Montreal is the second largest city within Canada and perhaps one of the most influential places for businesses to start and grow. It is a place where the energy is high, the people are friendly and the startup community is becoming a strong unity. Within the community, a special place known as Notman House; has been busy shifting the course of Montreal’s startup community.
The Notman house was previously owned by a well-known Scottish photographer named William Notman back in the 1800’s and has now become a non-profit organization for grassroots tech initiatives now owned by the OSMO foundation, a non-profit organization aiming to make the tech community more knowledgeable and bring it closer than ever. Various people within the community are able to offer services, host events and have a collaborative working space within the house.
Great things are happening,” said Noah Redler, campus director of Notman house. “However in many cases people are working on similar problems without knowing it. The Notman house aims to address this issue by offering a laid back physical space where people and startups can connect with each other and to the community.
“We want the Notman house to be the place where people think of coming first – whether they’re thinking of starting a business, to get services, to meet others in the startup community or to find events, we want it to be the institution that is thought of as the first place to go to do all these things,” Noah added.
Although it’s only been around for a few years, Notman House is becoming the place for Montreal entrepreneurs to go to connect with the community and get support.
Montreal is one of Canada’s most advanced startup ecosystems, and a great example of how even a community with a well-established and supportive institutional presence can benefit from an entrepreneur-led initiative,” said Amanda Stratton, Startup Communities Manager for Startup Canada. “Noah and his team at Startup Montreal were able to identify a missing piece in the opportunities available to Montreal entrepreneurs, and fill it. They introduced the Montreal MashUp to address the gap they found, while also being champions for all of the terrific things already happening for entrepreneurs locally.
Last year that mashup event, which occurred alongside some of their community partners, was nothing but a huge success. It was an event teaching startup founders how to manage their businesses. They were able to pitch ideas, gain feedback and some walked away with business sales. According to Noah and the Notman house, it was estimated that the startups made a total of $150,000 of sales during that event alone. Notman House has held over 550 events like this one and incubated over 100 startups in just one year.
It is amazing what one historic place has done and is continuing to do to help Montreal’s startup community grow, all by creating an atmosphere for entrepreneurs to expand, collaborate and develop their ideas.