Adam is in 40 markets around the world

Adam Tratt is Co-founder and CEO of Haiku Deck, the award-winning app for creating flawlessly beautiful presentations that has ranked #1 in productivity in 40+ markets around the world.

We are lucky to be able to get Adam for an evening at Startup Grind Seattle. He has been fortunate and talented enough to have recently raised a $3 million round from Madrona, Founders Co-op and others. His company Haiku Deck has done some major pivots along the way. He has some great stories to share with us on September 25th about his journey with his company. To RSVP for this mind altering, startup friendly, kickass event.

Tratt began his career as a Product Manager for Microsoft Office. His crowning achievement was teaching Bill Gates to create a web page using Microsoft Word. Gates thought the demo sounded “salesy,” which Tratt took as a compliment.  After marketing stints at a few dotcoms in the eCommerce sector, Tratt became the first marketing hire at board game startup, Cranium. Cranium published more than 100 different board games, books, and toys, selling millions of units worldwide and winning multiple Toy of the Year awards. Tratt went on to serve as SVP of Business Development for Mr. Youth, Mashable’s 2010 Social Media Agency of the Year before being accepted to Seattle Techstars in 2010, which led to his current role. A life-long presenter, Tratt got his BA in International Relations from Tufts University.

Follow him on Twitter @adamtr

Ben Huh wants to make you laugh for 5 mins

Come join a whole bunch or gaggle of SeaGrinders at the next Startup Grind event on August 28th. I promise you will be entertained and you will even learn a few things from Ben Huh who is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cheezburger (  The former journalist turned successful entrepreneur has been credited with pioneering Internet culture as entertainment, crowdsourcing, and bringing Internet memes to the mainstream. This will be a great event and most likely will be sold out. Sign up here.

Since first acquiring I Can Has Cheezburger? in 2007, Huh has grown the media company to now include more than 50 online humor sites that generate more than 400 million page views monthly.  His Internet culture empire includes popular sites such as FAIL Blog, The Daily What, Know Your Meme and Memebase.  Cheezburger has also released five books, two of which are New York Times bestsellers, and was the focus of the LOLwork reality television series, which aired on the Bravo network in 2012.

The Internet culture connoisseur has been featured in many high-profile media outlets including The New York Times, WIRED and TIME. He was named one of the “100 Most Creative People in the Business” by Fast Company, and was recognized as one of the “Top 10 Worst Dressed Men in Silicon Valley” by GQ.  In 2011, Huh received the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

As a top industry expert, he has been tapped to speak on numerous panels at leading conferences including the Web 2.0 Summit and SXSW, where he was a featured speaker in 2013. He is also a Co-Founder and board member of Circa, on online journalism startup which re-imagines the way people will consume news.

Huh holds a BSJ from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and resides in Seattle with his wife Emily.

Oren Etzioni is ready talk about Starting a company

Next week July 31st we have the “Geek of the year 2012″ showing up to share some thoughts. We will be on the sunny back deck of Graham and Dunn Law firm doing some networking and listening to a local CTO/founder star.  Startrup Grind is hosting Oren Etzioni. He was working with Big Data before Big Data was cool. He has a broad base of technical knowledge as well as some great stories about starting companies. He is not the normal CTO has a lot more to offer than most. I look forward to talking with him next week.  Sign up here.

Oren is currently the CTO, Co founder with, leveraging his big data knowledge he has honed with Farecast. Farecast was sold to Microsoft in 2008 after he started it in 2004. He is also a Venture Partner with Madrona and founder or co founder of various startups in the Seattle area. He chairs Madrona’s Technology Advisory Board and is a Professor at the University of Washington’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering. He is the author of more than 100 academic papers on topics including Web search, data mining, agent technology, and various aspects of Artificial Intelligence. He was the Chief Technology Officer and board member of Go2Net Inc. (acquired by InfoSpace) and a founder of Netbot, Inc. (acquired by Excite). He received the NSF Young Investigator Award, was chosen to be an AAAI Fellow, and in 2007 received the Robert S. Engelmore Memorial Award for “long-standing technical and entrepreneurial contributions to Artificial Intelligence”.

At Netbot, Dr. Etzioni helped to conceive and design the web’s first major comparison-shopping agent. In 1995, he and his student Erik Selberg developed MetaCrawler, the Web’s premier Meta-search engine for several years. He also is a co-founder of Clearforest (acquired by Reuters).

He received his undergraduate degree in computer science from Harvard University, and his MS and Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Who helps a 1000+ youth get educated each month?

For those of you who plan to attend the next Startup Grind event on June 26th at 6pm you will be hearing from someone who had an idea to help others and walked away from a stable career at Amazon then started He has since helped thousands of youth get an education across the globe. Come learn insights from someone who had an idea and made it happen in a very big way.  To RSVP and pay.

Kushal Chakrabarti is the founder and board co-chair of Vittana, a non-profit that fights youth poverty in developing nations. It pioneered the Vittana Loan — a $750 student micro-loan that can triple a girl’s income. An award-winning organization, Vittana works in 13 countries,helps 1,000+ youth escape poverty every month and its impact is regularly highlighted in world press including the Economist, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and many others. To RSVP and pay.

Previously, Kushal ran technology for a $1 billion team at Amazon and is the author of 20+ patents and papers. He was recently named Social Innovator of the Year, one of Seattle’s Top 40 People Under 40 and voted the #1 Game-Changer in Philanthropy by 1.7 million readers on Huffington Post. Kushal is a frequent speaker on youth poverty, education and social entrepreneurship including SOCAP, Pop!Tech and TEDxBrussels.

In his free time, he races triathlons, takes pictures and works with dogs. Kushal lives in Seattle with his 2-year-old German Shepherd puppy.

Chris devours Startup Grind in 3 bites

May 22 will be an exciting day at Graham & Dunn Law Offices. Startup Grind will be hosting Chris DeVore, Startup Guy, Seed Stage Investor,  and a good human. Chris will be on the hot seat for a 75 minute interview to answer questions and share some of the insights from someone who has seen hundreds of deals, thousands of pitches and million of dollars invested over his career.  He likes investing in very early stage deals so he can help move the company along faster and hopefully with less mistakes along the way.

Chris helped start Founders Co-op in 2008.  They help extraordinary founding teams located *outside* Silicon Valley build companies that the best venture capital firms in the world choose to back. We’re also the guys behind TechStars Seattle, the region’s #1 accelerator program. Most important, we are a community of fellow founder-operators with hard-fought experience + personal networks spanning every aspect of building, scaling and exiting a high-growth technology business.

He also co founded Judys Book what seems like light years ago.  He left in late 2007 and then started Founders Co-op. He has more stories about starting, executing and exiting than most of us would have time to listen to but he will be at Startup Grind to share his experience with 75-85 fellow entrepreneurs at 6pm on May 22nd.  Be sure to come ready to listen, meet and be inspired by someone who absolutely loves the Seattle tech community. Chris believes this is the best place to start a company and has proven that you can be a successful investor as well as founder. Come join us and enjoy the people, wine, food and interview with Chris.

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