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1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups:  To Educate, Connect Local Entrepreneurs

The Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) will host a national program to engage, educate and connect local entrepreneurs. Founded by the Kauffman Foundation, 1 Million Cups is based on the notion that entrepreneurs network and discover solutions over a million cups of coffee. The FREE, monthly gathering helps build startup communities on a grassroots level.


The program’s model is consistent in each city: two startups present their companies to an audience of mentors, advisers and other entrepreneurs. Each founder presents for six minutes, followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the audience.  In each 1 Million Cups city, local entrepreneurs drive the program as community organizers. Volunteering for the leadership roles in Long Beach are:

• Adam Carrillo, Economic Development Manager, Downtown Long Beach Alliance
• Brett Dickson, Co-Founder, Alfabet Soup Consulting
• Cassandra Leeman, Strategic Planning Consultant
• Derek Hoyt, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Bank
• Marcos Lopez, Urban Design Intern, Studio 111
• Michelle Molina, Principal, Connecting Evidence
• Mitzi Peacock, Ecommerce Business Analyst, TOMS Shoes
• Reg Lapham, President, Spartan Ventures
• Robert Martinez, Digital Coach – LA, Google
• Rose Buado, General Manager, The Filharmonic
• Sam Hall, State and Local Government Marketing Manager, Laserfiche

Also contributing their expertise to the program are our community partners supporting this launch:

• Brad Pollak, Director, Long Beach Small Business Development Center
• John Keisler, Director, Economic Development, City of Long Beach
• Steve Olvera, Community Lead, WeWork Long Beach
• Vivian Shimoyama, Regional Executive Director, Southern California Region for 10,000 Small Businesses
• Wade Martin, Director, Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at California State University Long Beach