And…we’re back! Powderkeg: Igniting Startups returns after a brief hiatus with something of an experiment ahead of season two of the podcast. (We’re calling it an “in-between-isode.”) This show features a Q&A-meets-pitch event featuring one veteran entrepreneur and two founders who are earlier in their journey and have exciting startups of their own.

Our first guest is Scott Jones, a serial tech entrepreneur and investor who’s perhaps best known as the inventor of voicemail (yes, you read that right), co-founder of Gracenote and ChaCha, and Chairman of the Indianapolis-based coding bootcamp Eleven Fifty Academy. Joining him are two entrepreneurs from Cincinnati: Summer Crenshaw, co-founder and COO of the recruitment app Tilr, and Ry Walker, CEO of the data engineering platform Astronomer.

After diving into a few of the highlights and key lessons from Scott’s storied career, we give Summer and Ry a chance to pitch their companies and receive real-time feedback and actionable advice. In the process, Scott shares his expert strategies that should be of use to every entrepreneur, such as how to disrupt your space by “cross-pollinating” ideas from other industries and when to explore new business ideas versus when to go all-in on your best one.

(P.S. All three of our guests will also be featured at the upcoming Fuse50 conference in Cincinnati on May 17, which we’re hosting in collaboration with Cintrifuse. This is part of Powderkeg’s new event series designed to help “fuse” together all of the awesome tech hubs growing and thriving outside Silicon Valley. If you’re reading this before the date and would like to attend, you can register here!)

In this episode with Scott Jones, Summer Crenshaw and Ry Walker, you’ll learn:

  • How Scott became a successful serial entrepreneurial by always thinking outside the box (5:26)
  • The secret to learning quickly and innovating in a space that’s brand new to you (10:25)
  • How tilr is using tech to disrupt an industry that’s stuck in its ways (17:13)
  • Tried-and-true tips for cross-pollinating ideas between industries (26:15)
  • Why Astronomer thinks it’s time for a revolutionize data collection and management (28:50)
  • Expert advice on when to explore new ideas and when to put your eggs in one basket (34:52)
  • The most important things to do when you start scaling your company (42:37)

Please enjoy this conversation with Scott Jones, Summer Crenshaw and Ry Walker!

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 here on the Powderkeg Podcast.

Quotes from this episode of Powderkeg:

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Companies and Organizations:

Eleven Fifty Academy







Precise Path Robotics

MTD Products





Indiana University



Books and Publications:

Gödel, Escher, Bach

Science Magazine

Software and Apps:




Google Analytics



Apache Airflow


Scott Jones (@chachaman)

Summer Crenshaw (@SummerCrenshaw)

Ry Walker (@rywalker)

Douglas Hofstadter (Wikipedia page)

Marvin Minsky (Wikipedia page)

Greg Carr (Wikipedia page)

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Scott, Summer, and Ry on Twitter!

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

Click here to say hi and thank Scott on Twitter!

Click here to say hi and thank Summer on Twitter!

Click here to say hi and thank Ry on Twitter!


What stood out most to you about what Scott, Summer, and Ry shares in this podcast?

For me, it’s the tried-and-true tips for cross-pollinating ideas between industries.

You? Leave a comment below.


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