Founder House offers unparalleled networking — and bunk beds

by Anthony Sodd
September 12, 2016

Let's face it — your network can make or break you.

The right network makes the difference between becoming a Texas rancher and a president. It makes the difference between a Harvard grad and a Harvard dropout worth $55 billion. You rely on your network for jobs, ideas and introductions. So, what do you do if, like many people, you don't have the right network? 

“People’s success is dictated by their network," Ben Smith, Head of Marketing and Community at Founder House, said. "We facilitate meaningful relationships between people. And, we find the best way to do this through living together."

Founder House is a network of co-living spaces for entrepreneurial-spirited people. It's kind of like a commune, only instead of hippies dropping out, they're filled with people who want to take their careers to the next level. 

To accomplish that, Founder House offers a curated community of like-minded innovators to members. Due to high demand, they can be selective, and currently only about a third of people who apply get in. Those that do are invited to live full time in a home with around 10 other people, all working towards similar goals. 

Everything in the homes is communal, from the kitchen to the media room and coworking spaces. Even the sleeping arrangements are communal: members share rooms, sleeping on bunk beds. Everyone in the house performs chores, eats together and works together. All this sharing isn't just a gimmick, either. Every employee at Founder House— including the cofounders — take part. 

Weekly, recurring events further foster an environment of networking and career development. Friday afternoons are spent at happy hours, while Sundays are for communal dinners or guest-house speakers. Once a week, everyone in a house shares their goals and pitch ideas to the group. The group, meanwhile, helps each other sort out problems or plan ways to achieve those goals. Everything is designed to foster relationships as well as personal and professional growth. 

Founder House is relatively new, having opened their first home in 2015. Nonetheless, success stories have already been written from behind their doors. Rayyan Islam and David Sun, co-founders of Nova Ventures, met while living in a Founder House building. Their fund plans on investing between $10,000 to $100,000 in over 50 companies next year. At least four companies founded by alumni have seen successful exits. 

Founder House operates three houses in Brooklyn and one in Hells Kitchen. There are plans to open a fourth house in Prospect Lefferts Gardens in October. After that, the company hopes to expand to other tech hubs. 

Know of a company that deserves coverage? Let us know or tweet us @builtinnewyork.

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