2019 Commerce Magazine Book_Cmmrc_PROOF1 - Page 34

CAFFEINATED ECOSYSTEM Creating an Entrepreneurial Network ~Professional & Experienced Staff ~Lighting ~Ceiling Fans ~Unique Home Décor ~Soaker Tubs ~House Packages Nationwide, 3 out of 1,000 people decide to start a business every month, and 2324 N Perkins Rd Stillwater (405) 332-5526 Mon-Fri 9-6 Sat 10-3 1 Million Cups is built to be the support mechanism that helps the other 997 con- www.amberslighting.com tribute to the growth of entrepreneurs and the businesses they start. 66 T he 1 Million Cups program was established by the Ewing Marion take on the 1 Million Cups platform. The presentations have allowed Kauff man Foundation and is based on the idea that entrepreneurs the community to learn about the talent and aptitude available in a discover solutions and network over a million cups of coff ee. The unique way, Hazzard said. national program is designed to educate, engage and connect entre- “We’ve structured our presentations fairly uniquely in that we typ- ically have two contrasting business platforms present together, “We saw the impact 1 Million Cups had on other communities and which brings together an interesting mix of audience and perspec- knew Stillwater needed a program for entrepreneurs to share their tive,” Hazzard said. “It causes some engineered serendipity to take stories and seek guidance from their peers,” said Justin Minges, Pres- place, or collisions of people who wouldn’t have connected otherwise. ident and CEO of the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce. “Giving our This ecosystem is so relationship-based that it’s easy to see the big entrepreneurs more tools to be successful is paramount for the future impacts from these small moments.” success of Stillwater’s economy.” Entrepreneurs from all industries are invited to apply to present. In 2018, more than 20 startups showcased their visions at Stillwa- Companies should be fewer than 5 years old. Those interested in pre- ter’s 1MC presentations with more than 700 attendees. The monthly senting at an upcoming 1MC event should submit an application at event, held from 9-10 a.m. on the fi rst Wednesday of the month, is 1millioncups.com/Stillwater. This event is free and open to the public. part of the Startup Stillwater initiative to help boost the entrepre- “I hope our community continues to rally around 1 Million Cups and neurial ecosystem in the community. Following their presentations, the presenters and audiences engage in a 20-minute Q&A Judy Hull 1507 S Sangre Rd 405-377-1990 Matt Hull, CFP ® 1507 S Sangre Rd 405-377-1990 Steven C. Norman 424 S. Lewis 405-372-7437 Patricia A. Huffman, CFP ® AAMS ® 409 S Duck St 405-780-7238 Judy K. Stevinson, AAMS ® 4721 W 6th Suite 150 405-372-8472 Kevin D. Clark 1120 N Duck Ste J 405-780-7539 www.edwardjones.com M e m b e r S I P C session. Each segment ends with the event’s host asking the presenter, “What can we as a community do for you?” Justin Hazzard, Director of Meridian Technology Cen- ter’s Center for Business Development, said Oklahoma paved the way for smaller communities like Stillwater to its local startups,” Minges said. “In true 1MC fashion, I want you to know what you can do for your entrepreneurial commu- nity. Even more important than attending the events and engaging in the Q&A is being an advocate for our entre- preneurs.” BY AUBRIE BOWL AN preneurs within their communities. 67