1 Million Cups KC

1mcI enjoyed a follow up call with my Fizzle.co mastermind buddy +Gary Auerbach yesterday, and once again Gary suggested I re-connect with 1 Million Cups, seen as he goes to his local weekly presentation too in Winchester Virginia area.

I’ve been many times before and always learned so much, connected to so many entrepreneurs in one phase or another of their startup. The environment is lively, conversational and connecting. I love it. But with the super cold weather of late, I wanted to work from home and avoid going out.

However, I said if Gary shared a few of his icebreaker questions with me, I’d commit to start going again.

And I’m so happy that I did go.

Today’s video hopefully captures a bit of my journey to #1MCKC, and the two speakers who shared today, who were:

1. Liz Sutherlin of Happy Bottoms in Kansas City’s Diaper Bank, providing diapers to KC’s babies in need. Diapers are not covered by any public aid program (food stamps for WIC) and many families struggle between being able to pay for their rent or buying diapers. We believe no parent should make that choice. I love their business card, on the back it’s states – The Butt stops here! 

This excellent promo video by Jon Haiduk . Maybe he’d be open to the idea of having an apprentice.

Liz @ HappyBottoms.org

2. Frank Tarantino of Fresh2DeskKC. Promoting eating healthy at work. We provide people stuck in an office a healthy alternative to vending machine snacks with convenient access to fresh fruit boxes (and vegetables) at your workplace.

Frank @ fresh2deskkc.com

After these two presentation, I noticed Shelly Kramer, who delivers social media consulting to many premiere clients in KC, including Burns & McDonnell Engineering, who I used to work with.

Shelly was on todays k

panel providing feedback to the presenters.

I noticed that Liz seemed super receptive to all feedback received, and was open to inviting volunteers to bring their suggestions and ideas to help make HappyBottoms better able to serve their clients.

And I was delighted to hear they engaged kaizen/lean guidance from Hallmark to help optimize their processes.

As a previous Kaizen/Lean facilitator, I know how transformational these techniques can be if implemented properly – usually a top down approach.

So few non-profits make an effort to learn about and leverage the tremendous gains than can be harnessed from lean & kaizen techniques. Later this year I will work with like-minds to start an initiative in our city to leverage the many Lean experts in every business, to help our area non-profits eliminate waste and improve their processes. I’ll discuss this in a future post.

Frank got quite a few great feedback tips and suggestions for his website, and few ways to diversify his product mix, including inclusion of organic products. Frank seemed happy with his business model, and seemed more keen on pitching his business to the community seeking more “sales”, than leveraging the opportunity to listen the advice from other entrepreneurs.

I also met Mark Ford CTO at Savvy GRC. Mark and his partner Bruce offer IT Governance and Risk avoidance measures. Savvy GRC aims to bring active governance and risk management to organizations through proven business frameworks.

You can reach Mark.Ford @ savvygrc.com

Finally I met Adell Hendon and Joe Crane.

Adell is Founder & CEO of http://YouSpin.net

YouSpin is a socially interactive virtual jukebox mobile application that allows you to choose,vote, and play music, chat and meet new friends, interact with the DJ, and create your own party from your fingertips. YouSpin creates a blend of social, music, and business connection for music lovers, bar patrons, and bar owners. Customers can chat with other bar patrons, vote on music, get drink specials, learn about up coming events, and discover new artists and products all from their iphone or android.

Joe Crane is Founder of http://Veteranonthemove.com

Joe Crane is a 24 year Military Veteran and the founder and host of the Veteran on the Move podcast. I’m here to help you transition successfully from the military to entrepreneurship. I look forward to supporting your journey by providing you valuable resources and inspiration.


Joe is one of two veterans I’ve met in the last few months. I have a heart for ex-serviceman because my dad was one too. And I saw him struggle so much when we left the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1979. He tried so hard to fit into to civilian life, and he was so challenged by the transition, for years. My dad passed away in 2006, the year of his 70th birthday. I know from my own experience how soul crushing it can be to not do work you love, and his transition meant he didn’t enjoy his work as much after military life. I wish someone like Joe Crane had come alongside my dad when he needed that help. Maybe I can help give back to service men now, in memory of my father, God only knows.

My video today is longer than usual at 10 mins.

Other items mentioned in my video:

NPR Report http://www.npr.org/2015/01/07/375544016/art-installation-opens-passage-to-a-different-world

Gas prices plummeting http://www.kansasgasprices.com

Image credit: 1 Million Cups

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