2012 Forty Under 40: Matthew L. Hunckler

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Matthew L. Hunckler
Where were you, and what were you doing in 1991?
In preschool. I really liked being able to cut my own bananas and get my own water. As I recall, I was also a big fan of Ninja Turtles coloring books.

When you graduated from high school, what did you think you wanted to be as an adult?
To run my own architecture firm. The internship I had between high school and college changed my mind about that and I found my way to working more with the Web.

Was there an event in the last 20 years that had a great impact on your aspirations and/or career path?
In high school, I had a chance to go to Europe with a student ambassador group. My parents didn’t have enough money to send me and I didn’t have enough saved up from my paper route, so I had to get creative. I combined my interest in computers with my passion for music and started my first company, Vinyl to Digital.

Have you been mentored by (or had any significant interactions with) previous Forty Under 40 honorees?
Oh, my gosh, there are so many. They include Kristian Andersen, Tim Kopp, Karen Corsaro, Christopher Day, John Qualls, Eric Tobias, Scott Hill, Jim Jay.

Where/what do you want to be 20 years from now?
I hope I’ll have a couple more successful exits from companies under my belt. I’ll still be striving to build things that inspire others and work the creative side of my brain.

President, Verge
Age: 25

A decade before he founded Verge—a network of 1,300 entrepreneurs, software developers and business investors in the Indianapolis area—Matthew Hunckler showed his entrepreneurial spirit. In high school, he started a business to digitize vinyl albums on CD and raised enough money to spend a month in Europe with a student ambassador group.

As the records played, he taught himself Web design and, while at Indiana University, started a business called SureSite Design that he sold before graduation.

Hunckler’s next step was an Orr Fellowship that brought him to Bluelock, the cloud computing company. But even before arriving there, he continued to fuel his interest in entrepreneurship. He and two college buddies decided to round up friends once a month to talk about entrepreneurial opportunities.

Fewer than a dozen attended that first meeting at the Columbia Club. But the group grew and evolved into Verge, with Hunckler running the show. Verge invited seasoned entrepreneurs to talk to the group, and Hunckler used social media to spread the message and continue the conversation. Participation typically is free, though a paid event last year, which attracted about 1,000 people and representatives of 50 startup companies, raised nearly $5,000 for United Way, Hunckler said.

Hunckler moved from Bluelock to Slingshot SEO but resigned last year to concentrate on Verge, which makes money through sponsorships. His goal over the next several months is to find the right team to grow the organization. Hunckler thinks Verge has more opportunities to expand, especially in the area of education that helps startups market themselves.

“If anything has more leverage than entrepreneurship itself, it’s fueling entrepreneurship as more entrepreneurs happen in Indianapolis and Indiana in general,” he said. “You don’t have to work for somebody else. You can still create value as an entrepreneur.”•


  • My kind of guy
    Matt is a super-energetic, go-getter - the kind of guy we need to nurture, keep and encourage - this is our future in Indiana, and we'd best go about the business of providing guidance, encouragement, and all the help we can provide to keep him - and those like him - here in our state!

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.