i2E Venture Advisor Mark Lauinger emailed me the photo above the other day with the explanation that it was taken at the inaugural 1 Million Cups event in Tulsa on Wednesday morning. I had never heard of the event.
As Mark explained it, the 1 Million Cups event is a Kauffman Foundation initiative in which entrepreneurs are invited to tell the stories of their startups with an audience of local mentors, advisors, funders, fellow entrepreneurs and others involved in the startup scene.
“It’s about entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs,” Mark said.
The 1 Million Cups event in Tulsa was one of 20 around the nation that occurred simultaneously. More than 80 people attended the downtown Tulsa event at Foolish Things Coffee.
i2E client Narrable was one of the two companies that presented at the first Tulsa event. The other was a company called HELO.
Here’s what a Kauffman news release said about the 1 Million Cups initiative:
“What began simply as a way for us to connect with the entrepreneurs who were starting up companies locally has morphed into a national phenomenon,” said Thom Ruhe, vice president of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. “We started in April 2012 with two entrepreneurs presenting to an audience of about a dozen Kauffman staff. Today, 1 Million Cups in Kansas City regularly draws more than 300 people each week.”
The Tulsa 1 Million Cups event will be held weekly.