New Tech Community Event Spotlight: Stephanie Scheller, ADHDisrupts

Each week in the New Tech Newsletter we feature a Spotlight Q&A with founders, angels, New Tech alumni presenters, and other people or companies in our community we believe you’d like to learn about. Reach out if you’d like to recommend a startup, founder, angel, accelerator, or New Tech alumni presenter for us to spotlight for the PNW tech community!

In this week’s spotlight we caught up with Stephanie Scheller, Founder and Producer of ADHDisrupts.

What inspired creating your conference?

I wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until I was in my mid-20s – by then, I’d already learned a million ways to accommodate myself simply to try and keep up with everyone around me. I assumed that everyone else was just better at being an adult than I was. It wasn’t until my mid-30s that I started to realize how much I was doing for my ADHD just to be able to function at the same level as most people around me. 

Then I started talking about it and I kept getting these amazed looks and comments like, “Wait, I do that too,” and “I never thought of that but I bet it would help me too.”

I created ADHDisrupt because I’ve realized that there are a hundred little things I do that help me keep my ADHD firmly in the ‘superpower’ arena and want to help others find the same. 


How does your conference serve the ADHD community?

We built the conference looking at some of the most common challenges that individuals with ADHD deal with (communication, setting & achieving goals, dealing with executive dysfunction, building structures that work for our brains) with the goal to provide practical tools to improve these. 

Not only that, but we’re working inside of the ‘magic formula’ that we’ve found for all Grow Disrupt events. Namely, we’re walking attendees through implementation right onsite so they aren’t having to go try and do this on their own after the dopamine rush of the live event is over! 


What’s the most innovative or interesting thing about this year’s conference?


We’ve been watching the virtual event space very closely for the past few years to see when we could have a platform that is stable and engaging enough to run a virtual event for an ADHD audience. I absolutely love the platform we’ve found with Gather! 

It’s basically an early edition video game – complete with all the dopamine releases of designing your avatar and exploring the playground! 


What do you love the most about the conference?

It’s hard to pin down one thing.

I love the gamified platform we’re using for the event to help provide more sensory stimuli and engagement as well as a dopamine rush. 

I love the VIP boxes with the fidgets and journals and coffee and scent we’ve put together. 

I love the game that everyone gets to participate in leading up to and during the event to win prizes.

I don’t think I can pick just one!


What is one of the highlights, or memorable moments, for you in doing this work?

The biggest highlight consistently is having someone come up to me and say, “I just thought I was weird. I didn’t know I did that because of my ADHD.” 

The Aha moments as other people get to embrace themselves, sometimes for the first time in their lives, that’s the best part of this for me! 

Reach out if you’d like to recommend a startup, founder, angel, accelerator, or New Tech alumni presenter for us to spotlight for the PNW tech community!

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