There’s a spirit of forward-thinking in the ThinkHouse enterprise. Year after year, the program seeks new opportunities to strengthen the experience for its fellows based on lessons learned from previous cohorts.

Christopher Gergen, one of the four ThinkHouse founders, says it became clear last year that the fellowship’s design was “too immediate for some and too advanced for others,” and needed to be more flexible, since each venture exists within a different stage of development.
To fix this, the admissions team added an extra level of competitiveness to this year’s round of applications.
All this was said in July, right before we published a story recapping the progress made by the 2015-16 graduating ThinkHouse class. Gergen also made these remarks around the time he and other members of the ThinkHouse team were reviewing applications for the incoming cohort, all of which had to meet to a higher, more rigorous bar than applicants before.
So this class brings something unprecedented to the table. The seven startups carry similar (if not equal) experience and viability, which lets them grow together at the same pace. Here’s a look at the incoming fellows and their startups:


This startup stemmed from a mutual frustration among two Appalachian State University alumni earlier this year. Despite holding high academic and extracurricular credentials, Kameron Kales and Chris Comrie struggled to find jobs after graduating.