Mario Schulzke has always been fascinated with the spirit and drive behind entrepreneurs. The Plettenberg, Germany native came to America on his own at age 16, went to college and ended up in advertising in Los Angeles.
“I always wanted to be an entrepreneur but I couldn’t because of my work permit,” Schulzke recalls. So in 2009, he launched IdeaMensch
, a vehicle to celebrate and learn from entrepreneurs. “I’d always admired entrepreneurs and people who brought their ideas to life. The original idea was to learn more from these people.”
This year Schulzke, now 31 and with his green card, decided to take his search on the road. He and a few friends are traveling across the country, inviting local entrepreneurs to share their stories. “People with ideas truly live everywhere,” Schulzke says. “I figured there was no better way to start this than to go on a road trip and try to learn from these people in person.”
The group is organizing 50 events in 48 states in 115 days. This past week they were at Quicken Loans Arena. The entrepreneurs featured were Eric Wobser of Ohio City Inc
., Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing World
, Laura Bennett of Embrace Pet Insurance
, David Levine of Wireless Environment
and Deb Papes-Stanzak of Ronwear
. Each entrepreneur gave a 15-minute speech about how and why they brought their ideas to life, followed by a brief Q&A.
Schulzke’s goal is to get other would-be entrepreneurs to act on their ideas. “The goal is to encourage and inspire people to bring their ideas to life,” he says. “If I could get one person to say ‘I have this idea and I’m going to get started on it,’ I’ll be happy.”
Source: Mario Schulzke
Writer: Karin Connelly