Gainesville will soon be the newest home of 1 Million Cups — a free program to engage, educate and connect local entrepreneurs with the goal to build a strong startup community over a cup of coffee and a conversation. The program is set to launch in late and will run from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. and continue every Wednesday at the Santa Fe College CIED, 530 W University Avenue.
The program’s model is consistent in each location across the country. Every Wednesday morning, two early-stage startups have six minutes to present their companies to an audience of mentors, advisors, venture capitalists and other entrepreneur, including viewers from across the US. After their presentations, they will get the opportunity to field questions from the audience for another 20 minutes.
The program’s volunteer supporters include key players in the Gainesville community – Lee May, Executive Director of Gainesville Area Innovation Network (GAIN), Stephanie George, entrepreneur and investor, Arun Ranade, Chapter Vice Chairman and Workshop Director of SCORE, Kirsten Forde, Property Manager at Infinity Hall, Eva Del Rio, entrepreneur and Founder of HR Pro, David Flores, entrepreneur and Project Manager at Onward Development, and Gainesville City Commissioner, Todd Chase.
“I am thrilled that the Kauffman Foundation has accepted our application to bring 1 Million Cups to Gainesville!” said Lee May, GAIN’s Executive Director and Lead Organizer of 1 Million Cups in Gainesville. “This program will shine a national spotlight on our innovative entrepreneurial community and showcase the many exciting new local startups that we hope will grow into successful anchor companies in the Gainesville area.”
1 Million cups, developed by the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, was created to expand our nation’s entrepreneurial network. The rationale is if entrepreneurs share 1 million cups of coffee, magical business outcomes will occur in that community. 1 Million Cups began in April 2012 and is currently in over 75 cities around the country and averages more than 2,500 weekly attendees per city. For more information, visit www.1millioncups.com.