Startups

Why DelTech’s Paul Morris brought 1 Million Cups to Delaware

The local entrepreneur showcase is held every Wednesday, with locations soon to be had in all three Delaware counties.

What if, over the course of a year, you could get one million entrepreneurs and those who support entrepreneurs to come together and share a cup of coffee?
That’s the idea behind 1 Million Cups, a weekly program hosted at 80 locations across the country. The series, which originated in Kansas City three years ago, features pitches and demos from local entrepreneurs and free coffee from local roasters. Delaware currently has two 1 Million Cups locations — one in Georgetown and one in Wilmington.
Both are hosted by Delaware Technical Community College. Soon, the First State will have three 1 Million Cups locations, boasting one in each county.
“Out of 80 chapters, Delaware Technical Community College is the only community college to host a 1 Million Cups,” said Paul Morris, Director of Workforce Development and Community Education at DelTech.
Morris, who is responsible for bringing the program to Delaware, first attended a 1 Million Cups event back in January 2013 in Kansas City, six months or so after the series launched.
“There were a lot of different people doing a lot of different things,” Morris said. “What [1 Million Cups] wanted to target was this ongoing weekly event that could bring all these individuals together on a consistent basis to create this entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Morris said there were nearly 250 people in the audience that day. Delaware’s chapters don’t reel in that many attendees (Morris said attendance can be anywhere from 15-100, with the average being 35-40), but they have had just over 100 entrepreneurs pitch since the program’s inception here.
Morris said some of the more memorable pitches have come from Carvertise founder Mac Nagaswami and a breast deodorant business called Boobaliciouss.
“The national model is, entrepreneurs that have startups that are at least three years old and scaleable,” said Morris. “There are times where a company is a little older than three years or maybe a nonprofit looking to make their organization for-profit.”
Morris welcomes Delaware entrepreneurs and small business owners across Delaware to come pitch their business. Find out how to apply here.

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