Two Midwest startup boosters are partnering up to bring more opportunities to the region

By April 16, 2018

The Cincinnati-based startup booster Cintrifuse announced that it will be partnering with Indianapolis’ Powderkeg to make the Midwest region’s startup scene more competitive nationally.

According to Cincinnati Business Courier, the two incubators are looking to provide mutual benefits to companies in both cities.

“To me, that’s what’s exciting about being in the Midwest – banding together and treating this whole geography as a campus, not pitting one city against another,” Cintrifuse Vice President Eric Weissman told the business journal. “We’re the first to join another city and say, ‘Why don’t we come to your space,’ and conversely, ‘Look at our ecosystem and take advantage of what yours doesn’t have.'”

Matt Hunckler, the CEO of Powderkeg, told Cincy Inno website that the plan is to “take on coastal tech ecosystems” that have long led the way in the startup world.

“The impetus for us was to see two great tech communities in the Midwest doing amazing things individually,” Hunckler told Cincy Inno.

Though the Midwest is certainly garnering more interest lately from venture capitalists and investors, it has been well-documented how difficult it can be for startups in these cities to secure funding. Indianapolis is now different, Hunckler said, citing a report his company made that said 50 percent of companies in Indiana have difficulties raising capital.

The new partnership with Cintrifuse will allow the two incubators to share their membership discounts and perks with each others’ clients. More to the point, Hunckler said, is that it shows meaningful business connections and established resources for startups are on the rise in the Midwest.

“What we’re doing here is what Silicon Valley and New York City do really really well,” Hunckler said. “They have an amazing density of resources. Their density comes from geographic (proximity). We’re never going to have that in Indianapolis.

“But what we can have is digital density. Our focus is to bring these resources into one network to better connect entrepreneurs with one another, with entrepreneurs in the network, talent in the network, customers in the network,” he added.

The partnership will officially kick off after two conferences from each company – the Powderkeg conference on April 25 and the Cintrifuse conference on May 17.

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