ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. sharp, entrepreneurs across 200 American cities gather for feedback and collaboration at 1 Million Cups, a nationwide program created to inspire the world of start-ups.

Based on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and engage with their communities over a million cups of coffee, the Kauffman Foundation developed 1 Million Cups in 2012.

The local chapter meets weekly at the Albuquerque High building off Central and Broadway at Fat Pipe ABQ. One or two entrepreneurs get six minutes to present their business and share their stories and goals. The audience, made up of fellow business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs give candid advice, ask questions, and help connect presenters with helpful resources.

It was at one such meeting that we met Fallon Bader, owner of The Sprouting Kitchen. Her business runs pop up cooking classes at local farms, where participants help harvest the food, cook their meal, and learn the nutrition behind what they’ve helped to create. The young entrepreneur managed to get the whole thing up and running within a year of conceptualization, but now she’s turning to 1 Million Cups for friendly advice, connections, and caffeine.

In Fallon’s case, a local businessman introduced her to a UNM program that pairs a team of marketing students with local businesses for as little as $250 dollars. She says the weekly meetings have been a great resource for networking, ideas, and finding a sense of community.

The mission is to create a safe space for future and current business owners to get advice, make connections, and meet like-minded people.

Participation in 1 Million Cups is free. To learn more about the local chapter, click here.