This morning was just like being with the ITMPs in Helsinki in March 2000. Those were the days when « First Tuesdays » were spreading over the planet (we went to one at the World Trade Centre in the Finnish Capital) and Mobile Mondays were invented by the Finns. We were innovation explorers. One day in Espoo, we stood outside a HUGE building and with Philippe, Stephane, Alexandre and Didier (ITMP2000) we walked in and walked around. « What is this? » we asked. « It’s and incubator » replied someone and added « who are you? ». We explained we were from Paris looking at Finnish innovation and doors opened.
This morning with Mike, Hanna, William and Sébastien, we met outside the NUMA in Paris and more or less did the same thing. Numa is a start up incubator and more. Like in Helsinki, people were friendly and outgoing. Here are some first impressions:
Ground floor has a nice coffee bar, big pavement outside for smoking breaks, NUMA staff give information. About 40 people working hard in the open space. All are welcome. But if you’re not there at 9 you may not get a place. First come first served. Lots of wall space too for writing messages or whatever. A NUMA staffer called Hélène gave us a useful overview. Proper visits on Friday afternoons. We will do this with the ITMP15s for sure. « Just look around but tray and be discrete » she said.
Stairs with new spaces on every floor.
First floor is like the Co-working. You have to reserve and pay by the day or by the month. A less hectic atmosphere, but it was fill and people were working hard. Looked like teams from time to time, but I didn’t want to disturb anyone, so I just looked.
Second floor is projects and a kind of research lab. The projects are business and engineering schools working for company clients. They looked ultra busy and I left them in peace. In the lab part, Mael Inizan, another Numa staffer, kindly took time to explain that the Numa also works with non start up companies. « This started 3 years ago in the days of Silicon Sentier ». Some bigger companies were intrigued by the start up world and we had requests for helping them. To do what? « Well, bring in more agility, user centerdness, experimental and design thinking approaches. It may just be a half day workshop. Sometimes it’s 6 months coaching. »
Third floor is the Camping. That’s the actual incubator where the start ups are. But there were juries and future start uppers were pitching their ideas, so we stayed out.
Fourth and fifth floors, nice meeting rooms and terraces.
Every stair has a sponsor’s name. Numa was crowd funded!
A huge thank you to Pierre and Antoine, who shared their cigarette time with us outside and explained how things worked. They are there every morning, just about to launch the beta version of their innovative baby sitting Happy Sharing community. I will interview them after the beta launch. Here’s the landing page meanwhile…
William and Sebastien suggested that ITMP15 Mapcos spend 3 or 4 days at Numa to get everyone buzzing and sharing. Brilliant idea! Will do.
And I will be back soon.