What is Ignite Seattle?

Ignite Seattle, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that uses the power of short-form storytelling to grow a thriving community centered on the exchange of diverse stories and challenging ideas. We are almost entirely volunteers and the majority of proceeds from tickets sales and sponsorships go directly into our events and related programming.

Our mission:

  1. Provide a fun and supportive forum for sharing diverse ideas, hearing challenging stories, and building a community of curious and open minded people.
  2. Use the power of storytelling as a tool for entertainment, education and to bring people together.
  3. Teach our speakers and our audience the skills of storytelling and public speaking. All our speakers are offered professional speaker coaching and we teach public workshops open to all.

We are the 2nd largest open submission public speaking event in the Pacific Northwest, and 3 times a year we gather in the Great Hall at Town Hall Seattle, forming one of the livliest and most supportive audiences in the world to hear interesting people tell interesting stories.

The Ignite format: each speaker gets 20 slides, for 15 seconds each (for a total of 5 minutes), to share a story, teach a lesson or share a passion. It’s an evening of curated discovery and our format helps speakers to be concise, focused and engaged.


We are mostly volunteers (join us), and many of us have spoken on the Ignite Seattle stage.

  • MC and Speaker Coach: Scott Berkun
  • Speaker/Slide Wrangler: Zac Cohn
  • Core Event Producer: Tyler Menezes
  • Special Event Producers: Franzi Seeger
  • Marketing: Nicole Steinbok
  • Social Media: Emily Martin
  • YouTube: Leigh Momii
  • Design: Marice Sy
  • Photography: Randy Stewart
  • Pre-Show and Special Activities: Nicole Dansereau and Christi Masi
  • Alumni Speaker Placement: Susan Fee and Tonya Peck
  • Special Projects: Bryan Zug
  • Podcast: Dan Baird



First held in Seattle in 2006. There have been 35+ Ignite Seattle events and they are currently held at the wonderful Egyptian Theatre in conjunction with our partner, Town Hall Seattle. Many other cities also run Ignite events.

The first event was organized by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis, inspired in part by a desire to simplify presentations into a 5 minute format.


In addition to the fantastic volunteers and organizers, Ignite Seattle couldn’t happen without our amazing partners: WeWork, Town Hall Seattle, Mindhatch, Brady Harvey, and The Evergrey.