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‘Pitch-free’ group ignites in Charlotte: ‘Fast-paced geek event’ gives speakers five minutes to discuss passions
By Sam Boykin “Business networking events blow,” says Patrick McLean, a Charlotte author and copywriter. Given his distaste for such events—“everyone is just trying to sell you something,”—he was excited about being the first guest speaker at the inaugural Ignite Charlotte event last week. “There’s not a lot of self-promotion,” he said. “It’s more about promoting causes.” Ignite Charlotte is part of a national nonprofit that gives speakers five minutes to discuss personal and professional interests and passions. “Enlighten us, but make it quick,” is the group’s motto. Ignite was started by Brady Forrest of the Sebastopol, Calif.-based O’Reilly Media and Bre Pettis of MakerBot Industries LLC in Brooklyn, New York. At the events Ignite presenters share their personal and professional passions, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of just five minutes.