Santa Barbara entrepreneurs will soon be able to accomplish two musts for growing their businesses: Presenting their companies and getting their morning coffee.
Starting Wednesday, the Eastside Library will kick off 1 Million Cups, a Kauffman Foundation-run program that helps entrepreneurs “with the tools and resources to break down barriers that stand in the way of starting and growing their businesses.”
Starting in the Kauffman Foundation’s home city of Kansas City in 2012, 1 Million Cups has expanded to more than 180 communities.
It is based on the idea that “entrepreneurs discover solutions and engage with their communities over a million cups of coffee,” according to a news release.
The program is the same in every community it operates, with one or two early-stage startups presenting before an audience of mentors, advisers and fellow entrepreneurs. Presentations are six minutes and followed by 20 minutes of question-and-answer with the audience.
As described on the 1 Million Cups website, the presentations provide entrepreneurs the opportunity to refine their “elevator pitch” and plug into a support network that includes coaching from the program’s organizers.
Through involvement with 1 Million Cups, entrepreneurs will have access to online training programs that help with creating presentations and mastering question-and-answer sessions. Presenters will have the opportunity to present again and again after making changes to their companies. Those interested in presenting can apply by going to www.1millioncups.com and clicking on the “present” tab.
Santa Barbara’s first 1 Million Cups gathering will feature a presentation by Santa Barbara-based coffee importer Karmic Circle Coffee, which specializes in importing “high-quality Vietnamese Coffee.”
Rae Tran, Karmic Circle co-founder and 1 Million Cups co-organizer, told the News-Press that the company is looking forward to the opportunity to “share to the community about our importing Vietnamese coffee journey.”
Other organizers for Wednesday’s event include Eastside Library librarian Ahmad Merza, local mortgage loan officer Terra Taylor, and California Meridian Insurance Services agent Paul Saldana.
For questions regarding the gathering, Mr. Merza can be reached at the library by calling 805-963-3727.
The Eastside Library at 1102 E. Montecito St. Wednesday’s 1 Million Cups gathering will begin at 9 a.m. and meetings will be held each week.