House of Genius: Entrepreneurs coming together to solve their challenges

By Vallabh Rao|12th Jan 2012
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While there are many startup events that help people network (read schmooze!), there are few events that bring people together to collaborate and help each other out. One such event format is the House of Genius series of sessions.

House of Genius brings together entrepreneurs and a diverse mix of business leaders from the community for an evening each month. The goal of House of Genius is to assemble brilliant, diverse groups of people to focus their collective creativity and experience to explore, discuss and solve important problems. Each event brings together a group of 15-18 wide-ranging minds and three business presenters. The three presenters share their business and a key problem they are facing in rapid-fire fashion. Next, each attendee offers questions, insights, suggestions, or introductions that may assist the presenter. The organizers ask attendees to refrain from disclosing their backgrounds at the start of the session so that ideas are accepted at face value and to encourage everyone to contribute equally. The topics for discussion are not publicised ahead of time to guarantee immediate reactions and fresh ideas. After organizing the sessions in the US they recently moved to Asia, starting in Singapore.


According to Tim Williams one of the cofounders of the initiative, House of Genius differentiates in three key ways.

- No formal introductions. People are heard by the merit of their contributions, not by their job title or experience. We save the "who are you and what do you do" conversation for the end.

- High-yeild networking. Our sessions provide a format which allows participants to become familiar and comfortable with one another and provide a method in which they can stay connected post-event.

- Valuable participation. We allow everyone an equal opportunity to hear one another and be heard; each session is moderated so the most valuable information is shared.

“Throughout our experience, it quickly became clear that many entrepreneurial ecosystems are in need of more high yield gatherings. The ‘meetup’ scene, including many other startup related events were desperately in need of a shakeup, to make startup folk's time more valuable and return better results. I can't tell you how many times I've been to other startup events and only heard a pitch for the next big thing and never met a single person who helped ME” he adds.

One of their sponsors, TravelShark, introduced House of genius to the Asian entrepreneurial world. TravelShark has two offices, one being in Singapore, which made it a natural starting location for the Asian market. They are looking to expand to Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok next. About plans for India, Tim adds “We have been privileged enough to have discussions with entrepreneurs who have reached out to us already, but haven't yet planned a specific launch in India yet. Show us the need and demand by emailing founders@houseofgenius.org!”

What do you think of such an event? What would you like to see in startup related events? Do let us know by commenting below.

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