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One Million Cups: Building Communities One Cup at a Time

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One Million Cups has come to Anchorage! If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s an engagement program by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. Overall,  it’s a great opportunity to enjoy a huge dose of creativity and inspiration while connecting with a community of brilliant thinkers who are the innovators, disrupters, and gritty dreamer-doers of Anchorage.

Here’s the official about:

Each week, the 1MC program offers two local entrepreneurs an opportunity to present their startups to a diverse audience of mentors, advisors, and entrepreneurs. Presenters prepare a 6 minute educational presentation and engage in 20 minutes of feedback and questioning after they present. Entrepreneurs gain insight into possible ways they can improve their businesses, gather realtime feedback, connect with a community that truly cares about their progress, and walk away feeling like they have advanced their business. The audience also learns a great deal from the presentations. Whether this is through passively listening or deeply engaging with the entrepreneurs, there is much to learn every week from these dynamic and diverse communities.

Pretty cool, right? The program was developed by Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation and in Anchorage is organized by the awesome Boardroom duo, Brit Szymoniak and Katherine Jernstrom, along with Diamond Redmond, Matt Waliszek, and Will Kyzer (thanks team for “caffeinating  our community!”).

The events are open to anyone who is interested – I’ve been to two so far:

1. Freedom Fractionals, which “provides all-inclusive, shared aircraft leasing and charter services” via gorgeous Cirrus SR22 GTS.

2. Catapult Consulting, who presented their new iPhone app, ‘Stay Focused,’ which adds a new capability to the iPhone camera.
Both concepts were totally different, and totally fascinating. It’s a great experience to listen to entrepreneurs share their ideas, and then to listen to their thoughtful responses to the audience’s questions. Other presentations have ranged from an after tax wealth portfolio optimizer to kosher and organic baby food.

Overall, 1 Million Cups is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to polish business pitches, identify weaknesses in their business plans, and gather feedback from an incisive but supportive audience. And of course, there are often potential investors in the crowd, looking for the next big thing to fund.

If you’d like to attend, stop by the Boardroom on Wednesdays from 9:00 – 10:00. Free coffee provided by Kaladi Bros (in the super cute cups above!). And, if you miss an event but want to see the presentation, Buzzbizz Studios records each one – you can catch them on the OneMillionCupsAnchorage Facebook page. Potential presenters can contact the organizers here.

Hope to see you there!

Read more from Gretchen Fauske on her blog, GretchenLovesAnchorage.