1 Million Cups Rochester

Local Businesses Ambient Clinical Analytics and FAVR Inc. Share their Startup Stories at Latest 1 Million Cups Rochester

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Last week two local startups earned the spotlight at 1 Million Cups Rochester: Ambient Clinical Analytics and FAVR Inc. Ambient Clinical Analytics, led by CEO Al Berning, is a digital health startup delivering innovative bedside predicative analytics. FAVR, an app-based tech startup led by CEO Solomon Antoine, serves as a peer to peer platform allowing customers to request a task at their own set price.

Serial entrepreneur Berning has started four companies in the last twenty-five years including LiquidCool Solutions, a Rochester company developing cooling solutions for electronics, and Pemstar, an electronics manufacturing firm. Berning’s newest startup, Ambient Clinical Analytics, is based on Mayo Clinic technology, which was developed over the past ten years in the Mayo Clinic ICU and emergency departments. Ambient Clinical Analytics sells real time clinical decision-making support tools to reduce clinical staff decision rate time and to eliminate errors. The startup has been in operation for five years selling to hospitals and hospital systems across the globe. The company has raised $7M in funding to date and is in the process of closing a $1M convertible note bridge round. Ambient Clinical Analytics has four products on the market, all aimed to reduce information overload on clinical caregivers and to organize and present data to enable rapid and informed clinical decision making. 

FAVR Inc.’s iOS app connects users with freelance workers to perform on demand lawn care and home chores. The app solves the users’ need to complete these tasks without use of their limited time while allowing a younger demographic of freelancers to earn money in their spare time. FAVR fills a unique space, allowing users to request tasks at their own set price. The app currently has two hundred fifty users on the platform, including customers and freelancers, all based in Rochester. The startup plans to expand its reach into four communities with a strong college base including Minneapolis, Brookings, Winona, and Mankato.

1 Million Cups is an educational event for entrepreneurs that takes place in one hundred eighty-two communities across the United States. 1 Million Cups Rochester occurs the first Wednesday of every month at 9AM in the Bleu Duck Kitchen event space. Join the community at the next event on Wednesday June 5th to hear the stories of two more entrepreneurs in our ecosystem.

Bike Repair, Apps, and Improved Shared Decision Making: Here's What Happened at the Latest 1 Million Cups Rochester

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The community heard from two Rochester-based entrepreneurs at the past 1 Million Cups Rochester who are operating in very different spheres.

First up was Ken Zaiken with KZaiken Enterprises. Zaiken is developing a patient-oriented app to improve the process of Shared Decision Making (SDM) called EZSDM.

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SDM- the process where the physician and the patient work together to plan out tests and treatments based on the patient’s values- is a well-documented method. The problem is, the actual implementation of SDM into the clinic does not always happen. Poor communication between patients and physicians, Zaiken explained, is a large part of the issue. When talking to physicians, patients may be overwhelmed or completely zone out and fail to effectively communicate during these challenging moments.

Zaiken said there needs to be a better way to tap into the patient mindset and have their values and desires play a role in their own healthcare. He believes that his app, EZSDM, is a viable solution to this problem.

Zaiken is using his twenty-eight years of software and project management experience to develop this tool to break down communication barriers and take into account the value of five different factors to the patient: duration of treatment, pain, life expectancy, success rate, and cost. Zaiken envisions EZSDM as a modern tablet interface where the patient can rank the importance of these five values to their treatment. The patient can then share graphical output of these rankings with the physician to influence the treatment plan.

“The important thing is to have a meaningful discussion,” Zaiken explained.

So far, he’s received positive feedback on EZSDM from the medical community. Now, he’s looking for a physician flagbearer for the product, which he hopes will help to drive funding to fuel the creation of a beta version of his vision.

Next up at 1 Million Cups Rochester was Charly Tri, Founder of My Bike Guy. My Bike Guy is a mobile bike repair business that Tri runs out of a van. This emerging startup is built off of Tri’s twenty-five-year history of bike repair.

Tri, a self-described “go-getter,” began working in a bike repair shop in Rochester at age fifteen. He first conceptualized his business four or five years ago but put the idea on the backburner until his oldest child entered kindergarten. Tri built his business as conservatively as possible to save funds, designing the website, logo, and even the wrap for his van himself.

Tri’s mobile bike repair shop is nearly as well supplied as any brick and mortar facility. The best part is the convenience of Tri’s service; My Bike Guy comes to you to repair your bike, regardless of location.

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“You literally don’t have to get out of your pajamas,” Tri joked.

