Casey Rosengren

@casey_rosengren

Announcing Recess Labs @ GCT

December 19th 2017

We’re excited to announce the launch of Recess Labs at Grand Central Tech!

What Is Recess?

You can think of us like a pre-idea incubator or a group EIR program.

We bring a group of talented people from the tech world together for three months to spend an extended period exploring ideas at the cutting edge of tech, design, and product.

We don’t take equity, and you’re free to work on whatever piques your interest.

Fellows receive three months of free office space at Grand Central Tech, as well as access to Recess-specific events that provide Fellows with additional structure and accountability, such as daily check-ins, dinners, and demo nights.

Our upcoming class starts January 15, 2018 in the heart of New York City. The deadline to apply is December 30, 2017, and the application takes only 5–10 minutes.

Apply here if you’re interested, or keep reading to learn more.

Our Philosophy

Our goal at Recess is to create an environment that supports people as they bring their early-stage ideas to life.

To that end, we encourage Recess Fellows to adopt a set of guiding principles that we have found to be useful when working on early stage projects.

Here are a few of them:

● Build things you personally want.
● Work on things you can personally build.
● Put out a “first draft” as soon as possible.
● Be prolific — do lots of work.

We’re heavily inspired by the ideas of Paul Graham, Richard Feynman, Fred Wilson, David Heinemeier Hansson, Recurse Center, Entrepreneurs First, and the MIT Media Lab.

Why We Started Recess

The average stint at a tech company is 2–3 years, meaning that every year, 30–50% of top people in tech will go through a career transition.

In navigating these transitions ourselves and observing our friends and colleagues, we realized that people in the early stages of exploring new ideas don’t have much structure, community, or accountability.

One option for technologists working on new ideas is joining a VC as a traditional entrepreneur-in-residence. However, these programs are typically unstructured, and commit you to building something VC-backable from the start.

Another option is going it alone, and working independently on projects from home, cafes, or co-working spaces. This often leaves people feeling isolated and lacking a community of other people going through a similar phase.

So, we decided to create a community for experienced people in tech who were navigating their next move and exploring new projects and ideas.

We brought a handful of friends and friends-of-friends together for our beta batch in NYC over the summer, and the feedback was unequivocal: structure and community made people feel happier and more productive as they figured out what was next and began to scale their ideas.

Now, we’re excited to partner with Grand Central Tech, NYC’s premiere venture accelerator, to bring this approach to the broader NYC tech community.

Who are we looking for?

Fellows come from a wide range of backgrounds, and our beta class included exited founders, ex-VCs, software / product / design consultants, and former employees of top tech companies.

Overall, we’re looking for people who:

● Are on the cutting edge of their field.
● Want to work full-time on their own ideas.
● Have a track record of making things people want.

What do we mean by a track record of making things people want? It could mean a startup, a side project, a blog, or even an art project. Basically, anything you created from scratch that found real-world users.

Join us?

Are you an awesome engineer, designer, entrepreneur, or product person who wants to explore your own ideas full time? We want to hear from you!

Stop by our website to learn more about the program, or apply here by December 30, 2018. Applications take only 5–10 minutes to complete.

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