The Mill is Funding Startups in Downtown Vegas With $5K Each Month

August 7, 2014

6:00 pm

Work in Progress, the Downtown Vegas coworking space, is much more than just a place for entrepreneurs to work these days. In her day to day role as Director of Entrepreneurs, Sara Hill is also heavily involved with The Mill, a program that takes entrepreneurs with good business ideas and helps them transform them into great ideas.

As such, one of the biggest points of focus for The Mill is to lower the barrier to entrepreneurship and make it more accessible to anyone. Over the course of the two month program, the affiliated entrepreneurs are given tools and experience to validate, experiment, and explore their ideas to the fullest.

In addition to the two free months of free membership at Work in Progress, each startup also gets access to Work in Progress’ mentorship program and $5,000 in funding. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and entrepreneurs are welcome to submit more than one idea for consideration.

Each month we at Tech Cocktail will bring you a report on which companies have finished their tenure at The Mill, what they accomplished, and where they’ll be headed next. July’s startups are:

FlightGear, by Brooks Halladay:

Halladay originally worked on the Fox Sports iPhone app before he ventured out to build an app all of his own, Jump Street 23. The idea was to keep people up to date on the latest and greatest Jordan sneakers on the market.

He pulled out his app at the Vegas Fashion Tech Hackathon to see what new directions he could take it. It was sneaker focused, but he wanted to feature what celebrities wore and what they had in their closets: that was the genesis of FlightGear.

His current platform revolves around photo sharing, but the content is anything related to sports, gear, action, or active lifestyles. And with the $5,000 from The Mill, Halladay is looking forward to building out new parts of the app like a private marketplace to buy and sell gear.

He was able to cover some of the cost of starting up thanks to The Mill. Through his experience he was also able to get in at Progression Labs.

HashRabbit by Chris Shepherd and Gabe Evans:

Being Las Vegas locals, Shepherd and Evans have been part of the #VegasTech community since the early days of the Jelly. When they heard about The Mill from friends in the community, they knew HashRabbit had to be part of it.

Their startup provides tools to keep your Bitcoin mining rigs up and running because monitoring and maintaining them is difficult. The HashRabbit software optimizes and monitors the hardware to maximize your profitability.

The ability to focus on HashRabbit on both micro and macro levels while at The Mill got them an invitation to join a Bitcoin focused accelerator in Silicon Valley, Boost VC. They’re still in private beta, but they plan to use the $5,000 to grow their team in the coming months.

And while they’re moving away from Downtown Vegas, they’ll always consider it home. Shepherd and Evans want to continue to make the community better than it was yesterday as they owe a large part of their success to the VegasTech community.

Zwepr by Edward Robertshaw:

Initially Robertshaw relocated to Downtown Vegas with Teamly, a VegasTechFund company. When things ultimately didn’t pan out for Teamly he started working as a consultant, but he couldn’t shake the desire to start his own venture.

Following the lean startup model, Robertshaw noticed a trend while testing markets: people renting places on Airbnb were having difficulty managing them. The Mill liked his idea and brought him on to investigate the program further.

Now that his time at The Mill is concluded, Robertshaw is planning on allocating the remainder of his $5,000 to test markets following the lean startup model. In parallel to testing user acquisitions and capturing data, he’ll also be bringing his services to life.

Even though he’s not a local, Downtown Vegas has been there every step of the way for Robertshaw and he considers it his home. He wants to give back as much as he’s gotten to the spirit of Vegas.


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Will is a Senior Writer with Tech.Co, based out of America’s Finest City: San Diego. He covers all territory West of the Mississippi river, digging deep for awesome local entrepreneurs, companies, and ideas. He’s the resident Android junkie and will be happy to tell you why you should switch to the OS. When he’s off the clock, Will focuses his literary talent on the art of creative writing…or you might find him surfing in Ocean Beach.

Follow Will on Twitter @WJS1988

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