Denver Set to Launch 1 Million Cups to Educate, Connect Local Entrepreneurs

Top Quote Weekly program developed by Kauffman Foundation is helping to build startup communities nationwide. End Quote
  • Denver, CO (1888PressRelease) June 10, 2013 - 1 Million Cups™, a program to educate and connect entrepreneurs, is set to launch in downtown Denver next Wednesday, June 12th. The Mile High City is the newest city - and the eighth nationwide - to host the weekly gathering that is building startup communities over cups of coffee and conversation across the country.

    1 Million Cups began in April 2012 in Kansas City, the hometown of its founding organization, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The 1 Million Cups network is on target to expand to 20 U.S. cities by the end of 2013, and at least one international city is expected to join the mix.

    Each Wednesday morning in each 1 Million Cups city, two early-stage startups present their companies to a diverse audience of mentors, advisers and, most importantly, other entrepreneurs. Each founder presents for six minutes and then fields audience questions for another 20 minutes.

    Denver entrepreneurs, innovators, and interested community members will meet at 9 a.m. each Wednesday at Galvanize, a business accelerator located at 1062 Delaware St.

    Presenting at the inaugural 1 Million Cups gathering will be local startups Hot Straw, LLC and Wimbo Music:

    • Dawn Miracle, founder and CEO of Hot Straw, will share the story of the straw that doesn't leach chemicals into hot drinks. Hot Straw recently garnered "Best New Product (non-consumable)" honors at the 2012 Coffee Fest in Seattle.

    • Denis Oullette, founder and president of Wimbo Music, will highlight the iPhone app that gives musicians control of the instruments and vocals of their favorite songs to play or sing along. The recently launched mobile app is free and will soon offer popular music across multiple genres.

    In each 1 Million Cups' city, local entrepreneurs drive the program as community organizers. Assuming the leadership roles locally are Gary Gaessler, co-founder of Cloud Elements; Alvin McBorrough, founding & managing partner of OGX Consulting; and local serial entrepreneurs Mike Stemple and Karen Suhaka.

    "With the huge success of Denver Startup Week last year, it's clear that our startup community is eager for chances to learn and connect," Suhaka said. "1 Million Cups is an ideal format to help founders and others meet regularly, support each other and keep the entrepreneurial momentum going in our beautiful city. We especially hope to include non-tech companies to widen the conversation beyond what traditional meet-ups have focused on in the past."

    Nate Olson, a Kauffman Foundation associate and co-founder of 1 Million Cups, is pleased to welcome Denver to the 1 Million Cups family. "This city is a growing hub for all types of entrepreneurial activity. Great ideas are found everywhere, and we're excited to see the startups and community coming together in Denver."

    Denver joins Kansas City; Des Moines, Iowa; Houston; St. Louis; Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Iowa; Reno, Nev.; and Chattanooga, Tenn., in offering 1 Million Cups locally. Also launching this week is 1 Million Cups in Chapel Hill/Research Triangle Park, N.C.

    View the national website at Access the Denver microsite at

    About the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
    The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit, and follow the Foundation on and

    Media Contact:
    Gary Gaessler, 303-570-0003, gary ( @ ) cloud-elements dot com , Cloud Elements
    Barb Schulte, 816-932-1103, bschulte ( @ ) kauffman dot org, Kauffman Foundation

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