolved from hands-on coding to leading development teams. He mentions the importance of following your passion, especially for meaningful impact. Aleksandar explains how his role changed when he moved from CTO to  CEO, with new challenges and wins.

    He also describes how Randevu's revenue model changed from one-time fees to a subscription-based system. In this podcast he showcases how businesses can adapt and grow. Curious about what it takes to go from tech expert to startup founder?

    Tune in to learn more about:
    ~ Randevu’s buyer personas; Tech savvy users and business leaders
    ~ How to prioritize scalability over immediate profits
    ~ The benefit of having corporate experience before diving into entrepreneurship

    Timestamps:

    (00:00) - Intro

    (00:15) - Introduction to Randevu: Target audience and purpose

    (01:02) - Buyer and User Personas defined

    (02:21) - Aleksandar’s journey from developer to founder

    (05:22) - The switch from regular programmer to a top leadership role

    (09:00) - CTO vs CEO: how the roles and responsibilities differ in startup leadership

    (11:44) - Randevu’s evolution: From inception to team formation and product vision

    (13:36) - Finding Randevu’s first 10 customers

    (15:38) - Randevu’s revenue model

    (18:39) - Choosing scalability: prioritizing API development over hourly services

    (22:30) - Randevu’s current team size and evolution

    (24:35) - Future plans: Expanding sales and product development with seed funding

    (26:18) - Lessons learned: Navigating chaos, discipline and fundraising in the startup journey

    (28:43) - Where to find Aleksandar Orlić online

    The SaaS Operator Newsletter
    Get actionable insights from SaaS veterans to grow your MRR.
    Join hundreds of PLG founders at: EarlyNode.com/Subscribe

    Follow Aleksandar:
    On LinkedIn: Aleksandar Orlić

    Mentioned In The Episode
    Randevu.tech Flexible technology for custom B2B marketplaces and digital platforms
    ReactSquad.io - React.js Agency for Startups

    Nikolas Chapoupis
    On Twitter: https://twitter.com/nikolas_chap
    On LinkedIn: https://de.linkedin.com/in/nikolas-chapoupis

    EarlyNode
    On LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/earlynode
    On Twitter: https://twitter.com/EarlyNode
    On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/earlynode_crew/
    On Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/earlynode
    On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@earlynode
    On TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@earlynode

    • 29 min
    Lessons from 25 Years in Silicon Valley with Dan Turchin, Founder of PeopleReign

    Lessons from 25 Years in Silicon Valley with Dan Turchin, Founder of PeopleReign

    On this episode of The SaaS Operator Podcast, we follow the journey of tech veteran Dan Turchin. He founded PeopleReign, a platform that automates IT and HR services. 
    This episode covers how PeopleReign started, its value proposition, the challenges, major milestones, and its mission to impact a billion people at work.
    Dan talks about how focusing on customer value has been a key principle that has helped him stay relevant in tech since the 90s.
    As a founder and investor, he also gives practical tips on finding founder-investor fit and managing relationships.
    Tune in to learn more about:
    ~ Dan Turchin’s 25-year tech journey
    ~ PeopleReign’s founding story, challenges, and successes
    ~ The enduring importance of focusing on customer value
    ~ Finding founder-investor fit and managing founder-investor relationships

    (00:00) - Intro

    (00:09) - Dan Turchin's background in tech

    (02:25) - How focusing on customer value helped Dan adapt since the '90s

    (04:45) - Relationship between employee satisfaction and customer value

    (06:12) - What PeopleReign does

    (06:53) - How PeopleReign works

    (09:22) - Defining PeopleReign's ideal customer profile.

    (10:26) - More about Dan's tech journey and how it led to founding PeopleReign

    (12:33) - PeopleReign's mission statement

    (13:15) - PeopleReign's current success, recent fundraise and notable clients

    (15:35) - Advice for new founders on leading teams

    (18:11) - Advice for new founders on decision-making

    (20:57) - Finding the right founder-investor fit

    (23:18) - How investors should think about startups they invest in

    (24:00) - Tips for managing founder-investor relationships

    (24:39) - War stories from the early days of PeopleReign

    (28:20) - Where to find Dan Turchin and PeopleReign online

    The SaaS Operator Newsletter
    Get actionable insights from SaaS veterans to grow your MRR.
    Join hundreds of PLG founders at earlynode.com/subscribe

    Follow Dan:
    On Twitter:https://twitter.com/dturchin 
    On LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dturchin/ 

    Mentioned In The Episode
    PeopleReign - virtual agent for IT and HR employee service
    AI and the Future of Work - Dan’s podcast on how AI changes the workplace
    ReactSquad.io - React.js Agency for Startups

    Nikolas Chapoupis
    On Twitter: https://twitter.com/nikolas_chap
    On LinkedIn: https://de.linkedin.com/in/nikolas-chapoupis

    EarlyNode
    On LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/earlynode
    On Twitter: https://twitter.com/EarlyNode
    On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/earlynode_crew/
    On Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/earlynode
    On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@earlynode
    On TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@earlynode

