The Heartland Foundation presented the second annual Think Ahead Award to Cup of Joe, the local grassroots entrepreneurial gathering held in St. Joseph. The award was given at Heartland Foundation’s 2017 Think Ahead Forum, which also featured discussions and programs on improving workforce skills. The foundation also handed out CollaborACTION Grants that are geared to provide startup funding for innovative projects.


Cup of Joe was held up as an example of collaboration at work to help build and support business growth and workforce education. The weekly gathering is designed to engage, educate and accelerate the area’s business community by showcasing two regional entrepreneurs as presenters. A key component of the meeting is a dynamic discussion between the audience and entrepreneur, sharing ideas, resources and helping build a supportive community of entrepreneurs. Cup of Joe is a grassroots organization, run by a steering committee comprised of local entrepreneurs with support from the Center for Entrepreneurship, Chamber of Commerce, FSB Bank, Commerce Bank and Mo-Kan.

The award carries a $1,000 prize to support the organization’s continued efforts. “We have built Cup of Joe solely on voluntary, grassroots efforts and no budget,” said Jomel Nichols, steering committee member. “We will use this money to market our unique program and reach even more entrepreneurs in the community.”

Cup of Joe meets every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the East Hills Library. For details on upcoming presenters, please refer to the group’s Facebook Page or website