Powderkeg plans more expansion, partners with Kenzie Academy to launch live podcast

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Indianapolis-based Powderkeg Ventures LLC had a big year in 2018—with its Tech Census Reports published for Cincinnati; Denver and Boulder, Colorado; and Chattanooga, Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville, Tennessee. 

And Powderkeg, which helps connect high-growth tech ventures with resources that help them scale up, plans more growth for 2019.

The firm already has plans to publish its Tech Census Reports—which surveys tech workers about local tech industry trends—for Kansas City and Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina. 

While Powderkeg founder and CEO Matt Hunckler said the firm hasn’t yet determined how many markets the company will expand to in 2019, he said it will be beyond the two its already named.

To further its mission, Powderkeg this month partnered with Kenzie Academy to launch a live podcast—featuring big names in the tech and venture capital world—that will be broadcast on location every other month.

The live podcast, Hunckler said, will be broadcast before an audience at a Powderkeg event designed to bring entrepreneurs, companies and investors together.

The first live podcast will be held Jan. 15 at Kenzie Academy, 47 S. Meridian St., and feature Kamran Elahian, an entrepreneur who is the chairman and co-founder of Global Catalyst Partners, an international, multistage, technology-oriented venture capital firm. GCP has invested in technology companies in the U.S., China, Japan and Israel. 

Powderkeg, which was founded in mid 2017, launched a taped podcast this year; “Powderkeg – Igniting Startups.” Hunckler said the live settings will kick the podcast up a notch.

“We’re going to be flying in big-name speakers for all of our live podcasts,” Hunckler said. “We think there’s value in real face-to-face interactions with the live element. We think by bringing in thought leadership beyond Indianapolis, that will help this community and the startup ecosystem here grow as a whole.”

Meanwhile, Powderkeg will expand its tech census reports in 2019 to “go deeper in culture, values, leadership style and innovation culture,” Hunckler said.

Powderkeg also aims to have 10 times as many respondents taking part in the reports, Hunckler added. 

In 2018, Powderkeg had 1,000 responses for all its reports combined—350 in Indianapolis. In 2019, the goal is 10,000 responses, Hunckler said.

Hunckler explained that the 2019 report will also have a new element: All the responses will not be fully anonymous. 

By putting a company name to some of the data, Hunckler said “it will generate more awareness for the companies and help companies track the right talent.”

“We think this aspect will highlight what makes a company unique and special,” he added. “The goal of this is to gather unique data for companies and display it in some way.”

Powderkeg makes its money through memberships that gives subscribers greater access to data and resources than what is available for free.

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