The biggest threat to My Bike Guy, Tri explained, is the establishment of other mobile bike repair businesses in Rochester. However, he’s not too concerned. Tri thinks that you should have at least ten years of bike repair experience before launching into a mobile endeavor. Bike sales are the biggest opportunity for his business that Tri sees right now. He’s done fairly well in this avenue so far and can currently source any type of bike to retail.

1 Million Cups is a free, national education program developed by the Kauffman Foundation. 1 Million Cups takes place every Wednesday at 9AM across 174 US communities to support and encourage entrepreneurs. The program is based on the idea that entrepreneurs connect and discover solutions over one million cups of coffee.

Join the community at the next 1 Million Cups Rochester on Wednesday April 4th.

One Year Anniversaries and Fat Sequestering Nutraceuticals: the Latest 1 Million Cups Rochester

Jake Orme of LipiQuester at February's 1 Million Cups Rochester.

Jake Orme of LipiQuester at February's 1 Million Cups Rochester.

This week at 1 Million Cups Rochester, the community celebrated the one-year anniversary of the program in this community. Jake Orme, a physician at Mayo Clinic, also presented his anti-obesity product, LipiQuester.

1 Million Cups has served as a “supportive, neutral place” to share stories of startup development for the past twelve months in Rochester. The program is industry agnostic; over twenty-two groups have presented their business in Rochester so far on this platform. This upcoming year, the 1 Million Cups Rochester organizers are working to refine and improve the vetting and coaching process for companies applying to the 1 Million Cups Rochester program. The organizers also look to provide better follow up with past presenters for the Rochester community.

Over the past year, 1 Million Cups Rochester has had diverse impact leading to: access to enterprise customers, job offers, sales leads, improvement for future presentations, company awareness in the community, pivots, and mentorship opportunities.

The program focused on one presenter this month, Dr. Jake Orme of LipiQuester.

Orme is developing a product that captures and sequesters fat from digested food within the gut, preventing fats from interacting with bacteria and causing negative side effects. 

Over one-third of American adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first line of defense to treat obesity, Orme explained, is diet and exercise. However, this route is successfully sustained in only one out of ten people.

“Round two [of treatment] involves medications that aren’t that great,” he said.

This second line of defense includes drugs, like Orlistat, that prevent the body from breaking down fat. However, patients typically do not stay on these therapies for too long as they can lead to diarrhea, massive flatulence, and anal leakage.

Orme believes his product, LipiQuester, serves as a better solution than current drugs on the market to treat obesity. LipiQuester is a type of nutraceutical made of “thousands of tiny whiffle balls.” The outside matrix of these biodegradable, microscopic particles is similar to products like MiraLax, adding fiber to the diet. The inside of the matrix contains a hydrophobic resin that grabs and retains fats, eliminating them from the body.

LipiQuester has little taste and forms a suspension in water.

Orme’s team performed a small pilot study with the product in mice. LipiQuester prevented gains in body fat percentage in mice on high fat diets compared to animals that were not fed the product. The team is now looking to raise $10M to get LipiQuester onto the market, hopefully through the food additive pathway.

The next 1 Million Cups Rochester will take place on Wednesday, March 7th at 9 AM in the Bleu Duck Kitchen Event Space.

1 Million Cups is a free, national education program developed by the Kauffman Foundation. 1 Million Cups takes place every Wednesday at 9AM across 165 US communities to support and encourage entrepreneurs. The program is based on the idea that entrepreneurs connect and discover solutions over one million cups of coffee

The State of the Rochester Entrepreneurial Community- 2018

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As we transition into another year, it is a prime opportunity to examine the state of the Rochester entrepreneurial community, take stock of our achievements over the past year, examine our losses, and assess the future direction of this city’s innovation sector.

2017 brought several significant ongoing programs to Rochester. February saw the launch of 1 Million Cups Rochester, a monthly educational program for entrepreneurs that takes place in 163 communities across the United States. This event gave fourteen different Rochester startups the opportunity to share their story and gain input from the community on pressing business issues. November brought Rochester’s first full Startup Weekend, a 54-hour event where teams went from idea to a working prototype over a single weekend. Rochester also participated in Global Entrepreneurship Week for the fifth time this year, attracting over five hundred attendees across eighteen different events. The week was also officially proclaimed Entrepreneurship Week in Rochester by Mayor Brede. 

This year, two Rochester tech companies, Brandhoot and Xylo Technologies, were nominated for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Dream Big Small Business of the Year Awards, a significant honor for the community. In 2017 Binding Site, a global immunodiagnostic and instrumentation company, established a facility in northwest Rochester. This summer we also saw the addition of several new flights at Rochester International Airport, creating increased opportunity for business travel out of Rochester and improved connectivity to the global workforce.

