My Commencement Speech for ATDC’s 2017 Graduation Event

On May 11, 2017, I had the privilege of addressing the audience attending ATDC’s Startup Showcase and graduation event.

I began with a tongue-in-cheek title, “The Four Easy Steps to a Billion Dollar Exit.” After a few chuckles, I moved onto the real (and more practical) topic, “The Seven Hard steps to Increasing the Odds of a Respectable Exit.” A summary of those steps is below and the full, cleaned up transcript can be read here.

  1. Forge a mission for your business.
  2. Find your most likely acquirers, and become the best partner they have.
  3. You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince or princess.
  4. Execute very consistently – acquirers love a “momentum machine.”
  5. Keep it Simple, complexity is your enemy.
  6. Be awesome, and wait for someone to knock on your door.
  7. It’s that mission thing again.

I’ll share the same parting thought here that I shared with the audience… May all your exits come true.


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