Reddit cofounder to speak on dorm-room startups

From the February 2014 issue of Columbus CEO
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Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian will be speaking before the Ohio State University Business Builders Club on Feb. 10 at Mershon Auditorium. The OSU visit is one of roughly 105 stops Ohanian will have made on a six-month tour of tech meetups, startup conferences and college campuses in support of his newly released book Without Their Permission.

The WTP tour highlights the intersection between college life and tech entrepreneurship. Ohanian’s book is a call to arms to “dorm-room entrepreneurs.”

“Especially at the (average member’s) age here at the BBC, the risk profile of our typical member who wants to get something started in the tech sector is very low and it’s very conducive to getting out there and trying,” says Jay Clouse, an OSU senior and president of the Business Builders Club.

The OSUBBC hosts presentations from established entrepreneurs and investors every Tuesday on campus. Former member Eric Corl arranged the visit with Ohanian over Reddit on the club’s behalf. Corl is cofounder and president of Fundable, a Columbus-based crowdfunding platform that saw $50 million in funding committed over the last eight months.

Ohio State is a “bucketlist” destination for tech-startup speakers because of the mix of students and established professionals in the surrounding Columbus metro area, says Corl. He thinks Ohanian’s visit will “be a great thing for the startup community here.”

Ohanian will follow the OSU stop with a visit to Ohio University’s Center for Entrepreneurship. OU alum Alan Schaaf, who as a student developed Imgur (an image-hosting site that claims 100 million unique monthly visitors), will join the WTP tour in Athens on Feb. 24.

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