In 2017 the entrepreneurial community experienced positive momentum in funding, with hopes to continue this trend in 2018. In August, Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI) announced the launch of the Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund to provide equity financing for startup development. While the new fund has not yet made any investments, Rochester companies raised over $17.5M in 2017 (according to Crunchbase), which includes a $5.4M Series A funding round by Ambient Clinical Analytics, as well as additional private equity and venture capital raises. RAEDI’s startup seed capital fund, the Economic Development Fund, to date has invested in fifteen local companies, of which eighty-two percent are women or minority owned. On the state-wide level, 2017 saw a record number of investments in Minnesota’s Medical Alley with $735M raised by eighty-five companies. 

Growth in Destination Medical Center’s Discovery Square sub-district also occurred over the past year. The district now has six current projects, including the Mortenson Building, the first new construction building in Discovery Square. Groundbreaking at this site occurred in November.

This year also brought a general increased interest in entrepreneurship within Rochester and increased coverage of this community by the city’s traditional news media. We also experienced increased organization of Rochester’s innovation sector with a larger number of local organizations beginning to partner with the city’s entrepreneurial community. One example of this increased connectivity was manifested in June, when Vic Gundotra and Dave Albert, senior leaders of the Silicon Valley healthtech company AliveCor, shared their stories of risk and uncertainty in an open forum with Rochester entrepreneurs.

Our entrepreneurial sector also experienced losses in 2017. Perhaps one of the most significant was the exit of architect Adam Ferrari, a leader in the creative community who designed inspiring spaces like Collider Coworking, Grand Rounds Brew Pub, Forager Brewing, Cube, and Café Steam where people could connect, learn, and build businesses. This year also saw the acquisition of Rochester startup Able, a tech startup that built software for farmers by farmers, which resulted in the dissolution of the startup and loss of four local tech jobs.

Although the community had setbacks this past year, 2018 offers opportunity. We look forward to potential increased international and national interest in Rochester, especially in the Discovery Square sub-district as it continues to grow. We also hope to see increased investment in Rochester-based companies and to experience continued recognition as an emerging biotech hub.

Special thanks to Jamie Sundsbak, Community Manager at Collider Coworking, and Xavier Frigola, Director of Entrepreneurship at RAEDI, for their input on the state of the Rochester entrepreneurial community.

Tracking Walker Use and Enhancing K-12 Science Education- the Latest 1 Million Cups Rochester

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Two early stage startups told their story at this month’s 1 Million Cups Rochester: Grand Forks, North Dakota company WalkSmart and Rochester-based startup MindTech.

 

About MindTech

This startup is led by Area 10 Labs lead engineer Chad Attlesey, software developer Pete Wall, and experience designer AJ Montpetit. The concept was originally developed by Area 10 engineer Adam Salmi.

“We want to inspire first person, personal experiences in education and learning. We want to inspire [kids] to want to learn,” explained Attlesey.

To achieve these goals, MindTech is developing a microscope for everyone, a personal learning tool they hope could be distributed to each K-12 student at the start of every school year. This rugged, high-powered microscope is highly portable, allowing kids to continue to learn outside of the classroom.

“[This microscope] is not a toy, but it’s designed to be used and abused,” Attlesey said.

The device is highly capable. It has data storage capacity and captures 1080p video. It is easily stacked and stored and can be color customized.

The MindTech team aims to get this first product into the hands of the 55M K-12 students in the U.S., a potential $5B market. They currently have microscopes in production and are partnering with the science education non-profit InSciEd Out, which has local and global reach.

The team aims to get the microscopes to a $100 price point with large volume production and sales.

About WalkSmart

WalkSmart, led by entrepreneur Peter Chamberlain, is developing a tool to foster “fitness, safety, and health for walker users.”

Falls cost the healthcare system about $34B each year and are the leading cause of fatal injury among older adults. Furthermore, adults who use walkers are four times more susceptible to falls than non-walker users, with seventy-five percent of these falls occurring when the person is not using their walker.

Currently, there are about 3M walker users in the U.S., said Chamberlain, which are evenly split between residing at home and in assisted living facilities.

His product, WalkSmart, aims to reduce falls, hospitalization, and healthcare costs with the first-ever smart walker attachment. WalkSmart discretely snaps onto the wheel of the walker and records data as it rotates. The data is fed into the cloud and can be accessed by mobile and web applications.

Multiple caregivers- who are typically family members- can link to each account to monitor fitness and receive safety alerts for their loved one. Caregivers can access WalkSmart data directly from an app to receive real time information, such as the last time their loved one walked with their walker and their historic walking data. Users can also obtain customized push notifications from the system, altering them if there is no morning activity from their loved one, for example.

Along with these alerts, WalkSmart also gives positive reinforcement messages to the user if they met daily fitness goals. Chamberlain is also developing a wearable device that goes directly on the user’s shoe and sends alerts if they are walking without their walker.

