1 Million Cups to host first ever reunion event

Ever wondered what happens to 1 Million Cups presenters after they leave the stage? The day before Thanksgiving is the day to get your answers.

On Wednesday November 25, 1 Million Cups Fargo is hosting a reunion event for the first time since its launch in 2014. The planning team is hoping to gather at least 45 past presenters to take the stage once again and give a 30 second update, covering who they are, what their company is, and what has happened since their presentation.

Ryan Abbott Photography

Ryan Abbott Photography

“We’ll hear stories of success, stories of missteps, stories of failure,” said 1 Million Cups Director Scott Brusven. “It’s a chance for us to check back in, to see what’s been happening and to see how the 1 Million Cups platform has impacted our startup community.”

Since the launch of 1 Million Cups Fargo in January 2014, the event has become the most highly attended 1 Million Cups event in the nation, with an average of 200 attendees a week. Over 80 presenters have taken the stage, varying from game designers to university deans, with special appearances by 3D printers, dogs and drones.

“It’s become the town hall for the community,” said Greg Tehven, co-organizer of the event. “It fuels the community’s weekly rhythm.”

This year also saw a more frequent integration of Random Acts of Art, showcasing the talents of various local artists – musicians, dancers, singers, yo-yo masters, etc. When asked if there will be an appearance at the Nov. 25 event, Brusven said, “that wouldn’t be a random act of art then, would it?”

As regular attendees know well, each event ends with a single question: “What can this community do for you?” Often, presenters respond with specific requests and needs for growing their startup. But rarely are we given a follow-up on where they are weeks, months, years later.

“I think our community is curious to know what happened,” Brusven said. “They’re curious to know if these companies made it. Did they make their goal of raising $1 Million? Did they get venture capital funding? Did their Kickstarter make it?”

The curiosity Brusven sees stems from the sense of ownership people have in the startup community, he said. Really, he said – it’s because people care.

“I truly believe that each and every person who comes each week cares about the success of the companies who present on stage,” he said. “It gives that feeling of shared existence… that we truly celebrate together.”

Come celebrate with us on November 25, 9:15 am at the Stage at Island Park.

Marisa Jackels