IdeaMensch Seattle – July 11 at SURF Incubator

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Ideas by themselves are of little value. Whether your idea is an app, a nonprofit, a book, a website or an invention – what matters is that and how you bring it to life. And really it doesn’t matter whether the idea you’re bringing to life is a business, a project or a cause – the one thing that connects all of us is our passion for what we’re building.

That’s the assumption IdeaMensch is built upon. And that’s why during our events we bring in a wide range of awesome speakers who then spend 10-15 minutes talking about an idea they brought (or are bringing to life), how they did and what you can learn from it. And then you’ll have 10-15  minutes to ask them questions and continue the conversation.

We promise you’re going to walk away with at least five super valuable nuggets of information to put to use for your own idea. This isn’t a networking event, but you’re sure to meet some fascinating people.

Here is our Seattle lineup.

Rand Fishkin is going to talk about his experiences of growing Seattle-based software company SEOMoz. You’ll learn a bit more about the history of SEOMoz,  the challenges they had to overcome and some of the important lessons they learned along the way.

Local Ice-Creampreneur Molly Moon will share with us why she started Molly Moon’s Ice Cream, how she started, her beliefs about doing business and what it took to get to where it’s now and what’s in store down the road.

Marc Nager will give us an inside view of turning StartupWeekend from a for-profit company to a nonprofit, and then turning it into a global phenomena that has produced over 45,000 alumni worldwide.

Kushal Chakrabarti will talk about starting and growing Vittana, a global microlending organization focused on providing education opportunities. 

And last, but not least, local ad man Garth Knutson will give us some perspective on why you don’t have to quit your day job to start bringing to life your idea.  Like he did with What The Klout. 

Here is the schedule we have planned for you.

6:00 – 6:30  Networking

6:30 – 8:00 Speaker presentations

8:30 – 9:00 Networking

And here is some more information on our speakers.

Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin is the CEO of SEO software company; SEOmoz. He co-authored the Art of SEO from O’Reilly Media, co-founded, and was named on PSBJ’s 40 Under 40 List and BusinessWeek’s 30 Best Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30. Rand is an addict of all things content & social on the web, from his multiple blogs to Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare and even a bit of Pinterest. In his minuscule spare time, Rand enjoys the company of his amazing wife, whose serendipitous travel blog chronicles their journeys.


Molly Moon

Molly Moon Neitzel is an expert ice cream eater turned enthusiastic ice cream maker. After a crazy career in the political and music industries, Molly decided to give in to her creamy, frozen obsession. In the spring of 2008, aiming to give the people of Seattle what they were missing most, she opened her first Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream shop – a great neighborhood hang-out where families, kids, hipsters, and ice cream addicts alike could congregate and celebrate their favorite dessert. Neitzel’s five Seattle-area scoop shops and signature Molly Moon’s blue ice cream truck have been recognized for bringing fun, locavore ice cream flavors to the Pacific Northwest and hailed as one of the best in the U.S. by Bon Apetit, Sunset, Food & Wine, and Travel + Leisure magazines. Neitzel lives in Seattle with her lovable Frenchton pup, Parker Posey (the company logo) and even more lovable husband, Zack.


Marc Nager

Marc Nager (pronounced Naw-ger) is the CEO and co-director of Startup Weekend. Both a Swiss and US citizen, Marc has enjoyed an amazing 26 years enjoying the outdoors, pursuing seemingly risky endeavors, and following a multitude of career paths. With a degree in International Business from Chapman University in Southern California he left his MBA program after the first semester to pursue a new career path. Scratching his own itch to learn how to launch a startup, Marc found the opportunity to acquire Startup Weekend the for profit entity in order to turn it into a non-profit and then went on a mission to scale it around the world. Passionate and curious about the world of startups, Marc has found a way to help others pursue their ideas and dreams. Startup Weekend has landed him in over 40 cities around the world where he’s listened, observed, and helped over 450 of the earliest stage startups. Among others, his pursuits have caught the interest from the likes of Entrepreneur Magazine and Forbes.

Kushal Chakrabarti

Kushal began working on Vittana on a gut feeling in 2007. After months of talking to anyone who would return his calls, reading everything he could find on education and microfinance, and putting together different pieces of the organization, Kushal decided to devote himself full-time to Vittana in May 2008.

Previously, Kushal ran technology for a billion-dollar team at and is the author of 20+ patents, papers and talks. In his free time, he runs Ironman triathlons and trains guide dogs for the blind. Kushal was named one of Seattle’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2010 and the Greatest Person of the Day by the Huffington Post in 2011.

Garth Knutson

Garth Knutson is a Management Supervisor at Wunderman Seattle, Microsoft’s global agency of record for relationship marketing.  Prior to Wunderman he cut his teeth working on many award winning advertising campaigns at the Seattle office of Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener.

Garth is passionate about building upon ideal connections.  His first attempt combined music and travel, landing him a gig at the age of five as a roadie for his hometown symphony’s China tour. That came full circle when as a college senior he went back on tour with that same community orchestra to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco, this time as a performer. In addition to his duties at Wunderman, Garth  also spends time blogging at and as chief triathlon Sherpa for his wife, Arielle, who is currently training for Subaru Ironman Canada.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

With all of our events, it’s satisfaction guaranteed. Our goal and mission is for these events to inspire you to start bringing to life your own idea. If we fail in that, just shoot us an email and we’ll gladly refund your ticket.