    • 30 min
    How Wissam Tabbara is Automating B2B Sales with AI at Truebase

    How Wissam Tabbara is Automating B2B Sales with AI at Truebase

    On this episode of The SaaS Operator Podcast, we feature Wissam Tabbara, founder and CEO of Truebase. 
    Truebase is an AI sales rep that helps B2B companies automate prospecting. Wissam gives us the scoop on how Truebase is navigating today’s rapidly changing AI space.
    A four-time founder, he talks about how his past struggles with prospecting led to Truebase. He also shares the key lessons from his previous ventures that he’s applying now.
    Tune in to learn more about:
    ~ How and why Truebase is building an AI sales representative
    ~ Truebase's strategies for navigating the fast-paced AI ecosystem
    ~ Insights from being a four-time founder

    (00:00) - Intro

    (00:12) - How Truebase is using AI to change prospecting

    (03:05) - Getting Truebase off the ground

    (05:36) - Navigating the fast-paced AI ecosystem

    (07:21) - Truebase's journey so far

    (09:25) - Truebase’s growth strategy

    (12:06) - Truebase's role in PLG sales motion

    (14:40) - 3 key lessons from being a four-time founder

    (19:08) - Where to find Wissam and Truebase online

    The SaaS Operator Newsletter
    Get actionable insights from SaaS veterans to grow your MRR.
    Join hundreds of PLG founders at: EarlyNode.com/Subscribe
    Follow Wissam:
    On LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/wissamtabbara

    Mentioned In The Episode
    truebase.io - AI Sales Representative for B2B Startups
    ReactSquad.io - React.js Agency for Startups

    Nikolas Chapoupis
    On Twitter: https://twitter.com/nikolas_chap
    On LinkedIn: https://de.linkedin.com/in/nikolas-chapoupis

    EarlyNode
    On LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/earlynode
    On Twitter: https://twitter.com/EarlyNode
    On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/earlynode_crew/
    On Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/earlynode
    On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@earlynode 
    On TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@earlynode 

    • 20 min
    How To Build A SaaS in Multilingual Markets with Accountable’s Co-Founder, Nicolas Quarre

    How To Build A SaaS in Multilingual Markets with Accountable’s Co-Founder, Nicolas Quarre

    On this episode of The SaaS Operator Podcast, we're joined by Nicolas Quarré. He’s the co-founder of Accountable, a startup that helps self-employed people manage their taxes. 

    Nicolas discusses the challenges and successes of building Accountable. He explains their decision to launch in Belgium and their approach to expanding across Europe.

    Nicolas also shares why he decided to go the VC route, choosing the right investors and marketing tactics to bet on. 

    Tune in to learn more about:
    ~ Accountable’s founding story, challenges and success
    ~ Building a SaaS in Belgium and Germany
    ~ How to expand across Europe's multilingual markets
    ~ Nicolas’ key learnings on fundraising as a VC-backed founder


    (00:00) - Intro

    (00:24) - What is Accountable, and who is it for?

    (01:21) - Nicolas' previous ventures

    (02:19) - Accountable's Founding Journey

    (03:54) - Deciding to raise venture capital

    (05:05) - Choosing the right investors

    (06:21) - Accountable's team and user base right now

    (07:03) - Deciding to launch in Belgium

    (07:53) - Expanding to Germany

    (09:44) - Navigating language barriers and localization

    (11:37) - Expansion: choosing focused depth over shallow coverage

    (13:31) - Accountable's GTM strategy in a large market

    (16:52) - Team distribution at Accountable

    (17:57) - Choosing marketing tactics

    (18:50) - How to improve CAC Measurement

    (20:17) - Ensuring transparency and honesty with KPIs

    (21:16) - 3 key learnings on fundraising

    (24:23) - Current struggles as a founder

    (25:26) - Evolution of the role of CEO as the startup grows

    (27:06) - Advice for pre-seed SaaS founders

    (29:04) - Where to find Nicolas and Accountable online

    The SaaS Operator Newsletter
    Get actionable insights from SaaS veterans to grow your MRR.
    Join hundreds of PLG founders at: EarlyNode.com/Subscribe

    Follow Nicolas:
    On LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolasquarre/

    Mentioned In The Episode
    accountable.eu/  - Tax management platform for self-employed individuals
    ReactSquad.io - React.js Agency for Startups

    Nikolas Chapoupis
    On Twitter: https://twitter.com/nikolas_chap
    On LinkedIn: https://de.linkedin.com/in/nikolas-chapoupis

    EarlyNode
    On LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/earlynode
    On Twitter: https://twitter.com/EarlyNode
    On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/earlynode_crew/
    On Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/earlynode
    On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@earlynode
    On TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@earlynode

    #SaaS #StartupJourney #TechInEurope

    • 30 min
    How Joe Thurman Switched from Building A Service Company to SaaS Business

