This blog series – “Entrepreneurs & Innovators of The Mill” – profiles local entrepreneurs and innovators, who leverage The Mill as a launchpad for their ideas. Exciting stories are appearing at every turn, and you can feel a strong, motivated undercurrent. Every quarter, Mill members gather to share their successes and learn from each other. As Bloomington’s center for coworking and entrepreneurship, The Mill is teeming with inspiring people, projects, startups, and innovation.
Tyler Henke is one of those local innovators. Born and raised in Bloomington, he’s local to bone. This is not Tyler’s first entrepreneurial endeavor. In fact, he co-founded one of Bloomington’s early coworking spaces, Cowork Btown, which was acquired by yours truly, The Mill. Tyler and co-founder Forrest Fowler paved the way for coworking success and recognized early a growing need for Bloomington’s independent and entrepreneurial workforce. After working a stint at 39 Degrees North with long-time, local entrepreneur Chris Walls, Tyler was inspired to begin his next startup adventure: Ziptility.
Ziptility serves the vastly underserved utilities industries. Despite the fact that wastewater and sewage facilities are arguably one of the most important services to communities, they lack the tools, technology, and support they need. It’s a high pressure job with very little modern technology to help. That is, until Tyler founded Ziptility.
We’re not the only ones excited about Ziptility. The company has exciting momentum and a fast-growing customer base. Read on to hear who else is backing Tyler and Ziptility, and where they hope to go next.
Ziptility: Indiana Business with International Appeal
by Tyler Henke
I’m thrilled to announce that Ziptility, a field-first mobile software platform designed to meet modern utilities technology needs, has closed a $750k seed financing round led by The Mill’s own IU Ventures.
Ziptility Raises $750K
Since closing the round, we’ve rolled out exciting new product features – like a new work scheduling product that allows utility managers to assign work (inspections, repairs, etc.) to employees or contractors from the field, which helps them make sure issues are recorded as they’re found actually get fixed by whoever’s responsible – added a new team member: Dante Cook, and signed our first international customer (the water services department of the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis).
Ziptility Goes International
Believe it or not, Saint Kitts and Nevis came inbound via an article in WaterWorld that IU Ventures’ PR team helped set up. The rest of our customers have been outbound, but training from Sales Tuners, a company owned by fundraiser and investor Jim Brown, has made the process a lot easier.
What’s next for Ziptility?
The team will invest in building out its channel partner programs. There’s a big opportunity to help utility service providers (like engineers, suppliers, and asset managers) create stickier relationships with their customers, and Ziptility is in a good position to help address this need.