Cup of Joe celebrated its sixth birthday at the Restoration Natatorium on Wednesday morning when the group brought back moderators from previous gatherings.
After 12 months of twists and turns and unforeseen circumstances that gripped the small business world, the day was all about remembering resilience and looking to the future.
“It was so wonderful to just get together and celebrate – celebrate the entrepreneurs, celebrate the Cup of Joe, because the Cup of Joe team had to spin for a while and figure things out and get virtual there, so was Today a Celebration of Entrepreneurship and Cup of Joe, ”said Annette Weeks, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Missouri Western State University.
When the meetings began in 2015, they were intimate gatherings. It was envisaged that the Cup of Joe team could regularly bring together between 10 and 20 people. Fast forward six years and the number of employees is well over 20, with the group exceeding the team’s expectations, according to Weeks.
“When we get it to the size it is now and see this continued entrepreneurship support and entrepreneurship advancement, this is beyond dreaming of what we were actually thinking,” said Weeks.
A lot has changed for many entrepreneurs who took the time to present themselves at previous meetings and for those who spoke on Wednesday morning for the anniversary. When Matt Robb, founder of CuTap, first came to Cup of Joe to share his new copper adhesive product, his merchandise was just gaining prominence for the antimicrobial properties of all-natural copper against COVID-19. Just days before its Cup of Joe anniversary presentation, its products were the first and only additional EPA List-N antimicrobial residue products that can be used against COVID-19.
“Cup of Joe especially, they help me take an idea and really get it going. The people here have literally helped me with almost everything, and everything is voluntary. They do it out of goodwill and it was just nice to come to a place like this and exchange ideas, ”said Robb.