Launch of 1 Million Cups Waco a Success

By Kristen Ritch

     Almost 100 local entrepreneurs and those involved in the Waco community gathered this morning for the inaugural 1 Million Cups Waco event. Kyle Deaver, City of Waco mayor, was in attendance to do the metaphorical ribbon cutting. 

Kevin Cochran presenting Kornerbooth.
Photo by Austin Meek/Waco Business News

     “It’s exciting for Waco to be the 100th member of this great organization,” Deaver said, referencing the fact that Waco is the 100th city in the nation to launch a 1 Million Cups chapter. 

     Kevin Renois, project manager at City Center Waco, introduced the event, explaining what the 1MC community can do for Waco. 

     “We are 1 Million Cups," Renois said as he motioned to event attendees at The Hippodrome. "1MC, for short, is a program—an effort to educate, connect, engage and support entrepreneurs all across the country."

     Each week, two local entrepreneurs give a presentation on what their company is, what it does, and how it has grown. This week, Kevin Cochran of Kornerbooth Photography and Cory Dickman of Waco Escape Rooms presented their trades for feedback.

     Cochran’s photography business began his senior year at Baylor where he studied accounting. Displeased with the quality of photos taken at his fraternity’s events, Cochran decided, after a photography class, that there had to be a better way. His solution? Kornerbooth Photography, a combination between event photography and a photo booth, technically referred to as “mobile studio photography.” 

     The company’s high-quality photos paired with easy set-up and a well-connected student, usually within the Greek community, representative allows the model to gain traction with quick success.

     “In the past two and a half years, we’ve expanded from just one campus here in Waco, to fourteen cities around the country,” Cochran said. “And in the next three years, our plan is to be on 100 campuses in 100 cities around the US.” 

Cory Dickman presenting at 1MC
Photo by Austin Meek/Waco Business News

     At the end of each session, presenters are asked “What can we as a community do for you?” Cochran is in search of help with technical efficiency in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) especially regarding speed, and the business would like to branch out into more local events, rather than campus-only. 

     Second to present, Dickman explained the journey he has taken to bring escape rooms to Waco. Escape rooms are akin to a real-life video game in which participants must figure out clues in order to beat the clock and “escape” the room. Currently, there are four different rooms.

     Dickman plans on moving to a space on Washington Avenue once construction is complete. In response to the final question, he would like to expand the events-based portion of the business. In February, Waco will be hosting a film festival, which will be using Waco Escape Rooms as a space free of charge.

     Renois is also seeking to create a mentorship program. If you are interested in becoming involved, contact any member of the 1MC team.

A previous version of this article incorrectly listed the owner of Kornerbooth Photography as Jake Cochran, instead of Kevin Cochran.

Watch the entire live feed of this morning’s event here. 1MC Waco’s next event will be on November 2nd at 9AM featuring InteriorGlow and Talexis, LLC