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1 Million Cups: Race for the Space

May 4, 2022 from 8:30 am to 10:00 am

This Week

This week’s presenter is Executive Director of the Cedar Rapids Downtown District Jesse Thoeming! Jesse will be discussing an upcoming economic development program called “Race for the Space.”

The goal of “Race for the Space” is to support a new business to locate to Downtown Cedar Rapids and become a staple in the district for years to come. The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, in conjunction with the Downtown Self-Sustaining Municipality Improvement District (SSMID), will produce this program for Downtown Cedar Rapids in 2022.

A similar program was run in Ithaca, New York in 2011 and 2017. Both efforts had success drawing businesses that ordinarily would not have considered establishing a business in their downtown district. In the wake of the global pandemic, the Economic Alliance and the Downtown SSMID are committed to leading and supporting efforts like Race of the Space in order to draw people more consistently to downtown.

Applications will open on April 26, 2022 and close on June 30, 2022. The winner will be announced on Thursday, August 11, 2022. We hope this program attracts dozens of prospective start-ups and existing businesses alike due to the spotlight it will generate, and the incentives provided. This is not limited to residents who live in Iowa. Anyone in the country, or world, can apply for Race for the Space.

Jesse will talk about:

  • How this program came to fruition
  • Why it’s important to invest in entrepreneurs
  • What kind of entrepreneurs this program is looking for
  • The spaces that are available for the applicants
  • What the application process looks like

Program schedule

  • 8:30-9:00 – Coffee & Conversation
  • 9:00-9:45 – Official Program
  • 9:45-10:00 – Q&A


About 1 Million Cups Cedar Rapids

The Kauffman Foundation developed 1 Million Cups (1MC) on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and network over a million cups of coffee. We welcome early-stage businesses and established companies facing interesting challenges to present their companies. Typically, one or several representatives present before a panel of experts. They seek advice and then engage the audience in a question-and-answer session to encourage collaborative and honest conversations. We also feature expert speakers, founder fireside interviews, and explorations of business failures and the lessons learned!

The Cedar Rapids chapter is the sixth in the U.S., and events take place almost every Wednesday. Every event is free, and everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend!

Join us Wednesdays @ 9 a.m. at The Olympic Theater South Side (1202 3rd St SE #200, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401)! Each event features a presentation or conversation with a new founder, entrepreneur, business leader, subject matter expert, or creative. Find a list of upcoming events and presenters on our Calendar.

We update events as new information is available, so check the calendar often!

With Linn County currently at a high transmission level for COVID19, masks are recommended for 1 Million Cups this week, per CDC and Linn County Health recommendations.
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May 4, 2022
8:30 am to 10:00 am
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1 Million Cups: Cedar Rapids
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The Olympic South Side Theater
1202 3rd St SE #200
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 United States
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(319) 214-0392
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