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Middle Tech Podcast Season 2 Recap

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

What a year! We’re 81 episodes in and we still feel like we are just getting started.

Almost two years ago, Evan and Nate started Middle Tech to help solve a major problem in our region - the lack of conversation about the startup and technology space. There was not a single person (that we could find) talking about startups and technology regularly in any form of media.

We first realized this was a huge problem when the Evan, Middle Tech co-founder, would tell people about Fooji and very few people had a clue what he was talking about. He would say Fooji and they would ask if he was talking about the bottled water…. which doesn’t even make sense…… These were people in the middle of the startup ecosystem that didn’t know Lexington’s fastest-growing and most exciting startup in recent history existed!

It bothered Evan and he couldn’t just let that happen. If we want to grow a healthy ecosystem, there has to be media supporting it. Without companies like ours spreading the word and inspiring people, the ecosystem can’t grow at the pace we all want it to.

So here we are two years later and we’ve helped 50+ entrepreneurs and thought leaders in Lexington, Louisville, and Cincinnati share their stories and wisdom for listeners to learn from and get inspired. As a result of helping solve this problem, we have seen tremendous growth in our audience (it doubled!) and we expect the same to happen in Season 3.

Beyond growing our audience, we also grew our team. This year we brought Logan Jones on as a producer and Nico Ferreyra on as a business development associate in Louisville. With their help, we have built better internal processes, improved our audio quality, created better social content, and made more relationships within the community. We expect the team to keep growing in Season 3!

As we plan for Season 3 and take a short break, check out these 5 episodes from Season 2 you can’t miss as well as three challenges we have for the ecosystem!

37. Chase Minnifield, Forbes 30 Under 30 Entrepreneur and NFL Player, on EZ Turn and Lexington

Chase Minnifield knew he always wanted to do his own thing, and the lessons he learned playing in the NFL translated perfectly to entrepreneurship. We sit down with the Forbes 30 Under 30 entrepreneur to talk about his ventures and perspectives on Lexington's tech scene.

52. Truman's Alex Reed on Starting the Coolest Cleaning Company on the Internet in Lexington

Alex Reed, Co-Founder, and CMO of Truman's, joins the show to talk about his journey from the University of Kentucky to Big Ass Fans and then to Truman’s which was started in 2018. So far Alex and his team have raised $5 million and made cleaning much more convenient and exciting.

55. Demetrius Gray: WeatherCheck is Kentucky's First-Ever Y Combinator Company

WeatherCheck is Kentucky's first-ever YC company, and they're changing how consumers and insurance providers alike check for property damage and handle claims. We talk to Co-Founder and CEO Demetrius Gray in this episode to learn about his career journey and starting the Louisville-based company.

64. AppHarvest CEO, Jonathan Webb, is Making Kentucky the AgTech Capital of the World

AppHarvest just broke ground on what will be one of the world's largest greenhouse in Morehead, KY. With several environmental and political threats to our food supply, AppHarvest is hoping to make Kentucky the AgTech Capital of the World by creating fresh, quality produce that can be grown efficiently and safely within a day's drive of 75% of the US.

68. Drura Parrish on Entrepreneurship and How Xometry Can Change Everything

Drura Parrish is a staple in the Lexington entrepreneurship space. After founding MakeTime and getting acquired by Xometry, he has a ton of controversial thoughts on entrepreneurship in this region and a whole.

Three challenges for the region’s startup ecosystem:

  1. More people need to get involved in spreading news, inspiration, and wisdom. This means more blogs, podcasts, and instagram accounts. Whatever helps the ecosystem get more exposure. If you’d like to help but don't know where to start, please reach out to us!

  2. We need to do a better job connecting the ecosystems to our universities. Schools have to build more programs that get students out of the classroom and into the real world within the businesses growing our cities while startups and supporting organizations need to reach out to universities and offer to speak as guests in classes, clubs, and events.

  3. Bring someone new to a startup event. Think about it… If there is someone that hasn’t had exposure to the ecosystem and there isn’t media spreading the word about it (until now 😉) how do you expect them to find out and help the ecosystem to grow? We need to challenge our friends to get out of their comfort zones and attend more events. Their alternative is usually watching TV….

Thank You!

We wouldn’t be growing without your support. We do this for you and it means the world to us to see the response we’ve gotten thus far. Thank you so much for every DM, like, subscribe, rating, and share you have given us. You’re not just helping us grow, but your helping the ecosystem as a whole grow!

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