A startup pitch event that the Kauffman Foundation created this spring, is going global. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has been driving startups through global events by participating heavily with Startup Weekend, Startup America and sponsoring many startup and entrepreneurial events across the globe.
1 Million Cups is an informal weekly meetup, that until now, only occurred at Kauffman’s Kansas City headquarters. Each Wednesday morning two startups get to pitch a group of their peers over coffee. The Kauffman Foundation has already seen 64 pitches during the first 35 meetings.
Last month, during Global Entrepreneurship Week, Des Moines Iowa became the second city to host 1 Million Cups events. Nate Olson, a Kauffman Foundation analyst, and the 1 Million Cups coordinator hopes to add 20 more cities by the end of 2013. In Q1 2013 the foundation plans to bring Cedar Rapids IA, Omaha Neb, Lincoln Neb, and possibly Columbia MO online as well.
“We are expanding from the interior of the country outward, so don’t look for us on the coast just yet” Kauffman Foundation Vice President Thom Ruhe said in an email to the Kansas City Business Journal. Rhue hinted that bigger startup hubs, like Silicon Valley, are more “entrepreneurially aware”.
The Kansas City meetups host 120 people each week, from the tech sector. They’re attracting entrepreneurs, wantrerpreneurs, outside advisers and others.
To continue their expansion the Kauffman Foundation is seeking out entrepreneurs in other cities that can host the weekly pitch events and of course provide free coffee.
Source: KC Business Journal