entrepreneurial development for the formerly incarcerated

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for the formerly incarcerated

Entrepreneurship presents powerful opportunities for individuals and communities. Here at The Mill, we want to grow our startup ecosystem and create access for more people, including the formerly incarcerated.

Participants in this six-week program learn how to focus their business ideas, get customer validation, and present their business to potential investors. At the end of the program, participants deliver their business pitches, and the winner takes home a little seed money for their business. All participants become members of The Mill, where they can take advantage of additional free programs to grow their businesses and connect to an extensive network of mentors and investors.

To find eligible participants, we partner with New Leaf – New Life, which supports incarcerated individuals to make a successful transition back into the community, and Courage to Change, which offers low-barrier housing and services to individuals in recovery. These organizations help identify and refer program candidates. All participants meet stability metrics—full-time employment, stable living situation, established sobriety—and are fully vetted.

The fall 2021 cohort runs from October 18 to November 22.

Our first cohort in spring of 2021 was generously sponsored by Velocities and included four men and three women. Their business ideas ranged from a stocked pay lake for sport fisherman and fishing tournaments, to a painting business, to a photography business to help victims of domestic violence to reclaim their sense of self.

Guest speakers included Mark Harsley, founder of Kitemail, who is himself formerly incarcerated, Cy Megnin, Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Velocities region, and Pete Yonkman, president of Cook Group.


To learn more, or to become a sponsor, please contact Andy Lehman, Head of Accelerator Programming.

Being part of your ReBoot Program has me doing more research on things I need and want to know about what I want to do, and reaching out to connections I now have for answers I need.

Spring 2021 ReBoot participant

Thank you so much. I really enjoyed doing this. It gave me the confidence boost I needed to really get this rolling and start working on my other business ideas as well. It has been an amazing opportunity.

Spring 2021 ReBoot participant