    How Joe Thurman Switched from Building A Service Company to SaaS Business

    On this episode of The SaaS Operator Podcast, we hosted Joe Thurman, co-founder of IIA Healthcare. IIA Healthcare is a SaaS that uses AI to help healthcare employers interview better. 
    This episode features the story of how Joe and his team took an internal tool to market as a SaaS product with over $1M ARR and $6M funding raised.
    Joe also gives us the scoop on acquiring a smaller startup, Gritly, and their plans for the future.
    Tune in to learn more about:
    ~ IIA Healthcare’s value proposition, team structure, and growth 
    ~ How Joe built an internal tool into a successful SaaS product
    ~ Acquiring smaller startups as a growing startup
    ~ Hiring and managing engineering contractors engineering teams on contract

    (00:00) - Intro

    (00:10) - What is IIA Healthcare, and who it is for

    (01:30) - IIA’s founding journey

    (03:37) - Transitioning from a service to SaaS

    (06:50) - Taking an internal tool to market

    (08:35) - Why they chose the VC route

    (09:39) - IIA’s journey to raising $6M

    (10:21) - IIA's current ARR and team size

    (10:39) - The organizational structure at IIA Healthcare

    (11:17) - The importance of a COO/Operator for startups

    (12:05) - IIA's recent acquisition of a smaller startup

    (12:35) - Behind IIA’s early decision to acquire a startup

    (14:53) - Opportunities for startups to acquire venture orphans

    (16:54) - Deciding to hire the engineering team as contractors

    (19:10) - Keeping a committed team environment with contractors

    (21:09) - Evolving IIA’s value proposition with growth

    (25:46) - How IIA uses AI to improve hiring

    (29:00) - IIA's plans for the next 2 years

    (30:23) - Closing remarks

    The SaaS Operator Newsletter
    Get actionable insights from SaaS veterans to grow your MRR.
    Join hundreds of PLG founders at: EarlyNode.com/Subscribe

    Follow Joe Thurman:
    On LinkedIn: Joe Thurman

    Mentioned In The Episode
    iiahealthcare.com – HR software in the healthcare space
    ReactSquad.io - React.js Agency for Startups

    Nikolas Chapoupis
    On Twitter: https://twitter.com/nikolas_chap
    On LinkedIn: https://de.linkedin.com/in/nikolas-chapoupis

    EarlyNode
    On LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/earlynode
    On Twitter: https://twitter.com/EarlyNode
    On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/earlynode_crew/
    On Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/earlynode
    On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@earlynode
    On TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@earlynode

    • 31 min
    “I Wish I Took Up More Space” - Alexandra Kammer on Building Confidence as a Female Founder

    “I Wish I Took Up More Space” - Alexandra Kammer on Building Confidence as a Female Founder

    On this episode of The SaaS Operator Podcast, we hosted Alexandra Kammer. She is co-founder of Aivy, an HR tech company that streamlines hiring for startups. This episode covers what happens behind the scenes at Aivy & their three-step pre-hiring process.

    Alexandra walks us through her journey from graduate school to co-founding her startup. She also gives us the gist of her experience on Germany's Shark Tank, Die Höhle der Löwen. 

    Alexandra’s story is one of overcoming self-doubt caused by sexism and embracing confidence.  We hope you find it as empowering as we did.

    Tune in to learn about: 
    ~ Alexandra’s journey from grad school to Germany's Shark Tank
    ~ How Aivy helps startups speed up their pre-hiring process
    ~ Thriving as a female founder amidst sexism
    ~ Overcoming insecurity and building confidence

    Timestamps: 

    (00:00) - Intro

    (00:10) - What Aivy does

    (01:21) - Aivy's three-step pre-hiring process

    (03:18) - Aivy’s growth so far: choosing sustainable growth over hypergrowth

    (04:54) - Distribution of the product and GTM teams at Aivy

    (06:14) - Aivy's transition from enterprise onboarding to self-serve

    (07:29) - How early clients influenced Aivy’s path

    (09:13) - Leveraging Aivy's First Mover Advantage

    (10:25) - Going from grad school to startup

    (13:06) - Experience at Die Höhle der Löwen (Germany’s Shark Tank)

    (14:43) - Thriving as a female founder amidst gender bias

    (16:30) - Struggles with early hires and how they solved that

    (18:42) - If she had to start all over, what would Alexandra do differently?

    (20:05) - Where to find Alexandra and Aivy online
    The SaaS Operator Newsletter
    Get actionable insights from SaaS veterans to grow your MRR.
    Join hundreds of PLG founders at: EarlyNode.com/Subscribe

    Follow Alexandra:
    On LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandra-kammer/ 
    On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aivy.app/ 

    Mentioned In The Episode
    Aivy.app - HR SaaS for 5x better pre-selection.
    ReactSquad.io - React.js Agency for Startups

    Nikolas Chapoupis
    On Twitter: https://twitter.com/nikolas_chap
    On LinkedIn: https://de.linkedin.com/in/nikolas-chapoupis

    EarlyNode
    On LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/earlynode
    On Twitter: https://twitter.com/EarlyNode
    On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/earlynode_crew/
    On Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/earlynode
    On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@earlynode
    On TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@earlynode

    • 21 min

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