WalkSmart is currently available as a $15/month subscription model. Three healthcare facilities, two paying customers, and Chamberlain’s family testers are currently using the system.

 

About 1 Million Cups Rochester

1 Million Cups is a free, national education program that takes place in over 160 different communities across the United States to support entrepreneurship. 1 Million Cups Rochester occurs on the first Wednesday of every month at 9AM at the Bleu Duck Kitchen. The next 1 Million Cups Rochester will be held Wednesday, January 3rd.  

Entrepreneurial Program 1 Million Cups Plans for Massive 2018

Photo courtesy of Jamie Sundsbak.

Photo courtesy of Jamie Sundsbak.

1 Million Cups- the free, national education program for entrepreneurs- has a lofty goal. The organization aims to grow from 146 to 500 local chapters by the end of 2018. Plans for this expansion were unveiled at the 1 Million Cups Organizers Summit held last month in Kansas City, the birthplace of the program.

1 Million Cups occurs at 9AM every Wednesday in volunteer-run chapters all over the country. The local contingent, 1 Million Cups Rochester, launched this February and takes place the first Wednesday of every month. (The next one will be held this upcoming Wednesday October 4th.)

Photo courtesty of Jamie Sundsbak.

Photo courtesty of Jamie Sundsbak.

The goal of the program is to “connect, inspire, educate, and empower our communities.” At each 1 Million Cups event, two entrepreneurs get up in front of a gathering of peers to tell their story and- most importantly- ask for help from the community.

The 1 Million Cups Organizers Summit served as a unique way to meet other chapters- 96% of all 1 Million Cups were represented- to better understand what worked and what failed in these communities. 1 Million Cups Rochester volunteer Jamie Sundsbak represented the Rochester community at the event.

Although standard 1 Million Cups communities have programming every week, an increasing number of chapters hold only one event per month, providing a lower barrier to entry, Sundsbak explained. Many communities, Sundsbak said, have strayed away from the traditional 1 Million Cups model and have explored structures that work best for their community.

These alternatives include limiting the presentation to only one entrepreneurial speaker and dedicating the rest of the event to networking. Some communities have held quarterly recruitment events, where interested startups use the time to apply to become 1 Million Cups presenters.

[Interested in trying out a new format at 1 Million Cups Rochester? Fill out this survey to let the organizers know what you want.]

Sundsbak said that Kansas City is an amazing place to be an entrepreneur. He often looks toward the city as “a place [Rochester] could be very, very far down the road.”

Kansas City has the mission to become the most entrepreneurial city in the country, which, Sundsbak said, drives decision making on all levels. The inclusive, entrepreneur-led community runs on a “give first, get later” mentality.

“It’s been amazing, how aligned everybody has been, which I think is something that is very different from what we experience [in Rochester],” he explained.

Kansas City is built for the entrepreneur. The community has 12 business accelerators, 5 business incubators, 15 coworking facilities, and 7 maker spaces. Twenty-three startup support organizations are in the city, including the Kauffman Foundation, a private organization with the goal to “foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success.”

Here’s an inside look at four of the coworking spaces that house Kansas City’s entrepreneurs.

Plexpod: a 180,000-square foot space that previously was a middle school.

Think Big Coworking: four floors of coworking dedicated to community and promoting entrepreneurship.

Sprint Accelerator: a corporate accelerator with a dedicated portion for free coworking and conference rooms named after Kansas City innovations.

WeWork: The 7th largest unicorn- or private company valued at or over $1B- according to CrunchBase. WeWork is in twenty-three U.S. cities with a location opening soon in Minneapolis.

Agile Startups, Football Reps, and Social Media Management- the Latest 1 Million Cups Rochester

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Yesterday the latest installment of 1 Million Cups Rochester took place, featuring the rapidly growing Rochester tech startup GoRout and the emerging Twin Cities software company EverGreen.

 

GoRout

GoRout is an “on-field, visual communications platform for high school college, NFL, and CFL football programs.”

“Football,” explained GoRout Founder and CEO Mike Rolih, “is all about imagery.” In a sport dominated by chalk talks, diagrams, and film footage, the current communication methods used in football, Rolih said, are outdated and inefficient.

To communicate the next play during practice, coaches currently call their players off the line of scrimmage, talk through the upcoming play using a diagram on paper, and then send the players back out onto the field.

Rolih said this method uses up valuable practice time and does not speak the language of today’s generation of football players, “most of which have never lived their lives a single day without the iPod or the iPhone being in existence.”

