Can Heather Qader Grab You 1,000,000 Coffees?
Can 1 cup of coffee change the world? Can 1 million cups?
With the help of people like Heather, 1 Million Cups has grown to 40+ states, enlisting the help of over 800 volunteers, and servicing 163 different communities.
I sat down with Heather to learn more about what 1 Million Cups has percolating(dad jokes), as well as learn how she uses networking to help improve the organization and her community.
1.) What is the organization and why is it important to the community and you personally?
1 Million Cups (1MC), is a Kauffman Foundation initiative that provides entrepreneurs the tools and resources to break down barriers that stand in the way of starting and growing their businesses. The initiative is industry agnostic, inclusive of all people and is completely free (including the coffee).
It’s especially important to Philadelphia because we are an entrepreneurial city with a burgeoning tech ecosystem.
Through StartupPHL, Philadelphia wants to ensure that we are present at the table and our new businesses (both tech and non-tech) feel heard.
This initiative is important to me because networking has been extremely helpful to my education and career. There are many opportunities I would have missed has I not engaged in a few seemingly small conversations with other people. 1MC provides a platform for those conversations to happen.
Check out their video:
2.) How long have you been involved and what’s your role within the organization?
I’ve been involved since Philly was accepted into the program in March 2018. Then, the planning began and the founding committee launched in May at Saxbys’ headquarters.
Our second event took place at La Colombe’s headquarters, and we are looking forward to continuing the program on a monthly basis. I am a part of the founding committee and my role entails whatever the group needs to execute the event, that could mean finding a projector screen, setting up, finding venues, etc.
I am transitioning away from my job working for the City of Philadelphia, but I made the conscious decision to stay on the 1MC Board because it’s all about networking over coffee… and I’m heading into the coffee industry.
3.) Who are you outside of 1 Million Cups?
Currently I work for the Philadelphia Department of Commerce as a Business Development Manager. I focus on the technology sector and entrepreneurial ecosystem. In about a week I will be working for La Colombe as the Senior Aid to the CEO.
I enjoy creating synergy within the communities I exist and want to see everyone succeeding. I understand my talent and skills and use them to help those around me succeed.
4.) How do you use networking to further 1 Million Cups’ mission and cause?
I mainly use social networks to promote 1MC. 1MC is a national program so it’s reputation preceded its’ arrival in Philadelphia. At the events, I enjoy meeting those who took time out of their mornings to attend as well, because it demonstrates their dedication to themselves and their businesses.
I take these participants very seriously, and I am more motivated to connect them into the networks that will propel them forward.
5.) Any additional plug for 1 Million Cups while you’re here?
Join the 1MC Community using the sign-up box at the bottom of this link: https://www.1millioncups.com/about