Where startups start

The Mill is the heart of southern Indiana’s startup ecosystem and its largest coworking space. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit center for entrepreneurship in Bloomington, funded by membership and event space fees, as well as by generous donations from corporate sponsors and angel investors from south-central Indiana.

Lounge area with chalk wall and leather seating
Our mission is to help launch and accelerate startups.
Our vision is to become Indiana’s center of gravity for entrepreneurship.

Our PROGRAMMING

As the center for entrepreneurship in Bloomington, The Mill provides critical access, first and foremost to a community of peers and mentors, and secondly to capacity-building resources and startup capital. Our programs help accelerate innovative ideas and technologies into business concepts. 

We began offering programming for startups and entrepreneurs in 2017. In November 2018, our membership-based coworking facility opened. Entrepreneurs, innovators, creatives, remote workers, techies, and others benefit from like-minded community, programming, and mentoring. With financial support from the City of Bloomington and the Redevelopment Commission for the building renovation and our launch, we have a stated goal of becoming self-sufficient by the end of year three.

Today, The Mill is 19,000 square feet of beautifully renovated, century-year-old factory space in the downtown Trades District. We are home to hundreds of members and dozens of companies. Our diverse members include innovators creating startups and small businesses as well as independent freelancers, creatives, and remote workers, for example. Some choose The Mill for our coworking amenities and the great community. Others join for specialized entrepreneurial support: for accelerating their startups, pitching to investors, and securing capital, for instance. We serve members, our thriving startup community, and the public at large.

The Mill would not be possible without the generous support of our cornerstone sponsors. See all sponsors here.

Cornerstone sponsors

City of Bloomington logo
cook group logo
indiana university logo

Staff

Pat East

Pat East

Executive Director

Cy Megnin

Cy Megnin

Entrepreneur-in-Residence

through Velocities

Brian Hatton

Brian Hatton

Venture Partner, Flywheel Fund

ANDY LEHMAN

ANDY LEHMAN

Head of Accelerator Programming

Dan Nash

Dan Nash

Startup Ecosystem Manager

through Velocities

Melissa Ward

Melissa Ward

Head of Partnerships & Initiatives

Ross Fleck

Ross Fleck

Facilities Manager

Rachel Kluck

Rachel Kluck

Membership & Booking Manager

Gretchen Knapp

Gretchen Knapp

Head of Marketing & Communications

Careers

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and we have a standing policy of nondiscrimination at The Mill. We respect the unique and diverse perspectives of all employees. We accord all qualified persons an equal opportunity for employment or promotion without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other status or condition protected by federal, state, or local law.

Director of Corporate Innovation + Entrepreneurship

Reports to: Entrepreneur-in-Residence

POSITION PURPOSE

The primary purpose of the Director of Corporate Innovation is to create companies in the Velocities region. The secondary purpose is to support the startup ecosystem through events, mentorship, coaching, and other activities for entrepreneurs.

ABOUT VELOCITIES

Velocities is a $2.5mm regional partnership with Elevate Ventures, Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, and The Mill to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in this region.

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

  • 40% business model innovation – work with existing businesses to identify new business models and innovations they could spin out; help them found/fund a skunkworks team housed at Propeller or The Mill
  • 40% sprint week – business design process to validate ideas, conduct initial customer interviews, create the brand identity, and pair co-founders; ideas could come from Velocities staff, Columbus or Bloomington residents, or use IP from Cummins, Crane, IU,  etc.
  • 20% matchmaking – some startups have a great product person who is serving as a founder and CEO; they understand the technology, the customers, the pain points, etc.m but to make more material progress, they need a complementary co-founder who can act as CEO and head salesperson

This position requires residency in Columbus, Indiana, while working out of Columbus and Bloomington.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE

  • Corporate innovation or business model innovation experience
  • Or senior management/leadership role

PREFERRED EXPERIENCE

  • Founded and exited a company
  • Experience serving on a board of directors or advisors
  • Angel investing experience

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, & ABILITIES

  • Project management
  • Executive presence
  • Build consensus
  • Simplify ideas
  • Execute vision
  • Thrive in ambiguity
  • Identify trends & opportunities
  • Build rapport
  • Woo
  • Connector, resourceful

COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

  • Annual salary is $70,000
  • Paid twice monthly via direct deposit
  • 3 weeks of PTO in year 1, 4 weeks in year 2 and beyond
  • Health, life, vision, and dental insurance
  • 401(k) with company match
  • Use of company MacBook Pro
  • Performance reviews twice annually
  • Opportunity for raises twice annually
  • No bureaucracy – direct and regular contact with Velocities leadership

HOW TO APPLY

Email a cover letter and resume as PDFs to Pat East. This is your chance to describe why working for Velocities would be a great fit for you. Include the information below:

  1. A short bio / introduction
  2. Why this position interests you
  3. Why you love startups
  4. How you learned about Velocities and the position

Applicant review is ongoing, with a preference for candidates who apply by September 30.

Due to the expected number of applications, we cannot reply to every applicant. If you make it beyond the first round, though, you can expect regular communications from us.

Thank you for your interest in Velocities. Best of luck!

HEAD OF DEVELOPMENT

We are adding a full-time Head of Development to our team. To continue fulfilling our mission and marching toward our vision, we need someone who thinks about fundraising from the time their feet hit the floor in the morning to the time their head hits the pillow in the evening.

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

This position will be responsible for:

  • Developing and executing a fundraising plan. We’ve previously raised $1mm for operations and our Velocities partnership. We’re looking for someone who can bring more sophistication and structure to our thriving yet nascent fundraising process.
  • Securing financial support from individuals and corporations. Most of our financial support has been in the form of donations and sponsorships from local corporations. We’d love to add more individuals and expand national sponsorships. This position will also consolidate our event and program sponsorships (Crossroads, Crossroads Collegiate, Flyover Podcast Festival, Spark, Best Place to Work, among others) from their program manager to this role.
  • Applying for, winning, and managing the grant process. We’re good at winning grants from foundations; you’ll continue and expand our work here. We’re not as good at winning State and Federal grants. You’ll work with our Head of Marketing & Communications, who currently writes our grants and will continue to do so, to improve our success rate for these.
  • Leading one cornerstone fundraising event annually. We need a branded, easily recognized event that folks want to attend, even if they’re not supporters of The Mill. (Think the Strawberry Shortcake Festival benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs.) We have folks who can manage and market the event, and you will lead the effort overall while chipping in where needed.
  • No task is beneath you. The Mill is still new—three years old in November—and we don’t know what we don’t know. You should be eager and willing to tackle new experiences and situations, and you’ll need to execute them flawlessly. We’re also a small team, so our job descriptions bleed. Some shared activities might include, but aren’t limited to, taking out the trash, making morning coffee, helping a classroom guest troubleshoot their A/V, and giving tours to prospective members.

DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOU?

  • Executive disposition. You can hold your own in meetings with executives in Bloomington’s largest companies and are comfortable knowing when to pull in the executive director as needed.
  • “I know a person who . . . ” When someone needs help, you can immediately connect them to the right person. You have a wide and deep network of folks who rely on you and whom you rely o,n too. It extends beyond Bloomington, and you’re willing to continue building it with our stakeholders in mind.
  • Entrepreneur at heart. You have extensive fundraising experience for a non-profit. You’ve done nearly all (maybe all?) of this position’s responsibilities and want to start your own development department and in a fast-moving organization.
  • You’re a great presenter and storyteller. Whether it’s visually, verbally, or written, you’re second to none in your communication skills to paint a picture. You get people on board quickly and effectively.
  • You’re a team player in the truest sense of the word. You want the organization to win, and whatever role it needs you to play that day is the role you want to play.
  • You have a big action bias. You bring clarity to situations. You’re decisive but not hasty in your decision-making. But you’re still coachable—you’re one of those people who likes it if your friends tell you that you’ve got a piece of food in your teeth.

