Businesses are built on dreams — but it certainly helps to have some startup cash.
Because who knows what can happen once you get going.
Like when Frederick Miller bought what’s now our Milwaukee Brewery in 1855 for $2,370. Or when Adolph Coors offered up $2,000 and his brewing expertise to start a brewery in Golden, Colorado, in 1873.
Without that seed money, our beers might not be here.
Needless to say, we believe in the spirit of entrepreneurship.
So we created a business plan competition called Miller Lite Tap the Future. Our mission is to help entrepreneurs take their ideas to the next level with startup funding and expert advice.
Anyone 21 and older can enter for a chance to pitch their business in front of a live audience including judges like Daymond John from ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
We hold semifinal rounds in cities throughout the country, where startups compete to win $20,000 in funding.
And at our national finals, winners get a shot at a $200,000 grand prize.
We’ve awarded more than $1 million in startup funding since Tap the Future started in 2013.
Feeling that spark yet? Meet our grand-prize winners, and find out how their businesses have grown since taking home the Tap the Future title.
And wow have they grown.
We’re so proud to have been a part of their success.
2013 — Swyft Media
College buddies Sean O’Brien and Evan Wray started their business in their dorm room senior year. They created an app that lets users customize text messages with the logos of their favorite school. That’s how Swyft Media (formerly TextPride) was born.
They applied to Tap the Future and were picked to pitch the business live at the semis in Chicago, where they won $20,000. They advanced to the finals and won a grand prize of $250,000 plus an extra $10,000 in a fan favorite vote.
Today Swyft Media’s technology enables brands to create and deploy content such as branded chat, emojis, digital stickers, photo frames, filters, videos and GIFs across a messaging app network of more than 2 billion monthly active users. It has partnered with 300-plus brands —including some of ours. We’ve hired them to create emoji keyboards for Miller Lite, Molson Canadian and other projects.
And a year after winning Tap the Future, Swyft was acquired for $27 million.
2014 — Bellhops
Cameron Doody, Matt Patterson, Tripp Stanford and Stephen Vlahos remembered how in college, their friends’ parents used to pay them well to perform relatively easy moves each semester.
That was the idea behind Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Bellhops. The moving company uses technology to connect customers with college students ready to lend a hand.
The guys entered Tap the Future and won $20,000 in the live-pitch semifinals in Atlanta.
Their next move — the $200,000 grand prize.
“The funding came at a great time for the business,” Stephen says. “Putting together a pitch makes you become very self-aware and learn how to poke possible holes in the business model.”
Fast-forward two years, and Bellhops provides affordable collegiate and small residential moving services in over 80 cities across the U.S.
2015 — Edovo
Brian Hill is a man on a serious mission — to reduce recidivism.
His company, Edovo, provides inmates with daily access to an immense collection of educational, vocational and treatment resources.
That unique business won the semifinals in Detroit and went on to take home the $200,000 grand prize.
A year later, Edovo has more than tripled in size.
But Brian says it isn’t just about the money — it’s also about entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs.
“Tap The Future went beyond funding to great mentorship,” he says. “You have the opportunity to stand in front of incredible, seasoned entrepreneurs and sell your vision. Their collective wisdom can help identify areas of weakness, as well as what fine-tuning you can do to accelerate your growth.”