accelerate your startup

Whether you have an idea or a thriving enterprise, we can help!

Join the ecosystem

let us be your guide!

our team

Andy Lehman

Andy Lehman

Head of Accelerator Programming, The Mill

Andy helps entrepreneurs connect to the local ecosystem and its rich resources. Talk to Andy about your startup, and he’ll guide you to the programs, capital sources, and networks that can help you level up.

Cy Megnin

Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Velocities region

Entrepreneur, founder, and advisor for two decades, Cy is a full-time mentor to entrepreneurs across the Bloomington-Columbus region served by our Velocities partnership. Start here to make an appointment! Cy meets startups wherever you are, whether you need help with your pitch deck, the pitch itself, hooking you up with resources or his network, or whatever else you need.

Andy Lehman
Andy Lehman

Cy Megnin

Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Velocities region

Entrepreneur, founder, and advisor for two decades, Cy is a full-time mentor to entrepreneurs across the Bloomington-Columbus region served by our Velocities partnership. Start here to make an appointment! Cy meets startups wherever you are, whether you need help with your pitch deck, the pitch itself, hooking you up with resources or his network, or whatever else you need.

our partners

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Velocities

A partnership between Bloomington/ The Mill, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, and Elevate Ventures, Velocities partners on many Mill events and programs. They support entrepreneurs across Monroe, Brown, and Bartholomew Counties.

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Elevate VEntures

The Mill is proud to partner with Elevate Ventures, a state leader in entrepreneurship. Elevate provides investment capital to Indiana entrepreneurs, robust investment opportunities to funders, and superb educational events and mentoring.

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IU Ventures

IU Ventures invests in high-potential, early stage companies founded or led by IU alumni or faculty members. We’re grateful for their deep engagement with Mill programs, their underwriting of student Mill memberships, and their outstanding  ecosystem support.

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gener8tor

The Mill works closely with nationally ranked accelerator gener8tor on the local gBETA program, The Mill Code School, and more. Their platform includes pre-accelerators, accelerators, corporate programming, conferences and fellowships.

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Gayle & Bill Cook Center for entrepreneurship

The Mill regularly collaborates with Ivy Tech on entrepreneurial programming for startups, business teams, and students. The Cook Center at Ivy Tech provides powerful startup resources.

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The city of Bloomington

In 2018, the City of Bloomington invested $4 million to renovate The Mill, in addition to the millions already spent to create the Trades District. We are grateful to the City for their bold, ongoing support of The Mill and the tech sector.

Access resources

for every stage of your startup!

startup stages

AHA!

AHA!

You have an idea that solves a real problem.

Develop

Develop

You’re figuring out your product and market.

Launch

Launch

Your product is ready to sell and validated.

Accelerate

Accelerate

Your product is hot! Time to expand.

What stage is your startup? What should you do to level up?
Check the roadmap!

accelerator programs

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ORIGINS

Origins Pre-Seed is for pre-revenue startups, aspiring entrepreneurs, or entrepreneurship instructors. Origins Seed is reserved for revenue-generating startups and for life science companies that have completed pre-clinical trials. Both are free, from Elevate Ventures.

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Firestarter

Firestarter is an ideation (aha!) stage practical workshop run by Purdue Foundry. This cohort-based workshop helps innovators validate their ideas while learning practical methodologies to launch a successful business. 

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Crossroads idea competition

The Mill’s Crossroads Idea Competition is a fun opportunity to get expert feedback on a business idea before developing it in a pre-accelerator like B-Start.

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b-Start

B-Start is a pre-accelerator program for-profit innovation-driven businesses in Bloomington, run by the BEDC. B-Start participants are at the earliest stage of their business development and are coached through a 5-month process of mentorship and group activities.

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MILL COHORTS

Mill Cohorts is a 6-week program for Mill members only to spur growth in key areas of early-stage companies. The program focuses on the critical areas of product-market fit, metrics, and financing.  Mentor swarms and office hours ensure participants receive a wide range of feedback and the full support of The Mill and our extensive network of entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors. 

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gbeta

gBETA is a program of nationally ranked startup accelerator gener8tor. gBETA is a free, seven-week accelerator for early-stage companies with local roots. Each program is capped at five teams, and requires no fees and no equity. The Bloomington-Columbus cohort runs twice annually.

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National programs

Mill members and Velocities region startups have also participated in many prestigious national accelerator programs such as TechStars, Y Combinator, gener8tor, MassChallenge, and more. Check our events calendar and subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed of opportunities!

pitch competitions & pitch help

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Crossroads

Crossroads Pitch Competition, run by The Mill, is one of the largest pitch competitions in the state, supported by a broad network of venture firms, entrepreneurs, investors, and businesses. Its nondilutive cash and other prizes attract competitors from across the state. Independent regional competitions may be powered by the Crossroads Platform.

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Crossroads Collegiate

The Mill’s Crossroads Collegiate Pitch Competition is open to any student currently enrolled in an Indiana college or university and offers non-dilutive cash prizes and other opportunities.

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Nexus

The Elevate Nexus program culminates in two annual pitch competitions (spring and fall) that offer pre-seed and seed awards of $20K and $80K. Regional winners may also participate in the statewide Nexus competition for a higher investment.

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Pitch Velocities

Pitch Velocities is an informal pitch competition startups participate in to practice, receive feedback, and have fun every third Thursday of the month. Pitch Velocities is not used to solicit an investment from the judges, participants, or audience. It is simply for startups who want to practice in front of others and hear constructive criticism on their product or pitch.

