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Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

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UMKC Innovation Center
UMKC Innovation Center
1 Million Cups

A Few of Our Favorite 1MC Presenters

1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups
(1MC) will soon be celebrating its third anniversary, so we asked Monica Arredondo, 1MC regular and former KCSourceLinker, to give a few thoughts on a few of her favorites.

Below, Monica shares those presenters that stood out. All have lessons any startup or entrepreneur can take away on how to pitch an idea and handle a crowd. 

As a 1MC regular, here’s what I look for:

  • Are you prepared? Your slides, pitch, dress … well everything, must be well rehearsed. There are 1 million other things we all can be doing, so make it worthwhile.
  • I like stories, so tell me yours. Quickly and concisely. And for goodness’ sake, make sure it relates to your company.
  • Now, the meat of your presentation. Tell me about your company. Make sure I know what your product is, what makes it unique to the competition and stats. I want numbers. Videos are fine, but make sure it’s under a minute.
  • Q&A can make or break you. No more Midwest nice. We realize that we need to be direct, so take those hardcore questions and answer them head on. DO NOT GET DEFENSIVE. And if you don’t know the answer, don’t dodge. Just admit it with an “I’ll get back to you on that.”
  • A good presenter is 9/10 the law. You need to know your stuff.  Confidence is good, but arrogance has no place here. Humor? You bethca! As always, be well rehearsed.

The Acts of Good Journal  Founder, Adam Benton

What it is:  An empty journal that travels from one person to the next each journaling their Act of Good. When complete (12 acts) it returns to the originator.

What I liked:  Acts of Good is doing some serious boot strapping: operates out of home garage, hand numbering, etc. Adam’s presentation style was very professional with a dash of chill and confidence. He gave direct answers and added humor throughout.

Hello Happiness Card Co.   Co-founders, Jenny & Josh Solar

What it is: Monthly greeting card subscriptions for the encouragers of the world.

What I liked:  This duo has distinct roles that match their talents. A clear plan for where they want to go. Good data, if anything, understated numbers. Very realistic in their approach. Boot strappers that also operate out of their home

Red Dirt Shop Co-founders, Christina Eldridge and Dawn Taylor

What it is:  Beautiful fashion and accessories made in partnership with artists from around the world that enable clean water access for those in need.

What I liked:  A seamless and concise story and pitch. It was obvious the co-founders respect each other’s strengths.  Succinct answers during Q&A, with a dash of humor. A clear vision of where they’re headed.

Tiger Cried Sauce Founder, Marisa Wiruhayarn

What it is: A cooking sauce made from fresh, dry Thai chili peppers mixed with lemon juice and fish sauce. It is MSG and preservative free. Great on chicken, beef, fish, seafood, salads and more.

What I liked:  The wonderful story of loss, strength and stick-to-it-iveness, with education at its core. A well-formed pitch, slide and sharp presentation. The realization of weaknesses and openness toward help needed. The sauce is awesome.

Happy Bottoms Executive Director, Liz Sutherlin

What it is: A nonprofit diaper bank that distributes through Kansas City partner agencies to benefit low-income families and raise awareness about the diaper need in our community.

What I liked:  It was immediately clear what they do, who they serve and how it’s done. Much research and reaching out happened before launching. Target market is clearly defined. Staying within itself and doing what it does best. Humor – “All butts are created equal!”

Ready to find some faves of your own?

Attend the next 1 Million Cups. They happen every Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Kauffman Foundation and are live streamed throughout the metro. Check our calendar for more details. 


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