A Road Trip For People With Ideas

After doing over 750 interviews, after learning from some of the smartest and most inspiring entrepreneurs in the world, and after seeing our community grow and flourish, the time has come for IdeaMensch to take the next step.

My name is Mario. I am the founder of IdeaMensch, and this summer I am quitting my career in Advertising to become a full-time entrepreneur.

Time to try and take my passion and turn it into my career.

Time to give up the perceived security of a corporate career, and place a big bet on myself.

Time to walk the talk and become a real entrepreneur.

Why am I quitting my corporate career?

Kiva Co-Founder Jessica Jackley Speaking At IdeaMensch Event

IdeaMensch has grown nicely, and I love curating the daily content you see on our site.  However, the real magic for me happened here in LA when we put on a couple of events where successful entrepreneurs got up on stage and talked about how they brought their ideas to life. Both events sold out. Our speakers were amazing, our homemade cookies delicious but you know what the real secret sauce was.

Our audience.

You.

You, the tech entrepreneurs.

You, the social entrepreneurs.

You, the artists.

You, the social media folks.

You, the musicians.

You, the ambitious college students.

You, the inventors.

You, the authors.

You, the bloggers.

You, the filmmakers.

You are a weird bunch and whenever people ask me about our audience – there really is no way to stereotype you.
With one exception. One thing we all have in common. One thing that separates us from the rest of the world.

Our almost comical passion for ideas, and our insane desire to bring those ideas to life. 

When people like us get into the same room, inspiration comes easy.  Conversations happen. Business relationships are formed. Learning is inevitable. We all walk away with a million different things that we absolutely must get working on right away.

It’s awesome.

The problem is we don’t do that often enough. Sure, it happens more frequently in places like LA, Silicon Valley and New York. But people with ideas live everywhere. They live in Portland, Missoula, Fargo, Louisville, Miami, Little Rock and everywhere in between.

I know because I have interviewed many amazing people with ideas in those places. I know some of you. But you don’t know each other. And I know there are so many more.

So my very first order of business as a full-time, first-time entrepreneur will be to get as many of us as possible into a room. In a physical room, not one of those Internet ones. No, not a hotel room either.

More just like a big space, where a bunch of us can get together, listen to a speaker or two and then hang out and chat about it.

IdeaMensch Road TripAnd since all of you can’t just come to Los Angeles, I am going to come to you.

IdeaMensch is hitting the road. Roads. American roads to be exact.

This summer, I am putting all my belongings into storage to drive across the country and put on an IdeaMensch event in every state in the lower 48 (please note, if we raise enough money – we’ll come also come to Alaska and Hawaii).

In some places we’ll bring in some awesome speakers, in others we might do a workshop or maybe it’s just me talking about what I learned about how to bring ideas to life.

Our goal is to ignite entrepreneurial communities all across America.

And once we do, we’ll put into place a framework and the people so these communities will continue to exist and flourish. Because the more people with ideas get into the same room, the more we can support each other, the more we can learn from each other – the more ideas will be brought to life.

I will need your help.

A lot of it.

Because if I do this by myself, it will fail before I ever leave Los Angeles. I’d maybe make it to Barstow, and well, who wants to be stuck in Barstow. Just for the record, I have gotten stuck in Barstow before.

Here is where I need your help.

Event organizers, volunteers, speakers and hosts

We are planning to organize events in 48 states. Right now we are preliminary looking at 55 events, with probably more coming. In each place, we are going to need people who help us organize the event, people who will help us find a venue, people who are willing to host us in their homes and people who will make awesome speakers. In each market, I’d love to have a go-to person or organization who will help put on the event. And we are also going to need lots of volunteers to help us with the events.

Here is a current rough outline of our stops. Do you live in any of these places? Can you help?

A co-pilot intern

It is going to be impossible for me to drive across the country, throw 55+ events, pitch everyone and

everything, keep running IdeaMensch and document everything in writing and video. I need a co-pilot. Or two. This is a great opportunity for a recent college graduate. I promise you will learn more about business, entrepreneurship and people than you will in the rest of your life.

As an added bonus, on our journey I will also teach you everything I know about online marketing, Ironman triathlons and David Hasselhoff. This will be the adventure of a lifetime, and something you’ll never ever forget.

Here is some more information about our internship.

Sponsorships

We are have three types of sponsorships that will help us establish and shine the light on entrepreneurial communities all across America.

The “Pay It Forward” Sponsorship – $100

The pay it forward kind We always try to charge an affordable amount for our tickets – usually around $20. But for some people that’s still too much. So for $100,  five tickets will be given away for free in the name of your company. And since we want to pay it forward too, we’ll match that number and add another five. So for $100, you get to enable 10 folks for who $20 is a lot of money to go for free.

The “Hometown Hero” Sponsorship – $1,000

The local kind will be specific to an event in your city and community. You can sponsor one event, and get all the benefits specific to that event. Heck, if you want – you can buy more of these and cover a bunch of markets. This costs $1,000 per event, and we’ll be selling them on a first come-first-serve basis. If you want to sponsor an event in a major market, you better hurry up.

The “All American Sponsorship” – $10,000

This is a national sponsorship, and you are going to be featured and promoted every step along the way. At every event, on our Tumblr blog, in our social media channels and right here on IdeaMensch.com (over $50k readers). If you want to reach entrepreneurs and people with ideas, there is no better opportunity. This costs $10,000.

Other Stuff

There are a lot of other things that we are going to need – most of which I am probably not even thinking about right now.

  • Someone to provide us with a car, SUV or small RV – preferably gas efficient and reliable.
  • Helping us spread the word with local media.
  • Suggestions for nonprofit organizations that we can volunteer at and plug while we’re at it.
  • 
Free stuff and in-kind donations that we can give away to entrepreneurs along the way.
  •  A hotel sponsor, hotel points, Airbnb credits.
  • A caffeine sponsor
  • 
A gym sponsor
  • A gas station sponsor
  • 
You tell me…

Whenever I talk to people about this, I hear a whole lot of “There is no way you can do this.”

I can’t.

Not alone.

I need your help.

Taking your idea and making it happen is scary. Doubt and uncertainty keep many from doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

IdeaMensch’s mission is to help people bring their ideas to life. To be your “bring ideas to life” partner in crime. To help inspire you.  To provide you with useful content. And to introduce you to thousands of other entrepreneurs who’re facing the same struggles you are.

And now, we’re going to walk the talk and join you.

Thank you for the inspiration.

Let’s do this.

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