Meet A Member – Nabes | Notman House

[This is part of a monthly series highlighting current tenants at Notman]

Being in a startup kind of feels like downhill skiing for the first time: it can be a bit of a tumbling ride, it’s not always easy to know which way to go and yet, it’s a lot of fun. With time, it can even become an epic ride. One thing’s for sure though, no matter what you’re experiencing on the slopes, your legs will hurt like hell at the bottom because it’s a lot of work.

You need to learn quickly. It often feels like being back in school, only this time you’re the teacher and the student at the same time: it can be challenging to wear both hats.

As hard as it is though, it’s incredibly rewarding. There are things you’ll learn along the way that you will never learn in business class. And that knowledge is acquired no matter what happens to your startup. It’s yours to keep.

To tell you a bit more about us. Nabes (short for neighbourhoods), was built on the idea of discovering cities without constraints. Me and my partner are big travellers, always up to discover new places. We wanted to create something that would allow people to quickly get to know a neighbourhood, without the downsides associated with mass tours. So we started developing a tool that would allow travellers to contact local guides.

A lot of competitors have emerged over the past year, and big players like Airbnb have entered the market with a big bang. The arrival of competitors can always seem scary, but it’s actually often a chance to learn from their mistakes/successes.

Choosing which ”path” to take can also be gruelling. You often become discouraged by an idea, and start to question everything. Whether you’re targeting the right customers (should you be B-C or B-B), or if you’re developing the right software (an app, a website, a chatbot?), it can all get very confusing. I used to work in advertising. I was taught that when in doubt, the best thing to do is to pitch ideas relentlessly. The more you pitch, the more it all makes sense.

The last few months at Notman House went by in the blink of an eye. We got to know a lot of interesting people, shook many hands, got great tips and advices, and most of all were lucky enough to meet the next generation of entrepreneurs. Their determination to attain their goals was inspirational.

This week we set sail on the next chapter of our journey. We are moving out of the house to find a space where we hope to grow. To get back to my initial ski analogy (as I’m a big ski fan), once you reach the bottom of the slope, you always have the option to take off your skis and go home, or get to back in the chair for another run. The more you ski, the better you get at it. Like in anything, it’s all about determination and never ever giving up.

Sebastien Gazaille

CEO/Founding Partner



Nb. If anyone has any inquiries about our project, feel free to contact us for a chat. We are also currently looking for developers to join our team: