UNCG Research

Forward Impact Launches ThinkHouseU Initiative


Posted on Friday, April 3rd, 2015 by UNCG Research.

Starting this fall, UNC-Greensboro will serve as a national pilot site for ThinkHouseU, an innovative residential program for budding entrepreneurs.

Raleigh-based Forward Impact and UNCG are partnering to renovate a house near UNCG’s campus that will be home to eight undergraduate students who are exploring entrepreneurial ventures. Residents of the house, or ThinkHouseU Fellows, will have access to mentors and UNCG-organized learning and networking events that will help them cultivate their ideas and accelerate their own leadership development.

Admission to the house is competitive. Rising junior and seniors at all universities and college in Greensboro are eligible to apply.

“We are currently recruiting college students from throughout Greensboro who are deeply interested in being entrepreneurial leaders and change makers in our community,” said Bryan Toney, associate vice chancellor for economic development and corporate engagement at UNCG. “They will benefit from the many resources at UNCG’s N.C. Entrepreneurship Center and through our partnership with Forward Impact. We are eager to work with them.”

Fellows will move into the house in August and live there through the 2015-16 school year. They will pay rent based on market rates. They do not receive academic credit for the experience but will take part in a fall retreat with other entrepreneurial leaders who are part of the Forward Impact community. They will also participate in a “Demo Day” at the end of the academic year when they share the progress on their projects with the larger community.

ThinkHouseU Fellows will also receive complimentary memberships to HQ Greensboro, a co- work space for startups that will open this summer in downtown Greensboro less than a mile from ThinkHouseU. At HQ Greensboro, Fellows can take part in programs for entrepreneurs and build connections with the larger startup and innovation ecosystem in Greensboro and across North Carolina.

The ThinkHouseU concept is modeled on Forward Impact’s existing ThinkHouse in Raleigh, where recent college graduates receive extensive support in building scalable companies. Forward Impact, which developed HQ Raleigh (a partner organization of HQ Greensboro), is also opening a TeachHouse in Durham for public school teachers who are recent graduates of Duke University’s Program for Education.

“Our goal is to open dozens of entrepreneurial living-learning communities across the United States over the next few years, and we are excited to partner with UNCG in pioneering the ThinkHouseU concept,” said Christopher Gergen, CEO of Forward Impact and Innovator in Residence at Greensboro’s Center for Creative Leadership. “We believe it offers a powerful forum for unleashing the full potential of our next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and a way for communities like Greensboro to attract and retain high potential talent.”

Interested students can apply online www.thinkhouseu.com or contact Justin Streuli at jtstreul@uncg.edu or 336.256.8647.