Cameron Cushman, a champion for Fort Worth’s startup community and director of innovation ecosystems at UNT Health Science Center, has been selected as a mentor for a new international startup program.
In April, Cushman will travel to Istanbul, Turkey as one of six U.S. startup experts helping with the Global Entrepreneurship Network program, Startup Huddle.
The work will coincide with the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, an annual gathering bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, and other thought leaders from all over the world to talk about growing entrepreneurial ecosystems. It was initially held in 2009 by the Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where Cushman worked at the time.
“If you don’t know who the local entrepreneurs are in your community, you don’t know how to help them.”
Startup Huddle launched last year as a way to strengthen local startup communities abroad. It currently operates in 19 cities such as Moscow, Toronto, and Johannesburg.
Cushman equated it to 1 Million Cups, an U.S. event series he co-founded in 2012 during his tenure at the Kauffman Foundation. The event gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to present their work and engage with others in the community.
“If you don’t know who the local entrepreneurs are in your community, you don’t know how to help them,” Cushman said.
It has now spread to more than 160 cities in the U.S. Locally, 1 Million Cups is held weekly in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Frisco. Cushman said there’s talk about bringing it to more parts North Texas soon including Plano, Arlington, and north Fort Worth.
“We’ve seen [I Million Cups] have pretty transformative effects here in the U.S. and if we can share that with the rest of the world, that’s the mission.”
“We’ve seen [I Million Cups] have pretty transformative effects here in the U.S. and if we can share that with the rest of the world, that’s the mission,” Cushman said.
While visiting Istanbul, Cushman will share best practices about intiatiting and growing a startup event series. He also hopes to get a better understanding of entrepreneurship globally and make meaningful connections.
“It will be a great opportunity to not only talk about Dallas-Fort Worth and what we have going here, but also talk about the UNT Health Science Center and hopefully leverage that into making some international relationships that can help startups here connect with entrepreneurs not only in Turkey, but around the world,” Cushman said.
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