Instead, GoRout has perfected football practice with their line of visual communication products. Their first product, Vue, displays play cards visually on a small screen that straps around players’ forearms and instantly communicates plays without the player ever leaving the field. GoRout’s newest product, Vue-Up, utilizes the same technology to display the next play across the visor of players’ helmets.

Using this technology, teams can run 45-55 reps in ten minutes, compared to 10-12 plays in that same amount of time without the GoRout products.

GoRout also developed their own private wireless network, covering all forty-eight lower U.S. states and half of Canada, that sends plays from the coaches to the players on the field in under one second.

All GoRout hardware is designed in Rochester. The tech startup provides their software to football teams for free and sells teams bandwidth on their private network. Rolih says GoRout is “pretty solid” now in both software and hardware development; their network has not dropped a single play since May.

GoRout has achieved much success. Rolih said their biggest problem now is dealing with the growth of the business.

“We’re transitioning from being a startup to [being] an early stage company. And with that comes a significant amount of learning pains and growth pains,” he explained.

Although the startup must expand, Rolih said he wants to keep the home office as small as possible. He expects the Rochester team to grow from seven to twenty-five people by the end of next year.

For himself and other startups in this city, Rolih asked Rochester entrepreneurs to start talking.

“We need to amplify stories about entrepreneurism here in Rochester, because there’s a significant group of people that expect everything in town to be run by one entity,” he said. “We have the opportunity to be more than just one thing in Rochester. And it’s really important that we find ways to do that.”

EverGreen

EverGreen is a social media automation tool for small to medium-sized businesses that lack the “time, resources, expertise, or budget to really run their own social media.” This emerging software startup was developed by accident, explained Founder Lou Abramowski.

A few years ago, Abramowski performed an experiment. He kept changing his birthdate on Facebook to the current day to see if he could receive happy birthday messages. He decided to continue this test until the birthday messages were no longer sincere. He expected the replies would continue for a few days. He was shocked when they went on for several weeks; he even received some from the same people more than once.

He deconstructed this experiment to determine why the messages continued for so long and boiled it down to one thing: “evergreen” content. “Evergreen,” Abramowski explained, is material that does not expire and is not relevant to the date, time, or current events. It’s something that’s educational, inspirational, or entertaining as opposed to content tied to a specific event, such as a Labor Day post, for example.

Since the beginning of social media marketing, Abramowski said people hesitated to reuse content or thought it should be “single serving,” or tailored to a very specific audience. Instead, he experimented with the exact opposite, even going so far as posting the same photo of a bunny wearing a backpack on Facebook every single day.

He began building up a library of this “evergreen” social media content on his computer desktop. Eventually, he designed software that would pull the content out of these libraries and randomly publish them on social media accounts whenever he did not publish content or have it scheduled on typical social media management platforms like Buffer or HootSuite.

Eventually, word spread and people asked to license his software.

Today, EverGreen publishes between 20-30K posts each day and manages a few thousand Facebook pages. Abramowski says fifty percent of his customers are solopreneurs. Another twenty-five percent are small businesses that cannot pay for a full time social media manager. The remaining twenty-five percent are larger agencies.

 

1 Million Cups Rochester

1 Million Cups is a free, national education program that takes place in over 133 different communities across the United States to support entrepreneurship. 1 Million Cups Rochester occurs on the first Wednesday of every month at 9AM at the Bleu Duck Kitchen. The next 1 Million Cups Rochester will be held Wednesday October 4th.  

Tech Startups GoRout and EverGreen to Present at Next 1 Million Cups Rochester

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Join the entrepreneurial community at the next 1 Million Cups Rochester on Wednesday, September 6th from 9-10AM in the Bleu Duck Kitchen Event Space. This month we have two entrepreneurs from the tech scene telling their story: Mike Rolih with GoRout and Louis Abramowski with EverGreen.

 

About GoRout

GoRout is a hardware and software tech startup based in Rochester, Minn. GoRout creates on-field wearable products to enhance communication between coaches and athletes during football practice at the high school, college, and professional level.

Launched in: 2014

Presenter: Mike Rolih

Industry: Information/Communication Tech

About EverGreen

EverGreen is developing a media marketing product to help small to medium sized businesses schedule Facebook and Twitter content.

Launched: 2016

Presenter: Louis Abramowski

Industry: Other/Technology

 

About 1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups is a free, national education program developed by the Kauffman Foundation. 1 Million Cups takes place every Wednesday at 9AM across 133 US communities to support and encourage entrepreneurs. The program is based on the idea that entrepreneurs connect and discover solutions over one million cups of coffee.

Offset Printing and Collider LLC to Present at Next 1 Million Cups Rochester

Join the entrepreneurial and small business community at the next 1 Million Cups Rochester on Wednesday, August 2nd from 9-10AM in the Bleu Duck Kitchen Event Space. This month we have two entrepreneurs from Rochester telling their story, and both work out of the same historic building in the downtown area: AJ Montpetit with Offset Printing and Jamie Sundsbak with Collider LLC.

