HOUGHTON — Keweenaw business people offered their input and expertise today as two entrepreneurs presented their ideas and business plans at the monthly 1 million cups gathering. This month’s meeting took place at the Portage Lake District Library, where outdoor recreation and media were the topics discussed.
When someone starts a new business they usually encounter plenty of challenges along they way and programs like 1 Million Cups are designed to help entrepreneurs overcome those challenges by utilizing the resources of experienced professionals over coffee and conversation.
One Hancock business man that reached out for support was Brendan Jacques who has opened a paddle sport business on the Portage Canal.
“Portage Paddle Sports is a stand up paddle boarding and kayak rental business on Hancock Beach. Not only do we offer these services for rent, we also have Jilbert’s hand scooped ice cream so people can come to the beach and not only participate in recreation but enjoy some ice cream as well,” said Manager Brendan Jacques.
As area beaches are reopening after the Father’s Day Flood, Brendan’s business endeavor is getting back into the swing of things.
“Last year we launched in May and this year we are heading into our second season with some momentum.”
At today’s meeting he presented colleagues with some ideas that may soon include activities like paddle board races at events like Bridgefest. Along with his own ideas, he also heard some that could help his business grow.
“1 Million Cups really provided me with some more ideas on how to build awareness which is something that we really need some help in doing right now. Anything like this really helps us get our name out there,”
One of the suggestions made would include the collaboration of a yoga class with his business, with would provide residual revenue.
‘Thanks. 1 Million Cups was a pleasure and I was happy to take part in it.’
The other of today’s featured speakers was Rebecca Glotfelty of Real People Media.
“1 Million cups provided an excellent opportunity for us to share what we do with the community. It’s a really warm welcoming organization that’s there to help young entrepreneurs and also organizations such as ours,” she said.
Along with audio, video, and print, her organization is responsible for putting on several events at the Calumet Theater.
“Real People Media is a non profit organization that helps people share their stories through the literary, visual, performing, and media arts. We also produce the Red Jacket Jamboree, the old time radio variety show. And we do that in conjunction with Main Street Calumet,” said Glotfelty.
Originally from lower Michigan, she moved her outfit here as she became more involved with the Calumet productions and the Keweenaw National Historical Park.
“They take part in the Red Jacket Jamboree. They produce a sketch called Madaam Blanc and that helps share Copper Country history,” said Glotfelty.
Some of the ideas that she presented today include pooling media resources and allowing members to check out equipment on an as needed basis. She was also presented with some ideas that included podcasting.
“It was a really good experience because we met some new partners that I think we will be working with in the future as an organization.”
Next month’s meeting will feature two more entrepreneurial speakers, that event is scheduled for the second Wednesday in August.