An initiative of the OSMO Foundation, <a href="http://notman.org/" target="_blank">Notman House</a> opened in 2013 and is now a hub for Montreal techies.
Emma Williams, Campus Director explains what powers this lively organization, located in two heritage buildings on Sherbrooke Street.
We see it as the “community centre” for the Montreal technology sector. It was created thanks to the will of tech community members who wanted to have a physical campus. It was something that Montreal didn’t have.
No. There is a whole range of services available that are oriented toward start-ups: most notably lawyers and accountants who understand start-ups and their specific needs. There are also investors such as the Business Development Bank of Canada and Real Ventures Investment Fund as well as business accelerators like FounderFuel and InnoCité MTL. But the idea is to create a complete ecosystem for tech companies with all the services they might need to grow.
It creates a stronger network; in-person connections between people are better. From time to time at Notman House, you can rub shoulders with someone before you need their help. When the day comes that you need advice, you know exactly who to go to. As an entrepreneur, it’s extraordinary to bump into an investor as you get your morning coffee. Our tenants say they didn’t know a community like this existed, that they would meet so many people…
Crew, a project development platform that recently raised 12 million dollars and renovated their Old Montreal office, started with us. A company called Flatbook, too. Both businesses came through Notman House and were a part of the FounderFuel accelerator cohort.
We are working to set up a studio to develop virtual reality products. We also want to create a space for producing podcasts, for which we are currently seeking a sponsor. We would also like to make another free space available. Otherwise, we’re working on a pilot project with McGill University. They want to make a space available for students interested in start-ups. And we also want to create more connections with universities.
I would advise them to spend time in a place where they could meet other entrepreneurs. Working with like-minded people will give them an opportunity to get help, advice and support…
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