Bloomington, Ind.— July 26, 2023
The Mill, the heart of southern Indiana’s startup ecosystem and its largest coworking space, announced today that six collegiate business founders from across Indiana have successfully completed the 2023 Startup Summer program. To celebrate the achievements of these young entrepreneurs, The Mill will host a public showcase on Thursday, July 27. The event will take place at The Mill’s Event Hall (642 N Madison) and will feature a networking session and lunch provided by SmokeWorks. Additionally, the Elevate Southern Indiana Roadshow of entrepreneurial support organizations will be present to interact with the audience and the graduates.
“Startup Summer allows student founders to spend their summers working on their own businesses,” said Andy Lehman, Head of Accelerator Programming at The Mill. “They’re growing the next generation of Hoosier businesses, and this year’s group has already made remarkable progress. We’re really excited for the community to join us for a fun, inspiring celebration of their accomplishments.”
The event will begin at 11 am with doors opening for networking and lunch. At 11:55, each founder will deliver a short, 5-minute pitch for their startup, followed by opportunities to meet the founders and network. The six students will present five different companies, showcasing a diverse range of products and services.
Brady Anderson’s company, Prospect XR, offers a reputation system for online community building. Anderson’s software addresses the challenge of building trustworthy online communities and discussions without requiring excessive human moderation. The software already boasts thousands of users.
Rod Baradaran’s platform, rScan, significantly reduces the time it takes to sell secondhand products online by over 80%. Winner of the Crossroads Collegiate Pitch Competition earlier this year, rScan has generated over $400,000 in revenue. Baradaran aims to empower the general public to more easily participate in the secondhand market and supplement their income.
Charlie Edmonds, a graduate student at IU, founded Pocket to fill a content gap in beginning band and orchestra instruction. Pocket provides musical curriculum based on traditional Black gospel music, an underrepresented but highly engaging and relevant genre for students. Edmonds has assembled a test package for band directors and schools to gather customer feedback and is currently developing online materials.
Matthew Joseph and Roscoe Bell are advocates for mental health and have built Noveltor, reflective and action-based software that therapists can share with their clients. Noveltor leverages technology to support the therapeutic process and help clients solve life problems, build emotional skills, and develop confidence. Joseph and Bell’s concept won the special recognition prize and $5,000 at the ICO Pitch Competition.
Fabian Granqvist’s company, GrandQvist, offers athletes energy bars made from plant-based, whole food ingredients. Granqvist won first place at the Indiana Tech Innovation Challenge and has secured multiple partnerships and customers. GrandQvist bars are available at the Fort Wayne Farmers’ Market.
Startup Summer, officially launched in 2022, is in its second year, and participants are recruited from across Indiana to spend their summers in Bloomington. During this period, they meet with peers and mentors and work with Mill staff to develop their businesses.
“We’re very grateful to the City of Bloomington for sponsoring this program,” Lehman expressed. “They recognize the importance of fueling the growth of new businesses for our future economy.” Participating companies also receive investment from Flywheel Fund, a member-managed micro-VC operated by The Mill.
Pat East, Executive Director of The Mill, emphasized that the public is welcome to attend the showcase and lunch, which are sponsored by Elevate Ventures and SmokeWorks of Finney Hospitality Group.
“Our sponsors for this event reflect the ultimate goals of this program,” East commented. “Nathan Finney is a great model of entrepreneurial success and community and business leadership for our students. Startup Summer is also an important opportunity to engage with the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We’re honored that the Elevate Southern Indiana Roadshow has included the Startup Summer Showcase on their itinerary, and we look forward to seeing these founders spark important new connections.”
About The Mill
The Mill is the heart of southern Indiana’s startup ecosystem and its largest coworking space. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, its mission is to spark Bloomington’s innovation economy by launching and accelerating startups, and its vision is to become Indiana’s center of gravity for entrepreneurship. For more information, visit https://www.dimensionmill.org/.