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Rise of the Rest Roundtable Part 2: Innovation, Inclusivity and the Indiana Advantage

Posted October 17, 2017

Matt Hunckler

CEO & Founder, Powderkeg

Last Thursday was a huge day for the Indianapolis tech community. AOL co-founder Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest tour bus stopped by, and ten high-growth startups competed for a chance to win a cool $100,000. In the end, the grand prize went to the water-testing company 120WaterAudit. The company’s CEO, Megan Glover, was among our panel of guests on last week’s episode of the Powderkeg Podcast, which you can check out here if you missed it.


Even though Rise of the Rest Indy is over, the founders who pitched at the event can still provide invaluable lessons and examples for fellow entrepreneurs to follow. In this second part of our RotR Roundtable, which was recorded two weeks ago, I speak with leaders from the final five companies that pitched on stage last Thursday.


Our conversation touches briefly on the innovative work these company are doing in their respective spaces before diving deeper and exploring the inspiration behind each one. The real meat of the discussion centers on some of the unexpected benefits of starting up in Indiana—a state that most people don’t traditionally associate with tech innovation—and the ways that a commitment to diversity and inclusivity have given these founders a decisive edge in their industries.



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

  • The innovative work each company is doing in its space
  • What inspired each founder to start their business
  • How Indiana’s tech ecosystems and universities have given these startups an edge
  • The critical roles diversity and inclusivity have played for their companies
  • How they like to prepare for an important pitch

Please enjoy this conversation with the second five of 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.

Quotes from This Episode of Powderkeg:

“At the end of the day, we all want to see each other succeed.” — @despiross on @PowderkegCo 

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“I think what we have going for us is just how competitive but supportive the technology community is here.” — @amanbrar on @PowderkegCo

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“Central Indiana is awesome when it comes to engineers.” — @laughgoelectric on @PowderkegCo

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“We want to put Indiana on the map as the all-natural soap capital of the world.” — Mohammed A. Mahdi on @PowderkegCo

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“Over the next few years, I think we’ll start to see more and more support for Indy scale-up businesses.” — @myCOItracking on @PowderkegCo

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Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Companies and Organizations:

Quantifi

Soapy Soap Company

Go Electric

Canvas

myCOI

Rise of the Rest

Edge Media Studios

Site Strategics

Rolls-Royce

Apparatus

Caterpillar

Bloomington Economic Development Corporation

ExactTarget

Studio Science

Lessonly

Sigstr

Octiv

TechPoint

Startup Ladies

Indy Women in Tech

Recess

Angie’s List


Venture Capital Firms:

Revolution

High Alpha


Startup Accelerators:

SproutBox


Coworking and Office Spaces:

Flagship Enterprise Center

Cowork Btown


Conferences:

inX3

Disrupt Indy

SXSW


Universities:

Purdue University

University of Notre Dame

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Indiana University

Ivy Tech Community College

Anderson University


Websites:

DesignMySoap.com

The New New Thing Podcast

Powderkeg Podcast #46 with Aman Brar and Mike Reynolds

Powderkeg Podcast #47: Rise of the Rest Part 1


People:

Despi Ross (@despiross)

Mohammed A. Mahdi

Lisa Laughner (@laughgoelectric)

Aman Brar (@amandbrar)

Kristen Nunery (@myCOItracking)

Steve Case (@SteveCase)

R.J. Talyor (@rjtalyor)

Kristian Andersen (@kristianindy)

Kristen Cooper (@KristenCooper23)

COMMENTS?

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

For me, it’s the critical roles diversity and inclusivity have played for their companies.

You? Leave a comment below.

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Matt Hunckler

CEO & Founder, Powderkeg

Matt is the founder and CEO of Powderkeg, a network of local communities with global reach for tech entrepreneurs, investors, and top talent. Powderkeg entrepreneurs have collectively raised more than $500 million in capital and are disrupting industries, creating wealth, and changing the world from areas beyond Silicon Valley. Hunckler has led successful teams with his own ventures, as well as Inc. 500 companies and venture-funded tech startups. He's been named an Under 30 CEO Entrepreneur to Watch and an IBJ Forty Under 40 Honoree for his entrepreneurial endeavors. @hunckler

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