Home News The Guild | Residential Incubator to Help Entrepreneurs Hit Homebase

The Guild | Residential Incubator to Help Entrepreneurs Hit Homebase

by Kiki Roeder

Nestled among trees and modern amenities will be The Guild, a new incubator established for budding social entrepreneurs to grow their goals from home. The 10-month residency fellowship will offer a robust curriculum, training, mentorship, and startup struggle huddles with others of the cohort.

We caught up with Founder Nikishka Iyengar to learn why applicants should rush to apply by February 15 to join The Guild this March.

What is The Guild?

The Guild is a purpose-incubator, designed to help change-makers launch and scale their ventures while maintaining an intentional and sustainable lifestyle. It offers a 10-month residency fellowship to entrepreneurs and leaders who want to create a better world with an intentional and sustainable lifestyle.

Located in scenic East Lake Commons, an ecovillage in East Atlanta, The Guild combines co-housing principles with social entrepreneurship. Fellows in the program aren’t just roommates, they’re collaborators. The Guild provides resources for fellows to launch and scale their purpose-driven ventures, as well as resources for their personal well-being.

What motivated you to establish a residential incubator?

I created The Guild to bring innovators and future leaders trying to create a better world under one roof. Being an entrepreneur can be isolating. Being a social entrepreneur – working towards creating social returns that are often undervalued financially – can be even more isolating. What if you could live in an environment that fostered collaboration and support for your venture, and even further, offered a framework to live a more intentional and sustainable life? The Guild aspires to be a template for creating a system where social entrepreneurs thrive holistically.

   Guild_dining room

What will the program be like?

The Guild curates an experience that focuses on designing a life of purpose. The program offers:

  • Training curriculum focused on launching and scaling a purpose-driven social venture
  • Resources to create a comprehensive purpose-driven life (and work) plan
  • One-on-one coaching from a network of industry experts, mentors, and potential investors
  • Access to startup and social entrepreneurship events around Atlanta
  • Weekly curated content on living an intentional, sustainable and healthy lifestyle

What sets us apart is that it has the intensity, but ultimately it is your house at the end of the day. There is going to be that balance with the fellows. The program is intended to be well balanced between professional and private aspects of our lives.

Who are your ideal applicants?

Someone who is definitely passionate about making a difference, whether in Atlanta or globally. It should be people who have really thought through their idea, are passionate, and willing to change and grow with the rest of the fellows.

Why Atlanta?

The “South got something to say vibe” is strong and infectious. I’ve lived in several big cities both in the US and internationally, but Atlanta’s energy and sense of community has felt very unique. I moved to Atlanta from San Francisco two and a half years ago, and it felt like the right place to start a venture like this. The startup scene is booming, and growing, and the social enterprise movement has also been tangibly growing. I want to contribute to Atlanta’s story, specifically around helping its community of social change warriors thrive.

What is your experience?

In my day job, I work with large Fortune 500 companies on their sustainability and corporate responsibility strategy – essentially helping them be better businesses socially and environmentally. The management consulting firm I work for has also recently started looking at smaller, but high-impact social enterprises. My experience around consulting with companies to make them socially responsible and environmentally sustainable have been beneficial in helping develop relevant curriculum for The Guild. Beyond that, The Guild has a growing network of industry and startup experts that will be providing content for the curriculum.

Guild_room1 Farmer Joe @ ELC

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