1 Million Cups (“1MC”) is a free, weekly national program designed to educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs. Developed by the Kauffman Foundation, 1MC is based on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and network over a million cups of coffee.

That’s word-for-word from the 1MC mothership in Kansas City, but I think it’s neat that Des Moines was the first remote location for this weekly gathering that has now grown to over 65 cities throughout the United States.

After being a part of the startup community for so long and enjoying this energizing event as an attendee for over two years, it’s been humbling to jump into the 1MC organizer’s role with a few others to keep the presenters scheduled, build sponsor partnerships and emcee 1 Million Cups in Des Moines each week. As I emcee 1 Million Cups Des Moines, I enjoy meeting new people, jumping on stage, opening things up, sharing community announcements and welcoming a new entrepreneur to our 1MC stage.

Recently, I had the opportunity to jump on this 1MC stage myself to share Tournament Seeker, our new API platform for tournaments, a short bit on Jet Set Studio and encourage people to check out UGC Niagara 2015, which I would be leaving for the very next day! I created this dynamic pitch deck and really enjoyed fielding a variety of community questions and ideas on April 22, 2015.

In fact, I recorded the entire 11 minute pitch and 38 minute Q&A session, then mixed it up into a fun example of what I’d like to see us doing for all our 1MC presenters each week! I had a few technical difficulties and the video is zoomed in a bit too much with a mediocre video camera, but the audio is the core message that has already been fun for me to revisit!

Along with numerous questions and ideas that you can hear for yourself in the video below, a special thank you to Brad Dwyer for his Facebook targeting idea that literally translated into thousands of data points that will allow Jet Set Studio to continue building community within eSports.

Alright, here‘s your chance to experience the interactivity of 1MC in Des Moines while learning more about Tournament Seeker and Jet Set Studio!

Along with great networking, free coffee and an innovative energy that’s infectious for so many, my favorite element of our interactive 1MC event is that the entire experience is so much less about “here’s what I do”, and so much more about learning from others and “how can I help accelerate you”.

When you release yourself from having hidden objectives as you meet new people, the world becomes a sandbox for new ideas, more meaningful questions and an opportunity to learn things you simply can’t search on Google.

I’ve become obsessed with accelerating others and at its core, 1 Million Cups allows me to fuel my passion of bringing great people together.

Keep building everyone!