1 Million Cups | Sid Pailla

Nov 30
8:45 AM - 10:00 AM
University of Richmond, Robins School of Business, EY Innovation Lab (123)

1 Million Cups is a national initiative of the Kauffman Foundation, and launched in Richmond through the sponsorship of RVA Works, a local nonprofit providing educational and financial services for new business owners.

1 Million Cups provides a peer learning environment, so new founders can better access the social capital required for pursuing an entrepreneurial opportunity. 

The pillars of the program are:

  • Free coffee, 1 million cups worth!
  • Connection building, and not networking in the business card exchange
  • Presenting to peers, not pitching for investment or sales
  • Zero barriers - Creating an environment for anyone starting a business, and helping them overcome the barriers they face

On Wednesday mornings there's a short coffee & connection period to meet colleagues (8:45am), an entrepreneur gives a ten-minute presentation on their business model and a challenge they're facing (9:00am), and the discussion follows with comments and questions focused on assisting the presenter with their challenge. We have a hard stop at 10:00am.

November 30
Financial Well-Being Made Easy and Accessible for All Employees

Looking into ways to attract new employees? Want to retain good people, and assist their families? Join the discussion…

At this week's 1 Million Cups, Sid Pailla will join Dale Fickett and discuss Sunny Day Fund. Pailla's venture is providing a new approach to employee benefits.

Sid Pailla is CEO of Sunny Day Fund. As a systems engineer, Pailla holds a B.S., an M.S. and Ph.D. from UVA. He also holds an MBA from the Darden School, and worked as a Strategy Manager in Accenture's Washington, DC practice. As a life-long "mission delusional nerd" he has social entrepreneur cred, having participated in Techstars, Mass Challenge, Lighthouse Labs, serving as a fellow at the Global Good Fund, and now leading Sunny Day Fund.

Sunny Day Fund According to Pailla, "We have a vision at Sunny Day Fund™ - financial well-being for ALL workers, starting with emergency savings. This means we make saving easy, accessible, and rewarding for hardworking Americans with a little help from their employer, leading to better workforce financial well-being and better workplace outcomes."

  • Following the pandemic, nearly half of Americans say they’d have trouble handling a $250 emergency expense
  • Two-thirds say they’ve had their household income decrease; and
  • The vast majority say that they’ve experienced increased financial stress.

Pailla's firm provides an award-winning emergency savings benefit has been shown to improve retention, enhance financial well-being, and decrease 401(k) loans and hardship withdrawals.

The Discussion
1 Million Cups is a national entrepreneurship program of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which promotes peer learning and professional connections that assist entrepreneurs. Since 2014, 1 Million Cups - Richmond has been pioneered by RVA Works, a local nonprofit providing educational and financial services for new business owners. At each 1 Million Cups, business founders as guest speakers share about their ventures and discuss the challenges that they are facing during the development process. Participants can learn from the speakers’ experiences, discuss valuable insights and make connections within an audience of peer entrepreneurs.

Join us in person. No pre-registration required. Come to the Robins School of Business, 102 UR Drive, Richmond, VA. (Room 123 - EY Innovation Lab) Free Parking in lots U5 or U6. Or, join the Zoom Webinar. Passcode: 100146






Tom Benedetti

Blue Heron Capital

Venture Capital


Michael Kahwajy-Hyland

Turning Point

Consumer Products


Sid Tanu


Fintech Lender


Jon Brew

Rapid Forensics Cell Typing

Life Sciences


Josh Curtis

EQB Wealth

Tax & Financial Planning


Chris Gatewood

Round Here

Equity Crowdfunding


Charles Ajemian

Social Enterprise Alliance

Trade Association


Shaily Hakimian

Social Media Sherpa

Business Consulting


Diane Hamilton

Binary Formations

Software Development


Grace Mittl

Absurd Snacks

Food Products


Tom Lohner

Sustainable Development Fund

Development Finance, Africa


Kwaku Osei*

Farmacy Food

Food Services 


Sid Pailla

Sunny Day Fund

Employee Benefits


Jeff Beck


Autism Clinicians


Jose Salazar


Energy Engineering

November 23rd program will be held at an alternate location due to the University of Richmond being closed for Thanksgiving Break