1MC Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is 1 Million Cups?

1 Million Cups (1MC) is based on the notion that great ideas are discussed over a million cups of coffee. 1MC is not a pitch platform, nor is it a networking event. It’s simply a chance for 1-2 presenting entrepreneurs to tap into the knowledge and experience of the local community in a focused and encouraging environment.

1MC takes place every Wednesday morning in many communities throughout the United States. During each event, entrepreneurs have just six minutes to present their company or business idea (from newly formed up to 5 years old) to a room full of community members. For the next 20 minutes, the audience will ask questions, provide helpful feedback, and share similar experiences or support.

Every 1 Million Cups event concludes with a question posed to the entrepreneur: “What can we as a community do to help you?” This cultivates the intention that 1 Million Cups chapters are created by the community for the community.

2. What do I need to attend a 1 Million Cups event?

Nothing! 1MC events are free to attend and completely open to the public. Everyone is welcome! However we recommend checking your local community page for any event specifics.

3. How long is each 1MC event?

1MC events are 1 hour long and typically include a format similar to below:

4. Is 1MC an international program?

1MC is an initiative of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which focuses on strengthening education and entrepreneurship in the United States. However, we work closely with the Global Entrepreneurship Network, who has adapted the 1 Million Cups model for international use through a program called Startup Huddle. Learn more at https://genglobal.org/startup-huddle

5. What’s the best way for me to stay up-to-date?

Every 1MC community maintains a local webpage. There, you can find news and information, including upcoming presentations. Outside of that, communities can differ in regard to communication. We recommend asking your local organizer how to best stay in the know.

6. Can I pick and choose which presentations I’d like to attend?

While 1MC has no official attendance policy, there’s a lot of value found in being a regular attendee. While a specific presentation may not seem exciting, the connection and opportunity to learn about new resources or topics is always there!

7. Am I expected to participate in the event?

Feel free to participate as much — or as little — as you’d like. We simply ask that you arrive on time and treat each presenter, attendee, and organizer with respect.

8. What kinds of questions can I ask?

We suggest asking questions related to the presenter’s product or service, revenue-generating strategy, target market(s), demand, competitors, etc.

Keep your own expertise in mind as you ask questions, as you might be able to help a presenter grow in an area they’re lacking — whether that’s marketing, operations, or simply from a consumer perspective.

9. Do I need business experience to attend a 1MC event?

Absolutely not. In fact, we strive for a diverse audience — it’s one of the reasons our community is so strong.

10. Is it OK to express criticism?

It’s important to provide feedback that is thoughtful and honest. That said, 1MC is a community that’s rooted in positivity, encouragement, and respect, so we ask that you share your feedback in a matter that’s constructive.

If you’re unsure of what is and isn’t appropriate, please take a moment to review our community guidelines. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to connect with one of your local community organizers.

11. Can I attend regularly without plans to present?

Absolutely! We hope that you will continue to attend, regardless of whether or not you have plans to present. 1MC is a valuable learning opportunity for everybody in the audience, too.

12. Is it OK to contact presenters after their presentation?

If you’re interested in continuing the conversation, we recommend that you connect with the presenter immediately after his or her presentation to gauge interest and share contact information. Additionally, many presenters and attendees will reconnect via their community’s active social accounts, such as Facebook or Twitter.

13. Is there a dress code?

Nope! Most people come in whatever they are planning on wearing to work later that day.

14. Can I bring a large group to a 1MC event?

Yes! In this case, while an RSVP is not necessary, giving the community organizing team a heads-up is certainly appreciated so that he or she can ensure there are enough chairs and coffee.

15. How many people will be at the event?

Attendance varies in each community. We have 1MCs of all sizes — from 10 to hundreds of attendees every week!

16. How do I learn about presenting at 1MC?

The best way to learn about presenting at 1MC is to attend a meeting near you! Attending a 1MC event in person will give you a sense of what presenting involves, and it will give you the opportunity to connect with your local organizers. You can also learn all about the application process, as well as our tried-and-true presentation format.

17. How do I apply to present my company or business idea?

Start by making sure 1MC is active in your community or a nearby city. You can find a list of communities by checking the 1MC communities page.

When you’re ready, you can apply to present by completing the online presenter application.

Once you’ve applied, a local organizer will reach out to ask any follow-up questions, or, if your application has been approved, to schedule a presentation date.

Please note that approval is not guaranteed.