The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (Kansas City), among its many worthy endeavors, has done much to help entrepreneurs flourish. One of its more recent and very impressive creations in this arena is the founding almost a year ago of “1 Million Cups” (1MC). The principal idea was communities are built around coffee cups. Therefore, the more folks we can network to entrepreneurs, the better for everyone.
In that spirit, every Wednesday morning entrepreneurs and those supportive of entrepreneurs convene to hear a couple startup pitches. People can also attend live online. The audience is able to engage each presenter to ask questions and offer advice. I think this is an excellent idea to help the business community in general and entrepreneurs in particular.
What is even more exciting is 1MC has been expanding to other cities. In addition to its Kansas City home base, 1MC now includes Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Houston, Reno, and Saint Louis. Plans are in place for more growth too.
Entrepreneurship is so dependent on collaboration and idea exchange. Being able to network, field questions, and entertain alternate perspectives is extremely valuable. It seems to me 1MC has found the sweet spot in this realm. I look forward to many happy returns from 1MC.