Recently, I became an Brand Ambassador for the Fairfax, Virginia chapter of 1 Million Cups. After having presented to the Prince William Chamber and again at the Fairfax chapter, I thought it was an extremely valuable opportunity to be a part of a mastermind type of group.
Often, I will say on the podcast that “iron sharpens iron” and that's the case for these meetings often there's a room (now virtual) full of experts that have perspectives that presenters but even guests can learn from. That's the beauty of 1 Million Cups and one of the reasons I was excited to become a “Brand Ambassador.”
What is it 1 Million Cups
1 Million Cups is a free program created with an aim of educating, engaging and inspiring entrepreneurs around the country.
The program was started by Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in 2012 and has since grown to 180 communities.
Kauffman believed it was a fundamental right for anyone who had a big idea to be able to bring it to life—and that’s what 1 Million Cups is all about.
At the heart of its success is the idea of diversity, equity and inclusion for a successful community.
Authentic connections is one of the pillars of 1 Million Cups. It, therefore, creates the connected, relaxed atmosphere of the coffee house to achieve its mission around the country.
1 Million Cups communities meet and discuss ideas. Entrepreneurs get an outside perspective and useful feedback because it's all about making friends, building relationships and business ideas, and giving each other encouragement.
Presenting at 1 Million Cups
The mini-business masterminds start with networking typically on Wednesdays at 8:45 am on Zoom for coffee and connections. The official meeting starts at 9:00 am via Zoom and meet until 10:00 am.
It’s a great chance to get the tools and support you need as well as get new ideas/challenges.
- You get the chance to present the latest business challenge which is different from a pitch.
- Receive free valuable feedback from the community of entrepreneurs.
- A coach/organizer will help presenters prepare a short presentation for the audience. It often ends with 1-2 “challenge questions” that will provide a start for the conversation.
- Join like-minded entrepreneurs and increase your visibility and connections.
How to join
You can find the list of communities here and if it’s not included, you can organize 1 Million Cups for your community. There are typically monthly sponsorship and opportunities to become a brand ambassador.
Learn more about 1 Million Cups