1 Million Cups is a new networking event to Indianapolis, and it’s quickly picking up steam. Kicks Digital Marketing had the opportunity to present at the first ever field trip. Home of the Speakeasy in Broad Ripple, the 1MC community visited Launch Fishers on Wednesday, June 7. As expected, the room was full of engaging 1MC community members.
What’s 1 Million Cups?
It’s a supportive, inclusive community that meets on a weekly basis to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs. Each week 2 entrepreneurs present a sort of “state of the state:” about their young company. Unlike many other entrepreneurial pitching scenarios, it’s not about pitching something for the sake of obtaining funding. It’s intent is more organic. At the end of each presentation THE question is asked, “What can we as a community do for you?”
What can we do for you? That’s such a great question! What business owner wouldn’t love the opportunity to answer that question. As business owners, we spend much of our time wondering how we can help other people. We spend countless hours thinking, planning and executing on behalf of our customers, potential customers and employees. I repeat: what a GREAT question! What can we do for you? That’s the heart of genuine networking and connectivity. That’s the spirit we all should possess when we attend anything ‘outside of our comfort zone’. A helpful spirit is better served. That’s the number one reason that 1 Million Cups will be a smashing success in Indianapolis.
What’s the format?
Each business owner of a company 3 years or younger is connected and coached with a 1MC mentor in preparation for a 6 minutes presentation, followed by a 20 minute Q&A. Of course, there is coffee readily available, but with a room of movers and shakers, these people are fueled by more than caffeine. It’s free to join the 1MC Community. I’ve been and presented at many events and in my opinion, because of it’s unique format- there’s no better way to make more meaningful connections, both as a presenter and an attendee.
As a young company, 1MC offered us an awesome opportunity to get our rebranded name out into the Indianapolis space. As a company, Kicks Digital Marketing is capable of awesome things. We’ve done really awesome things. We aren’t just another digital marketing company. Our business model is different than most. In our 6 minutes, I covered these major bullet points:
- Why we do what we do.
- The lessons that we’ve learned in doing it.
- How we’re different and where I think that may take us.
These are questions most entrepreneurs know the answer to, but rarely take the time to formalize the answer in a digestible way. All business owners, of any size and stage, can benefit from the story of another business owner- regardless of the type of business. There are always takeaways. In our 18 months as a company, I’ve had the pleasure to work with 114 unique businesses. My favorite of those business owners are those shrouded in truth. Good, bad or indifferent they walk in that truth- not masking weaknesses or failures. They’re willing to share their battle wounds and lessons learned. Every time I have a truly honest conversation with one of those trailblazers, I make note and I recommit myself to having authentic, transparent, dialogue with others.
Organic, unforced connection…that seems to be the 1 Million Cups way.