Pixly wins The Veteran Fund’s $100,000 Pitch Contest at the 2022 Military Influencer Conference

(L-R) Mike Sherbakov, The Veteran Fund; Lisa Song Sutton
(L-R) Mike Sherbakov, The Veteran Fund; Lisa Song Sutton, The Veteran Fund; Lee Mills, Pixly; Monica Fullerton, Spouse-ly; Dan Crenshaw, Congressman
(Copyright of Lee Mills)

Pixly, a San Diego-based software startup focused on visual documentation and collaboration for construction, facilities, and real estate, won a prestigious $100,000 startup pitch contest hosted by The Veteran Fund at the 2022 Military Influencer Conference, according to a news release.

Pixly was initially born out of the San Diego Connect Springboard program, which elevates entrepreneurs by providing educational programming, mentorship, introductions, and access to capital. There, Encinitas resident Lee Mills, a connect mentor, met Patrick Caughey, an architect with an app idea to solve photo documentation problems he experienced firsthand in construction. They partnered as co-founders with Thayer Flynn, a third-generation developer, and construction professional, to launch Pixly in late 2019, right before Covid.

Since launching, they’ve built their iOS app, launched a web app version, secured numerous Letters Of Intent from top general contractors, and generated hundreds of early users along with high-profile pilot projects, the news release stated.

“It was an incredible honor to be invited to participate in The Veteran Fund’s $100k startup competition at the Military Influencer Conference. We were up against many great veteran startups with great pitches and opportunities for investors. We are honored and humbled to win the contest with the support from The Veteran Fund, the Military Influencer Conference, and the military community. Pixly will be using the funds to enhance the product with new features and support early customers along with sales and marketing to grow faster,” said Mills, CEO at Pixly, in the news release.

Mills came to San Diego while serving aboard the USS Constellation CV-64, America’s Flagship. After serving four years and earning a Navy Achievement Medal, he completed design school while working full-time as a telemarketer. After that, he started his tech startup career as one of the first marketing hires for, followed by Anonymizer, MojoPages, and Raken, where he became an expert in construction technology.

“The Veteran Fund is helping our nation’s heroes launch and scale successful startups. We had over 120 startups apply for the contest. Selecting the semi-finalists and finalists based on their virtual pitches was challenging, but five stood out, and Pixly won. We are proud to help team Pixly and look forward to helping more veteran lead entrepreneurs succeed,” said Ryan Micheletti, general partner at The Veteran Fund, in the news release.

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