1 Million Cups, an organization founded by the Kauffman Foundation to grow and sustain a successful entrepreneurship community, has launched in South Bend. The weekly event brings together entrepreneurs and the Michiana community over coffee and conversation.
Local entrepreneurs who are about to start businesses to those who have been operating business for up to five years are encouraged to participate in South Bend’s 1 Million Cups to gain community support and recognition. Visit South Bend’s 1 Million Cups website for more information about the meetings and to apply to make a presentation.<.p>
Wednesday mornings, one or two early-stage businesses, will present their companies to a supportive community audience. Prior to presenting, the founder prepares by incorporating lessons from the Kauffman Founders School Powerful Presentations series with Nathan Gold. The six-minute presentations will be followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the audience.
Vibrant entrepreneurial communities provide opportunities for the exchange of ideas and for enabling new collaborations. The1 Million Cups framework provides a unique combination of education and networking opportunities that enable entrepreneurs to share their vision and the community to come alongside to support their efforts,” said Alan Steele, regional director of the North Central Small Business and Development Center, who initiated 1 Million Cups in South Bend along with Aimee Carrol, business development director for 101Co3.
Operating in over 130 communities nationwide, I Million Cups is based on the idea entrepreneurs discover ideas and network over a million cups of coffee. The program is designed to bring people together over those cups of coffee to nurture early-stage businesses and foster a supportive entrepreneurial environment.
One Million Cups in the South Bend region was organized by Aimee Carroll (101Co3), Alan Steele (North Central Indiana Small Business Development Center), Rick Kolbe (Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics at IU South Bend), Nancy Osianowski (SCORE), MaryJo Stevens (Mishawaka Business Association), and Karen Haun (Bendix Coffee which is providing the fuel for this program).
The 1 Million Cup platform is not only a great way for people in our community to tell others about their businesses, but it hopefully starts conversations of encouragement and networking that will help our local entrepreneurs get to the next step, commented Carroll.