15+ Motivational & Inspiring Movies for Entrepreneurs and Founders

Motivation is something everyone needs on a timely basis to keep going. If you’re an entrepreneur or just someone who wants to build a career of his own, there comes a time in life when something goes wrong and you feel helpless and under confident. Everyone has a different way of motivating themselves, some do it by reading, some by taking motivational lectures, some do it by watching inspirational movies. Many people have admitted to watch The Founder to get the boost of motivation they needed.

A film can be more than few hours of entertainment. It can stimulate your mind and help you being imagination, motivation, a vision, and a catalyst in pursuits of your goals.


Movies have always inspired human beings as they connect with our real life. Movies go beyond delivering entertainment; they are more than a visceral medium and can instil a sense of confidence and motivation lost somewhere, provided that the movie you are watching is of the right kind. It’s not uncommon to see viewers pumped up, full of vigor, after having watched a movie. Examples are abound- Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Chak De India, Iqbal are counted among the desi movies which have left movie goers feeling energized. Hollywood chartbusters famous for leaving audience in high spirits include Forrest Gump and Moneyball.

If you are amongst the people who like to watch movies like The Founder then we have a list of many inspiring movies for entrepreneurs! These inspiring startup movies will not only help you to motivate yourself for startup but also show you the life of an entrepreneur. The movies have an ability to activate the dormant innovator that lies within every single one of us.

List of Inspiring Bollywood Movies for startup founders

  • Guru
  • Bhag Milkha Bhag
  • ChakDe India
  • Iqbal
  • Corporate
  • Bazaar

Checkout list of 10 others Bollywood Movies for Entreprenurs.

List of inspiring Hollywood Movies for startup founders

  • The Social Network
  • Pursuit of Happyness
  • The Founder
  • Pirates of the Silicon Valley
  • Wallstreet
  • Godfather
  • Jobs
  • Forrst Gump
  • MoneyBall
  • Rockey
  • The Avaitor
  • Office Space
  • Glengarry Glenn Ross
  • Something Ventured
  • e-Dreams
  • The Startup Kids

Inspiring movies for entrepreneurs and founders

The Social Network

The accuracy to which the movie has described the rise of the biggest social networking site is often subjected to arguments, with some of the co-founders of Facebook having raised objections. This movie is directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin. This movie is based on Ben Mezrich's 2009 book "The Accidental Billionaires". It is one of my favourite Startup movies of all time.

On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergraduate and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. But no matter what the outcome of the debate may be, the dexterity evident in the movie’s making along with widely praised background scores, would definitely inspire would-be entrepreneurs to make worthwhile sacrifices in order to achieve the greater reward.

Famous dialogues of the movie is : "The toughest tests in life don't happen in toughest time but after."

Pursuit of Happyness

One of the sweetest and inspiring movies ever made is this 2006 released Pursuit of happiness. This movie is directed by Gabriele Muccino. Watching Will Smith portray the role of Chris Gardner, a guy who is cheated, humiliated and rejected only to become one of the best traders ever. The relationship with his son and his never give up attitude will for sure compel you to get up and chase your dreams. This movie lets you know that without pain there is no gain and difficulties only lead to a better future. Being patient and committed is the key.
Nominated for a plethora of awards, the movie was so mesmerizing that the mayor of Chattanooga, a place in Tennessee, organized a screening of the film for the city’s homeless.

Famous quote from the movie is : “Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. ”

The Founder

The Founder is directed by John Lee Hancock and written by Robert Siegel. The Funder movie is starring Michael Keaton as businessman Ray Kroc. McDonald’s rise to the top of the fast food chain is one filled with peaks and not many downs. The movie follows the tale of Ray Kroc, who took two sibling’s eatery business and turned it upside down through shrewd maneuvers. Audience should see this movie not just for the sake of getting motivated but in order to understand what it takes to survive and make a name for oneself in this world.

Famous dialogue of the movie is : " Nothing in the world can take place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

Pirates of the Silicon Valley

This movie is based on the two very big business start-ups that took over the silicone valley by a storm, Apple and Microsoft. This movie is directed by Martyn Burke and it is starring Noah Wyle as Steve Jobs and Anthony Michael Hall as Bill Gates. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are inspiration for many; this 1999 release describes the intense rivalry between the two at the turn of the 21st century. This film shows all the struggles they faced in their journey to become these giants that they are today. One lesson that you should take away from this film is hard work and perseverance goes a long way. The movie got great reviews so that’s another reason to sit down and enjoy this flick.

