The facility invites entrepreneurs to meet, collaborate and help each other develop and finesse their ideas.
“At Entrepreneur Haus, the aim is for close-knit groups of people to share their stories and to learn from what worked or didn’t work for someone else,” said creator Daniel Ngo. Daniel wishes to eliminate the cut-throat mentality frequently seen in the entrepreneurial world, aspiring to “help people who want to help others”.
That ethos is a cornerstone of Entrepreneur Haus. “If I can change the mentality of 10 people and those 10 people can change the mentality of another 10 and so on … that’s all you can really do in that space,” he said.
The atmosphere at Entrepreneur Haus differs from traditional co-working venues, especially as it revolves around sharing knowledge and working together. “I’m against giving people a square meterage of space and having people put partitions up. I didn’t want it to feel like a space where you just stare at a wall and do your own thing,” Daniel said.
“We don’t have partitions in the co-working space’s shared area. I wanted to promote that community aspect of people working together and helping grow each other’s businesses.”
Daniel aimed to reflect that collaborative ethos in the space’s design, foregoing the feel of a traditional office for something that stimulated creativity and innovation.
“I never wanted a normal office building, where you just throw in off-the-shelf furniture,” he said.
Instead, Entrepreneur Haus is set up in a spacious warehouse, adorned with handmade furniture, avoiding the feel of traditional office blocks.
Although the open areas encourage interaction with others, there is an overriding sense of calm and quiet.
While Daniel initially scouted locations in Newstead and Teneriffe, he was drawn to the South Brisbane area due by its reputation as a creative, cultural space.
“As soon as I saw 29 Merivale Street and how quickly the surroundings were building up, I definitely had to be here.
I believe it’s going to be the next big thing — West End, Southbank, Highgate Hill: it’s that central hub on this side of town,” he said.
Though Daniel was immediately drawn to the location, the same cannot be said of the name. “I didn’t actually like the word ‘entrepreneur’,” said Daniel. “The reason why I called it ‘entrepreneur’ is a business’s name needs to be self-explanatory”. ‘Haus’, the German equivalent of ‘home’ is used because “the space [he] wanted to create was a home for people starting businesses”.
Daniel’s reservations in using the word ‘entrepreneur’ are credited to his observations of common attitudes among entrepreneurs. “Some people in the entrepreneurial industry are happy to stand back and watch people fail, saying that ‘they’ll learn’,” he said. At Entrepreneur Haus, Daniel wishes to eliminate the industry’s tall poppy syndrome. “I encourage people to share their stories of things that have worked and things that haven’t. If you know the stove is hot, why wouldn’t you tell someone else that it’s going to burn them?” he said.
Readers also enjoyed this story about TedxBrisbane.