Starting a new business, or maintaining an established one, can be difficult. When faced with challenges, being an entrepreneur can be a lonely endeavor. Business struggles can be brought to friends and acquaintances for advice, but sometimes a more powerful tool can be found outside narrow personal networks.
Twenty-five cities around the world utilize the House of Genius model, and thanks to Katie Maxwell, Memphis is soon to join the list.
“Our format encourages attendees to lend their unique insights to problems that may be outside their fields of expertise—a crucial ingredient to gain novel perspectives and create innovative solutions,” Maxwell explains.
The House of Genius is simple. Three business owners present their problems to a panel of strangers, all considered experts in their own right. Each member of the group is completely anonymous, only allowed to be introduced by their first name. "Everyone is on a level playing field. You can’t get caught up in a person’s title because you don’t know who they are or what they do. Everyone has the same goal: to provide creative criticism and feedback to business owners, startups, and entrepreneurs,” said Maxwell.
The name shouldn't be a deterrent; she invites anyone with interest to participate in the group (regardless of IQ). “The true 'genius' is in the collaboration. You’ll be amazed at the power of thinking that is evoked from the synergistic format.”
Those interested in presenting or attending just need to visit House of Genius online and complete the supplied form. It should be noted that each session is balanced by area of expertise, so the attendee lists are curated. “Anyone can apply, but you must be invited to attend,” Maxwell explains further.
Participants from other cities tout that House of Genius is a powerful networking experience, and after attending a session in Dallas, Maxwell saw a need to bring the program to her hometown. “I want to support entrepreneurial spirit and Memphis startups. We are doing a lot in this city and its time to create more buzz.”
Katie Maxwell is no stranger to business startups. After eight years in the corporate world specializing in marketing, communications and public relations, her position was eliminated due to a company wide restructuring. Unsure of what she wanted to do next, Katie spent several months working with a team to launch CoWork Memphis
, a coworking space in Midtown where she now serves as the Director of Community Relations.