Innovate St. Louis, a nonprofit corporation that sponsors the Information Technology Entrepreneur Network, has signed up with the Kauffman Foundation to launch a 1 Million Cups program.
St. Louis joins Kansas City, Des Moines and Houston as locations for the weekly concept which brings startup and early-stage entrepreneurs together to share ideas.
The Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation started 1 Million Cups in April 2012 in Kansas City. The idea is to provide a community-building coffee klatsch for entrepreneurs to present information about their enterprises to each other as well as to potential funders and other advisers.
"Our hypothesis was that if Kansas City entrepreneurs had a million more cups of coffee together, we could fundamentally change the culture of entrepreneurship here," said Nate Olson, a Kauffman Foundation analyst and 1 Million Cups co-founder.
The weekly Kansas City gathering is held at the Kauffman Foundation, where attendance hit a record of 260 one Wednesday last month. Meetings are open to the public.
Generally, the early-stage business founders sign up with the meeting organizers to give six-minute presentations about their companies and then answer questions.
In St. Louis, the Wednesday morning meeting will be held in the studios of the local PBS station, KETC.
Kauffman organizers said they expect to have 1 Million Cups programs in 20 U.S. cities by the end of this year.
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