1 Million Cups Meets at Merge Iowa City for First Time

1 Million Cups – founded by the Kauffman Foundation in 2015 – is a free program designed to educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs with their communities. It started in Kansas City, and has since expanded to cities all over the country, including Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City.

On Wednesday mornings, one or two early-stage businesses present their companies to their communities. Every event is free and everyone is welcome and invited to attend!

Each founder presents for six minutes, followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the audience.

Our local chapter meets every week, alternating between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. The Geonetric building in the NewBo district is the Cedar Rapids location, and up until now, Midwest One bank was the Iowa City host.

Today, 1 Million Cups met in their new Iowa City location, a co-working space in the ped-mall area called Merge.

MERGE Innovation Space, an expansion of the IC CoLab, is designed to create and cultivate a knowledge ecosystem for entrepreneurs and startups, offering vital resources and connections to successfully create, launch and grow new companies in Iowa’s Creative Corridor.

Today we heard from Jed Eichhorn about his venture, Little Sports Torts. Little Sports Torts offers programs for pre-school aged children, typically in a pre-school or day care setting using age appropriate sports equipment and exercises to build motor skills and promote wellness. Their motto is “Bringing Kids Out Of Their Shells”.

1 Million Cups is a fun way to spend a Wednesday morning, between hearing a local small business tell their story, and meeting other like-minded folks, I’ve never come away from a presentation disappointed.