Steve Krenzel, CEO and co-founder of Banter. (Banter Photo)
Countless startups launch and flame out, but entrepreneurs Steve Krenzel and James Reggio have a few factors that tip in their favor. Krenzel sold his first startup, Thinkfuse, to Salesforce; Reggio was one of the company’s first engineers. Their combined work histories span more than a dozen tech companies, including Microsoft, Twitter and Airbnb, exposing them to varied approaches to engineering and user experience.
Now the two have created Banter, a Seattle-based startup that launched last year and is focused on the rapidly expanding podcast sector — a market they personally love, describing themselves as “podcast fiends.”
“We simply want to make it easier for people to share podcasts they’ve enjoyed and have conversations around them. We’re building out an entire platform around discovery, publishing and monetization, but at the end of the day our guiding principle is ‘a story for every audience and an audience for every story,’” Krenzel said.
The challenge for Banter’s 33-year-old CEO and co-founder is establishing their business in a field that’s crowded with startups such as Chorus and Breaker, and big names including Google, Apple and Spotify.
“Banter is much more about discovery,” Krenzel said, in contrast to many of their competitors. He would love to see Banter do for podcasts what the site Medium has done for expanding the exposure of bloggers, allowing readers to easily share and promote content they like, however obscure the original source might be.
“We believe that if we build the right platform and make it easy enough for people to publish their own shows and build communities, we could amplify that,” Krenzel said.
An aspect of the project that interests Krenzel is the opportunity to build a consumer-app business in the Northwest, which has been dominated by enterprise, cloud and retail tech …read more