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1 Million Cups Of Coffee & A Pair Of New Businesses

What does employee tracking software have in common with iconic Upper Peninsula art?   The answer is coffee—a million cups of it to be exact.

The January 1 Million Cups meeting was held Wednesday, where business professionals offered their input and expertise to up-and-comers in the local marketplace.  Speakers discussed productivity apps and business branding.

The support group is made up of local business professionals who take an hour out of each month to hear and empower the ideas of two entrepreneurs looking to advance in the business world.

“A great part of 1 Million Cups is that we were able to get out in the community and demonstrate what we do. We also hope that people will reach out and not be afraid of a custom software solution. Sometimes that can be faster and easier to implement than an off the shelf solution,” said Lexul’s Keith Atkinson, who is a software developer that helps business owners to operate efficiently.

Atkinson said, “A lot of what we do is process automation. So if you’re still relying on paper forms in the field service industry, that’s primarily what we try to automate. Then we can take our tablets and we’ll give employees a tablet, and then we can verify their performance with GPS. We can verify their time logs and electronically submit any data.”

Atkinson’s company is a relatively young outfit from Houghton who came to share some ideas and products with the business community.  “For our clients that utilize it, it logs an employee’s total time, as well as their individual task time. This let’s you not separate your billable client time from your actual payroll to your employees,” he said.

Naturally many were intrigued and had questions about implementing such software in their endeavors. In addition to discussing software, the group also heard from Chris Schmidt, who is now in his first year of business and a professional artist.  Schmidt said, “I started out doing race posters and that developed further into designs for businesses, into stickers and eventually into more posters featuring local landmark scenes.”

Schmidt’s first professional piece was designing a logo for the Ore Dock Brewing Company in Marquette. He’s hoping to build awareness of his business.  “I came to 1 Million Cups today to let the community know a little bit more about my business. I started about eight months ago and I’d like to let more people know what I’ve got going on,” he said.

His works can be found in Houghton, or on his website.  “I have and online shop at www.xmaticdesign.com and I’m also located in downtown Houghton. 322 Sheldon, above the Frank Douglas Agency,” said Schmidt.

Next Month’s 1 Million Cups meeting is scheduled for February 13th, also at the Finnish American Heritage Center.  That meeting takes place at 9:00 am.

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