In a departure from my standard fare over the last two weeks, this is a rundown of the second cohort from The Mill. The Mill is an accelerator based in Downtown Las Vegas and is part of the Downtown Las Vegas Project originally funded by Zappos founder Tony Hsieh.
I covered the results from The Mill's first cohort back in June on LinkedIn. Check that two-part post HERE and HERE. I received the information for the founders and their companies by being in The Loop. That is the email subscription list from The Mill. Go to themill.vc and sign up if you want to get the emails yourself.
This cohort has the same number of start up companies as the previous with five. Two of the participants have grown from the idea accelerator into the start up company accelerator. For the difference between the two watch THIS VIDEO clip from an interview I had with the CEO of The Mill, Sara Hill. We spoke in February 2015 as the first cohort was being developed.
Steezy Studio and FindVeggies are the two ideas that have evolved into full start up companies with better funding from The Mill and more direction. I will not be saying much about these two. You can read my thoughts about those concepts in The Mill Pitch Event Pt. 2. Click on The LinkedIn Series in the navigation bar if you didn't read it in the link above.
The other three cohort participants are of interest to me. They are Addo, Metis Sports, and Vendeve. Each has a team of founders that are diverse in their countries of origin. Addo and Vendeve both feature teams from Canada. Metis Sports has a founder who is coming in from Berlin to participate in the cohort.
Addo touts itself as a corporate wellness app seeking gamification of fitness for employees on both a mental and physical level. The four pillars they present on their site are community, mental health, exercise, and nutrition.
Their founding team of three have different backgrounds which will contribute to the success of the app. All are from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Brett Barro is a medical student at Dalhousie University. He also has a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics from St. Francis Xavier. A quick scan of his LinkedIn profile reveals his extensive background in fitness. He has volunteered much of his time to health as well.
Brett is not listed as part of the team participating in The Mill cohort.
Raphael Titsworth-Morin is the tech guy behind the app. He has an extensive web development background to go with his Master of Fine Arts from Champlain College. He is also connected to two members from The Mill's first cohort. Looks like he had an inside track on application. It's always good to have friends.
Moses Robicheau is the business brains behind the app. He got his Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Francis Xavier as well. He and Brett must have met there and hatched the idea.
Metis Sports is an app seeking to connect American basketball players to playing opportunities overseas in Europe and Asia. Their website isn't fully developed yet, but it looks like a scouting service with a metrics system to rate players and provide the data to scouts and teams.
There is a MetisSports.com which was acquired in 2014 by the Jackson Management group. This site doesn't seem to have anything to do with the Metis Sports start up.The Jackson Management group is an athlete agent company which represents professional athletes on the international market in baseball and basketball.
Their website doesn't list founders. THIS Angel.co listing shows Brandon Smith as having a MBA from The Marshall Business School at USC. He played soccer at Wesleyan University and was an analyst at J.P. Morgan. He is obviously the business brains behind this idea. Brandon is coming from Berlin to take part in this cohort.
The Angel.co listing for Metis Sports has Landon Glover as another member of the team. The notification I received from The Mill didn't list him as taking part in the cohort. Landon is a recent Sports and Entertainment Law Graduate from University of Miami. He is the talent management skill for the app. He has been an agent at United Talent Agency since 2013. He has also worked in marketing at Electronic Arts and was a summer intern analyst with Lehman Brothers.
The Mill lists DP Long as joining Brandon Smith during this cohort. While that name doesn't show up anywhere, Daniel Long is listed on the Angel.co page as a the CFO. Daniel and Brandon are both MBA graduates from The Marshall School of Business at USC. Daniel is the money manager for this concept.
Daniel has long background with Edison Partners, Citibank, and Deloitte Tax. At Deloitte Tax his focus was on international transactions. He will be the one to help players navigate the new tax and wage laws in the countries in which they seek to play.
Vendeve is a freelance peer referral network aimed at women. Katelyn Bougoin is the founder and CEO. This is not her first start up idea. She also founded RedRiot and The Fork Project. RedRiot was absorbed into Vendeve in 2014 after serving as a brand strategy firm for Target, Holiday Inn, and other small companies. The Fork Project was aquired by MenuTools in 2014.
She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from University of King's College, and she also received a public relations diploma from Nova Scotia Community College. Katelyn also attended Dalhousie University like Brent Barro. I don't know if they attended at the same time. It would make a good story if they did.
Calee Blanchard calls herself the Yin to the Yang of Katelyn. This is one of those times where running down the background of these ladies probably wouldn't do justice to their personalities, but here are a few morsels about Calee to digest:
Calee was a teacher for ten years before becoming the co-founder of Vendeve. She is the taskmaster with a Masters in Inclusive Education from Acadia University and A Bachelor of Education from University of New Brunswick. She also spent time as an exchange student in China and Australia.
I am interested in watching all of these new ideas from The Mill. I hope I get a chance to attend the pitch event in November. The event in June was very enlightening and eye-opening for me. Jumping into this start up culture has been quite the ride.