 

About Offset Printing

Offset Printing is a very new business that works with artists and businesses to create and print T-shirts and mugs with both sublimation and screen printing.

Launched in: 2017

Presenter: AJ Montpetit

Industry: Other

About Collider LLC

Collider LLC is a coworking hub for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and startups in a historic building in downtown Rochester.

Launched: 2016

Presenter: Jamie Sundsbak

Industry: Other/Technology

 

About 1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups is a free, national education program developed by the Kauffman Foundation. 1 Million Cups takes place every Wednesday at 9AM across 132 US communities to support and encourage entrepreneurs. The program is based on the idea that entrepreneurs connect and discover solutions over one million cups of coffee.

Pure Rock Studios and Special Guests to Present at Next all Music 1 Million Cups Rochester

Join the entrepreneurial and small business community at the next 1 Million Cups Rochester on Wednesday July 12th (tomorrow!) from 9-10AM in the Bleu Duck Kitchen Event Space. This month is a very special music focused edition of 1 Million Cups! Join in to welcome featured entrepreneur, Ryan Utterback of Pure Rock Studios, and bonus innovators Dylan Hilliker, Founder of ROCKchester, Zach Zurn, Owner of Carpet Booth Studios, plus a special performance by Pure Rock students.

 

About Pure Rock Studios

Pure Rock Studios is Rochester’s premier lesson and performance center that custom fits lessons to meet student’s needs. Pure Rock provides private and group lessons, but also gives students the ability to participate in live performances. The Pure Rock team believes that live performance builds up a student’s confidence and stage presence, a skill important in multiple aspects of life, and allows students to immediately apply techniques learned in class.

Launched in: 2011

Founder: Ryan Utterback

Industry: Music

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About ROCKchester

ROCKchester is a local music and arts festival curated by teens and featuring teen musicians and artists.

Launched in: 2016

Founder: Dylan Hilliker

Industry: Music

 

About Carpet Booth Studios

Carpet Booth Studios is Rochester’s only full production and recording facility.

Launched in: 2017

Founder: Zach Zurn

Industry: Music

 

About 1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups is a free, national education program developed by the Kauffman Foundation. 1 Million Cups takes place every Wednesday at 9AM across 116 US communities to support and encourage entrepreneurs. The program is based on the idea that entrepreneurs connect and discover solutions over one million cups of coffee.

Five Reasons Why Your Startup should Present at 1 Million Cups Rochester

Derrick Chapman and Twisted Barrel Wood Fired Pizza.

Derrick Chapman and Twisted Barrel Wood Fired Pizza.

1 Million Cups is an educational program for entrepreneurs to share ideas, discover solutions, and engage the community. This national event was brought to Rochester, by the entrepreneurial community, this February. 1 Million Cups Rochester takes place the first Wednesday of every month in the Bleu Duck Kitchen. In addition to Rochester, we have nearby 1 Million Cups communities in Saint Paul, Willmar, Eau Claire, Fargo, Des Moines, Grand Forks, Sioux Falls, and Madison.

Tori Utley and Tinua.

Tori Utley and Tinua.

At this point, hopefully you have heard of 1 Million Cups Rochester before. Maybe you are on the fence about bringing your business front and center at this program.

Here are the top five reasons why your startup should present at 1 Million Cups Rochester.

 

Spark DJ's James Jones and John Boss.

Spark DJ's James Jones and John Boss.

1.     It focuses your thoughts about your business.

1 Million Cups presentations are six minutes long. That’s not a whole lot of time to tell your story and explain your business. Fine tuning a presentation into this short time frame helps to clarify thinking around your own business and practice delivering that message in a clear, concise manner. Prepping for a 1 Million Cups talk also helps to identify holes in your business plan.

 

2.     1 Million Cups is a friendly, community-oriented event.

Amanda Leightner and Rochester Rising.

Amanda Leightner and Rochester Rising.

1 Million Cups is not a pitch event. Entrepreneurs are not selling their business or promoting their products through a presentation. This is not the cut-throat world of Shark Tank. At its very roots, 1 Million Cups is an educational program. It’s not a networking group. It’s not a mechanism to gain sales. It is an opportunity to present your business concept to a community of people, mostly entrepreneurs themselves, who are just there to help you think about and develop your business. No one is there to cut a new entrepreneur down or criticize their business model. It’s a time to tell your story as an emerging business.

 

Nadia Wood with The Hybrids.

Nadia Wood with The Hybrids.

