Georgetown is the first city in Delaware and the 10th city nationwide to join the 1 Million Cups entrepreneurs program.
Started in April 2012 in Kansas City by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation,1 Million Cups is an open forum for local entrepreneurs, who meet at 9 a.m. every Wednesday morning over cups of coffee in each of the participating 10 cities across the country.
"This event is led by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs," said Chris Moody, director of corporate and community programs at Delaware Technical Community College and organizer of the July 17 event in Georgetown.
To start the meeting, each city invites two local start-up businesses or businesses undergoing a major change to present their ideas and their businesses to mentors, advisors and other entrepreneurs in the audience, who can then ask questions and make suggestions.
The local presenters for the inaugural meeting at Del Tech were Mike Nally of Lead Your Way Solutions and an organizer of 1 Million Cups, and Alison Blyth, owner of Go brit, a local restaurant.
Nally said Lead Your Way is a web-based business that helps businesses find a perfect match among prospective employees, and he has added new features to improve the site in addition to the business training they already offer. Blyth opened Go brit!, as a Route 1 outgrowth her Rehoboth Beach restaurant, Go fish!, and is now looking to franchise nationally. After their presentations, the floor was opened for discussion and questions.
Along with the presenters, Open for Business, a business outreach program started by Del Tech, partnered with 1 Million Cups to bring resources to new businesses. Once a month, following the business presentations, Open for Business hosts a variety of booths.
Sharon Louth, business advisor for Open for Business, said "We're just here to help small business succeed."
By the end of 2013, 1 Million Cups is on target to expand to 20 cities nationwide and possibly one international city as well. For information go to www.1millioncups.com.