Cincinnati and Indianapolis Combining Forces to Service Startups

Cintrifuse and Powderkeg combine forces to lift up entrepreneurship in the region

Despite dozens of editorials proclaiming the death of Silicon Valley, the Bay Area and Silicon Valley startup communities are alive and well, accounting for nearly 45% of all U.S. venture capital deals in a given year. And the Atlantic Corridor, spanning Boston, New York, and Washington, nets another third. The model? Neighboring cities working together to advance their region’s status as an investment hub. That’s the approach Powderkeg and Cintrifuse are aiming for with their new official partnership that will combine the strengths of Cincinnati and Indianapolis’ entrepreneurial communities.

“We’re on a mission to promote the strengths and successes of our cities to show anybody who’s mistakenly called us fly-over communities that we’re really fly-to communities,” said Matt Hunckler, founder and CEO of Powderkeg. “There’s so much happening in Indianapolis and Cincinnati, and by combining our resources, we’ll attract even more funding and talent from outside the Midwest. We’re less than two hours away, and I think we’re stronger working together.”

Powderkeg, named after a barrel of gunpowder, looks to provide a spark to early-stage companies in the region through events, articles about companies, a podcast and a community platform encouraging collaboration between its members. Cintrifuse, an Ohio Third Frontier partner in Cincinnati, connects its members with the investment community, mentorship and potential corporate clients.

“We have all the ingredients needed to build a successful tech company right here in Greater Cincinnati,” said Wendy Lea, CEO at Cintrifuse. “Connecting to the Powderkeg network builds a bridge between our thriving tech community and their national network, allowing us to amplify the momentum we’re already seeing – more capital, more talent, more growth to the region. It really is the rising tide concept!”

The partnership between the two organizations will allow members to access the other’s perks. For Cintrifuse members, that means a discount to Powderkeg Founder Membership, the community-as-a-service platform. Powderkeg Founder Members now have a Cintrifuse membership with benefits including venture investor access, 1:1 funding advice and connections with potential customers. Additionally, they’re cooking up collaborative events, sharing advisors, and making connections between members of the organizations.

The partnership will benefit both communities, Hunckler says, as well as the region as a whole.

“Investors and founders who previously believed that Silicon Valley is the only option for a tech headquarters are starting to realize that’s just not true,” said Hunckler. “By connecting the Indianapolis tech community to the Cincinnati community, we’re going to see greater access to venture capital, as well as access to new customers and talent.”

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