One Kansas City’s most popular entrepreneurial events is offering its thousands of fans an app to increase engagement.
The 1 Million Cups community in Kansas City and around the world has long asked for an app, and now it’s becoming a reality, said Jordan Marsillo, 1 Million Cups program coordinator.
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation partnered with Kansas City-based Cremalab to develop the app. The interface mimics the 1 Million Cups website and allows users to see who’s presenting, the event’s location and to connect with community organizers.
1 Million Cups was established in Kansas City in 2012 and the format has since spread to dozens of cities around the world. Every Wednesday morning, two startup founders present to an audience with the intent to educate, engage and network — all over a cup of coffee. The audience then serves up critical questions to founders in an effort to challenge their business models and approaches.
On Wednesdays, attendees can use the app to check in to your local event. Users can see who else is in the room with them and are encouraged to connect with them on LinkedIn or other social media. Marsillo said that the app’s most important feature is the ability for attendees to provide additional feedback to presenters through a forum.
“Easy access to targetable and actionable feedback will only increase the peer-to-peer learning that already happens during 1 Million Cups’ question-and-answer sessions,” Marsillo said. “I also think that we’ll start to see a lot more connectivity between communities and across the country, as it will be so much easier for people to do so.”
“I think the app is just one tactic of the broader connectivity that 1MC is bringing to entrepreneurship.” – Larry Jacob
Larry Jacob, vice president of communications at the Kauffman Foundation, is eager to get the app in the hands of the 1 Million Cup attendees. He added that it was important to him for all of the 99 communities to gain access at once.
“I think the app is just one tactic of the broader connectivity that 1MC is bringing to entrepreneurship,” Jacob said. “It’s a visible way to see it and what we know about entrepreneurs is they can be really lonely, and this level of connectivity helps people learn and gather information about how they can be successful and that’s really the value.”
As organizers gear up for the upcoming 1 in a Million grant competition, app users may notice a perk.
1 Million Cup app users will be among the first in the community to learn the finalists as they’re revealed. As the semi-finalists and finalists are announced, users will receive push notifications with real time updates on the online-only startup competition.