Now, all they need is a reality film crew.
Ten startup entrepreneurs are coming to Seattle from around the world to set up camp in an awesome 6,000-square-foot mansion in the tony Clyde Hill area, just a few minutes from Bill Gates’ massive home in the suburb of Medina. Call it the Real World: Startup Edition.
Why are these folks descending on our fair city?
Well, you’d have to ask Noah Kagan, the charismatic and fast-talking founder of AppSumo who came up with the idea for what he’s dubbing “The Ultimate Entrepreneur Getaway.”
The idea started with the weather. Kagan, who previously worked at Facebook and Mint, lives in Austin where he runs the How To Make Your First Dollar entrepreneurial bootcamps, a program that he says helps entrepreneurs “kick more ass.”
Austin in the summer is hot. Too hot. And Kagan was looking for an escape from the heat when he thought about taking his show on the road. Seattle was top of the list.
“I love Seattle … and the three months in the summer are the best anywhere in the world,” says Kagan, adding that he’ll be moving the entire AppSumo team into the 5-bedroom and 8-bathroom mansion from July 8th to July 13th. Now, Kagan isn’t one to do anything on a small scale, so he took the idea a bit further by inviting out some partners and customers, and then opening up the 5-day stay at the mansion to the AppSumo mailing list of more than 650,000.
Of course, not all of them can fit in the beautiful European-style villa.
The week-long bootcamp — complete with a private chef, all the booze one can drink and entrepreneurial and product advice from the AppSumo team and others — isn’t cheap at $2,500 a pop. But don’t look to sign up.
Kagan said the 10 open slots were gone in about three hours — including folks from Malaysia, New York and Ireland.
“What shocked us was the demand for it,” said Kagan, adding that $2,500 isn’t really “an impulse buy.” The concept resonated because folks are not only looking for tips to improve their business, but wanted to work in a relaxing environment.
“I think people are looking at it in a different way,” said Kagan. “It is $500 per day, and if you are actually able to work on things that are improving your business that sort of pays for itself.” Developers from AppSumo will be on hand to help solve technical questions, and Kagan plans to toss his consulting chops into the mix as well. “You are living with people who have already been successful, and can really teach you and work with you on things you want to accomplish,” he said.
But let’s not forget another element of the Ultimate Entrepreneurial Getaway. Fun.
Kagan said that some of the folks who’ve signed up just want to hang out, sipping some cocktails around the pool and talking shop as they snack on good food.
This marks the first time that Kagan has rented out a mansion, and invited the AppSumo community to join. And he had one requirement for the house. It had to have a hot tub.
But at the end of the day, Kagan said he’s looking forward to escaping Austin, slurping up some Duke’s Clam Chowder in the Seattle summertime and maybe even hopping on a boat in Lake Washington.
“It’s hot as shit out here,” he says of Austin. “And Seattle is perfect right now. So, it just made a lot of sense.”
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