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NUMA, Paris invited the Google for Entrepreneurs (GFE) partners to their Startup Hub in the French capital for an exchange program and workshops which took place on March 10th & 11th. Dogpatch Labs was represented by myself, Community Manager; Liz, Events & Corporate Partnerships Manager and Suzanne, Financial Controller.

The GFE Tech Hub Network is a community of tech hubs from around the world and as one of the partners, Dogpatch Labs members have access to over 20 of these hubs globally.

We arrived at NUMA Thursday morning, entering off the street into a busy cafe. You could sense that there was something happening there as the place started to fill with start-ups. Fresh coffee being served, information blackboards and screens around the place and a space that really felt welcoming and had a strong community feel. On the ground floor there is the coworking space which is completely open and free for startups to use. You have to get there early to get a hot-desk!

We made our way up to the top floor on level 4 – The Terrace Event Room. We were greeted with coffee and croissants and soon one by one the others started to arrive. There were partners from all over the world – Dubai, Ghana, Berlin, Gaza, Stockholm, Amsterdam, London, Warsaw and Madrid.

The session began with a presentation from Aviva, International Strategy Manager and Frederic, International Director. It became apparent to us very quickly how NUMA became this international brand now based in Casablanca, Bengaluru and Moscow.

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NUMA Paris was the first NUMA to open before going international. It started out as a coworking space but then as other spaces opened up in the centre of Paris they moved away from that. Now their main focus is their accelerator program.

Companies will start out in the ground floor cafe and as they progress they look to be accepted into the acceleration program. There is a real sense of community and it really is the core of everything about the place.

“Connectors” are hired on a voluntary basis and they look after the start-up community helping them get connected to the right and relevant people to help solve problems, mentors and corporate partners.

We had a full intense day of workshops where we had the opportunities to share, learn and discuss issues, challenges and successes from each of the other coworking spaces and accelerators. Some of the challenges of the different spaces were related to cultural challenges, such as some startups that had no access to internet or coders who actually learned to code with pencil and paper!

There is an amazing team of people that work with Frederic at NUMA Paris and the Community is at the heart of it all. Aviva and Frederic were the perfect hosts and true to their core values of NUMA.

To find out more about the GFE Tech Hub Network just contact orla@dogpatchlabs.com.

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