Think your business is one in a million?
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is offering 1 Million Cups presenters from the last year a chance to snag some cash — and this year they’ve bumped up the prize to $25,000.
In its second year, the 1 in a Million competition is open to any firm that has presented at one of 99 cities to host 1 Million Cups between Aug. 12, 2015 to Aug. 24, 2016. To enter, businesses must submit a 60-second elevator pitch online by noon, Sept. 13. More than 20 competitors have already applied.
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.
This year, the competition will be entirely virtual. Once judges have narrowed down businesses to the top 40, the public will vote on the top 15 semi-finalists. The public will later be prompted in an additional round of voting that will narrow submissions to five finalists, and a panel of Kauffman fellows will make the final decision.
In addition to $25,000, the winner receives bragging rights as well as the No. 1 trophy. Kansas City-area startup Blooom won the competition in its inaugural year by presenting its online 401(k) management tool. Four other Kansas City startups entered the round of 40.