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Regional Spotlight: 1 Million Cups

March brought to North Texas the Dallas Startup week, UTD Hackathon, and the announcement of Tech-wildcatters newest acceleration class. With all this activity, it is easy to get excited about startups and the state of entrepreneurship in North Texas. What’s less easy is figuring out where to begin to learn about the exciting new businesses and innovations that the North Texas Startup community is producing.

So I would like to send you all an invitation to 1 Million Cups (1MC). 1MC is a way to help entrepreneurs connect with mentors, advisers, customers and community by presenting their business for five minutes with 20 minutes of feedback and questions. This event is held every Wednesday in both Dallas and Fort Worth at The DEC and Ideaworks respectively at 9 a.m., and as the name suggests, coffee is served.

Each week you get to see two early stage businesses trying to advance their ideas and refine their pitch. This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to introduce yourself to startups in the region. You can learn about the newest social media platform or latest advancement in technology. While these are serious companies, this is a casual event. Come as you are, listen, ask questions and dive into this exciting space.

Jennifer Conley of The DEC is one of the community organizers of 1MC Dallas:

“When we started 1 Million Cups back in November of 2013, we discovered two things. First, there is no shortage of innovative startup companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Over 100 entrepreneurs have pitched their startup venture on the 1 Million Cups Dallas stage and we are continually booked about two months out. These entrepreneurs are passionate, driven and they have a desire to be part of a greater community that gives rather than takes. Our second discovery was about the community. The 1 Million Cups community comes out to The DEC at 9 a.m. on Wednesday and they are taking a vested interest in local entrepreneurs. While the audience size has grown from 10 people to over 70 people, the outcome remains a constant, and it’s all built on the notion, ‘how can we help you?’. It’s a powerful question because it’s being genuinely asked after every single pitch. And when the program is over, these entrepreneurs have 10 or 15 people waiting in line to talk to them because everyone has something to offer. It could be a skill set, coaching, mentoring or a connection. Everyone can play a role in the community, and the 1 Million Cups program is just one way to get involved and plug in. We also love it because it’s not another happy hour and if you miss one week, there is only six more days until the next one. And you never know who you are going to meet.”

1 Million Cups is an organization started in Kansas City but now has community run outposts all over the country. It is a testament to the amount of activity in North Texas that we would boast two events weekly.

If you’d like to learn more go to:

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