From Dorm Room to Board Room
This dual format will focus on how to grow your dorm room idea into an overnight success-- and by 'overnight' we mean 10 years of ridiculously (fun and) hard work! When they launched Mental Floss magazine at Duke University in 2001, co-founders Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur knew they had a seed of an idea. They wanted to create a magazine that blurred the lines between education and entertainment-- a place “where knowledge junkies get their fix.” A decade later their brand would include books, board games, a thriving t-shirt line, and a website that attracts over 2.5 million unique visitors per month. In the last three years, their brainchild has appeared on Inc. magazine’s 50 fastest growing media companies. Pearson and Hattikudur will discuss how to shepherd a brand through new mediums and formats, the digitization of traditional media platforms, and building successful & meaningful e-commerce ventures, all while staying true to your brand.
mental_floss is not the first media start-up Mangesh has been involved in. Back when he was 9, he and his pals started a magazine called Dogs of My Neighborhood. Unfortunately, it was poorly received, and like many of the dogs it once joyously covered, it was mercifully put to sleep.
Thankfully, his second stint in the publishing industry has been more successful. With his business partner Will Pearson, and a superstar team of colleagues, he's helped create a pretty glorious website, a fun-filled magazine (seriously... why haven't you subscribed already?), a line of t-shirts, over ten books, at least one hilarious board game (one less hilarious board game) and Law School in a Box-- the #1 Boxed Law School in the Country!
Will Pearson, the “Titan of Trivia,” as he’s been called by Newsweek, launched mental_floss magazine in 2001. It has received rave reviews from national media (Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, The LA Times, Washington Post) and Will is well on his way to building a major media company. Among other honors, the company has been selected as one of America’s fastest-growing businesses by Inc magazine four years in a row. In April 2011, mental_floss was purchased by Felix Dennis and is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Week. Will has been a guest on CNN Headline News more than 100 times and is a highly sought-after radio guest.