Million Cups shines spotlight on local entrepreneurs

  • Published in Business

12 02 million cups

Eric Pratt, of SwitchBlade Systems, presented at One Million Cups Franklin Falls about Flyk – a Micro SDI streaming multitool. (Courtesy photo)

FRANKLIN — Local entrepreneurs, established business owners and community members gathered around Take Root Coworking recently, coffee cups in hand.

They gathered for the soft launch of 1 Million Cups Franklin Falls, a national program that seeks to engage, educate and connect local entrepreneurs.

Founded by the Kauffman Foundation, 1 Million Cups is based on the notion that entrepreneurs network and discover solutions over a million cups of coffee. The free monthly meetings help build startup communities on a grassroots level.

Oscar Gala Grano, lead organizer, said Franklin is the perfect place to start a 1 Million Cups group. More than 100 such gatherings exist in cities across the United States, but Franklin Falls is the only group here in New Hampshire.

Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month and include one to two presenters who can sign up to share their ideas. Presenters speak for about six minutes each, which is followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session from the audience. On Nov. 1, the crowd heard a presentation from Eric Pratt, of SwitchBlade Systems.

Pratt said, “Having the opportunity to speak about my business in front of regional business owners, about the challenges we face as a startup, was highly beneficial. Their feedback was valuable and got me thinking about new solutions to our problems.”

The inaugural 1 Million Cups Franklin Falls meeting will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 3, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Take Root Coworking, located at 359 Central St. in downtown Franklin. This meeting will feature a presentation by Tyler Matzke of Hidden Collective. Entrepreneurs, innovators, funders and other interested community members are invited to attend this free event.

“The networking atmosphere, after the meeting concluded, was very helpful in regards to discussing what solutions we can offer each other as part of the business community,” said Pratt.

The program is currently accepting any business less than 5 years old that wants to present to the audience. Each company will be videotaped and have the opportunity to present at other 1 Million Cups across the country.

You can learn more about 1 Million Cups Franklin Falls by visiting www.1millioncups.com/franklinfalls or following the program on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.