Entrepreneurial Program 1 Million Cups Celebrates 1st Anniversary
SAN JUAN – The entrepreneurial program 1 Million Cups Puerto Rico (1MC) will be celebrating its first anniversary Wednesday, kicking off a new season for 2016. The event will include a presentation of its new format, as well as previous participants sharing their achievements and success stories as startup entrepreneurs. In 2015, the local edition held over 29 presentations with the local business community.
The activity, free-of-charge, will take place at 9 a.m at Piloto 151, a co-working office space in Old San Juan.
“We are very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve through 1 Million Cups Puerto Rico. This program is the only one in the ecosystem that provides weekly mentoring to fledgling entrepreneurs on an ongoing and consistent basis. Many of the entrepreneurs who have received mentoring in our program have gone on to grow their businesses significantly, and on February 3rd we will celebrate their successes with them and the entire startup community,” said Sofia Stolberg, co-founder of Piloto 151 and Codetrotters, which together with Yees!, a nonprofit that teaches entrepreneurship to youth, brought 1MC to the island.
1MC is a weekly educational program created by Minnesota-based Kauffman Foundation. The program meets from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. every Wednesday in Puerto Rico, as well as in more than 66 cities across the United States. It was designed to educate, engage and accelerate the startup community.
The format of the program allows two local entrepreneurs the opportunity to present their startup to a diverse audience of peers, mentors, educators and advisers. Entrepreneurs have 6 minutes to pitch their company and 20 minutes to receive comments and questions. They benefit from insights on how they can improve their business, get live feedback from the rest of the community and can connect with a community that is genuinely interested in their progress.
The local organizing group, which includes nonprofit organizations Piloto Labs and Yees!, with the support of a network of collaborators, including Grupo Guayacán, Centro para Emprendedores, Brands of Puerto Rico and Higher Fashion, “invites the community to join the efforts to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem and ensure its development in Puerto Rico,” a news release reads.
“We are making a very special appeal to the whole entrepreneurial community to join this great effort to support our budding entrepreneurs who are often those who need support the most. This year, we will be bringing the program to more universities and different forums to reach a wider audience. We invite the community and the public at large to celebrate this anniversary with us where participants will also have the opportunity to learn more about the program and engage with entrepreneurs and mentors who have supported us along the way,” pointed out Carlos Jiménez, who is also organizer of the program and co-founder of Yees!.
Some of the local companies that have participated in the program include: PolinizaPR, an emerging project that provides vegan, organic and low-sugar dessert options; Tredé, a company that makes 3D printing; Latte Latte, a coffee shop dedicated to social entrepreneurship; and INVID, a company that has spent 12 years creating cyber programs and applications for companies in Puerto Rico and abroad.