3.     It’s an opportunity to make connections.

1 Million Cups is all about leveraging the power and expertise of the community. At the end of the presentation each entrepreneur is asked, “What can this community do for you?” This gives entrepreneurs the chance to bring forward a very specific, direct ask for the community to solve.

 

4.     It’s great exposure and experience for your business.

Jocelyn Raymundo and Rochester Home Infusion.

Jocelyn Raymundo and Rochester Home Infusion.

1 Million Cups offers free exposure for your business to the people in that room (and those connected through the 1 Million Cups Rochester Facebook live feed, live tweets, and Instagram account), which immediately extends the reach of your startup. The main stream television and newspaper companies have covered 1 Million Cups Rochester during its early stages. There will always be coverage of 1 Million Cups Rochester, and in-depth stories of presenting Rochester entrepreneurs, on Rochester Rising. But more importantly, 1 Million Cups offers a time to practice talking about your startup and telling your story in a low key, minimum pressure setting. It is a time investment to prepare a six-minute talk, but it’s worth the effort. And if you’re up-to-date on your business plan, the information is already in place.

 

Frank Spaeth at Med City FC.

Frank Spaeth at Med City FC.

5.     You enjoy the benefits of participating in a national program.

1 Million Cups just celebrated its five-year anniversary in April and now takes place in 116 different communities across the United States, always at 9AM local time. Each 1 Million Cups is locally organized by entrepreneurs. 1 Million Cups was developed by the Kansas City-based Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit that supports and educates entrepreneurs. The 1 Million Cups program aims to “educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs in their own community, gathering over cups of coffee.” 1 Million Cups offers connections to not only the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, but to the 116 different 1 Million Cups communities as well.

 

Our startup and entrepreneurial community here in Rochester may be young, but it is strong and continues to grow every day. 1 Million Cups is an opportunity for emerging entrepreneurs- people taking risks and starting something in the community- to come forward and share their story to help us learn and grow together.

The 1 Million Cups Rochester organizing team is always willing to speak with entrepreneurs who want to hear more about the program and see if it is a good fit for their startup.

To learn more about 1 Million Cups Rochester, follow the community on the 1 Million Cups Rochester page or through their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts. Startups can apply to present directly through the 1 Million Cups Rochester page.

The Hybrids and MyBarJar to Present at Next 1 Million Cups Rochester

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Join the entrepreneurial and small business community at the next 1 Million Cups Rochester on Wednesday June 7th from 9-10AM. This month we’ll hear from two emerging startups, the Rochester-based The Hybrids and Twin Cities-based software company MyBarJar.

 

About The Hybrids

The Hybrids provides “digital solutions that empower the community” through their Community Care Connections (C3) platform. C3 provides services like program management, participant tracking, and reporting for healthcare and non-healthcare providers. C3 enables the creation of regional hubs for well-care and supports implementation of evidence-based health programs within the community.

Launched in: 2015

Founder: Nadia Wood

Industry: Information/Communication Tech

 

About MyBarJar

MyBarJar is an app that allows for easy gifting and receiving of drinks through BarJar credits to make any celebration better.

Launched: 2016

Founder: Mondo Davison

Industry: Other

 

About 1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups is a free, national education program developed by the Kauffman Foundation. 1 Million Cups takes place every Wednesday at 9AM across 114 US communities to support and encourage entrepreneurs. The program is based on the idea that entrepreneurs connect and discover solutions over one million cups of coffee.

Rochester Home Infusion and Med City Football Club to Present at Next 1 Million Cups Rochester

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Join the entrepreneurial and small business community at the next 1 Million Cups Rochester on Wednesday May 3rd from 9-10AM. This month we’ll hear from two unique Rochester based businesses: Rochester Home Infusion and Med City Football Club.

 

About Rochester Home Infusion

Rochester Home Infusion (RHI) provides intravenous (IV) medications to patients in the comfort of their own home, allowing patients to take back control of their lives. RHI is the only home infusion provider in Southern Minnesota.

Launched in: 2013

Founder: Joselyn Raymundo

Industry: Healthcare

 

About Med City Football Club LLC

Med City FC is an expansion franchise in the National Premier Soccer League. Med City FC competes in the highest tier of amateur soccer. Med City FC’s first game is May 13th right here in Rochester.

 Launched: 2017

Industry: Sports

 

About 1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups is a free, national education program developed by the Kauffman Foundation. 1 Million Cups takes place every Wednesday at 9AM across 114 US communities to support and encourage entrepreneurs. The program is based on the idea that entrepreneurs connect and discover solutions over one million cups of coffee.

Rochester Rising and RAEDI to Present at Next 1 Million Cups Rochester

Join the entrepreneurial and small business community at the next 1 Million Cups Rochester on Wednesday April 5th from 9-10AM. This month, one Rochester based business will speak. We’ll also hear about an economic development fund that’s been fueling business growth in the city.

