Nice shirts. Clever designs. The perfect mix of whimsy and irreverent wordplay. They’d fit in well among the Kansas City apparel scene.
Except for one glaring snag: They’re brewed in Fargo.
Yeah. That Fargo. And if you don’t want to see them on the backs of KC’s 1 Million Cups team, you’ll make plans to attend the two remaining Wednesday morning pitch events in September, organizers say.
See, Wendy Guillies, CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which developed 1 Million Cups, accepted a challenge from the North Dakota community’s version of the pitch program: Whomever gets the most attendees in September wins bragging rights.
And if KC doesn’t top Fargo?
“The losing city will have to rep the other city’s shirts,” Guillies said. “So let’s make sure we stay cool in our KC shirts. Come to 1MC each week, and bring a friend.”
Of course, there’s more to 1 Million Cups than a light-hearted competition between cities. The program — established in April 2012 in Kansas City — supports the early stage development of entrepreneurs, said Victor Hwang, vice president of entrepreneurship for the Kauffman Foundation.
And while organizers hope to have 1 Million Cups in 500 cities by the end of 2018, it’s already been particularly impactful in the program’s hometown, he said.
“Kansas City is on the verge,” Hwang said. “It’s a city full of makers, doers, and dreamers, just waiting to be unleashed. But we have to help those emerging entrepreneurs. Every piece of advice, every referral you make, every door you open – it all makes a difference.”
By helping a new entrepreneur, participants are making a difference in the city, he added.
“When you attend 1MC, you’re not just helping that entrepreneur, you are making a contribution to KC’s future,” Hwang said. “Join us at 1MC, again and again.”
Especially in September.