Community During COVID
In addition to exacting a devastating toll on our health, economy, and livelihoods, the COVID pandemic has destroyed our sense of community. Suddenly, we can't see our friends and family, we can't make new connections, and we can't experience the synergies that result from putting talented, passionate people together in one room.
While other accelerators moved their programs virtually, destroying the energy, mind-melding, and spontaneous connections that happen in-person, Emergence took the opposite approach. Instead of trying to create community while isolated, we're isolating a community together. If you can only socialize with your household, why not live in a house full of other passionate founders and dedicated mentors?
An immersive, live-in accelerator is the only way to replicate the true community feel & energy while keeping participants safe. Emergence Baltimore was designed with COVID in mind: participants and the onsite-experts can socialize with each other as much as any other household does, while abiding by strict precautions to ensure outside exposure to COVID is limited.
Our Specific Precautions
Much like the NBA, Emergence is focused on creating a COVID-free bubble on our campus. Kindred Hall has over 4,000 square feet of living and coworking space, in addition to private bedrooms and bathrooms for all participants, and side-units for our live-in mentors and experts. An onsite gym, a private patio, and proximity to the giant Patterson Park ensure that participants can remain active and healthy while maintaining social distance from any outsiders.
In addition, we are taking a series of specific precautions to ensure that Emergence remains COVID-free.
- First, all program participants (our live-in experts included) are required to provide a negative COVID test before moving into the space, and will be re-tested every week. This ensures that no COVID is brought into Kindred through the process of moving participants onsite. These tests are at no costs to the participants.
- Second, all participants (and live-in mentors) will be monitored for any symptoms daily, and immediately isolated should symptoms arise. Monitoring for fever, cough, and other signs of illness is a reliable way to isolate active COVID cases, while weekly tests ensure we are preventing asymptomatic transmission.
- Third, access to the space will be strictly limited to participants and mentors. Visitors will not be permitted inside of the space except under emergency circumstances. Any external mentors and advisors that are assisting in the program will do so virtually, and if any member wishes to socialize with an outside person, they can do so from a safe distance in our giant, outdoor patio (with masks)
- Fourth, activities that involve outside exposure (like grocery shopping) will be undertaken with utmost caution by the fewest number of people. We have N99 respirators and industrial-grade disinfectants for this purpose. We'll perform tasks that involve outside exposure during non-peak hours, and all externally-touched items will be disinfected before being brought into Kindred Hall.
- Finally, and most importantly, all participants are required to abide by strict social distancing procedures. The cohort is welcome to do activities with other the other founders and mentors in the household, but otherwise they should not be going out to bars/restaurants/events with outsiders unless proper social distancing protocols are strictly enforced and followed. Anyone who flouts these restrictions will be removed from the program.
Safety + Camaraderie
While such precautions may seem excessive to some, they ensure that the founders participating in Emergence can safely interact with each other, and get the full benefit of being fully immersed in a household full of passionate entrepreneurs and experts.
We have a variety of community-building activities planned for founders in Emergence. From daily communal meals, to game & movie nights, to hiking trips and other outdoor activities, participants in Emergence will never lack for things to do while they are not working on their businesses. The comfort of having a conversation with someone who understands what you are going through is something that we are sorely lacking during COVID, and we are excited to bring that intimacy back to our cohort.
Of course, we are keeping abreast of all COVID-related developments, and we will continue to follow the best practices being spearheaded by other co-living communities and programs across the country. If you have any questions on our COVID precautions, please feel free to reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org