The Closing Dinner Post Startup Exit

Last week we had the closing dinner for a startup that was acquired earlier this year. A closing dinner is a ritual to celebrate the success of a transaction with the founders, executives, investors, advisors, bankers, and anyone else heavily connected to the company. Put more simply, it’s a feast to give thanks.

Much like the name implies, the closing dinner is both the closing of the deal and the closing of that chapter of the business. In this case, it’s an opportunity to recognize everyone involved, share stories of key moments along the journey (especially the early days), and talk about lessons learned. There’s a bit of nostalgia — acknowledging that a major phase is done often brings this one — along with a bit of poking fun at how little we knew at the beginning. In other words, cathartic.

Human connection is one of the deepest desires and memories are the glue that binds us together. Closing dinners are a time-honored ritual to bring the team together and reflect on a major accomplishment.