San Antonio Startup Community Has Podcast Fever

By Iris Gonzalez
The Startup Club team hosts podcasts. From left: Derek Bull, Ricky Garcia, and Sam Riehn. Courtesy photo.

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There’s no denying it—podcasts are more popular than ever. The debut of Apple’s podcast analytics earlier in 2018 has helped confirm that podcast listeners are hyper-engaged, super-supportive audiences. The podcast audience has consistently grown at a rate of 10 to 20 percent annually, a trend which seems likely to continue. Startups often launch a podcast because founders can tell their story directly to listeners and it doesn’t take a significant investment to get started.

Many startup founders decide to launch podcasts to share their expertise. San Antonio-based innovators in the science, cybersecurity, and tech sectors share passions on web developmentcryptocurrency, bioscience, even the latest developments in the oil and gas industry. You can see the growing list of San Antonio podcasts on Startups San Antonio’s resources page.

Podcasting in San Antonio has gotten so much attention that local podcasters will be featured Oct. 24 during San Antonio Startup WeekThe Messengers: A Podcast Documentary will screen at 6 p.m., followed by a panel of local San Antonio podcasters starting at 7:30 p.m. For more information register for the free event here.

John Largent, who founded Gameday Media in 2017 and has produced several San Antonio-based podcasts, said no expertise has proven to be too niche.

“Independent podcasters are still driving the industry from the bottom up; it’s not from the top down,” Largent said. “Folks like NPR are following the lead of independent podcasters like us.”

Jennifer Navarrete who in 2007 created National Podcast Post Month which starts Nov. 1 emphasized how easily founders can start recording podcasts to reach their niche customer base.

“You don’t need expensive equipment—a cellphone and a recording app is enough to get started,” Navarrete said.

San Antonio has podcasting resources available for those interested in working in a professional studio setup, such as Geekdom Media.

When Geekdom chairman Lorenzo Gomez was developing Geekdom Media to publish podcasts and books, he looked for podcasts that would align with Geekdom’s core values to inspire San Antonio’s startup community. Gomez unveiled Geekdom Media’s first podcast series in June, The Brand Brothers, which he co-hosts with branding expert Bill Schley. Geekdom Media has since released its second podcast Monday, Obey Your Strengths. Hosted by Kathy Kisten, the certified Gallup Strength Finder coach shares her many stories about leveraging your strengths for personal and professional growth.

One of Geekdom Media podcasts is hosted by Kathy Kersten
Geekdom Media podcast host Kathy Kersten interviews Ron Soos for Obey Your Strengths. Courtesy photo.

Read more: Geekdom Media Debuts Podcast About Finding Your Strengths

“I’m a huge fan of the power of story-telling,” Gomez said. “And podcasts are now the number one way people consume content.” Click To Tweet

Gomez listens to many narrative-driven podcasts, including The Author Hour and the podcast series by The 4-Hour Workweek author Tim Ferriss. [Not startup-related, but Gomez shared one of his favorite podcasts, The Ear Hustle, which broadcasts out of San Quentin prison. Yes, the stories are unique.]

“The rules from other industries apply to podcasts,” Gomez said. “People want to learn principles and gain insights, but they must be paired with an interesting story to make the idea compelling.”

Bret Piatt hosts Cyber Talk Radio. Photo credit: Startups San Antonio.
Bret Piatt hosts Cyber Talk Radio. Photo credit: Startups San Antonio.

Jungle Disk CEO Bret Piatt explains his reasons for founding the hourlong weekly series Cyber Talk Radio.

“We have a burgeoning downtown tech scene in San Antonio that is broader than our cybersecurity community, so I wanted to bridge the two,” Piatt said. “The radio program and podcasting on the internet helps get the message out to a broader audience about our growing cybersecurity economy.”

For parents and children in San Antonio, Piatt also wanted to use the show to feature cybersecurity workforce development opportunities geared toward students.

“We’ve been on the air for two years and are not running out of things to talk about anytime soon,” Piatt said.

One of the latest podcasts comes from Sam Riehn, co-host and co-founder of The Startup Club podcast. He and co-founder Derek Bull are passionate entrepreneurs who also happened to be active duty Air Force service members. They launched their podcast in September to help connect small-business owners to a network of useful resources.

“Our podcasts feature interviews both with founders and experts who can inspire small-business owners to scale their companies,” Riehn said. “We wanted to capture each entrepreneur’s drive and passion for building their business and share that with our listeners.”

Gomez hinted at more podcast series in the coming months. Geekdom is finishing basement renovations in the Rand Building which will include a podcast studio for Geekdom members. Largent also shared how “we’re getting ready to expand into audio dramas to do some live audio drama podcasting, like what was done on radio in the 1930s and 1940s.” Largent said Gameday Media is building a studio specifically for live audio dramas for livestreaming.

The bottom line: Expect more podcasts to emerge in San Antonio.

“So many are showing interest in podcasting, we get inquiries [at Geekdom Media] almost daily,” Gomez said. “The podcast scene is going to get big in our town.”

Featured image is of The Startup Club team. From left: Derek Bull, Ricky Garcia, and Sam Riehn. Courtesy photo.

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