Famous quote from the movie is : "You know how you survive? You make people need you. You survive because you make them need what you have. And then they have no where else to go."

Wall Street

This movie clearly depicts how people react to changes. This movie is about how a person totally changes his path to pursue something he thinks is right and how many obstacles he has to face in doing it. Wall Street is directed and co-written by Oliver Stone, which stars Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, and Daryl Hannah. "Wall Street" is a story of a young man who is trying to find whether he will follow the good guys or the bad guys.

Famous quote from the movie is : Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies and cuts through to the essence of the evolutionary spirit.

The Godfather

This movie has a lot of illegal stuff in it so we would not advise you to get into that. But the message to take back from this film is that little intelligence and some common sense can take you to places you have never thought of before. It is not a startup movie but tells a lot about business. The movie is based on the novel of Mario Puzo's having same name. This movie is directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy. The film was the highest-grossing film of 1972. This movie won the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Famous quote from the movie is : “I have learned more in the streets than in any class room.”

Steve Jobs

Michael Fassbender starring Steve Jobs is based on the life of Apple co-founder – Steve Jobs. This movie is directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin. The movie is a biopic with three sequences – all depicting a pivotal point in Steve’s life. He faces many problems in his personal and professional life while trying to launch three products in the market. It takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliantly talented man as its epicenter.

It is a must watch movie for entrepreneurs which is inspirational in its very essence – it shows how great ideas are not born through compromise but through vision and determination.

Famous dialogue of movie is : "I’m not dismissing the value of higher education; I’m simply saying it comes at the expense of experience."

Forrest Gump

“Run Forest, Run!”, the movie is symbolic of how Forrest Gump, who in spite of his handicap and adversities, turned the tide in his favor. This movie is directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Eric Roth. It is based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom. This movie stars Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, and Sally Field. The movie is considered a classic and has developed large following over the years since its release in 1994. A must watch movie in times when nothing seems to work out!

Famous dialogue of the movie is : "You have to do the best with what God gave you."

MoneyBall

Billy Beane is the reason behind Oakland Athletics meteoric rise to the top in baseball in this adaptation of Michael Lewis’s 2003 book ‘Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game’. This movie is directed by Bennett Miller and written by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. The key takeaway from this movie is the spirit to do something different. And it is the very approach of being innovative which in turn provides valuable lessons to innovators seeking to stray away from the rat race and make it big.

Billy Bean had to adapt in order to survive. He had to take risks and make tough decisions to achieve good results. These circumstances and scenarios are what most startups face when they go against stiff competition from already established ventures. The movie showcases how success can be achieved through risk-taking and inventiveness.

Famous quote from the movie is : “Hard work may not always end up in success but it will never end up in regret.”

Rocky

The entire series has delivered chart topping entertainment, starting from the first released in 1976 to the last one, Rocky Balboa, released in 2006. This movie is directed by John G. Avildsen, written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. The first movie depicts the transition of Rocky Balboa (played by Sylvester Stallone) from being an underdog to becoming famous in the sport of boxing. While the movie deserves applauds for showing how Rocky overcame atrocities, the real life struggles of Stallone in establishing his presence in Hollywood adds further fuel to fire, signifying that struggles in reel life are often taken from real life and implying that movies can actually help people in their daily lives by providing the much needed motivation.

Famous quote from the movie is : “Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.”

The Aviator

Often counted in the list of most financially successful people in the world, Howard Hughes was a business magnate, film director, entrepreneur, and set flight records at the same time. Once involved in an infamous scandal, Howard’s life was full of ups and downs but the man never gave up on his dreams. ‘The Aviator’ is based on this entrepreneur and has a lot to teach, not just for entrepreneurs but in general everyone out there, be it a child or an adult. This movie is directed by Martin Scorsese and written by John Logan. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes

Guru

Indian movies are on par with Hollywood flicks, when it comes to delivering lessons on motivation and inspiration. Guru is one such startup movie which tells the journey of an entrepreneur. The Mani Ratnam directed 2007 film, depicts the journey to acme of a villager, who arrives in Bombay with his wife in the 50’s and then goes on to become a business tycoon. This movie stars Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, R. Madhavan, Vidya Balan, Arya Babbar, and Mithun Chakraborty. The film was well-received by the audience and critics alike. It is one of the best movies for entrepreneurs.

Famous dialogues of movie is : "Jab log tumhare khilaaf bolne lage.. samaj lo tarakki kar rahe hon."

