New Tech Census to Focus on Culture

Matt Hunckler is the CEO of Powderkeg. Matt Hunckler is the CEO of Powderkeg.

Indianapolis-based Powderkeg is launching a new tech census. The tech networking platform says the 2019 census will have a specific focus on workplace culture within Indiana's tech sector. Matt Hunckler, chief executive officer of Powderkeg, says it will provide a map of the entire landscape of working in tech in the Hoosier state, not only because of what makes each tech company innovative, but also what makes them great places to work.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Hunckler said last year's tech census led to the more specific focus this time around.

"It was really last year's tech census that showed us that the number one reason people join a company is the same reason people leave a tech company and that is because of the company culture," said Hunckler. "We know that people care about the culture of these companies and we want to find out a little bit more about what makes a culture unique and at the same time, what makes a culture interesting for someone to work at."

Hunckler says the tech census will not only have cumulative data for Indiana's tech ecosystem as a whole, but also information on individual cities and individual companies. 

"It will really give a great look at what the employer brand is, not only for these communities but each individual company," said Hunckler. "We are at such an interesting inflection point right now. Indiana is part of a much larger movement of venture capital dollars coming into the middle of the country. We've got to help get the right people to the right companies."

Powderkeg says the tech census will ask tech professionals why they work and live in Indiana and what makes the tech community unique and special. The company says it aims to reach out to every tech company throughout the entire state and is partnering with local organizations statewide, including the Indianapolis Airport Authority, the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Elevate Ventures, Greater Lafayette Commerce, and Elevate Southwest Indiana, among others, to gather as much input as possible.

The company says the state will be able to use data from the census to support initiatives such as figuring out to and from where tech professionals are flying to try and get more direct flights to those destinations. The Kelley School plans to use the information to help place students in top tech companies.

Powderkeg says it plans to launch similar sties later this year in Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, Colorado and Missouri. Hunckler says they want gather that extra data to create a larger network.

"One of the things that Indiana has is an enormous amount of talent, but it is spread across the entire state and there's an even bigger pool of talent spread across the country," Hunckler said. "As we get more and more of this talent working together, looking at what other people are doing well, what we can learn from one another, we're only going to get better as a tech hub, whether you're talking about Indianapolis or Indiana as a state or you're talking about some of these more medium-sized hubs like Bloomington or West Lafayette or Greater Lafayette. It's a really exciting time and to see sort of this cross-pollination and cross-collaboration, not just within the state but countrywide, there are unlimited possibilities there."

Hunckler said last year's tech census led to the more specific focus.
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