Monthly Archives: January 2013

Meet the Team: Shane Hvizdzak

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Shane Hvizdzak

Marketing & Interactive Innovator


Founder of, a social solution sharing platform. Fitness and start-up consultant. Entrepreneurship Lecturer at St. Bonaventure University. Really loves drinking tea, working out, and starting businesses – but not all three at once (yet). Last name is pronounced Weez-Jock. You know, like an athlete with asthma.

Favorite Pittsburgh food:
The Chicken Little from Fatheads. One of my goals this year is to be able to eat the whole thing in one sitting. I’ve yet to accomplish it, but the sandwich is amazing.

Favorite Pittsburgh museum:
I haven’t had a chance to visit any. The Natural History Museum looks great, though.

Favorite pizza:
Pizza Belagio on 5th Avenue, for sure.

Favorite coffee shop:
Coffee shops are incredibly unproductive if you’re trying to get work done. So, I try to stay out of them as much as possible. If I don’t have a choice, anywhere with access to caffeine and WiFi works pretty well.

What’s on my playlist while working:
I can’t listen to music while I work. In the car, though, I’m pretty diverse. It depends on my mood, but I’ll listen to anything from Rick Ross to Justin Beiber – seriously. Don’t judge me.

TV show I could watch all day and why:
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is my go-to. I love it. I’m a Netflix addict. So, I’ve watched every episode at least a few times. It’s the funniest show I’ve found in a while, and sadly, I can relate to quite a few of the things they do.

The last book I read:
The Four Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss. I need to learn to be a better cook, but the book is more about skill acquisition, which is fascinating to me. Also, I hate to admit it, but I’m sort of a Tim Ferriss fan-boy.

Famous person I’d like to have dinner with: 
Mark Cuban. He seems like a really impressive guy, and we could talk basketball.

What excites you about the future of Pittsburgh?
I’m really new to the area – I’ve only been coming around Pittsburgh for about a year now. I think the start-up community here rivals any in the world. It’s so much fun to be around the talented people and experience everyone hustling. It’s just a great energy, more so than I’ve seen anywhere else. And, coming in as an outsider, I’ve been amazed at how welcoming and helpful the people have been, literally from day one. I’ll be forever grateful for that, and I think Pittsburgh is stuck with me. I hope everyone is OK with that.

What have you learned about planning a TEDx event so far?
This is my first TEDx event, and the first time I’ve ever planned a real event. So, almost everything has been a great learning experience for me.

What do you hope to get from this TEDx event?
I’m excited just to be part of the event and to meet all the attendees and speakers. More importantly, I hope it inspires Pittsburgh and leads to something better.

‘Twas a month before TEDx…

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We recently held a very exciting & strategic team meeting at the Thinktiv offices. Below is a description of the evening by our Wordsmith, Benjamin Scheiner.

The sky was beautiful last night. Textured reds took the towers of Pittsburgh from the west, casting colored shadows as I drove in from the north. I was not interviewed, no, but Kacey, Indre, and Matt were. Soy cheese pizza preceded the recorded meeting, a gathering on pending logistics held discretely in East Liberty. White steel supported our glass table, sculpted chairs supported our poise.
Much was said: “They’re not angry, it’s passion. A negative passion.” “I may be interested but I’m not $20 interested.”
Much was done: ‘Photo booth is out, day of, but the Postbox is in. All in favor of the brain scans, say ‘aye’.’
Much was planned and assigned: ‘I’ll need a meeting with the graphics department’ ‘Is the filing in order?’ ‘Each of us is responsible for at least 60 people. And you three, you’re responsible for them all.’

The ride home was uneventful, the terrain a familiar set. I parked in my usual space and went about my way. And when I looked up? The snow had begun to fall.

I am indescribably excited for the coming TEDxGrandviewAve. The speakers have stories, the venues have equipment, and the after-party, oh my. Let’s just say it’s going to be one triple-digit party you will not want to miss.