Arkansas Venture Center Bringing Kauffman's 1 Million Cups to LR

March 26, 2014

By Mark Carter

The Arkansas Venture Center is bringing 1 Million Cups, the startup-networking initiative from the Kauffman Foundation, to Little Rock.

Leading the initiative in Little Rock -- the 33rd city in the US to get the program -- will be local startup champions Mike Steely and Jordan Carlisle. The weekly program will launch from the Little Rock Chamber beginning April 16.

More to come, but here's the official presser from AVC

Little Rock Will Launch 1 Million Cups to Educate, Connect Local Entrepreneurs

Weekly program developed by Kauffman Foundation is helping to build startup communities nationwide

LITTLE ROCK, AR. (March 25, 2014) – 1 Million Cups™, a program to engage, educate and connect entrepreneurs, is set to launch in Little Rock on Wednesday, April 16th. Located in Arkansas’ capital city, Little Rock is the newest location– and the 33nd nationwide – to host 1 Million Cups, a weekly gathering that is building startup communities over cups of coffee and conversation across the country.

1 Million Cups began in April 2012 in Kansas City, the hometown of its founding organization, Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. With the launch in Little Rock, 1 Million Cups has expanded to its network to 33 U.S. cities and accomplished the growth goal Kauffman program leaders set for 2014.

The program’s model is consistent in each location. Each Wednesday morning, two founders present their companies to an audience of mentors, advisers and other entrepreneurs. Each founder presents for six minutes and then fields audience questions for another 20 minutes.

Beginning April 16th, the Arkansas Venture Center will host Central Arkansas entrepreneurs, innovators, founders and other interested community members at 9 a.m. each Wednesday at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, 200 East Markham.

In each 1 Million Cups’ city, local entrepreneurs drive the program as community organizers. Assuming the leadership roles in Little Rock are Mike Steely (Arkansas Venture Center, Startup Arkansas) and Jordan Carlisle (Startup Arkansas, Startup Weekend champion).

“We’re extremely thrilled to partner with the Kauffman Foundation to bring 1 Million Cups to Central Arkansas,” Steely said. “This program is a great opportunity for Central Arkansas’ entrepreneurs to let others know what is happening in their area.”

Nate Olson, a Kauffman Foundation associate and leader of 1 Million Cups, is excited to welcome Little Rock to the 1 Million Cups family. “Innovations and ideas are found everywhere, and we’re excited to see the startups and community coming together in Little Rock and the surrounding region,” he said.

Little Rock joins Nashville, Tennessee and Irvine, California, launching on April 16th to give 1 Million Cups a total of 35 locations currently in operation.

View the national website at To access the Little Rock schedule, register to present or attend and for more information go to

About the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit, and follow the Foundation at and

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