Notman House: Pushing Boundaries and Raising Bars for Startup Hubs

by Jana Makar

2 min read

Within Montreal, the Notman House (@notman) has a solid reputation as the city’s prime technology hub and home of the web. Lately, however, this local hub has been turning heads beyond just Montreal. Beyond Quebec, in fact. Beyond Canada.

In 2012, to fund a major renovation and overhaul of the 163-year-old heritage property, Notman held one of the most successful community crowdfunding campaigns ever run to date in Canada. In 20 days it raised more than $100,000 to complement $7M acquired from government grants, Investissement Quebec, the Business Development Bank of Canada, and private contributions from partners such as Teralys Capital, Claridge, Telesystem, McCarthy Tetrault, and Fasken Martineau.

These funds enabled Notman to double its office space for early stage Startups, double its capacity for the event space, and build a brand new, more accessible, fully functional cafe open to the public.

Then, another big head-turning event happended in October 2014. The Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub Network expanded to include the Notman House, making Montreal the 9th city in the network, the 2nd in Canada, and the 1st in a French-speaking community.

“We’re very excited to be working with the Google for Entrepreneurs team and to join this growing network of leading North American tech hubs,” said Noah Redler, Notman House Campus Director. “This partnership will help us ensure that Montreal’s most promising startups and entrepreneurs have access to a broad, international community where they can go for inspiration, innovation and networking with people living the same reality as them.”

For startups working with Notman House, the Tech Hub Network puts new resources at their fingertips, including funding, training and mentorship opportunities, and access to Google programs and products throughout the network including:

  • An annual Demo Day where startups from the network come to Silicon Valley and pitch to investors;
  • Eligibility for the $100K Google Cloud Platform for Startups program; and
  • The Google for Entrepreneurs Global Passport, where entrepreneurs from each hub can work for free at spaces designated at any other hub in the network.

Founded in 2013, the Tech Hub Network is the first formal network of its kind and connects leading startup hubs fueling local entrepreneurship in cities including Chicago, Denver, Austin, and Kitchener-Waterloo, among others. Google provides these tech hubs with funding, mentorship opportunities, Google training, and Google products, including access to the $100K Google Cloud Platform for Startups program.

The Notman House’s focus is on technology, the Internet, mobile and software development. It is driven by objectives to foster community building, networking, collaboration and shared learning, and its end goal is to build a strong and vibrant ecosystem of successful and inspiring technology entrepreneurs in Montréal. Based on the success it’s had to date and its plans for the future, the Notman House is likely to continue turning heads for many more years to come.

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