Imagine a place where young entrepreneurs can collaborate, work, design, hold meetings, live and dream. That’s the plan for Hatch House, a unique live-work space for entrepreneurs that was created by Lehigh University graduate student Steve Boerner ’15G, alumnus James Byszewski ’02 and business partner Louis Intile.
Boerner, founder and president of Hatch House, developed the project while a student in Lehigh’s Technical Entrepreneurship master’s degree program, in which students learn to turn their ideas into viable products and businesses. Boerner worked with Byszewski and Intile, managing partners of Fifth Street Capital Partners, to create a leasing agreement for a house located just north of the Lehigh campus, where — starting July 1 — five student or recent graduate entrepreneurs will live while working on their companies.
Hatch House’s slogan is: “Live. Grow. Launch!”
"It’s a house filled with really fun collaboration that is very open and friendly, where there is ‘serious play’ and informal nonjudgmental sharing of ideas," Boerner said, envisioning the house. "People are laughing and having fun, but they are working."
Residents can study for classes and work on their companies at the house while enjoying regular networking events, guest speakers, mentors, demonstration days, investor pitches and access to angel investors, industry partners and city and county economic development resources.
"The amount of collaboration that you have when you are immersed in entrepreneurship is truly the benefit of Hatch House," Boerner predicted. "You are surrounded by inspiration and like-minded people who can help you and you can help them."
Boerner, 29, who grew up in Bethlehem, also has an undergraduate degree in Business Leadership from the University of Delaware. He worked in sales and finance in the employee benefits industry for a Fortune 500 firm before deciding to return to school to focus on his entrepreneurial passions.
Lehigh’s Technical Entrepreneurship (TE) program was a natural fit. In the program, Boerner started looking at business models for co-sharing office space, but saw that it was a saturated market. What was uncommon was the idea of a living and working community specifically focused on entrepreneurs.
"We are giving a platform to help young entrepreneurs to showcase what they have been working on," Boerner said, as well as to provide networking experience, exposure to investors and introductions that will help them grow their businesses.
Read the full story at the Lehigh University News Center.
-Amy White is the communications specialist for Lehigh University's Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation.