Monique Mills received her undergraduate electrical engineering degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology and her MBA, with a concentration in Management of Technology, from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
After many years of corporate industry experience, she took the plunge and stepped out on her own to create and lead the growth of her own software company as well as a multidisciplinary management consulting company, TPM Focus. TPM Focus provides revenue-focused strategy to startups and small to medium-sized businesses by synchronizing their marketing, sales, technology, and customer success with revenue goals (finances).
In 2022, Monique and her family launched a family-owned venture that takes her business innovation skills to the heart of America---into small businesses. This company, Focused Innovation Group (called FIG for short), acquires small manufacturing businesses that are ripe for innovation and digital transformation to increase their efficiencies and profitability.
Monique's earliest entrepreneurial experience began while simultaneously working in her engineering career. As a result of her love of real estate and desire to manage her personal investment transactions, she became a licensed Realtor and launched a real estate sales and consulting business, Focused Realtors, to assist other investors in strategic planning and execution of their real estate ventures. Monique has personal experience and expertise in buying, selling, leasing, and construction management of both residential and commercial properties. She is a Member of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors.
The real estate experience combined with constant curiosity and a love of using technology to solve problems, provided the genesis for her first technology company, ThePartyMatch Technology -– a software(SaaS) application designed to match underutilized commercial properties with those seeking to co-locate temporarily or more permanently. In addition, the technology included artificial intelligence components to provide real-time availability, cost information, customer service, and leasing details-– it was ahead of its time.
Monique was requested and honored to pitch ThePartyMatch in a private, invitation-only casting for ABC's Shark Tank, a reality television show for cutting edge entrepreneurs, as well as for Steve Case, an American innovator and Founder of AOL, during his Rise of Rest tour around the nation. She's been a staple in the Atlanta tech scene since the resurgence of the startup activity in 2013 and received a nod of acknowledgement from TechCrunch, the most respected online newspaper focused on high tech and startup companies.
As a certified PMP (Project Management Professional) with many years of project management experience across several industries and as Principal of TPM Focus, Monique uses a strategic approach based upon PMI Project Management principles, Blue Ocean Strategies, Design Thinking, and Agile and Lean Startup Methodologies to develop innovative ideas into early-stage startup companies and help mature small businesses upgrade and expand their operations with cutting-edge strategies and technologies to remain competitive in the market.
Monique is an Advisory Board Member for Stem to Market, an initiative by the Association for Women in Science, that provides entrepreneurial education and support to STEM women with research or technology they want to commercialize.
Monique was a Research Faculty member of Georgia Institute of Technology, advising tech entrepreneurs at the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), the oldest technology incubator in Georgia. ATDC has an international reputation for fostering technological entrepreneurship by helping tech startups navigate the ambiguous journey of taking an idea from concept, to prototype, launch, and finally, to scale. Participating companies have created hundreds of jobs, millions of tax revenues, and raised over a billion dollars in outside funding from angel investors and venture capitalists.
Monique served as an Adjunct Professor at Georgia State University in the College of Business as part of the University's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute. She taught students how to apply evidence-based entrepreneurship methods to go from an idea to a sustainable business model.
Monique served as a Mentor for Techstars and a Director and Mentor for Founder Institute, two of the world's premier early-stage tech startup accelerators. Monique currently serves as a mentor to several tech startup founders as well as for many small business owners in her role as a volunteer for SCORE, a 50 year-old non-profit association supported by the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow, and achieve goals through education and mentoring. She received SCORE's Outstanding Mentor Award for 2017.
As a woman in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), Monique has experienced many challenges and rewards along her journey. She is committed to helping and connecting with others who share the same love of STEM and may be considering pursuing or actively involved in a STEM field. Monique partners with many organizations to support the recruitment, retainment, and advancement of women in STEM-related educational tracks and career fields as well as organizations that incite and support the entrepreneurial spirit in others. As part of her work in this area, she serves as a Research Affiliate for the EDEFI (Explorations in Diversifying Engineering Faculty Initiative), federally-funded research conducted by Vanderbilt University.
EDEFI investigates the institutional, technical, social, and cultural factors that affect the decision-making, career choices, and career satisfaction for doctoral students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty who have been marginalized by race and/or gender.
Monique is often an invited speaker on both topics and eagerly accepts opportunities to share her experiences and extend the message of encouragement to diverse audiences. Her perspectives on business are technology are often sought, including by Atlanta's own Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Rolling Out Media.
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