Office Space

If you’re one among the many who are stuck in the monotonous, vicious cycle of nine-to-five job, then this 1999 movie will provide a breath of fresh air. This movie is written and directed by Mike Judge. This movie stars Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, Gary Cole, Stephen Root, David Herman, Ajay Naidu, and Diedrich Bader. The enthralling comedy, witty dialogues, and turn of events in the movie is a stress buster for sure. The entertainer precisely depicts the situation of employees being grinded by their bosses, and the audience shall clearly be able to identify with it.

Glengarry Glenn Ross

The toughest thing about sales is to make the customer believe you. This movie is directed by James Foley. This movie highlights the difficulties that a group of real estate agents face during a turbulent season. The reason to watch this movie is to inculcate the importance of being smart in order to survive in the workplace. After all, hard work alone isn’t sufficient to hold on to your job. The movie is used for case studies as well.

Famous dialogues of movie is : "If everyone thinks one thing, then I say bet the other way."

Something Ventured

Venture Capitalist or VC is the blood that runs in the veins of many flourishing startups; it is an imperative component from funding point of view. Venture Capitalist is directed by Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller. This 2011 documentary investigates the emergence of venture capitalism in American setting during the mid-twentieth century. The culmination of stories of prominent VCs behind names such as Cisco and Apple along with archival footage makes it altogether informative and entertaining.

e-Dreams

e-Dreams is one of the good movies about the founders of Kozmo. Kozmo.com is one among the many ventures who took advantage of the dot com bubble before falling flat. This movie is directed by Wonsuk Chin. The movie revolves around the founders’ Joseph Park and Yong Kang and their journey behind Kozmo.com. Kozmo.com was an online convenience store which used bike messengers to deliver goods within an hour after placing an order.

The Startup Kids

This movie is directed by Vala Halldorsdottir, Sesselja Vilhjalmsdottir. The new crop of entrepreneurs we see today are defying the so called age barrier. The ripple effect is that more and more billionaires are coming up, disrupting the list of richest people in the world (no matter what the magazine is). The Startup Kids is a collection of interviews with the brains behind initiatives such as SoundCloud and Dropbox. Today’s generation would relate closely with this documentary and learn a lot of important lessons given that everyone is tech savvy in today’s time.

Any Given Sunday

No, this isn’t some documentary but has an important lesson for anyone planning to become an entrepreneur—struggle is inevitable. A fictional sports drama with a start cast unparalleled, watch the movie before becoming judgmental on the basis of the movie’s reviews. After all, the message being overshadowed by some bland elements is a frequent occurrence in movies; it’s up to the audience to uncover the teachings. This movie is directed by Oliver Stone depicting a fictional professional American football team.

Famous dialogue of movie is : " You find out life's this game of inches, so is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don't quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don't quite catch it."

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

A car dealer must sell over 200 cars in a weekend. Enthralling, right? The movie demonstrates the wonders that attitude and capability can do. And both of this attributes are essential for an innovator to be successful. Watch the movie to bring a change within yourself! This movie is directed by Neal Brennan, produced by Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Kevin Messick and Chris Henchy. This movie is written by Andy Stock and Rick Stempson.

Margin Call

The 2008 financial crisis was an eye opener for the entire world, and Margin Call is set against the same. This movie is written and directed by J. C. Chandor. An investment bank’s decisions over a 24 period highlight how sound reasoning and logical ability can mitigate even the most adverse situation.

Jerry Maguire

This movie is written, produced, and directed by Cameron Crowe, and stars Tom Cruise. Rejection and backstabbers are the last thing a person wants to face. Jerry Maguire takes the viewer through the intense hardship and adversities that Tom Cruise faces as a pilot. The movie is based on a real life story. A cult classic that is personally recommended!

By no means is this list finite. One can go on and on about startup movies that foment the need for change, to break free from the chains of monotony. Other movies deserving a praiseworthy mention—Wall Street, Startup.com (which happens to be a documentary), Pirates of Silicon Valley, Jobs, Rocket Singh- Salesman of the year, Swades, and 3 Idiots.
By no means is this some kind of definite list, the catalogues’ endless.

You should also have a look at the list of best books for entrepreneurs. You are definitely gonna like this list.

If you know any other inspiring startup movies for entrepreneurs like The Founder, please comment down below!

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About Shubham Kumar

Founder @StartupTalky. IIT KGP grad. Learner. Dedicated to the service of the startup Ecosystem. Love meeting people. Let's connect - [email protected]
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