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Springfield, MO

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Startup Corner: Eric Hadley, Got Your Six Coffee Co. LLC

Springfield’s startup community is here. Take the pulse.

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Minimally viable product …
I am selling the best coffee I can provide, obviously. More so, I am selling the idea that the superheroes of this great nation sometimes need help, too, and through the power of coffee we are showing that we have their backs.

Problem solving …
Remember the last time you busted your butt all day working for someone? Do you remember the blood, sweat and tears that you put into the job? Remember what it felt like when the individual you worked so hard for said, “Outstanding job! Thank you.” That is what we are trying to do. Everyday EMTs, law enforcement officers, firefighters, veterans and their families, work their tails off for us. They sacrifice and give up so much to serve us the freedoms and securities that make this nation great. We use our coffee to support various nonprofit organizations from Montana to Florida. Locally, we have Pieces of Home Springfield, which puts on a CrossFit competition to raise funds to send care packages to soldiers who are deployed.

Seed money …
This has been 100 percent self-funded through the use of my 401(k). Seventeen years in the making (with) sacrifice, long hours, months away from home, late nights, all-nighters, sweaty clothes, crazy shifts, busted knuckles, bruises, etc., to get to this point.

Hurdles overcome …
That is the day-to-day life of an entrepreneur. That is what makes the job exciting. I get to use the necessity of coffee as a catalyst to do just that – overcome obstacles. We get to use the power of coffee to do positive things for communities throughout this great nation.

Next phase …
We just started a Founding Members Club similar to a Kickstarter campaign, where individuals can become part of the family at Got Your Six Coffee Co. Members support us through a coffee of the month subscription plan.

Pivot …
I was geared up toward being in a physical location. In February, my architect and said the grand opening of my shop wouldn’t be until November. At the time, I was 10 months unemployed realizing I didn’t have the funds to carry me through the project. So we switched our business model to an e-commerce base – GotYourSixCoffee.com – as a way to bridge the gap.

Greatest need …
Exposure. The more people who know about my mission and what I am trying to do, the more we can do to help. As Americans, we are free to make choices and when people learn that they can impact lives, show appreciation and support our nation’s heroes with a simple coffee choice, that is huge.

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