BONUS ROUND

  • You’ve started a startup.
  • You’ve worked for a startup.
  • Your network would benefit startups

COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

  • Annual salary ranges from $60-70,000
  • Paid twice monthly via direct deposit
  • 3 weeks of PTO in year 1, 4 weeks in year 2 and beyond
  • Health, life, vision, and dental insurance
  • 401(k) with company match
  • Use of company MacBook Pro
  • Performance reviews twice annually
  • Opportunity for raises twice annually
  • No bureaucracy—direct and regular contact with our Executive Director
  • You’ll work in downtown Bloomington in a visually stunning building that seamlessly blends old and new, highlighted with exposed red brick and original wood floors

HOW TO APPLY

Email a cover letter and resume as PDFs to Pat East. This is your chance to describe why working at The Mill would be a great fit for you. Include the following information:

  1. A short bio / introduction
  2. Why this position at The Mill interests you
  3. Why you love fundraising
  4. Why you love our mission and vision
  5. How you learned about The Mill and the position

Applicant review is ongoing.

Due to the expected number of applications, we cannot reply to every applicant. If you make it beyond the first round, though, you can expect regular communications from us.

Thank you for your interest in The Mill. Best of luck!

Board of Directors

The Mill is committed to being a center for entrepreneurs, led by entrepreneurs. For that reason, two-thirds of our board members represent technology- and innovation-driven companies, including Mill members and graduates. Our other board members bring expertise in economic development, local government, higher education and venture capital.

  • Jason Whitney, Chair, Voting Director | Associate Vice President, IU Ventures, and Executive Director, IU Angel Network*

  • Jen Pearl, Vice Chair, Voting Director | President and CEO, Bloomington Economic Development Corporation*

  • Karin St. John, Secretary/Treasurer, Voting Director | COO, St. John Associates*

  • Ravi Bhatt | Co-Founder and CEO, folia

  • Michelle Cole | COO, Envisage Technologies

  • Bryony Gomez-Palacio | Co-Founder and Principal, UnderConsideration LLC

  • John Hamilton | Mayor, City of Bloomington

  • Cindy Kinnarney | North Region President, German American Bank

  • Anne McCombe | Business Relationship Manager, MetroStar*

  • Beka Mech | Senior Associate Director, Regional Development, IU Foundation

  • Tina Peterson | President and CEO, Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County and CEO, Regional Opportunity Initiatives

  • Ben Swanson | Co-Founder, Secretly Group

  • Mike Trotzke | CEO, Cheddar

  • Jennie Vaughan | Chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington

  • Geng Wang | Co-Founder and CEO, Civic Champs*

  • Derek Whitley | Chief Science Officer, Warrant Technologies

*Executive Committee members

Read our latest annual report!

OUr historic building

Our century-old restored building has a long history of significant economic contributions to the community. In a way, it has always been a center for entrepreneurship in Bloomington.

Founded in 1869, the Showers Brothers Company had an illustrious influence on Bloomington history. The Mill was originally built in 1915 as its sawmill factory (known as the Dimension Mill). At its peak in the 1920s, Showers produced more than half of all the furniture in the United States—more than 700,000 pieces of furniture a year! Moreover, it was one of the first US furniture factories to employ women, as well as more African Americans than others of its time. And as a cultural shift toward homeownership spread through the nation, Showers Brothers saw great success.

The onset of the Great Depression changed the course for the Showers Brothers, however. But their legacy lives on in some of Bloomington’s most iconic buildings, including The Mill, with its unique sawtooth roof and original brick walls. Indiana University owned and used the building from 1959-1994, and then the City of Bloomington purchased it. The Dimension Mill sat vacant for many years, until a new vision for it crystallized. Ultimately, the City of Bloomington took a bold step forward and invested millions in its renovation.

Today the Showers factory complex has become the Trades District, Bloomington’s 12-acre technology park. It’s part of an economic revolution here, toward entrepreneurship and technology. Bloomington celebrated a game-changing addition to the Trades District with the launch of The Mill in 2018.

Our beautiful building represents both a preservation of historical legacy and a modern revitalization of Bloomington’s business scene. The Mill is a living icon of Bloomington’s past, present, and future, guided by its vision to become the center of coworking and entrepreneurship in Indiana.