Are you an early stage startup with an awesome product? As an entrepreneur, you are probably looking to bootstrap and keep costs low. You are also wanting to get some advice on how to scale. You may be looking to connect with some VCs and mark your next move. These are some very good reasons for you to go out and meet other entrepreneurs. As a matter of fact, entrepreneurs should network in their communities not only to solidify their product, but also to build up entrepreneurship where they are. That is what Kauffman Foundation’s 1Million Cups program aims to do.
What is 1Million Cups?
1Million Cups was developed by the Kauffman Foundation and originated in Kansas City, MO. In the 76 communities in the United States that hold 1Million Cups, entrepreneurs connect and meet each other while learning from each other’s experiences.
The idea that entrepreneurs network, educate, and engage one another in conversations is the heart of 1Million Cups. As these conversations happen, over a million cups of coffee, they can discover solutions to their problems.
A Whole Community on Coffee
There are about 95 communities all over the US that participate in 1Million Cups. From Albany, NY to Yankton, SD and San Juan, PR to Anchorage, AK, the communities run consistently on Wednesdays at 9 AM. The presenters, often local businesses, lay out the story of their companies in from of their peers, mentors, educators, and advisors.
The reason entrepreneurs should network at 1Million Cups is pretty simple. For someone that is starting out, it is nice to be around a space that welcomes you and to be with people that are object, open, and honest. Those that attend will find that other businesses have faced similar challenges and connect on that notion.
Entrepreneurs Should Network at 1MC
Presenters at 1Million Cups prepare a six-minute presentation about their company. This isn’t a spiel. It’s the story of your business. The elevator pitch that allows for attendees to get to know your product, your pain points, and your successes. Keeping it at six minutes means we get to the meat of the business and more time for feedback.
A 20-minute Q and A with the audience follows the presentation and can prove to be the most beneficial to the presenter. There is a genuine care and desire from the community to help because your success is their success.
Many presenters come back 6-12 months down the line and report on how their business is doing.
Find Your Community
The fact that 1Million Cups allows for local entrepreneurs to connect with one another is pretty awesome. It promotes togetherness with local startups and encourages conversations among people that should be talking to each other anyways. You can find your nearest 1Million Cups community here. If your area doesn’t have one, well, pioneer that and create a 1Million Cups in your city.
Once you have met the right people at 1Million Cups and have brought together some great ideas, Tractus Online will be there to help you execute your plans. We can help with website development, marketing, and other services that you need to get your business off the ground running.
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