Helping Companies Grow
PROVO, Utah – Nov 20, 2020 – At sixteen years old, Brad Mills taught himself to design websites and started his own web design business. At the time, he just wanted to earn money to fund his future college education—but he did much more than that. Not only did this experience help Mills pay for his schooling, but it also became the inspiration that would lead him to a degree in entrepreneurship from the BYU Marriott School of Business and a fulfilling career building businesses and helping companies grow.
Since creating a web design business in 2008, Mills has used his technical skills throughout his career as he’s managed programmers and helped build businesses. Surprisingly, Mills only took one formal class on computer programming, an introduction to computer science course at BYU. “All my technical skills are self-taught outside of that one class,” he says. Since graduating from BYU Marriott in 2014, Mills has continued to develop his technology skills.
While Mills learned most of his technology skills on his own, he credits his experience in the BYU Marriott entrepreneurship program for helping him develop many of the additional skills that he now uses as an employee and business owner. Mills chose to study entrepreneurship to help him continue growing his own businesses, and he took advantage of many different opportunities to learn.
“I appreciated that BYU Marriott brought in representatives from Utah companies and other corporate speakers to tell their stories and help students learn from people who found success in their industries,” he says. For Mills, one particular in-class experience opened doors to an opportunity for him to find a job with a local company.
As part of Mills’ journey through the entrepreneurship program, he took ENT 326, a one-credit career class that required students to meet with a successful entrepreneur who served as their mentor. In a twist of fate, Mills’ mentor, Nick Thomas, ultimately became his boss after Mills graduated. “I met Nick, one of the founders of Finicity, a local fintech startup based out of Salt Lake City. He and I hit it off, and I did some contract work for his company,” says Mills. “When I graduated, Finicity offered me a full-time job and asked me to be part of the small founding team of a new division.”
Mills worked in multiple roles at Finicity including as a director of product for Finicity Connect—a software that allows consumers to permission their bank accounts more easily. “Even though I was working at an already-established company, I got to work with the founders and a small team to build this new division,” he says. “I stayed in that role from my graduation in 2014 until February 2020.”
Mills is grateful that he was able to watch a small business grow and be successful early on in his career. “I saw Finicity’s new division grow from a five-person team to becoming the primary business and growing to an organization of over 350 people. Now, the company has a pending deal to be acquired by Mastercard. . That’s a rare experience that not a lot of people get to have in their lifetimes,” he says.
After leaving Finicity, Mills planned to grow his existing businesses and some new businesses he had recently acquired. He also accepted a job offer to work as the chief technology officer of travel deal companies Pomelo Travel and Flights from Home. Whether Mills is working for a company that he started himself or working for someone else, he loves the opportunity to help businesses grow. “I have so much fun doing what I do,” he says. “I love building businesses and working with people to create new projects.”
As someone who has worked hard and found success, the small yet meaningful details of life don’t escape Mills. With a bright future ahead, Mills’ focus remains on being available for his wife and kids, the people who need him the most. “If there's an opportunity to play blocks with my kids in the morning or get to my computer earlier to work, I'm going to play with my kids,” he says.” “I believe in working hard and being successful at my job but also staying focused on the things and people who matter most in life.”
Media Contact: Chad Little: (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kenna Pierce