1 Million Cups 9/21/2016

Remember back in the day when you sat in school, ate at the mom-and-pop shop in town (whatever mom-and-pop shop opened that year), and made friends at school with the same people who lived nearby? Remember the days…

Those days aren’t today. And 1 Million Cups on Wednesday, September 21st proved that point – explicitly.

The morning kicked off with a presentation by Chazz from the IDEA School. He immediately answered the question “What can the community do for you?” Chazz, a former World Geography teacher at the IDEA School, was pitching the IDEA School to the community to generate interest for their mentoring and internship programs. The IDEA School stands for Innovation Design Entrepreneurship Academy. It’s a high school – 9th through 12th grade – that is part of the Dallas ISD. That means it’s not a magnet, nor a charter, and is available to all students via a lottery. The school focuses on personalized learning to accommodate each student’s ability, competency, pace, and interest. Equally as important, and to bring the conversation full circle, they’re looking for speakers from the entrepreneurial world, internships for their students, and mentors from the community. This is not the school that you attended (correction: sat in)…

Next up was Anthony with Skrible… better said: Next up was Anthony from “ARTison powered by Skrible.” Though unclear from Anthony’s presentation, Skrible is the restaurant intelligence technology platform that created their first product (ARTison) launching in November 2016. ARTison helps restaurants make sense of all of their data inputs: inventory, staff, table turnover, etc. They’ve created a plug-and-play piece of software that integrates with a restaurant’s existing system to make decision-making easier, efficiency more achievable, and improving costs a snap. They call it “actionable insights.” (What a concept!) Anthony made it easy for the community to understand where the desire to help out the hospitality industry came from. He has an extensive background in restaurant-based accounting, and a former chef on his team. Basically, Anthony knows what he’s talking about. Know any restaurant owners? Send them his way. He’s looking for beta testers.

Last to take the stage was high school senior, Kush, pitching his new app meetHere (Put your iPhone away. meetHere is Android only… for now). meetHere is an app that allows you to find the mid-way meeting point for a group of people, based around your interests: food, study, or fun. The problem is clearly one that needs to be solved, but not necessarily for the market that Kush was expecting: everyone. Anyone trying to set a meeting needs this problem to be solved, not only high schoolers trying to pick a meeting spot for their group project work. Thus, the community was excited by the prospect of integrations into other applications: messenger apps first, like WhatsApp, and then who knows where they’ll take it. Download the app, rate it, and send Kush your feedback. Plugged. kthanxbai.

So, what did the community learn?

  1. The IDEA School is better than whatever high school you “sat in” growing up.
  2. The mom-and-pop shop in your town likely closed because they bought too many tomatoes.
  3. Picking where you meet-up with your friends by calling them never felt more nostalgic.

Oh how times have changed… Some things that will never change? 1 Million Cups. It will always run on Wednesday mornings at 9:00AM at The DEC. Thank you @1MillionCupsDAL community organizers!

Debra Swersky

Debra has spent her career building, scaling, and managing operations in start-up organizations. Companies such as Inside Sports & Entertainment Group, SCVNGR/LevelUp, Visible Measures, and High Start Group have used Debra’s enterprising energy to facilitate their exponential growth.