1 Million Cups: Week 6

With just one meeting left for the year, 1 Million Cups had two visitors from outside of Waco give presentations: Out There Productions and Guerrilla Signs. Watch their presentations here

Video by Out There Productions

Erin Miller of Out There Productions, joined by her partners Johnny Rosa and Losa Amara Meru, introduced Waco’s 1MC community to their mobile business focusing on making “marketing and advertising a little more human.” 

Following graduation, the trio saw a lack of personal, relationship-driven marketing. They turned down offers from big marketing firms “to work with small businesses for big change.” 

Armed with their extensive knowledge of software, videography, and social media marketing, Out There Productions consults for small businesses while traveling from city to city in their retrofitted bus that doubles as their primary workspace and living space. Because of their mobility and collaborative work style, they are able to cut operations costs and produce quality content consistently. 

The group works on a contract-basis, with projects taking anywhere from 1-2 days, including video creation. They took a detour on their intended road trip to visit Waco, which they are excited to do work in. They are focused not on cities who merely have growth, but on cities that are “stoked about new stuff and receptive to change.” 

These three young entrepreneurs are looking to make connections with other young entrepreneurs in Waco who want to work straight out of college, get to know "the coolest people in town," and, because of their mobile lifestyle, are hoping to find a good local mechanic for emergencies. 

The next presenter, Guerrilla Sings, could be the solution to pricey, hard to transport and non-universal signage. Since the company's founding in January, co-owner and CEO Ken Coleman and co-founder and chief engineer Russell Smith have traveled across the country to fifteen separate 1 Million Cups meetings, which has been their primary marketing strategy. 

Video by Guerrilla Signs

After spending over 30 years in the real estate business, Coleman set out to find a way to stop signs from rattling, blowing over, and posing transportation hassles. After being introduced to Smith, Guerrilla Signs was born. 

Smith, a local inventor, developed the idea that other engineering departments thought impossible—a collapsible sign that can withstand up to 85 mph winds. Their patented signs takes about three minutes to set up and, while the stand is upwards of $500, the banner itself is $69 and their turn around is three days, making their banners an affordable alternative for those who regularly use signs for marketing.

The sign industry is a $20 billion dollar industry, but there is no brand name running the market—until now. With more inventions in the works, Guerrilla Signs has been called the next big thing by O’Reilly Auto Parts and by the National Association of Realtors. 

“That’s what made our country great: inventions,” Coleman said.

Using his connections, Coleman was able to attain a prototype for $0 from O’Reilly, and Smith has found a manufacturer in the local Mennonite community where their products are now being built in a network of family barns. 

Guerrilla Signs is excited about Waco as a potential location for their new headquarters, due to its proximity to family in Dallas and Austin, the great Texas economy, and the market being similar to their current Missouri location. 

This Friday, Kevin Renois will be hosting a meet-and-greet for potential mentors and mentees before launching in 2017. E-mail him at kevin@citycenterwaco.com for more information!

Next week’s 1 Million Cups will be the last of 2016 with a presentation from Pinewood Roasters and one slot open! Don’t be shy, sign up to present and end 2016 on a good note. See y’all next Wednesday at 9AM in the Hippodrome.