There’s no doubt that companies, big or small, can have a tremendous influence on the community. And in being a founder, CEO, and a leader, it can come with great responsibility. I’ll avoid using any more famous superhero references but wanted to share the most important facts I gained from this conversation. 

Almost 81% of all VC firms don’t have a single Black investor. In a sample of 160 firms with more than 2 people, only 5 have at least 2 Black investors. Another study found that Blacks are underrepresented in the executive ranks of startups by almost 82%

This is a major social issue that needs solving. There are so many great ways startups, founders, and venture capitalists in our tech community can use their powers for good and help solve this not only in our industry but in the country as a whole. That’s why in today’s episode, we’re bringing on someone who believes in solving this major issue and bringing in the good of our Midwest communities and leaders.

On today’s episode of the Powderkeg Podcast, we’re talking with Mike Asem, Partner at Venture Capital Firm, M25.

As a partner at M25, Mike has participated in nearly 100 investments in early-stage companies across the Midwest. Outside of his responsibilities at M25, Mike is a Kauffman Fellow (Class 24) and a board member at BLCK VC, leading initiatives in the Midwest to connect, engage, empower, and advance Black venture investors. Before joining M25, Mike founded The Anvil, a co-working space and startup incubator on Purdue University’s campus, where he helped launch the first Purdue startup to be accepted to Y Combinator. Tune in for more!

In this episode with Mike Asem, you’ll learn:

  • How to find a career in Midwest Tech
  • Key advice for tech entrepreneurs seeking to raise capital
  • Mike’s thoughts on racism and adversity in tech 
  • Backstage look into the investment ecosystem in Chicago
  • Mike’s greatest hopes for startups in Mighty Middle America.

Figuring out your next career move doesn’t have to be so stressful. So why not try Powderkeg Matches?

By joining Matches, you’re joining a community of thousands of top professionals in the Powderkeg community to get connected with outstanding people at the hottest tech companies between the coasts. Get matched with great employers, land your next major opportunity, and get started today!

Please enjoy this conversation with Mike Asem!

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powderkeg Podcast.

Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

Companies and organizations:



Enjoy this conversation? Thank Mike on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Mike Asem know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

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