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Pitch Strong

Pitch Strong is a recurring free webinar for entrepreneurs offered by Velocities and Elevate Ventures. It provides a framework of what to include in a pitch to investors in order to stand out and captivate their attention, as well as tips for presenting.

capital & funding

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Flywheel Fund

Flywheel Fund is a member-managed fund that invests in Indiana-based software and technology-related startups. 13% of investment funds are earmarked for Black founding teams. Each startup also agrees to be mentored on a monthly basis by one of Flywheel’s members after investment. Investments range from $25,00-$150,000.

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Nexus

Elevate Nexus provides programming and funding to higher education institutions, communities, and entrepreneurs, culminating in two annual pitch competitions.

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Community Ideation

The Community Ideation Fund enables ideation-stage high-potential companies to move closer to specific, measurable technology or product development milestones through an investment between $5,000 and $20,000. Eligible applicants include Indiana-based companies with headquarters in communities under a partnership with Elevate Ventures, and with no more than $50,000 in trailing revenue over the past 12-month period.

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IU Ventures / IU Angel Network

IU Ventures oversees all IU-related intellectual property, trademarks, technology transfer, and business development activities across the IU ecosystem. They’ve also developed other funds, such as the Quarry, the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund, the Innovate Indiana Fund, and the IU Angel Network. The Quarry helps anyone affiliated with IU get connected to resources and business coaching as well as funding. 

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Vision Tech

VisionTech Partners and VisionTech Angels are committed to advancing Indiana’s innovation ecosystem. They mentor and invest in promising startup companies and technologies with the potential of delivering significant return to investors and the marketplace at large. Their goal is to bridge the gap between early-stage funding and other investment rounds.

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SBIR/STTR

The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs are the largest source of early-stage technology financing in the US. Elevate Ventures matches $.50 toward every federal dollar awarded, up to $50,000 (lifetime cap of $150,00).

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INTAP

The Indiana Technical Assistance program (INTAP) from the ISBDC is a great source of non-dilutive capital (up to $15kK for eligible small businesses). Funds are used to complete projects that require specialized, professional, or technical assistance from a vendor. 

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SAM Fund

The Smart and Advanced Manufacturing Focus Fund (SAM Fund) invests in high-potential manufacturers and entrepreneurs. Smart manufacturing includes any technologies that improve safety, quality, or productivity, or reduce cost, including technologies such as 3D printing, data analytics, and augmented reality/virtual reality. Advanced manufacturing uses cutting-edge technology and processes to gain a large competitive advantage in the market.

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Bill & Gayle Cook Center for entrepreneurship

Ivy Tech’s Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship offers many startup resources in Bloomington. In particular, they’ve partnered with First Financial Bancorp to create a micro-lending program benefiting small businesses.

This micro-lending program can provide up to $10,000 to help businesses start, grow and expand. The Cook Center for Entrepreneurship will assist prospective startups with business and financial plan developments in order to prepare them to apply for these micro-loans at First Financial Bank.

Mill member perks

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CONCIERGE

Mill members have special access to our Concierge program. Concierge connects startups with professionals in marketing, banking, legal, and more, for free consultations up to one hour.

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COWORKING

The Mill’s beautiful downtown coworking space has soaring ceilings and natural light, the fastest WiFi in town, a Slack channel for chat. andhelp from other members, free printing, hot Hopscotch coffee (and cold brew, too), and a creative vibe that will get your best ideas flowing.

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Startup Studio

Members of The Mill and Velocities network receive exclusive rates on design services for websites, pitch decks, one pagers, and more. Startup Studio designers help startups acquire and engage customers and investors.

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MILL COHORTS

The Mill Cohorts program is a 6-week program to spur growth in key areas of early-stage companies. The program focuses on the critical areas of product-market fit, metrics, and financing.  Mentor swarms and office hours ensure participants receive a wide range of feedback and the full support of The Mill and our extensive network of entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors. The program ends with Demo Night: an opportunity for companies to pitch in front of investors for feedback and follow-on conversations, and to showcase their growth over the previous 6 weeks.

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Discounts

Mill members can receive:

  • $120,000 Azure Cloud credits
  • $120,000 IBM Cloud credits
  • $5,000 AWS credits
  • $1,000 Twilio credit
  • $1,000 DigitalOcean credit
  • $1,000 Miro credit
  • 1 year free Formstack
  • 25 minutes DeepWord synthetic video
  • 30 minute Felt Creative Co consultation on an MVP
  • and more!

info & support

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SBDC

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides a wide array of services, including access to public records that can help with market research and customer discovery.
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INPTAC

The Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center helps Indiana businesses identify, apply for, and secure goverment contracts.

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SCORE

South Central Indiana SCORE is located in the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. SCORE volunteers have a wide range of business experience and are available to assist any entrepreneur with starting or growing a business. All services are free and confidential.

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Elevate Ventures

Elevate Ventures offers superb trainings, webinars, events, and more to support startups and the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Subscribe to their newsletter to say informed.

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Startup Ladies

The Startup Ladies is a membership organization that identifies, educates, connects, and increases investment in women entrepreneurs starting up and scaling businesses. 
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Bloomington Chamber of Commerce

The Bloomington Chamber offers business events and networking as well as member benefits.

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Columbus Chamber of Commerce

The Columbus Chamber offers entrepreneurial support and programming. A maker space is coming soon! 

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Purdue@WestGate

Purdue@WestGate, located at the Crane Technology Park, offers webinars, events, and support to entrepreneurs.

BECOME A MEMBER

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