Albuquerque- "1 Million Cups,TM a program to engage, educate and connect entrepreneurs, launched in Albuquerque today. Albuquerque is the newest location, the 50th nationwide, to host 1 Million Cups, a weekly gathering that is helping build startup communities across the USA.

Mayor Richard J. Berry welcomed the Kauffman Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, to the city, and joined the inaugural 1 Million Cups meeting.

"Our economic vitality is dependent upon us inspiring the brilliant and innovative minds here in Albuquerque- we've got to grow our own. We know our City's strengths; bringing innovation and entrepreneurship to the forefront will bolster our private sector into job creation, economic mobility, and revitalize our city," said Mayor Berry. "One Million Cups strengthens the realities of that mission."

"We're thrilled to support 1 Million Cups in Albuquerque and its entrepreneurial ecosystem," said Nathan Kurtz, a Kauffman Foundation associate. "Albuquerque is the 50th city to launch 1 Million Cups, making it a big milestone for the program nationally. We appreciate the local entrepreneurs and city leaders who work hard every week to make this program go."

The program's model is consistent in each location. Each Wednesday morning, two startups present their companies to an audience of mentors, advisers and other entrepreneurs. Each founder presents for six minutes and then fields audience questions for another 20 minutes.

"1 Million Cups is a great way for entrepreneurs to get involved in the Albuquerque scene no matter where they are in the entrepreneurial stack, from aspiring first-time startup to seasoned serial entrepreneur--and everyone in between."," said T.J. Cook one of the Albuquerque organizers.

"There's nothing like learning from and connecting with peers and mentors," said Tamara Decker, who sits on the Albuquerque organizing committee. "1 Million Cups Albuquerque gives entrepreneurs this opportunity every week - I can't wait to see how our community develops as a result."

Albuquerque entrepreneurs, innovators, funders and other interested community members will meet at 9 a.m. each Wednesday at FatPipe ABQ, 200 Broadway Blvd., NE

"FatPipe ABQ is honored to host 1 Million Cups," said their director, Lisa Adkins. "As Albuquerque's first high-tech collaboration center, we rally behind those working to make us a Start-Up City and are happy to share our space with our City's entrepreneurs and innovators."

Today's inaugural week of 1 Million Cups in Albuquerque will featured presentations by Lavu and Baby BlastOff :

· Emily Bennett, Founder & CEO of Baby BlastOff -- an alternative to the "pink is for girls, blue is for boys" paradigm in children's clothing -- will share the challenges and rewards of launching a new start-up.

· Andy Lim, Founder & CEO of point of sale system developer, LAVU will discuss his company's journey and development of an international community.

"Part of our mission is to democratize entrepreneurship," said Gary Oppedahl, Director of Economic Development for the City of Albuquerque. "We have to be authentically inclusive of all the kinds of businesses New Mexicans start and grow. 1MC Albuquerque is a big part of doing just that."

In each 1 Million Cups' city, local entrepreneurs drive the program as community organizers. The leadership team in Albuquerque includes serial entrepreneur Steve Cook, CauseLabs founder/CEO T.J. Cook, Branding coach Tamara Decker, Deep Dive Coders Founder/CEO John Mierzwa, and New Mexico Technology Council Community Evangelist, Eric Renz-Whitmore.

Albuquerque joins dozens of commun