Every once in a while it’s important to pause, look back and celebrate. That’s what Fargo’s last 1 Million Cups of 2015 was all about.
At the Nov. 25 event, 1 Million Cups Fargo held it’s first ever reunion. Twenty-five past presenters took the stage to give a quick presentation and update (go over your allotted time, and the organizers would hit the “gong.” No one wants that.). Presenters shared about their journey since taking the 1 Million Cups Fargo stage this past year.
The presentations were quick but action-packed. Some snippets of success: Midwest Streams, a company that does funeral webcasting, has increased its client base by 40%. On My Own, a woodland survival game, has gone from 100,000 to 700,000 users. Intelligent InSites’ team has grown 45% and revenues have grown 300%. Weave Got Maille has gone from 15 to 35 employees and is now in 60 countries. Oh, and their product is in the show the Game of Thrones.
Celebrating the ups…and the downs.
But not everyone had a success story – and that, we celebrated as well. Some shared lessons that they have learned in their entrepreneurial journey. A few that were mentioned can be summarized here:
- Move out of your comfort zone.
- Validate your ideas.
- Talk to customers.
- Learn to focus.
- Remember that you can’t get it all done at once.
- Have patience.
The presenters also stressed the value of having a support system like 1 Million Cups. Over and over, they expressed gratitude for the environment that we have here in Fargo-Moorhead.
“I’m thankful for all that Fargo has to offer,” said John Schneider, co-founder of Fargo 3D Printing.
Sponsors also got an opportunity to share why they support 1 Million Cups Fargo. Inviting and attracting people to Fargo-Moorhead, lifting up the entrepreneurial community and growing our local economy through job creation were a few reasons the Convention & Visitors Bureau, NDSU Research & Tech Park and the Greater Fargo Moorhead EDC love to support the largest 1 Million Cups in the country.
Former speaker, Darren Leno, founder of Encryptomatic, threw out a challenge to the crowd to support the program. He plans to take some of his profits to sponsor 1 Million Cups Fargo. It was incredible to see a former speaker bring the support full circle.
Now, the 1 Million Cups team is taking a much deserved break until January. A huge thanks to the team: Greg Tehven, Scott Brusven, Jon Walters, Mary Jo Schmid, Tasha Rohlfs, and Katie Hutton.
We look forward to seeing you on the stage in 2016.
Written by Emerging Prairie guest writer, Lisa Gulland-Nelson.