Networking is similar to a contact sport like football, soccer or basketball. If you don’t really put in the work, then you might as well stay on the sideline. Building a network can be a little intimidating — whether you are just starting out, navigating a career change or are even mid-career and just need a boost. On today’s episode of Powderkeg: Igniting Startups, you’ll learn from two serial entrepreneurs that built entire networks full of career-changing relationships, all by using some really practical professional networking tips that you can start using today.

First, you’ll hear from Evan Burfield. He is the CEO of Union, a digital platform that connects innovators around the globe, and one of the co-founders of 1776, the nation’s largest network of entrepreneurial incubators with 10 campuses across 5 states. Starting as a persistent young entrepreneur, Burfield has built up a successful set of businesses and helps startup ecosystems across the country thrive.

Broadcasting live from Nigeria is Stephen Ozoigbo. He launched the African Technology Foundation to globalize innovative technologies of New Africa, and is Managing Partner of a US State Department program called LIONS@frica that helps launch and expand technology companies in Africa. Working largely on an international scale, he has been involved in a number of startups across the globe.

This podcast episode was recorded in front of a LIVE studio audience as part of the Innovation Series at Kenzie Academy, a tech and coding school focused on apprenticeship as a way to skill-up the next generation of the tech workforce, located right here in Downtown Indianapolis. During this engaging conversation, Stephen and Evan share how they’ve built the relationships they needed to get their ideas off the ground, and their networks today as they change the world with their companies.  

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to get a mentor to accelerate your growth
  • Professional networking tips to grow your career.
  • How successful professionals network and where they started from
  • Why a network connection is more than just a tool for communication
  • How making a business connection is similar to making a new friend
  • Why it’s always, always better to give than take

Please enjoy this episode on professional networking tips with Evan Burfield and Stephen Ozoigbo!

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.

Evan Burfield and Stephen Ozoigbo quotes from this episode of Igniting Startups:

Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

Companies and Organizations:

Kenzie Academy


African Technology Foundation



Start Up America

Smith Barney

Citi Group

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney


Chok Leang Ooi – @chokooi

Evan Burfield – @eburfield

Stephen Ozoigbo – @Innovate_Africa

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Evan Burfield and Stephen Ozoigbo on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have few seconds to spare, let Evan & Stephen know via Twitter by clicking on the links below:

Click here to say hi and thank Evan & Stephen on twitter!


What stood out most to you about what Evan & Stephen share in this podcast?

For me, it’s why it’s always, always better to give than take.

You? Leave a comment below.


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