Cherokee County residents will have a new opportunity to join an entrepreneurs network on Jan. 17, when 1 Million Cups gathers for the first in a series of free, biweekly coffee gatherings at The Circuit in Woodstock.
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, biweekly coffee gathering helps build startup communities on a grassroots level. Cherokee meetings will be held 9-10 a.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Entrepreneurs, innovators, funders, mentors and other interested community members are invited to attend.
Led by the Cherokee Office of Economic Development and powered by their Fresh Start Cherokee brand, this local chapter, called 1 Million Cups Cherokee (1MC Cherokee), will be headquartered at The Circuit in Woodstock on the first Wednesday, while the third Wednesday will go on tour to a different Cherokee city each month. On Feb. 21, the group will meet in Holly Springs; March 21 will be in Canton; and the April 18 meeting will be in Waleska at Reinhardt University.
The program’s model is consistent in each city across the county: One or two early-stage startups present their companies to an audience of mentors, advisers, local leaders and other entrepreneurs. Each founder presents for six minutes, followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the audience.
The inaugural 1MC Cherokee meeting will feature presentations by Abdel Altamimi and Erick Rivera, who are developing a new partnership to relaunch their innovative accounting startup, Balco, which helps startups and SMBs with total financial services, client management, consulting and cloud technology solutions.
In each 1 Million Cups chapter and city, local entrepreneurs and leaders drive the program as community organizers. Volunteering for the leadership roles in Cherokee is a collaborative team of support:
• Misti Martin, president Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED)
• Jonathan Chambers, community manager of entrepreneurship Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED)
• Erin Honea, Main Street director City of Holly Springs
• Matthew Thomas, economic development manager city of Canton
• Brian Stockton, director of Office of Economic Development Woodstock
• Tim Norton, vice president of advancement/marketing Reinhardt University, representing the city of Waleska
“A countywide collaboration that unites the cities with the backing of a well-respected national brand like the Kauffman Foundation makes the Cherokee chapter unique as well as the vision for creating a culture of entrepreneurship stronger,” Martin said. “We’re excited about gathering a community of support around Cherokee entrepreneurs and continuing to make our county an ideal place to launch and grow a startup close to home.”
Provided by Cherokee Office of Economic Development