Strengthening Rural Communities: Neil’s Vision for Economic Development

Neil Mylet is a passionate advocate for rural communities and is on a mission to improve economic opportunities in his hometown of Camden, Indiana. Neil is a 2008 graduate of Purdue. He majored in Agriculture Economics and received the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Despite facing numerous obstacles, Neil aims to position his town as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Neil’s journey began with a simple realization that in many rural communities surviving is a daily struggle and more needs to be done to empower families to break free from a cycle of poverty and limited job opportunities. A project idea to meet this need came to him during the COVID-19 pandemic when he had some time on his hands and was working on a video project. When it came time to upload the video to the web, he was forced to drive 45 minutes from home to get access to the bandwidth necessary. He quickly realized that this posed a significant challenge for anyone in his community that was trying to do business, start a business, or even get a job. 

Strengthening Rural Communities: Neil's Vision for Economic Development. Neil Mylet is pictured.

Neil Mylet is pictured above.

This led Neil to create a technology hub and coworking space in Camden. The plan is to offer high speed internet and infrastructure, as well as access to remote internships, jobs, educational opportunities, and mentorship. His vision for the space included the renovation of the 18,000 square-foot former Opera House in Camden, Indiana. The first phase of the project, a functional computer lab, is scheduled to open by the end of 2025. Neil’s objective is to connect the hub to startup companies around the US and create a model for long term economic growth and sustainability for rural communities. 

Looking ahead, Neil estimates that renovations will easily exceed a million dollars. He remains focused on creating connections, collaborations, and generating value for the residents of Camden. He says he draws on the skills he gained in the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program as he continues to build the network able to assist with funding and construction. 

By investing in education, technology, and community engagement, Neil committed to catalyzing transformative change in his hometown and beyond. Neil continues to give back to Purdue through regular visits to entrepreneurship classes, where he inspires students to be entrepreneurial in a variety of settings.