The Mill is a place to test your ideas in downtown Las Vegas. As their website reads, we were an economy of factories. Now, we’re an economy of ideas. The Mill was the center of economic development. It was a place that transformed cotton into cloth, grain to flour, ore to steel. The mill changed the landscape of our economy once, and now Work In Progress’ new program The Mill is changing it once more!
“It starts with a $5k investment in entrepreneurially-minded people,” said Sara Vainer, organizer behind The Mill. “Over two months, we give you the tools and experiences to validate, experiment, explore, and transform your good idea into a great business. We were looking for a way to encourage and foster entrepreneurship and were inspired by a similar program in Grand Rapids.”
The program in Grand Rapids, called Start Garden, aims to create an ecosystem that helps ideas become businesses. “An ecosystem where a thousand ideas can get started, knowing that a few will adapt and become those innovations we’re looking for,” the Start Garden website reads. “Cultural change comes from a lot of people doing small things in the same direction.”
Inspired by this program, Work In Progress in downtown Las Vegas says they hope to empower the entrepreneurially-minded to execute on their idea and lower the barrier to entrepreneurship.
“Success would be to help grow the startup community in downtown Las Vegas and bring more entrepreneurs to experience our community,” explains Sara Vainer.
The first person funded by The Mill’s weekly $5k investment was Stephen Conn from San Francisco. Sara Vainer says Stephen and the 3 participants funded after him will be at The Grind event at the end of April to present their journey.
In the 2 month journey entrepreneurs take once accepted by The Mill, the team hopes entrepreneurs will have either proven or disproven their hypothesis.
“We want them to learn and grow from this experience and be able to determine if their idea can be a viable business or if they will need to make a change,” she said.
How can you get involved? Who’s eligible for The Mill?
“All the program information and application can be found on the website,” she says. “We are looking for the entrepreneurially-minded, who have passion for their idea and tenacity. We’re looking for entrepreneurs in the idea stage with creative, unique, easy to understand ideas and also want them to have a genuine interest in downtown Las Vegas. Those who already have a product, have received $10,000 or more in funding and have a team larger than 3 are too far along to be considered for The Mill.”
About Work In Progress: Our mission is to provide startups and creative thinkers with tools to inspire creativity and innovation. The tools we build include powerful events, useful partnerships and collaborative workspaces. Whether you work from home, an office or from one of our workspaces, Work In Progress provides access to a support network of experts and mentors, learning events and partner discounts to help you create and innovate.