Fueling Growth Together: Bonfire Ventures Inaugural Founder Summit Recap


Deb Goldstein


October 18, 2023

Hello, Bonfire community! We're back and beyond thrilled to share the highlights of our unforgettable Founder Summit. Hosted earlier this month in the picturesque surf town of Encinitas, California, we brought together some of the brightest SAAS minds for an extraordinary few days. The stunning setting of the Alila Marea Beach Resort served as a catalyst for innovation, connection, and inspiration. As we reflect on the event's key takeaways, we're excited to give you a glimpse into the moments that made this summit truly special.

Why Host a Founder Summit?

At Bonfire, we hold a fundamental belief in being hands-on partners and active participants in the growth journey of both founders and companies. As investors, we exclusively focus on investing at the seed stage in B2B software. Consequently, our portfolio consists of individuals who share a common founder journey - with all of its ups, downs, doubts, and victories. Recognizing the value of connecting like-minded individuals, we took the initiative to create an environment to foster meaningful connections and ignite inspiration. In the spirit of community-building, attendees engaged in thought-provoking breakout discussions, valuable shared experiences, and forged new connections that will lay the foundation for future collaboration.

Content is King

Our event featured a diverse lineup of speakers and panelists who generously shared a wealth of insights across a wide spectrum of relevant topics. Discussions ranged from the unique personal challenges that come with leading a company, to how to build a high performance culture on your way to scaling beyond 200 people. Wes Nichols (March Capital) and Mallun Yen (Operator Collective) spoke on a panel about fundraising in today’s environment, alongside two founders who recently completed their series A. Additionally, four Bonfire portfolio founders showcased how they’re leveraging AI to enhance their products and streamline operations.

Another standout session was a fireside conversation with Bryon Coro, an ex-military officer who currently serves as the SVP of Commercial Sales for Pendo. Drawing from his extensive experience in military leadership and building and scaling tech companies, Bryon discussed lessons learned under extreme pressure in the military and highlighted the surprising parallels between startup leaders and military leaders. 

Most importantly, we held a series of break-outs for founders to discuss amongst each other key topics that are relevant for so many SAAS start-ups. These sessions, MC’d by founders, covered a wide gamut of topics - including but not limited to building sales teams, kick-starting pipeline generation, driving customer retention, and the key to building world-class R&D teams.

Elevating the Experience

While the summit’s agenda was centered around business, attendees had the opportunity to unwind and immerse themselves in the picturesque surroundings. Our cliffside cocktails, fireside dinners, and beach front walk-and-talks, offered the perfect SoCal setting for founders to continue conversations in a more relaxed environment. 


What’s Next?

After a remarkably productive summit, the wheels are already in motion for our next community gathering!

We extend our deepest gratitude to our expert panelists, engaged attendees, and summit partners - all of whom were instrumental in elevating this event to a level of unprecedented success. In the end, it's all about fueling growth together. This summit stands as a testament to Bonfire Ventures' commitment to nurturing collective success within the B2B software ecosystem.

Thank you for joining us on this journey. 

The Bonfire Ventures Team



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