Social connections — both the ones made online and the ones formed in real life — are becoming increasingly important in the new Silicon Valley. After all, today’s founders want to get their products out to the world. But they also want to forge genuine relationships — authentic and person-driven, never transactional.
For that reason, Launch House eschews networking of any kind at its community events. Instead, the accelerator alternative prefers to foster organic interactions driven by human interest, not by a desire to generate business opportunities. It’s why Launch House members are encouraged to form five- to seven-person cohorts within the community immediately upon joining. And it’s why, unlike traditional accelerators, Launch House encourages its founders to embrace the wide range of social media platforms — not just as a means for advertising products, but also as a way to form authentic connections within the greater digital world.
Business First: Social Media as a Bridge Between Worlds
Operating under the notion that “Silicon Valley is reinvented every 15 years,” as Launch House co-founder Brett Goldstein asserts, there’s a clear demarcation between the Bay Area institutions that were driven by the need to create new tech, and the current founder migration to Los Angeles and Hollywood, California, where the creator economy looks a little different.
Examining the shifting needs this transition created, the Launch House team knew that product distribution would now be the biggest challenge facing entrepreneurs — and that they’d have to address this concern in their accelerator alternative. Immediately, the team viewed modern channels such as social media, podcasts, newsletters, and even YouTube channels as the perfect arbitrage opportunity to connect these divergent worlds.
Equally important, says Goldstein, was the potential these platforms held for making LA founders feel less isolated. He says, “LA’s a very hard place to meet people. It’s spread out. There’s no central hub where startup founders are meeting.” At the same time, he reflects, “People are more likely to stay in LA longer term because they have a community here.” As such, he emphasizes that one of Launch House’s most important advantages is that “we are a social community,” building supportive relationships in person and in the metaverse.
Redefining Social Connections
Since its inception, Launch House has offered founders opportunities to connect in real life, first through co-living, then through in-person events and residencies. Today ,real life offerings are still very much a part of what’s available to Launch House community members. But the opportunities have also gone digital, helping entrepreneurs from around the globe enjoy the kind of authentic social interactions that are a crucial element of the business success and wellness goals the accelerator alternative fosters.
At the end of the day, the goal is to emphasize the independent value of Launch House’s community element. Says Goldstein, “We’re a professional community. We have folks who are really succeeding and killing it.” Still, he continues, “We do value other aspects of life. We do value that mental, physical health.” And that’s why Launch House will always push the importance of getting social — not as a means to an end, but as a valuable endpoint, in and of itself.
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