The founder of one of the Internet’s most prominent purveyors of ideas and community is set to come to Ohio State.
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is set to speak at Mershon Auditorium Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. in a lecture sponsored by Fundable LLC, a Columbus-based crowdfunding platform. The event is hosted and organized by OSU’s Business Builders Club, a club for students who aspire to be entrepreneurs.
Reddit is a social networking website where users post and submit content through links or by text posts. In 2013, Reddit announced it accumulated 56 billion page views and 731 million unique visitors throughout the year.
Ohanian is currently touring the Unitd States in support of his new book, “Without Their Permission,” which outlines Reddit’s foundation and conception. Founded by Ohanian and Steve Huffman in 2005,
Jay Clouse, a fourth-year in marketing and president of the Business Builders Club, called Ohanian “relatable” and articulated the importance of the Internet when launching any kind of business.
“I want people to kind of understand how to use the Internet effectively. The future of the Internet (is) the future of startups and technology,” Clouse said. “Being educated on that is going to be beneficial to anybody, especially the younger generation as we grow up and we face some of the problems that the older generation has set up for us.”
Using technology like Reddit is integral to more than those involved exclusively in the business world, said Eric Corl, co-founder of Fundable.
“It’s going to be in everyone’s best interest to learn how to spread ideas better, whether you’re a doctor, or a lawyer or whatever background or career you’re going after,” Corl said. “Spreading ideas on the Internet is a key driver for a lot of things.”
Clouse said he hopes the audience leaves Ohanian’s lecture understanding that entrepreneurs do not have to be like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in order to be successful.
“We’re a club for people who want to be business builders. To be a business builder, you can do that from any facet of a company,” Clouse said. “Anybody that is contributing to the growth and sustainability of a business is a business builder.”
Euan Rae, a third-year in environmental policy and decision-making and a regular Reddit user, said he is intrigued to see what Ohanian has to say to students.
“I think it’d be a really interesting seminar speech,” Rae said. “It’d be interesting to go and see that and see what he says about entrepreneurship.”
Corl said in an email that about 20 percent of the original 2,500 seats of Mershon Auditorium remain available for the event, and although tickets are free, seats have to be reserved through the event’s page on Eventbrite. Wil Schroter, CEO of Fundable, is scheduled to moderate the event.