1 Million Cups 9/28/2016

This is not a joke: What does a former truffle chef turned coleslaw master, a LinkedIn for patients coupled with a match.com algorithm, and a “Medium” for video have in common? You might wonder if you missed a headline in the news about coleslaw and it’s cancer-fighting qualities, or truffles falling out of style according to match.com, or Medium.com’s latest piece on LinkedIn. Wonder away. You would be wrong.

One can verify that each of the above entrepreneurs pitched at 1 Million Cups on Wednesday, September 28th, but the commonalities do not stop there! Each entrepreneur has created, or is in the process of launching, a business that helps people like you.

Chef Idalee, former truffle chef turned coleslaw master of Luscious Legacies, kicked off the morning with her culinary history. She began her career in the 80’s when she started selling the truffles known as the “Idalee’s of Texas” out of Houston. Realizing her greater passion for baking she was accepted into the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY where, like a fine bread in a good sauce, soaked up all of the culinary mastery of her teachers. Upon her return to Texas, her entrepreneurial bug was still alive and well. In Dallas she launched Luscious Legacies which produces a coleslaw sauce that makes other chefs drool. But, now you wonder, what do truffles and coleslaw have to do with helping people? Chef Idalee is kicking around the idea of opening a retail shop that would help give veterans and disadvantaged kids the opportunity to learn from her and stage (pronounced “stodge” – like Target and tar-jay). After years of doing everything herself she’s looking to work on her business versus in her business. A noble effort.

Next up, Sunit Sebastian took the stage and pitched Heal Pal, a platform for cancer patients to receive cancer information that they can understand, and support from patients just like them. It’s like LinkedIn for patients because of the connectivity to other people in similar circles. It’S coupled with a match.com-esque algorithm to pair patients of similar demographics and cancer journeys to each other. Heal Pal launched their model with breast cancer patients and have already made 950 matches on the platform. But matches aren’t enough. It’s the connections that are monitored, the communications that are tracked, and the clinical information that is shared that truly helps to support the individuals in the trenches. Since 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women are going to face cancer in their life, if you or someone you know is battling cancer (breast, specifically) right now, please share Heal Pal with them.

Last to take the stage (that’s the actual stage at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center) was Trevin Cole of CliqFlik, the “Medium” for video where journalists actually do that whole independent journalism thing. Cole educated the community about the long and arduous process of publishing.  CliqFlik is a platform that allows subjective, hard-hitting, journalism to thrive in a world where click-bait articles, insubstantial headlines, and waste-of-time stories are prevailing. CliqFlik, like “Medium,” is a platform where you can view video-based news from a variety of sources to help inform your own opinion.

Though each business is on their own journey to help people, the big questions from the community can be applied to each business: What measures are you taking to ensure the quality of your product/service? How are you monetizing, or what are your plans to monetize, your product/service? And, who is working on building your business… if you’re working in it?

Check out 1 Million Cups each week at The Dallas Entrepreneur at 9AM. That’s right, each week!

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.