Top 10 Startup Commencement Speakers for Your Company’s Graduation to the Expansion Stage

If your startup could host a commencement speaker when it graduates to the expansion-stage, who would it be? Here are 10 excellent candidates who would deliver insight, inspiration, and a healthy dose of practicality to prepare you for what comes next.

Top 10 Startup Commencement Speakers

Starting this month, college seniors across the country will listen to public figures, successful businesspeople, and, in some circumstances, sophomoric entertainers deliver insightful (or hilarious) commencement speeches.
They’ll talk about what graduating students can expect in the coming years, what they need to remember and plan for, and what they need to keep in perspective when their paths inevitably take turns they didn’t plan for.
Which got us thinking — that actually sounds like advice many startups could benefit from, as well.
After all, the startup phase is very much akin to the development that many students undergo during their four (or five, etc.) years in college. It is a process of self-discovery and skill development — iterating and experimenting until you find something that feels right.
The expansion stage, on the other hand, tends to mimic the career path of those students after they receive their degrees. How do you best execute the skills and knowledge you discovered during the startup phase? What are your current priorities and future aspirations? How can you best manage your resources to set yourself up for a prosperous future?
With that said, we thought it would be fun to imagine which 10 well-known entrepreneurs and investors would make ideal commencement speakers for tech companies graduating from the startup phase to the expansion stage. Keep in mind as you’re reading that the commencement speakers aren’t ranked in any particular order and that we chose people who boasted an ideal blend of operational experience and funding know-how.
Find out who made the list, and feel free to share your commencement speaker suggestions in the comments section!

Top 10 Startup Commencement Speakers for Your Company’s Graduation to the Expansion Stage

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Which startup sage do you think would make the perfect tech commencement speaker and who else should be on the list? Add your own nominees in the comments section.

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OpenView, the expansion stage venture firm, helps build software companies into market leaders. Through our Expansion Platform, we help companies hire the best talent, acquire and retain the right customers and partner with industry leaders so they can dominate their markets. Our focus on the expansion stage makes us uniquely suited to provide truly tailored operational support to our portfolio companies. Learn more about OpenView at
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