On the 4th Wednesday of every month, the Broad Ripple Speak Easy is abuzz, and not just with the regular membership filling Indy’s first coworking space. Around 8:00 am the ground floor floods with local business owners and entrepreneurs, filling the air with comradery and openness. Over a hot cup of Circadian coffee, strangers introduce themselves and share their dreams, interests, and affinity for Indy and surrounding areas.
This is 1 Million Cups Indy, a monthly gathering of local entrepreneurs and curious professionals who come together in a mutual passion for bettering their business community by sharing and learning from one another. The program is organized by volunteers from the Speak Easy, Indy Chamber, Elevate Ventures, Ivy Tech, and a handful of ambitious entrepreneurs who believe that community and good ideas are developed over dozens and dozens of conversations…or better yet, a million cups of coffee.
Each month, the program provides two local entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their startups to a diverse audience of mentors, advisors, investors, entrepreneurs, students: you name it. Businesses vary from artisan creations and retail shops to tech startups and high growth products. Presenters prepare a six minute behind-the-scenes presentation and engage in twenty minutes of feedback and Q&A after they present. These entrepreneurs gather feedback, gaining insight into possible ways they can improve their businesses. They walk away with an immediate action plan to advance their business. Above all, they connect with a community that cares about their progress.
1 Million Cups helps provide resources and a community for entrepreneurs at every stage, because we all know that business ownership is tough. It starts with an idea that becomes a passion, a journey filled with ups and downs that shouldn’t be experienced alone.
Since the launch of 1MC Indy in April of 2017, hundreds of entrepreneurs have been connected and encouraged through the regular meetups. Nick Hinton, the founder of the artisan snack food brand Hinton’s Pig Chips, is one of the entrepreneurs who have used 1MC Indy as a catalyst for growth. According to Nick, “1MC has not only been a great confidence booster and networking source, but it has also been a place where I’ve found a wealth of directly implementable and useful information in regard to operations and growth.” He pitched his business and growth plans at 1 Million Cups in August 2017 and announced his goals to quit his day job and sell 1,000 units a week by the end of 2018. Two months later, Nick was able to confidently step away from his day job. At any given 1MC, you can find him chatting it up with peers about his investment plans, greeting newcomers, and providing encouraging feedback during a presenter’s Q&A.
Whether you’re looking for an opportunity to share a business idea or just want to hear about emerging startups, join us at our next event September 26th. We’ll save you a cup o’ joe.
Have questions about presenting your business, attending an event, or other general inquiries? Shoot us a message on Facebook, or holler at our team lead Susanna Taft or our emcee Drew Kincius. We’d love to connect!