Debrief from the 1 Million Cups Summit
I’ve been a facilitator for the local 1 Million Cups since about November 2013. I replaced one of the original organizers for the Reno team and was chosen because I showed up every week anyway. Ok well maybe because I had connections on campus and with some of the startups in town.
I spent 27 hours in Kansas City where over 30 cities were represented for the 1 Million Cups summit. It was a whirlwind. I was sick. It takes time to think about things. So here is my debrief.
Our 1 Million Cups was set up with thought and care. We were one of the few cities that were set up in a “third space” which nobody owned. This created a more open platform for our city to buy into. This may be why so many people feel comfortable and welcomed in our location.
We don’t have an audience problem. Some weeks when we only have 25 people show up, I’m worried that we’re doing something wrong. However, some of these cities are having a hard time establishing a good sized audience or sometimes even retaining them.
We have a lot to learn and adapt as organizers. It was helpful to hear the feedback and processes from other cities. It let me know what we’ve got a lot to perfect still. There are certain ways of handling difficult questions from the audience, taciturn presenters and task management that we could integrate to improve our experience as both facilitators and as audience members.
I am excited about the things to come. There are a few initiatives that the Kauffman Foundation is organizing or spearheading that will make the program even better. One thing is what sounds to be a major rehaul of the website (several months out). Another is a mobile application for audience members to survey how the presenter did and for them to connect with their network to let them know about 1MC. They are also making it easier to get policy makers involved with important issues to entrepreneurs.
So the wrap up: I’m excited to be a part of the Biggest Little City’s 1 Million Cups and can’t wait to celebrate my first year with the team (coming soon!).