Earlier this month, 35 people gathered at the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord to kick-off 1 Million Cups Central NH, a new monthly event that connects local entrepreneurs and innovators with each other and their community in a relaxed and inspiring atmosphere.
Created by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in 2012, 1 Million Cups is a national program designed to educate, engage and inspire entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs and their communites come together to connect, break down barriers and grow their businesses and ideas. In central New Hampshire, Extension has partnered with Making Matters NH and NHTI to bring the region's entrepreneurs and community leaders together each month for a jolt of caffeine and a burst of inspiration.
The November 2018 event offered plenty of inspiration. At each 1 Million Cups event, two local entrepreneuers present their businesses, or business ideas to other local leaders. Tim Near of Cyborg Lab and Bill Yacopucci of Franklin Gear were the inaugural presenters. Cyborg Lab produces a voice-activated running app that lets users track their workouts and compete with friends. Near shared his experiences with starting a tech company and answered questions from the audience about Cyborg Lab's future and the challenges and opportunities he expects to face.
During his presentation, Yacopucci explained how the town of Franklin's on-going revitalization has provided his apparel company with the inspiration necessary for a new business to succeed. And when businesses succeed, so do the communities they're in, Yacopucci explained--he hopes that Franklin Gear plays a part in "bringing a sense of pride back to the city."
The central New Hampshire 1 Million Cups events take place each month at NHTI. The idea is that communities in the Granite State and beyond will "share 1 million cups of coffee" while supporting local entreprenuers and developing ecosystems for innovation. The events are free and open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend regardless of background or experience. Entrepreneurs and small business owners are often so focused on their work that they feel disconnected from their peers and communities. Each 1 Million Cups event is another step toward bringing communities and innovators together to develop ideas, build support networks and work together on solving challenging problems. As we build more of these connections, we can establish central New Hampshire as an innovative region where entreprenuers will want to open their businesses and set down roots in local communities.
Join the conversation (and have some coffee)
The next 1 Million Cups Central NH event takes place on Dec 5, 8-9 a.m. at NHTI’s Grappone Hall. We’ll be celebrating women’s entrepreneurship month with presentations by two local entrepreneurs. They will each present for six minutes, followed by 15-20 minutes of audience questions and conversation.
If you’re an entrepreneur interested in presenting at a future 1 Million Cups event, or you have questions about the program, send us an email.