The Oakland County Community Launches 1 Million Cups to Educate, Connect Local Entrepreneurs

Free, weekly program developed by the Kauffman Foundation helps build startup communities nationwide

(Oakland County, Mich.) Oakland County soon will be the newest home of a national program to engage, educate and connect local entrepreneurs. Founded by the Kauffman Foundation, 1 Million Cups is based on the notion that entrepreneurs network and discover solutions over a million cups of coffee. The free, weekly gathering helps build startup communities on a grassroots level.

Beginning September 13, entrepreneurs, innovators, funders and all interested community members are invited to attend each Wednesday from 9 to 10 a.m. at The Oakland County Executive Office Building, located at 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford Township, Michigan.

The program’s model is consistent in each city: Every Wednesday morning, two early-stage startups present their companies to an audience of mentors, advisers, entrepreneurs and fellow community members. Each founder presents for six minutes, followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the audience.

The inaugural 1 Million Cups in Oakland County will feature presentations by Innovative Dronomics, which provides situational awareness and premise information to every first responder involved at an emergency, and Facility Health Inc. leverages their real-world CHFM facility management experience to ultimately improve patient care through predictive investment in the physical environment.

In each 1 Million Cups city, local community members drive the program as volunteer organizers.

The inaugural organizing team in Oakland County includes:

  • Kendra Corman, managing director of H2H Consulting
  • Greg Doyle, manager, Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center
  • Thomas Fehrenbach, business development, Oakland County
  • Scott Garretson, co-founder, Brilliant Chemistry
  • Yusuf Hai, managing director, CIG Capital Advisors
  • Michael Keith, founder, The Office Coffee Shop
  • Jay Patel, president and CEO, Amtech Electrocircuits
  • Erick Phillips, business consultant, Oakland County Business Center
  • Thomas Raymond, business consultant, Oakland County
  • Jason Verbrugghe, owner, DPro Healthcare
  • Vernell Wilson, owner, ARight for U.

“As an entrepreneur myself, I understand the value of connecting and supporting others in their entrepreneurial journey,” Patel said. “1 Million Cups Oakland County is the first of its kind in Michigan, and I am proud to be on the inaugural organizing team.”

Entrepreneurs across Oakland County are welcome and encouraged to apply to present their business. If interested, please visit www.1millioncups.com/oaklandcounty to submit your application.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful. The Kauffman Foundation is based in Kansas City, Missouri, and uses its $2 billion in assets to collaboratively help people be self-sufficient, productive citizens. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and connect with us at www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.