Friday March 22, 2013 | 07:34 PM

Stephen Voltz is now speaking to the crowd after a few preliminaries and words of thanks to the weekend's many organizers and supporters.

Voltz is half of "Eepybird," the guys best known for their Diet Coke and Mentos viral videos (see below). He's talking about his own experiences working in a startup.

As I mentioned earlier, Voltz and his brother had been street performers in San Francisco early in their lives. Then he went to law school and worked for several years as an attorney in Boston. But performance continued to intrigue him, especially the group of performers clustered in central Maine around the Oddfellow Theater in Buckfield.

"While people were driving from Maine to Boston every weekend to see the Broadway shows, I was driving from Boston to Buckfield once or twice a month," says Voltz.

At the same time, it occurred to him that the short-format comedic performances of his friends in Buckfield might be perfect for the emerging trend of web video.

One fateful evening, he joined Fritz Grobe (who himself had left the mathematics studies at Yale University to come to Buckfield) to experiment with Diet Coke and Mentos, and you more or less know the rest of the story.

Voltz cautions that, in spite of the success of their videos, they're still trying to find a way to make money at what they do — financially, it doesn't compare to being a lawyer. "But," he says, "this is my office, I hang out every day and find cool stuff to do."

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I'm an economics wonk and an online content producer for the Portland Press Herald.

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