Powderkeg plans to add 37 jobs locally, expand nationally

Powderkeg Ventures LLC, an Indianapolis-based firm that helps connect high-growth tech ventures with resources that help them scale up, on Wednesday announced a national expansion that's expected to create up to 37 local jobs by 2022. 

The company has rolled out its platform in Indianapolis, Bloomington, Lafayette, Muncie and Terre Haute, as well as in Cincinnati; Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; Kansas City, Missouri; and Nashville, Tennessee. It aims to expand into 25 additional markets by 2019, including Denver, and to serve a total of 50 cities by the end of 2020. 

To help support its growth, Powderkeg recently relocated from DeveloperTown, 5255 Winthrop Ave., to co-working space at Industrious Indianapolis, 350 Massachusetts Ave.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Powderkeg up to $400,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on its local job-creation plans. The company is not eligible to claim the incentives unless it meets the hiring goals.

Powderkeg officials say they will continue to improve their Powderkeg Member Platform, a subscription-based service that uses technology to connect founders, investors and advisers. The new jobs will include software developers, as well as product managers and positions in sales and client service. The IEDC said the new jobs are expected to pay more than 50 percent higher than the state's average wage, which is $21.21 per hour.

Powderkeg, which changed its name from Verge last year, was started in 2009 as Hackers and Founders, an organization that held monthly pitch gatherings that drew just a handful of techies and entrepreneurs. It eventually grew into a company that not only throws revenue-generating pitch events, but delivers free startup-focused content to members who subscribe to its channels. 

Powderkeg officials said they have more than 10,000 members—content subscribers who've attended at least one pitch event. Powderkeg is focused on emerging tech hubs outside of Silicon Valley and New York City, where companies have been at a competitive disadvantage due to resource scarcity and disconnected tech ecosystems, company officials said.

“We’re going to kill the term ‘flyover cities’ in the next four years. Our platform taps the immense tech talent, services, products and growth potential in the majority of the country between the coasts,” Matt Hunckler, founder and CEO of Powderkeg, said in written comments. “With our expanding national ecosystem for tech innovators, scaling companies will have the tools and resources they need to grow.”

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