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 Aug. 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.”

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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