Meeting Ryan Allis of iContact and Zero Million

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As a perk to heading down to Washington D.C. to meet Michael Dunlop at Yanik Silver’s Underground 5 conference, I was able to also touch base with another successful entrepreneur who I have been following for many years. Ryan Allis is well known as being the founder of iContact. His story is a great one of starting a business while in middle school and then growing and running with the idea of entrepreneurship from there.

Ryan is also pretty well known as a speaker at many events on entrepreneurship including the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization conferences and the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour.

At the CEO conferences, when he gives a keynote, he likes to be real and break it down. Literally, he dances to Soulja Boy on stage as seen in the video below – dancing starts at about the 1:20 mark.

CEO video:

Ryan had been recruited as a speaker at the Underground 5 event and it just happened that he was still in town on Sunday. Now, some of you may remember that Ryan was nice enough to sponsor a Dorm Room Biz contest and supply a signed copy of his book to a winner, so thanks again for that Ryan!

I knew Ryan was a great guy and seemed very laid back, but besides that, I honestly had no idea what to expect from him. So when he said that he’d be more than happy to meet and chat, I figured it would be a quick 10 minute thing. Yet, Ryan was more than happy to hang out with a group of young entrepreneurs for about an hour, giving his time and insight, as we talked about everything from business to sports in the UK to helping children get an education in Africa.

A question I wanted to get an answer to was why he decided to dance to Soulja Boy at the CEO conference during his Keynote and what students can get from attending the CEO conference and other conferences. You can see his response in the video below.

Thanks for keeping it real with us Ryan and hanging out. It was a pleasure to get to meet you finally and enjoy a good discussion about a range of topics. I’m sure many young and student entrepreneurs will continue to follow your journey over the next several years and look to you for inspiration.

If you are not doing so already, subscribe to Ryan Allis’ blog at so you can read about how he got ripped off in China and much more about his business experiences and social entrepreneurship.

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