The Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City wanted to play around with the idea that entrepreneurs discover solutions and network over a million cups of coffee. Thus, 1 Million Cups (1MC) was born – a free program designed to educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs with their communities. With over 100 communities around the United States, 1 Million Cups is now coming to the entrepreneurial community of Manhattan, KS.
Beginning on November 1st, the first Wednesday morning of each month from 8am-9am, two early-stage startups, small business owners, or local community organizations have the opportunity to present their mission to a diverse audience including peers, mentors, educators and advisors.
“Each founder presents for 6 minutes, followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the audience,” community organizer Josh Hicks said.
Afterward, each startup receives feedback to gain insights on improving their businesses, gather real-time feedback and connect with the Manhattan community.
Hicks said “the culture surrounding 1 Million Cups is that of a supportive, inclusive, and educational space welcoming entrepreneurs to be open and honest about their businesses and the challenges they face.”
Prior to presenting, the presenter has the opportunity to prepare with lessons from the Kauffman Founders School “Powerful Presentations” series, featuring Nathan Gold.
Throughout the hour long event each month, one of the main goals is to engage in collaborative and honest conversations with like-minded people in your community.
“1 Million Cups is a great addition to the Manhattan entrepreneurial ecosystem and represents a true community effort to support entrepreneurs who will hopefully become the next great foundational business leaders in Manhattan,” said Trent Armbrust, Director of Economic Development for the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce.
According to KC Sourcelink, a resource for Kansas City’s small business owners, through 1MC, entrepreneurs can gain insight into possible ways they can improve their businesses, gather feedback, connect with a community that truly cares about their progress, and walk away feeling like they have advanced their business. Through the 1 Million Cups program, there is a real opportunity for development and diverse engagement for both the audience and the entrepreneurs.
Kiley Moody, Economic Development Specialist at the K-State Institute for Commercialization, added, “I am excited to be part of 1 Million Cups MHK to help entrepreneurs connect to the Manhattan community and people who can help their dream become a reality. There are a lot of people in Manhattan who have great ideas. 1 Million Cups MHK will provide a platform for these people to share their ideas and will enhance the entrepreneurial spirit.”
“At the end of the day, 1 Million Cups is a great addition, if not the driving force, to connecting the ecosystem in Manhattan around entrepreneurs of all kinds. Young or wise, new or 15 years in, tech or agriculture, it’s a level playing field where we all can come together and support who is doing what, and spur them on by sharing knowledge and resources,” Hicks said.
Join us for the first round of conversations!
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
The Wareham, 410 Poyntz Ave, Manhattan, KS, 66502
The 1MC Manhattan Organizers are currently looking for local coffee sponsors, as well as taking applications for presenters and community organizers. If interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on 1MC Manhattan, click here.