This Thursday, AOL co-founder Steve Case’s sixth Rise of the Rest tour is making a stop in Indianapolis, IN, where Powderkeg’s headquarters are proudly located. Ten local tech companies will participate in a pitch competition that showcases the best in Indy entrepreneurship and promises a $100,000 investment for the startup that comes out on top.

In anticipation of the event, I gathered all ten finalists for candid roundtable discussions about their companies, their struggles and successes, and the state of Indianapolis as an ecosystem for tech innovation. In this first half of our two-part episode, I speak with the heads of DemandJump, 120WaterAudit, PoliticalBank, Torchlite and Fuzic. Our conversation is a great introduction to a few of the high-growth companies that will be competing at the sold-out event on October 12.

If you didn’t manage to snag a ticket to Rise of the Rest or don’t live in Indy, don’t worry, because Powderkeg will be broadcasting the entire event from Union 525 in downtown Indianapolis with the help of our friends at Edge Media Studios. Just visit RotR’s Facebook page on Thursday to tune into the livestream and see which company goes home with the check.

Until then, enjoy our exclusive chat with these five breakthrough entrepreneurs, and check back next week for our second roundtable featuring the remaining finalists.

In this episode with the first five RotR founders, you’ll learn:

  • Why Indianapolis is rapidly becoming the nation’s tech nucleus (7:45)
  • How the success of ExactTarget paved the way for Indy’s current generation of tech startups (11:20)
  • Key pivots each startup has made on its journey to becoming a successful business (22:50)
  • How their pitches have changed to reflect the evolution of their companies (34:58)
  • Ways Indianapolis can still improve as a hub for global tech companies (46:55)

Please enjoy this conversation with the first five RotR finalists!

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.

“Indianapolis is no longer the Crossroads of America. I think it’s the nation’s nucleus.” — @tophday on @Powderkeg

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“You crush a pitch the same way you get to Carnegie Hall: practice.” — @smccorkle on @Powderkeg

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“If we keep making customers happy and growing our revenue, investors will come.” — @s_marshall on @Powderkeg

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“Indiana needs to be a place that attracts people who are graduating from Stanford.” — Adam Berry on @Powderkeg

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“We’ve been able to grow our business because of Indy’s amazing talent, but we still need more.” — @megancglover on @Powderkeg

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Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Companies and Organizations:






Rise of the Rest

Edge Media Studios

Site Strategics





Sky Zone


Coworking and Office Spaces:

Union 525

The Speak Easy


Stanford University


The Hard Thing About Hard Things


Rise of the Rest Facebook Page



Christopher Day (@tophday)

Megan Glover (@megancglover)

Adam Berry (LinkedIn)

Susan Marshall (@s_marshall)

Scott McCorkle (@smccorkle)

Steve Case (@SteveCase)

Scott Dorsey (@ScottDorsey)

Chris Baggott (@chrisbaggott)

Ben Horowitz (@bhorowitz)

Scott Jones (@chachaman)


What stood out most to you about what these entrepreneurs share in this podcast?

For me, it’s the key pivots each startup has made on its journey to becoming a successful business.

You? Leave a comment below.


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