Launch House is a community built to connect and support entrepreneurs and creators. The physical and digital community space is a creator house for collaboration and learning. Selection for the community is done through a competitive process, and about twenty members are selected per community program cohort.
After a viral social media moment and a proof-of-concept in Tulum, the Launch House team found a house in Beverly Hills to run cohorts of their residency. Potential members are required to pass a selective admission process, and once they are admitted, members live in the house for the program’s duration. The Launch House's Season 2 Residencies were themed for a targeted approach. After the residency, members have access to private events, future programs, as well as the Launch House social platform—a suite of tools bridging IRL with URL and connecting the Launch House members.
“Launch House was born as a response to the isolation, and resulting lack of innovation, that many, including myself and my co-founders, were feeling during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Michael Houck, co-founder of Launch House. “I knew from my experience at Airbnb and Uber that creating IRL spaces for collaboration leads to society-changing products.”
Launch House offers one-month residency programs for founders and a separate residency program for engineers called Hach House. Participants can either live in the house, live nearby, or join a completely digital program. The residency’s application process evaluates potential members on three categories: how exciting an individual is as a founder, how exciting their company is, and how much they would stand to benefit from joining the community, which can range from company stage to who else is in the cohort that month. Immediately the Launch House team goes through the cohort, a group of fifty Launch House community members volunteer to interview the potential members. After that, the co-founders do a last check before sending out offers.
Individuals can also apply for membership and get the following:
- Connections: Members get the chance to form bonds with different founders, creators, and investors
- Events: Members get to attend tech and entertainment events
- Platform: Members access the community directory for fundraising and launch support and can stay at a house in the launch pad network
- Perks: The program offers some discounts on products and services for startups
- Houses: Members can access launch house locations and attend members only programs at discounts
Several companies have gotten some level of success after completing Launch House. In May 2021, Showtime, a social network for NFTs, closed a $7.6 million round of seed funding. In June 2021, Wonbo, an app using AI to create fake videos of celebrities singing, closed a $6 million round of seed funding. Launch House charges a flat membership fee that typically costs a few thousand dollars, and member companies do not have to surrender equity in their companies.
On August 20, 2021, Launch House founders Michael Houck, Brett Goldstein, and Jacob Peters announced that they raised $3 million to physically and digitally expand the residency program. Launch House released Los Angeles and New York City-specific programs, as well as residencies built to gather people in Web 3.0, fintech, B2B enterprise and the creator economy. The seed round was led by Flybridge Capital Partners, with participation from Day One Ventures and Graph Ventures.
About one hundred angel investors also put money into the company, including sixty early Launch House members and techies like Alexia Bonatsos, Balaji Srinivasan, and Mike Duboe. Michael Houck, a former product manager at Airbnb, is working on a service that will allow Launch House community members to offer invitations to other members to stay at their homes for residency. Though the company’s next chapter, dubbed Season 2, includes sector-based houses in New York and Los Angeles, the Launch House team stressed a larger focus on digital spaces.