High-Profile Business Leaders Will Narrow Impressive Field to Choose the One in a Million Entrepreneur

Kauffman Foundation, with sponsors The Roasterie and KCPT Public Television, to recognize startup excellence during Global Entrepreneurship Week

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Oct. 29, 2015) — What does it take to be one in a million? Eight of America’s most accomplished entrepreneurs and business leaders make the call as they judge the final rounds of One in a Million, a competition that will showcase some of the nation’s stellar startups.

The final elimination rounds — during Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 17-18 at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Mo. — are the culmination of the competition, which the Kauffman Foundation launched July 1 to provide educational opportunities to entrepreneurs, and to showcase excellence within the 1 Million Cups community.

Each of 337 entrepreneurs in the initial, nationwide field met the criteria of having pitched their startup concepts during a 1 Million Cups event in their communities. 1 Million Cups is a free, weekly program that educates, engages and connects local entrepreneurs.

The two-day finale of the pitch-your-business contest features 15 semi-finalists from nine states as they vie for a $10,000 cash prize and the title of One in a Million. The second-place startup founder wins $5,000 in cash, and the third-place business creator receives a $1,000 gift card.

During day one of the event, all semi-finalists will present their business cases before distinguished judges who will choose five finalists. The semifinal judges are:

  • Trey Bowles, cofounder and chief executive officer of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, and cofounder of the Dallas Innovation Alliance.
  • Nathan Gold, a coach, trainer and speaker — known as The Demo Coach — who helps businesses create high-stakes, can’t-miss presentations.
  • Alicia Herald, founder and chief executive officer of award-winning myEDmatch, which helps schools recruit best-fit talent, and provides job opportunities and resources for teachers.
  • Anita Newton, vice president of marketing at Adknowledge, a global adtech firm, and cofounder of Mighty Green Solutions, a consumer-products startup.
  • Sherry Turner, a leader with OneKC for Women, an alliance of the Women’s Employment Network, Women’s Business Center and Women’s Capital Connection.

Three notable business leaders will judge the best of the best on Nov. 18 as the final five competitors make their pitches during a livestreamed showdown. Judging the final round are:

  • Marcelo Claure, president and chief executive officer of Sprint, the telecommunications provider, and founder of Brightstar Corporation, which grew to be the world’s largest global wireless distribution and services company.
  • Nicole Glaros, partner and chief product officer of Techstars, a global ecosystem for entrepreneurs that mentors, trains and funds early-stage growth ventures.
  • Paul Kedrosky, cofounder and managing partner of SK Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, and cofounder and managing partner of Garibaldi Capital Advisors, an investment bank and advisory firm for growth companies.

One in a Million event sponsors are The Roasterie and KCPT Public Television.