Mercer Innovation Center to Host Inaugural 1 Million Cups Lecture

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MACON – The Mercer Innovation Center will host its first 1 Million Cups lecture Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., featuring Mercer student and entrepreneur Andrew Eck.

The event is free and open to the public, and will take place in the Mercer Innovation Center, located in the former Religious Life Center on the Macon campus.

A national program developed by the Kaufmann Foundation to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs, 1 Million Cups (1MC) is based on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and network over a million cups of coffee.

Eck, an electrical engineering student, was the 2015 recipient of the James T. McAfee Jr. Endowed Vision and Leadership Scholarship. In conjunction with his coursework at Mercer, he has completed three semesters of cooperative learning with Georgia Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute.

While a student at the University, Eck has started two businesses. Georgia Pallet recycles discarded wooden shipping pallets, turning them into coffee tables, signs and other custom furniture creations. He also launched a sound engineering business that evolved into Corner Concerts, a company that organizes and promotes pop-up concerts in interesting and unexpected venues, such as parking decks, parks, vacant buildings and historic storefronts.

Additionally, Eck co-founded SparkMacon, Macon-Bibb County's first makerspace, to provide an outlet for local creatives and entrepreneurs through science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education.

His newest project is a band incubator that will precede Mercer Music at Capricorn, the University's planned renovation of Macon's historic Capricorn Studios. The space will include band practice rooms, a fully functioning studio and an event room aimed at creating more musical art and sustaining the musicians who create that art.

For more information on 1MC, visit www.1millioncups.com.

About the Mercer Innovation Center

The Mercer Innovation Center is an effort by Mercer University, along with community partners such as the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, Birch Communications and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, to advance a culture of innovation and develop a thriving community of entrepreneurs, with a focus on utilizing technology to foster economic growth, create 21st century jobs and attract and retain talent. The Center is an institutional effort – led by the Stetson School of Business and Economics – that crosses academic disciplines and geographic boundaries to draw from all of the University's colleges, schools, departments and operating units. Community memberships are available, as the Center's activities and resources are intended to be available to Mercer students and non-students alike. For more information, visit mic.mercer.edu.