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From Concept to 34 Cities in 24 Months

Nate Olson on April 17, 2014 Source: e360 Blog

Nate OlsonRecently, we celebrated the two-year anniversary of the launch of 1 Million Cups. We never try to hide the fact that 1 Million Cups was/is still a large experiment in how to build grassroots entrepreneurial communities. When we look back in two years, there are a few things that we are very proud of and want to highlight.

The secret to the growth of 1 Million Cups is in empowering entrepreneurs to be the change that they want to see in their communities. A wise person once said, "If you can't find something you want to be a part of, build it." Our greatest success over the past two years has been empowering entrepreneurs to become community builders and change agents for their communities. There are currently 132 entrepreneurs across the country that deserve credit for all of their hard work, commitment, and creativity. We could not be where we are today if it weren't for them. (The Unsung Heroes.) If you see your community organizers past or present, give them a BIG hug.


Historically, entrepreneurs are the people that define the future and “known-for” characteristics of our community. When you look back at Kansas City, it is the names of the entrepreneurs you recall that have shaped your community. Ultimately, grassroots entrepreneurial leaders are shaping the futures of our communities – and the future is bright. We often ask in Kansas City, “Is the next Mr. K walking across the stage?”

We’ve been committed to building 1 Million Cups with the entrepreneurs that we serve. We don’t claim to know entirely where the future of 1 Million Cups is going, and we believe that version 3.0 is going to be built in partnership with the communities we serve. As we build the future, the entrepreneurs will have a strong voice in shaping what is built.

We are excited for the potential for program development and location growth in our third year. We know that we will soon hit 50 cities in the United States, and we are striving to take necessary steps to expand internationally. We should be launching Puerto Rico as a stepping-stone into Central America this summer.

Thanks for all the support! Here’s to a bright future and amazing communities.



Tags:  1 Million Cups, startup communities, 2 year anniversary, 34 cities, empowering entrepreneurs, Unsung Heroes, community builders, community organizers, Kansas City, Central America

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