Eight 20-something men in a house may not sound like the most productive of work environments.
But the founders of ThinkHouse say at least five new Triangle-area startups are growing and thriving thanks to the last six months those men spent living and working together in a renovated house in Boylan Heights.
Though the vision for ThinkHouse is much bigger than a house in Raleigh—at least 40 houses in cities around the world and new plans for TeachHouses and HealthHouses—founders Christopher Gergen (pictured right) and Jason Widen (middle) of Forward Impact, Brooks Bell (left) of Brooks Bell Interactive and Jesse Lipson of Sharefile (not pictured), used the inaugural group as an experiment. Will a group of aspiring entrepreneurs learn quicker and build better companies if they experience every aspect of the startup life in close quarters together? And will they plant roots in Raleigh (or any other ThinkHouse city) as a result?
in the house for six months) is to recruit a more diverse group of young people—Widen says many women have applied.
They’ll also front load the key educational curriculum, teaching Steve Blank’s Lean Startup theories and other personal and professional development at the program’s beginning so the entrepreneurs can focus most of their attention on building their businesses.
What won’t change is the peer-to-peer interaction encouraged, and community support provided.
“Support network, connections, mentorship and some education and learning opportunities, we accomplished those things,” Widen says. “A good percentage have income or raised money. It’s early times for them but we were meant to be a stepping stone to give them firm footing as they move forward.”
So who are the grads?
ExitEvent will be covering tonight’s event. Look out tomorrow for a full run-down of the following up-and-coming entrepreneurs and businesses:
Lancy Cassidy of Healthy Bytes and DXLab. Read a past ExitEvent piece on Cassidy here.
Sean Newman-Maroni of BetaVersity. We wrote about his progress here.
David Shaner of Offline Media
Jay Dawkins of CityZen
Zach Milburn of CityWix
Mark Delgado of Koyr
Keegan Guizard of Collegiate Skate Tour
Cameron Lilly, who started as Pop Up Training but is exploring a startup in the drone space.