New ideas and perspectives reign supreme at Launch House, a novel kind of membership-based community that stands out from the rest of Silicon Valley’s traditional accelerator programs and incubators. Placing the priority on talent, the company helps startups connect with one another and refine their own concepts so that they can grow their companies from the ground up. Launch House takes this to another level by empowering members to learn how to seek funding for their concepts and, in some cases, even offering to fund ventures itself.
Launch House started as a residency-only program focused on bringing top talent in the industry together to form a creative think tank. Having recently expanded to include online community offerings, the program is designed to provide entrepreneurs with a safe haven to explore and expound on their ideas with like-minded individuals. By concentrating these efforts into monthlong sessions, the members are able to focus solely on amplifying their brand’s results while making connections and taking on new skills through a variety of Launch House programs.
In July 2022, Launch House launched a new initiative of its own, House Capital, in an effort to provide financial support for both member and community startups. Looking to fuel high-growth, early-stage companies, House Capital made its debut with a $10 million fund, the returns on which will help promote growth for Launch House itself in the form of programming and member experiences.
To this end, entry into the accelerator program follows traditional methods — with a bit of a twist. The application process includes a close review of past achievements and current pursuits, contextualizing efforts based on the trajectory of the individual and their startup brand. According to Michael Houck, Jacob Peters, and Brett Goldstein, Launch House co-founders, membership candidates should also demonstrate determination and driven interpersonal qualities that show how their time as part of the cohort could make an impact on not just their business but society as a whole.
Launch House has a strong foundation of investing in companies, although that’s not guaranteed as part of membership or cohort participation. Instead, Goldstein’s team looks for both pre-seed and seed-stage opportunities to invest in businesses that include inspiring founders on a mission to create change. “There are so many mission-driven founders and inspiring companies that we meet through the Launch House community,” said Goldstein. “House Capital gives us a new way to accelerate them on those missions to solve real problems and move the world forward.”
Members on the Launch House platform receive a bevy of benefits, not the least of which is guidance and training regarding fundraising efforts. Events, workshops, and sprints dedicated to the topic have helped aspiring business owners find the funding they require to take their companies forward in the market. Goldstein sees House Capital as a natural extension of this process, providing the actual venture capital needed in some instances to help entrepreneurs move on to the next stage in their journey.
Participants benefit from more than just funds-based mentorship and access. Cohorts are designed to give members ample time and space, in-person or online, to focus on business development in an inspiring and accepting environment. Members are also encouraged to take part in a variety of built-in activities designed to bring the cohort closer together for an exchange of ideas and mentorship unparalleled in the industry. Events often include attendance by other investors and connection opportunities for members to meet representatives from venture funds and other startup founders.
Launch House’s unique approach allows it to cultivate a community where the best talent can come together to lift one another up while also providing investors, including House Capital, the chance to back these commodities. Rather than following the industry norms that make backing startups a more transactional experience, Goldstein and his team are looking for more authentic, person-driven experiences for their members. The core benefits of the program are designed to help entrepreneurs refine their ideas among peers while supported in an environment full of resources designed specifically for their needs.
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