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Business

1 Million Cups Hopes To Bring Local Entrepreneurs Together

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Sean Sandefur
/
KMUW

A weekly meeting about startups and entrepreneurs had its first event in Old Town this morning.

Dozens of people packed into Wichita State University’s new Old Town location for an initiative called 1 Million Cups, a program started in Kansas City that has spread to 77 cities across the U.S.

The idea behind 1 Million Cups is providing “a supportive, neutral space welcoming entrepreneurs to be open and honest about their businesses and the challenges they face.”

Each week, two local startup companies present their businesses to an audience of peers and mentors who give them constructive criticism, advice and encouragement.

Each business presents for six minutes, followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the audience.

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Credit Sean Sandefur / KMUW
Kenton Hansen, who founded the Labor Party in Wichita, introduces the owners of FlipHound at the first 1 Million Cups meeting Wednesday.

Bob Litan, a local lawyer and economist, helped organize 1 Million Cups in Wichita. He says creating a strong network of startups and entrepreneurs can help Wichita’s sluggish economy.

“Ultimately cities and their vitality rest on the success of new businesses," Litan says. "Because if you think about all the cities in America, they were all built, at one point, on new businesses.”

The first meeting saw presentations by AtlasMD, which was started in 2010 and FlipHound, which was started in 2013.

AtlasMD was started by a group of doctors who charge monthly fees instead of accepting health insurance.

FlipHound is a marketing agency that helps businesses advertise on LED billboards.

The meetings will be held each Wednesday at WSU Old Town. Next week’s entrepreneurs are Filimin and Postalocity.com.

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Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter @SeanSandefur

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