About Rochester Rising

Rochester Rising is an online news site that tells the stories of Rochester entrepreneurs through original, insightful articles and podcasts. Rochester Rising was launched to fill a hole in local media coverage and provide a voice to the city’s emerging entrepreneurial community.

Launched in: 2016

Founder: Amanda Leightner

 

About Rochester Area Economic Development Inc. (RAEDI)

RAEDI assists new and existing companies in Rochester obtain funding for business growth. Xavier Frigola, Director of the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator, will speak about the Rochester Economic Development Fund, which RAEDI utilizes to make investments up to $250,000 to assist in business development, diversify the local economy, create jobs, and generate property tax revenue.

About 1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups is a free, national education program developed by the Kauffman Foundation. 1 Million Cups takes place every Wednesday at 9AM across 114 US communities to support and encourage entrepreneurs. The program is based on the idea that entrepreneurs connect and discover solutions over one million cups of coffee.

Find more information and register for the event here.

How to Babysit and Spark DJ to Present at Next 1 Million Cups Rochester

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The second edition of 1 Million Cups Rochester will be held Wednesday March 1st at 9AM. Two southeast Minnesota based startups, How To Babysit and Spark DJ, will share their stories.

1 Million Cups is a free, educational event for entrepreneurs, based on the idea that entrepreneurs connect and network over one million cups of coffee. 1 Million Cups takes place Wednesday mornings at exactly 9AM- local time- in over 110 communities across the US. At each event, two different early stage startups tell their story to a collected group of peers.

1 Million Cups Rochester is held the first Wednesday of each month in the Bleu Duck Kitchen Event Space (14 4th Street SW). Parking is in the 3rd Street Ramp. The 1 Million Cups Rochester organizing team is currently accepting applications from innovative, southeast Minnesota based startups to present.

This Wednesday the local startups How To Babysit and Spark DJ will be featured.

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How To Babysit

  • Industry: Information/Communication Technology
  • Founded: 2016
  • Cofounders: Erin Wagner and Brad Harvey

How To Babysit is creating an app and online training tools for babysitters. The startup teaches babysitting and business management skills through workshops and online tutorials. The team is also developing an app that allows teen sitters to input their available times and connect and schedule babysitting jobs with prospective parent clients.

 

Spark DJ

  • Industry: Music
  • Founded: 2016
  • Cofounders: James Jones and John Boss

Spark DJ is a mobile app that uses machine learning, live feedback, and automation to provide an extremely personalized DJ experience. The technology has the potential to disrupt the way music entertainment takes place, allowing live-music curation from guests and seamless music transition to take DJing to the next level.

1 Million Cups Seeking Innovative Startups for New Entrepreneurial Program in Rochester

1 Million Cups- a free, educational program for entrepreneurs- launches in Rochester on February 1st. The 1 Million Cups Rochester organizing team is seeking innovative startups and new businesses to present at this monthly, recurring event.

1 Million Cups was developed by the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City and has spread to over seventy communities in thirty-five states over the past four years.

1 Million Cups takes place at 9AM, local time, in each 1 Million Cups community every Wednesday. At each 1 Million Cups event, two startups speak in front of an audience of their peers, potential investors and customers, and interested community members for six minutes, followed by a twenty-minute Q&A session with the audience. These businesses are typically less than three years of age and are usually in the revenue generating phase. 1 Million Cups presentations are not pitches. The focus is more on telling the story of the business.

Why should new startups and businesses want to participate in 1 Million Cups?

1 Million Cups is great exposure for your company. Participating businesses will raise brand awareness not only in the audience, but also through the 1 Million Cups Rochester social media. Rochester Rising will also be covering the events. Additionally, 1 Million Cups is a supportive environment. Presenters receive constructive feedback and new ways to view their business from the audience. It’s not a place to criticize business plans. 1 Million Cups is about leveraging the power of the community to support entrepreneurship. At its very core, 1 Million Cups is an educational program. Participating teams receive guidance on their presentation through informational videos from the Kauffman Founders School and by personalized coaching from the 1 Million Cups Rochester Community Organizing team.

The very first 1 Million Cups Rochester will take place Wednesday February 1st from 9-10AM at 14 4th Street SW. 1 Million Cups Rochester will be a monthly event held the first Wednesday of each month.

Stay informed by following 1 Million Cups Rochester on the 1 Million Cups website, or on Facebook or Twitter. Startups can apply to present directly on the 1 Million Cups Rochester website.   

Learn more by attending a 1 Million Cups Rochester information session Wednesday January 10th from 6-8PM.