By Shahar Larry, Tinker at Lighthouse Community for Entrepreneurs

Lighthouse was a huge surprise. It may sound melodramatic, but I think it was one of the biggest surprises in my professional life.

I’m serious.

I met the Lighthouse team almost a year ago, around May of 2016. I thought they were a bit crazy. These guys, had a hunch and like good entrepreneurs they simply built it. They showed me around 1500 sq/m spread over two floors of offices and workspace and hardwood floors. The space was empty – lots of chairs and no one to sit on them.

They had an idea. A concept. Raw and naïve. They wanted to “do something for entrepreneurs so that they can really succeed”. This is what they said to me, verbatim. They wanted it to be a place that really cares, that gives something more than just a desk, a chair and a kitchen. A place in which they can share their learning and experience and significantly improve the success potential of startups.

I try not to be cynical. I asked, with googly eyes: “guys, everyone says that…how is Lighthouse different?” We were trying to put into words what the founders of Lighthouse – entrepreneurs themselves – felt in their gut was so badly needed.

And then we found it.

We realized that Lighthouse wasn’t about the space, it wasn’t about the facilities, the tables, chairs of ping-pong table. Lighthouse wasn’t about the services it provided, the mentors, the support or the access to funders.

Lighthouse was about me – us – you. It was about the entrepreneur and their changing needs. It was about listening – for the first god-damn time – instead of pushing programs and tips and advices and lectures down our throat. That was it. A simple concept executed brilliantly.

Over the past year, I have been working from Lighthouse and I have seen its magic. The Lighthouse team was smart to cherry-pick the startups that joined – ensuring the place had a strong common culture of…well…entrepreneuring… week by week the place filled up and the combination of tailored services, of support that listens first and talks later, created an atmosphere I have never seen or experienced before.

I think in the future all startup growth platforms will look like Lighthouse – flexible and turned on their head – putting the entrepreneurs in the center and adapting to their changing needs and circumstances. Makes sense.

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