Kauffman program coming to Milwaukee

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s 1 Million Cups startup program will begin hosting meetings in the Milwaukee market beginning August 6.

Kansas City-based Kauffman is known for its entrepreneurship efforts. The 1 Million Cups campaign aims to engage entrepreneurs and connect them with the community over coffee. Each city runs its program semi-autonomously.

The Milwaukee group will host meetings each Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Historic Pritzlaff Building, 325 N. Plankinton Ave. in Milwaukee. It is being organized by Brian Taffora, managing director of Milwaukee technology startup investment firm CSA Partners LLC; Thad Nation, executive director of statewide consumer technology advocacy organization Wired Wisconsin; and Milwaukee startup accelerator gener8tor’s co-founder, Troy Vosseller.

At each meeting, two entrepreneurs will give a six-minute presentation about their startups, followed by 20 minutes of Q&A from the audience.

The 1 Million Cups campaign is different from other innovation groups in the area because it’s a different culture aimed at sharing ideas and solving startup problems, Taffora said. He hopes it can bring together the fragmented startup community in the area.

“This is a great way to bring everyone in,” he said. “It’s not a pitch environment, it’s not a ‘Shark Tank’ environment. 1 million cups wasn’t created to be critical of the entrepreneurs, but to learn and share ideas.”

Entrepreneurs who are interested in presenting are encouraged to apply here.

There are 35 other cities that participate in the 1 Million Cups program. It is sponsored by Kauffman, and is free and open to the public.

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