1 Million Cups Spartanburg announces 1st Anniversary Celebration

SPARTANBURG, S.C.—An entrepreneurial experience that has helped galvanize Spartanburg’s startup community will soon celebrate a significant milestone.

One Million Cups Spartanburg, the local chapter of the national program founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, will host its 1 Year Anniversary Celebration. The event will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at Ciclops Cyderi and Brewery at 197 East St. John St, Spartanburg, S.C., 29306.

“When we started planning this as our Leadership Spartanburg project, we thought that some people were interested in learning about startup and early-stage companies,” said Erin Ouzts, founder of 1 Million Cups Spartanburg. “We found out that a large number of people are and they actively welcome and support each other. We have also seen everyone grow in their knowledge and understanding of starting and growing a business. This means we are truly living the Kauffman Foundation’s culture of providing an inclusive and supportive front door to our local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Try it out each month and be prepared to ask questions, listen and learn!”

Spartanburg’s installment of 1 Million Cups launched on Sept. 6, 2017, with a mission to engage, educate, and connect local entrepreneurs, as well as to build a thriving startup community at the grassroots level.

During the past year, 18 startups have presented their stories, including Atlas Organics, Vista Pressure Washing, In The Know, PureCHIROnow, Resiliency Technologies, Contractors Edge, and Neue South Collective. Some of those companies will provide updates at the celebration event.

“One Million Cups is yet another example of the local business community’s commitment to growing Spartanburg’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Brian Brady, director of the GreenHouse Business Incubator and instructor at the University of South Carolina Upstate’s George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics. “The quality of the companies who have presented this past year has been impressive, as has the number of attendees at each event.”

One Million Cups Spartanburg meetings, which are free and open to the public, are held the first Wednesday of every month at Ciclops Cyderi and Brewery. Each meeting begins with an entrepreneurial presentation followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience.

"For me, seeing the way the community has responded to and supported 1 Million Cups and the entrepreneurs who have presented is proof that Spartanburg is becoming a place that cultivates entrepreneurship,” said Tyler Senecal, entrepreneurial programs director at Wofford College. “One Million Cups has provided a consistent setting in which entrepreneurs engage, connect, and support one another. I haven't attended a meeting yet where a presenter left without establishing a meaningful connection to help advance their startup. Spartanburg has many of the elements that make up a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem—the angel network, talented individuals with great ideas, experienced mentors, and strong entrepreneurship centers at colleges such as Wofford and USC Upstate—to name a few. One Million Cups is playing a critical role by connecting this network through its monthly meetings. We are one year in and have already seen positive change. I'm excited to see this community continue developing throughout its second year and beyond."

Based on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and engage with their communities over a million cups of coffee, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation developed 1 Million Cups in 2012—a free program designed to educate, engage and inspire entrepreneurs around the country. Through the power of volunteers, 1 Million Cups has grown to more than 180 communities.

As a program of the Kauffman Foundation, 1 Million Cups works with entrepreneurs, empowering them with the tools and resources to break down barriers that stand in the way of starting and growing their businesses. Mr. Kauffman believed it was a fundamental right for anyone who had a big idea to be able to bring it to life—and we're here to fulfill that mission.

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