The HackR House support programme for entrepreneurs is set to launch in Johannesburg, South Africa, with startup teams to live together while developing their businesses.
Four teams of two entrepreneurs will be selected to move into the HackR House to live alongside each other for a maximum of six months, while receiving startup support, coaching and mentoring from a team of established entrepreneurs and partner organisations, including HPLife, LEAP and Ignitor.
Every two months participants will need to complete an entrepreneurial challenge: the first focusing on achieving a minimum viable product (MVP), and the second target connected to first customer and revenue generation.
The goal is that by the end of the programme, entrepreneurs will have connected with funders and other market opportunities.
HackR House is based on the belief that entrepreneurs living together have a higher chance of success, and aims to provide entrepreneurs with support whenever they need it, 24 hours a day, rather than following a rigid programme.
“One of the reasons why South Africans aren’t as adept to starting businesses as other areas like Palo Alto, Tel Aviv, London and other global hubs is we lack a culture of entrepreneurship,” says Craig Wing, founder of HackR House.
“When entrepreneurs are accepted into an incubator, their mind shift switches from being a ‘startup’ to being an ‘established business’. This is the start of the end. Look at the Googles and Facebooks of this world; they started in a dorm room or garage where the founders worked on their startups 24/7. There was no time off, holidays or weekends. Their businesses is what they lived, ate and breathed,” he says.
“Entrepreneurs need support all hours of the day. Often come, say 2am, they won’t be able to sleep rather they’re thinking about a solution to a problem or thoroughly stressed about business. It’s in these moments that they need support, not when things are fine.”
Entrepreneurs will be charged rent starting from ZAR3,000 (US$220) per month to live in the HackR House.
Applications are now open to a pilot cohort of HackR House, although coaching and mentoring will not be available to those living in the house for this period. The deadline to apply is October 16. Participants in the pilot will get priority for the full programme, which is set to launch in February 2018.