1 Million Cups Madison, a free, weekly program for entrepreneurs to present their business ideas to an audience over coffee, will move its meetings from 100state to the recently-renovated Madison Central Library (located at 201 W. Mifflin St.) starting Apr. 22 at 9 a.m.
1 Million Cups Madison volunteer organizer and co-founder Sarah Nettie said that with the move, “We're looking to reach out to a broader community within Madison, and hope that the library will help us reach even more entrepreneurs and interested Madisonians.”
The library will also give presenters access to high-tech resources. Rachel Neill, another 1 Million Cups Madison co-founder, said that moving “will make the meeting more accessible. The library offers audio and video recording equipment that will allow presenters to take home a digital copy of their presentations and not miss any valuable feedback.”
Library Director Greg Mickells looks forward to hosting the weekly educational program. He said, “Madison Public Library is proud to welcome 1 Million Cups Madison to the Central Library. 1 Million Cups embodies the library’s vision as a place to learn, share and create, and we are looking forward to sharing our resources to advance their entrepreneurial leadership for Madison.”
Since its launch in December of 2014, 1 Million Cups Madison has hosted 16 startups, who pitched their ideas to an audience of community members. Presenter Will Robus, co-founder of golf software startup Little Green Pencil, LLC, praised 1 Million Cups Madison as “open and accessible to a range of businesses and projects. [It’s] a comfortable forum to share ideas and get critical feedback.”
K Cancer Baseball, a youth-run nonprofit that supports families affected by childhood cancer, reaped direct benefits from presenting. Adrian Rapier, the group’s Youth Advisory Board VP of Digital Messaging, said, “We have had several small business groups open up to us as a result of our 1 Million Cups presentation, leading to revenue for our nonprofit.” Similarly, Bowen Close, who offers cooking classes through her startup, Bowen Appétit, experienced “an increase in self-confidence as a business owner, and in understanding new paths for improvement and growth.”
Reflecting on the first four months of 1 Million Cups Madison presentations, Neill said, “We have had many great ideas and presenters, the community has been so supportive, and our wonderful sponsors—Neider & Boucher, Nordic and Crescendo—have kept the free coffee flowing.”
In preparation for the move, 1 Million Cups Madison will not meet April 15.
About 1 Million Cups Madison
1 Million Cups, started by the Kansas City-based Kauffman Foundation, is a free, weekly opportunity for local entrepreneurs and startups to engage over coffee each Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. Its name is based on the idea that it takes one million cups of coffee to launch a startup. Startups of all varieties can apply to present their ideas, and anyone in the community who is interested can attend to listen, ask questions and offer advice.