Innovate-caffeinate

There’s a new name for the “One Million Cups” small-business forums in Madisonville. Monthly meetings will continue at the Innovation Station.

It wasn’t a matter of finding 1 million cups. It came down to attracting about 100 people.

The Madisonville Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation ended its affiliation with the “One Million Cups” program, as of this month. But the effort to promote budding business owners is not over.

President Ray Hagerman explained that One Million Cups decided to enforce its original rules with the start of 2020. “Meet at the same time every week. And you have to have them weekly, and you have to have two entrepreneurs,” Hagerman said.

One Million Cups allowed local chapters to hold monthly meetings for a couple of years. Hagerman said a 100-business requirement per year was math that Hopkins County could not meet.

But that gave Hagerman an idea. “Why don’t we take all the good parts of it, and we’ll reinvent ourselves?”

That led the program to morph into “Hopkins County Innovate + Caffeinate.” It keeps the same format as before, along with the same monthly schedule.

“I think it’s going to be good for western Kentucky,” Hagerman said. “No one really cares what the name of it is, anyway. You’re just getting together with people.”

The One Million Cups website says the program has Wednesday meetings in more than 160 communities across the U.S. As of Wednesday, Hopkins County was still on its list.

Innovate + Caffeinate meets at the Innovation Station at 38 W. Arch St. on the first Wednesday morning of each month. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 a.m.

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