Notman House is a machine for turning engineers into innovators

By Mike Gozzo

When I graduated with an engineering degree in 2006, I did what so many other bright engineers outside of the valley do: I went to work for a big company serving a niche market writing cool code that a dozen people would get to use. Many from my graduating cohort followed a similar path, ending up working for big defence contractors, banks or other creativity-sapping companies.

We didn’t choose this path because we weren’t talented enough to take more fulfilling jobs (there were many bright graduates with open source contributions, active side projects and more) We chose it because the alternative, working for or starting a tech startup seemed so far out of reach. Montreal simply didn’t have the vibrant technology community necessary for encouraging innovative endeavours despite having 4 universities that were quickly pumping out hundreds (if not thousands) of brilliant innovators.

Thankfully, this all changed when a project called Notman House was kicked off by some community leaders through the OSMO foundation. This project took a historic 19th century building and laid the groundwork for the ultimate community hackerspace. With such a hub in the community, evangelists like Heri Rakotomala emerged and engineers, designers and creative types from across the province began to come together to discuss things that they were passionate about and find ways to change the world.

The community that developed through Notman House embraced me and gave me the courage, support and eventually funding I needed to make Blogstand a reality. If this community never came together, I’d likely still be at some big company, managing a team of talented engineers, all of them with stifled dreams of how a man or woman with an idea in Montreal could change the world. If this sounds like you, then I invite you to drop into Notman House to explore and enter a community of people who are just like you and work towards realizing dreams that are just like yours.

Notman House needs your help to raise the last little bit of funding needed to make it the true home of the web and innovation in Montreal. Support the project however you can so that we can all say we played a part in creating a Silicon Island in this city.


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