1 Million Cups — Kansas City’s most-popular entrepreneur event series — is brewing a move to the area’s largest coworking community.
After six years of hosting the entrepreneurial showcase event at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 1MCKC is moving its weekly program to Plexpod Westport Commons. 1 Million Cups began in Kansas City in April of 2012 and has since spread to more than 180 communities across the nation.
“This move is an excellent opportunity to breathe fresh air into the program and integrate ourselves even more deeply into Kansas City’s entrepreneurial community,” said Courtney Windholz, lead organizer for the program. “1MCKC has remained an integral part of KC’s entrepreneurial community thanks to the support of the Kauffman Foundation and because we have never wavered from our commitment to highlight and nurture Kansas City’s entrepreneurs. This move allows us to carry that commitment into the future in new and exciting ways.”
1 Million Cups features two entrepreneurs each week who deliver 10-minute pitches to an audience with the intent to educate, engage and network. The Kauffman Foundation will continue to sponsor the Kansas City program and support the development of 1 Million Cups communities across the U.S. Program volunteers plan to take July off and then kick off the series at Plexpod on Aug. 1
The program aims to unite communities in support of entrepreneurs, said Matt Fischer, director of new entrepreneurial learning at the Kauffman Foundation.
“At its core, 1 Million Cups is about building the practice, the ‘healthy habit,’ of bringing together local entrepreneurship community members, every week, over coffee,” Fischer said. “The 1MCKC organizers work tirelessly to engage, educate, connect and support Kansas City entrepreneurs. We’re excited to watch them adapt and grow the community here in town.”
The new host venue, Plexpod Westport Commons, will have ample space for the program, as it is the largest coworking space in Kansas City. Its Medallion Theater holds upward of 300 people and features professional-grade audio-visual equipment.
“We look forward to hosting 1MCKC each Wednesday morning,” said Gerald Smith, founder and CEO of Plexpod, which currently has three locations around the metro and is still expanding. “Our mission to grow and nurture entrepreneurship in Kansas City exactly aligns with 1MCKC. Together we can continue to support Kansas City entrepreneurs in even more exciting and robust ways.”
Joining Plexpod as supporters of the program is Startland News, which will serve as a media sponsor, helping promote the series and deliver news updates to its audience. The Sundry and KCSourceLink also will help facilitate the weekly event.
1MCKC will host its final event at the Kauffman Foundation on Wednesday, June 27 at 9 a.m. Program volunteers plan to take July off and then kick off the series at Plexpod on Aug. 1
“We call 1MCKC the front porch of Kansas City’s entrepreneurial community because everyone is welcome to begin their journey here by enjoying some coffee and hearing from the entrepreneurs who make this city special,” said Windholz. “We hope you’ll join us at Plexpod Westport Commons in August and can’t wait to see what Kansas City’s entrepreneurs have in store for us next.”