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1 Million Cups Columbia, SC Celebrates One Year of Educating and Connecting Entrepreneurs

Free, weekly program developed by the Kauffman Foundation

continues to educate, engage and connect

COLUMBIA, SC (March 25, 2015) ‹ Columbia celebrated its one-year anniversary of hosting 1 Million Cups, a weekly program to help educate, engage and connect local entrepreneurs. A standing-room only group of innovators, investors and other interested community members attended the first anniversary of 1 Million Cups-Columbia on Wednesday, March 25 at Cromer’s P-nuts. The anniversary edition featured presentations by two successful local entrepreneurs ­ Shawn Regan, CEO and co-founder of Rhytmlink and Phil Waddell, owner of Chocolate Nirvana.

1 Million Cups ‹ based on the notion that entrepreneurs network and discover solutions over a million cups of coffee ‹ was founded by the Kauffman Foundation to help build startup communities on a grassroots level. Since launching in Kansas City in April 2012, 1 Million Cups is now in more than 65 cities across the nation.

1 Million Cups-Columbia, SC launched last March with 10 people in attendance, and has since expanded, drawing approximately 50 attendees each week and having over 80 Columbia area entrepreneurs present so far. “The growth of 1MC-Columbia is really based on the ongoing education of entrepreneurs, creating successful businesses and bringing people together to build community,” said John Wilkinson, one of the program’s local volunteer organizers. “Not only is it a new experiential-learning opportunity every week, but it has become the No. 1 entrepreneurial event in town.”

The program’s format is consistent in each of its more than 65 locations across the country: Every Wednesday morning, one or two early-stage startups present their companies to a local audience of mentors, advisers and other entrepreneurs for free. Each founder presents for six minutes, followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the audience.

“1MC was a great experience and a valuable resource for the local small business community,” says Matt Vaadi, CEO/founder of ERG Payroll of his experience presenting at 1 Million Cups.

Driving the effort as volunteer community organizers in Columbia are:

·      Agata Chydzinski, General Manager of Cromer’s

·      Greg Hilton, Co-founder of Evolution Partners and SOCO

·      Karl McCollester, Founder and CEO of Voterheads

·      Debi Schadel, Co-founder of Flock and Rally

·      John Wilkinson, COO of USA eShop

For more information, view the national 1 Million Cups website at www.1millioncups.com and access the local microsite at www.1millioncups.com/columbiasc. Follow 1 Million Cups-Columbia on Twitter at @1millioncupsCOL and through the hashtag #1MC.

 

About 1 Million Cups:

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in America and improve the education of children and youth. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. Visit www.kauffman.org for more information.

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