Bismarck-Mandan joined as the 16th community nationwide to launch a 1 Million Cups Program on Oct. 9 thanks to the IDEA Center and entrepreneurs in the area.

1 Million Cups got its start in Kansas City in April 2012 by the Kauffman Foundation. The weekly meetings host presentations given by two companies followed by a time for questions in hopes of educating possible entrepreneurs. Once a presentation has been given at a Bismarck meeting, those presenters can apply to expand their knowledge to other 1 Million Cups participants around the United States.

The IDEA Center coordinator, Ellyn Brannan, expresses the program’s importance to the community:

North Dakota is growing at a rapid pace and Bismarck-Mandan is right in the middle of it. The economic climate is prime for new start-ups and those start-ups need support.

The meetings take place every Wednesday at 9 a.m. on the fourth floor of the UND Building on Rosser Avenue, also known as the Ritterbush Auditorium. For those unable to attend, Dakota Media Access will be recording and broadcasting the meetings on their local station. One of the guest speakers this week is Heidi and Tyler Demars with Bisman Community Food Co-op. The other will be Beth Kaylor with Rhubarb and Venison.

To answer any questions on 1 Million Cups visit their national website. For more localized information visit the Bismarck page.