• NEXT Venture Pitch

NEXT Venture Pitch Announces All-Star Keynotes and Speakers

NEXT Venture Pitch 2020 will feature keynote speakers Jeff Hoffman and Jay Simons as well as Educational Track Speakers including Mohamed Massaquoi, John Yates, and Matt Dunbar.

Keynote Speakers

Jeff Hoffman

Topic: "Proven Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back"

Success translates across a variety of industries and mediums, and nowhere is that more evident than with Jeff Hoffman. His accolades are seemingly endless — he is a successful entrepreneur, proven CEO, bestselling author, and worldwide motivational speaker.

He’s also played a large part in the success of a variety of startups such as,, and more. Join us as keynote speaker Jeff Hoffman shares his experience, provides insight on how to grow and scale ventures, and brings insight on how to build great teams that achieve success.

Jay Simons

President, Atlassian

Topic: How We Built a Startup into a $45 Billion Software Empire

As president of Atlassian, Jay Simons knows a thing or two about what it takes to build a successful business. Starting his career as an area sales manager, Jay worked his way to President by taking an interdisciplinary approach to sales and marketing, leveraging what he learned from one to improve the other.

He also has a knack for building key relationships that are insightful for anyone in the business world — "Jay has spent decades serving, coaching, evaluating, and building world-class entrepreneurial teams across the world." At this year’s virtual conference, Jay will impart entrepreneurial wisdom during his keynote speech: "How I Built a Startup into a $45 Billion Software Empire."

Join the Keynote Conversation

Educational Track Speakers

Mohamed Massaquoi

Former NFL Wide Receiver; Founder, VESSOL

Topic: Leading Through Change

Mohamed Massaquoi is a former UGA and NFL football player who now consults on change management through his Atlanta-based company, VESSOL. After surviving a life-threatening ATV accident in 2017, he was inspired to shift his career from wealth advisory to starting his own company.

Mohamed's practice at VESSOL encompasses inspirational and motivational presentations, change- and action-focused workshops, and executive coaching. VESSOL’s offerings are directed toward improving mindset, team culture, and the cultivation of lifelong learning that spurs desired change outcomes.

John Yates

Partner, Morris, Manning and Martin LLP

Topic: 10 Key Steps to Raising Capital

John Yates is an experienced and highly decorated attorney in the field of technology law. Practicing law for over 30 years, John has had the opportunity to speak on hundreds of occasions and has been cited by the United States Supreme Court in Kodak v. Image Technical Services.

He is a top lawyer in the venture capital sphere and is frequently quoted in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Join us as John gives us an inside look at the 10 Key Steps to Raising Capital.

Matt Dunbar

Co-Founder & Managing Director, VentureSouth

Topic: Perfecting Your Pitch

As the Co-Founder and Managing Director of VentureSouth, Matt Dunbar has over 12 years of experience working with Angel investor networks. His entrepreneurial acumen and VC experience make him an authority when it comes to getting funded. He’ll be teaching us the art of “Perfecting Your Pitch” at NEXT 2020 online.

VentureSouth is an early-stage venture firm that provides early-stage capital to high-growth companies. As one of the largest firms in the U.S., its network comprises more than 300 investors. Started in 2008, VentureSouth has twice been named a Top 10 Angel Group in North America and has funneled more than $45 million to over 70 companies.

Want to re-watch and share these keynote presentations at your convenience? Sign up for a VIP ticket today and receive UNLIMITED ACCESS for the next year!

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NEXT VENTURE PITCH is a conference hosted by NEXT, an economic development and entrepreneurial support organization located in Greenville, SC. To learn more, visit

Get In Contact with NEXT:


411 University Ridge

Greenville, SC 29601

Call: (864) 751-4845