Jack Schwartz, CEO and cofounder of coworking space General Assembly, took a unique path when setting up the company ten years ago. Instead of creating an office space for startups and entrepreneurs to work out of, General Assembly offers entrepreneur-expert-taught classes on various workplace skills. Now, the company has seen 80,000 General Assembly graduates across its 32 campuses around the world.
Schwarts explains that sustaining a healthy workplace requires proper leadership. After gaining his MBA from the Wharton School of Business, Schwartz made a promise that he would work for only himself.
“I don’t care if I have to sleep in the gutter. I’m going to be an entrepreneur. I’m going to be the one dependent on my own success and failure,” said Schwartz. “I managed to hustle my way into some consulting gigs with friends—that helped me pay my rent.”
After partnering up with Matt Brimer, Brad Hargreaves and Adam Pritzker, the team decided to create an aspirational space for entrepreneurs.
While the team brainstormed on how to capitalize their existing presence, they decided to allow their entrepreneur tenants to skill-share and take classes from one another, which became an instant hit.
General Assembly chose Adecco as their acquirer in 2018 as it allowed them to continue to independently operate. Schwartz adds that acquisition is not the end game, it is simply graduating.