One of the most powerful startup resources in Bloomington is Entrepreneur-in-Residence Cy Megnin. Cy comes to us through Velocities, our partnership with venture capital firm Elevate Ventures, the City of Bloomington, and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. A full-time mentor to entrepreneurs across the region served by Velocities, Cyt has an office here at The Mill and one in Columbus, too. He helps founders build their companies, figure out marketing, how to sell, how to interact with customers, and more.
“In the other cities that I’ve lived—Austin, the Bay, and Seattle—there’s a lot more companies that you can invest in than there are people willing to write checks. Here I’ve found it’s the exact opposite. So if a 10 is a perfect slam-dunk investment, I run into a lot of sixes and sevens. And my job is to close that delta between seven and 10.
I meet the entrepreneur wherever they are, whether they need help with their pitch deck, the pitch itself, hooking them up with resources or my network, whatever the case may be.”
Startup Studio is a team of experienced Bloomington and Columbus designers who help startups acquire and engage customers and investors. Startup Studio understands the specific design needs of startups & creates powerful branding and tools. Members of The Mill and the Velocities network receive concierge service and exclusive discounted rates.
When you’re running a startup, design matters—a lot. Your pitch deck. Your website. Your one-pager. All of these have to stand out from the crowd and instantly communicate a clear, confident vision that inspires investors and customers. The designers of Startup Studio make your essential marketing tools look great, sure. More importantly, Startup Studio designers use the expertise of The Mill and Velocities to create designs that speak the right language to investors and customers.
Startup Resources for Pitching & Capital
There is a surprising amount of capital available here in Bloomington and southern Indiana—if you know where to look for it, and if your startup shows traction and great product-market fit. From angel investors to the IU Philanthropic Ventures Fund to VisionTech Partners and VisionTech Angels to the SBDC’s INTAP program to Elevate’s Nexus program to The Mill’s Flywheel Fund and Velocities funds, the capital is out there.
Together with our Entrepreneur-in-Residence and our partners, The Mill helps startups understand what it takes to get it.
- What kinds of funding and financing are out there?
- Should you seek angel investment or a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant, or both?
- When is it time to go for Series A funding, and how do you do that?
- What matters most to investors?
- What does a successful pitch look like?
- What will investors expect for their money?
CROSSROADS PITCH COMPETITION
Since its launch in 2017, Crossroads has grown to a state-wide pitch competition with applicants and finalists from literally all four corners of Indiana and every city in between: South Bend, Evansville, Terre Haute, Anderson, Indianapolis, Fishers, West Lafayette, Columbus, and Bloomington, of course.
To find startups, we coordinate with investors like VisionTech and IU Philanthropic Ventures and with the 50+ coworking spaces throughout the state who are members of the Indiana Coworking Passport, among other outreach. Crossroads is free to attend and open to the public. Join us on pitch day—you will be amazed at the incredible ideas and passion bubbling up in our entrepreneurial ecosystem!
New! Crossroads is going to college! Crossroads Collegiate attracts rising stars from colleges and universities across Indiana to compete for $5,000 in cash. Applications are due by April 12. Finalists will pitch live before a distinguished panel of judges on April 29.
Flywheel Fund is a member-managed capital fund based in Bloomington, Indiana. From life sciences and medical devices with an emphasis on software and technology, Flywheel invests in early-stage and high-potential startups.
Flywheel takes a unique approach to increasing local access to startup capital: growing a regional network of experienced investors. Rotating cohorts of investors support rotating cohorts of startups. Each investor cohort contributes a set amount to the fund, meets several times a year to listen to pitches, then votes; each winning pitch receives $25,000 in investment funding—and ongoing mentoring to ensure success.
The result? More startups, and more investors—a flywheel of entrepreneurial energy.