By Mark Dencker
Three years ago an aspired entrepreneur moved back from India to Copenhagen to take his business back home, reboot personal relations and reconnect with a growing entrepreneurial scene in Copenhagen. Nest started not long after, and boy did that accelerate this aspired entrepreneur’s network, perspective and general social well-being!
Co-living and entrepreneurship
Being a first-time entrepreneur is like scrambling enough money together to buy the cheapest ticket you can find to a dubious although exciting rollercoaster where you are not quite sure you will make it out. If you do you will be celebrated as a hero, if not an idiot. Creating a company is probably the hardest thing you will do in life, it’s lonely (even with a great co-founding team), stressful as hell and more often than not it feels like you have no idea what you are doing. And if you think you know exactly where you are heading, you’ll probably wake up soon realizing you have been lying to yourself the whole time. The best entrepreneurs surround themselves with people that can challenge them, give qualified (read: honest) feedback and become the best version of themselves. Why is that important you say?You need your idea to resonate with people, and your best version of you is much more likely to execute your idea rather than you lonely single minded version of you.
At the same time, co-living is on the rise, and for good reasons! The economic benefits are obvious, particularly in capital cities where rental prices are exploding. Couple that with being a bootstrapping entrepreneur all-in on a rollercoaster ride and you have yourself a hell of an argument to join a co-living space!
Living in a place filled with other entrepreneurs improve the odds of success, and that’s why Nest has been a key factor in my own as well as others’ ventures.
My journey to Nest
I lived in Nest since the founding date in April 2013 until moving out in October 2016. I have met, lived and befriended people I would have otherwise never spoken a word to. It’s crazy to think back at those years, how much my company Wiredelta has evolved, and more importantly, how much I have evolved.
In Wiredelta we seek to create a “technical hub” within web and mobile development where entrepreneurs and idea makers alike can team up with our well-trained developers. The company started back in 2012 where my co-founder Thibaut Delarbre and myself went to India to build what became Wiredelta (WD) Institute, a training institution within the latest web and mobile technologies. Having a steady flow of great candidates graduating from Wiredelta Institute, we decided to create Wiredelta Agency to connect these developers with projects. It was around that time I decided to move back permanently to Copenhagen to open up WD Institute and Agency in Copenhagen. Shortly after I found myself living in Nest, timing couldn’t have been better.
My journey in Nest
Being one of the first to move into Nest, I have witnessed how the place has gone from a fun idea to a physical place (holy shit, it actually happened!) to the largest co-living space for entrepreneurs in the world (!). Nest’s success is not a coincidence, there are many passionate people and hours behind to make it what it is today.
In my case I ended up living in the “CEO apartment” (not our choice of words) with five other BSDs (Big Swinging Dicks). Kidding. It was six guys with myself included, guys that will forever hold an incredible memory in Wiredelta’s and my own story. Never have I experienced such an amount of “casual learning” about my own (flawed) assumptions, perspective on how things work (or ought to work), and personality. With roommates that hold backgrounds ranging from classical music, to rhetoric, to ecommerce within hunting gear, to self-driving cars, to social entrepreneurship, to schooling, to cooking, to hairdressing, I should probably have seen that coming! There have been moments of frustration, moments of pure bromance, moments of crying and moments of a weird harmony only entrepreneurs find where the world is pretty fucked up, but it’s all going to be fine cause we will fix it, one problem at a time. Without those problems we wouldn’t exist, and that’s why we as entrepreneurs live in harmony with a fucked up world.
I guess what I am trying to say is anyone that wants to get to the next level for themselves and for their business, apply to Nest.
My journey after Nest
Like so many others, I decided to move out of Nest partially because of love, partially because of work. Wiredelta is scaling and entering our third iteration. To become a “technical hub”, building an institute and an agency on top can get you that far, but it will take a long ass time to obtain global reach. We knew that from the beginning, and to go truly global we would need to build a platform.
Our platform aims at making a “developer assistant” (AI) that can take up simple development tasks for new users, and then pass on more complex development tasks to one of our human developers. Look at it like the self-driving car but for web and mobile development. I mean, we spent four years teaching humans how to code and build digital projects, kind of makes sense to teach a machine to do the same. Our first step is to build an assistant that assembles themes, components, plugins and modules from open-source frameworks like WordPress based on the user’s requests. As the AI grows stronger, the assistant will be able to perform more and more complex tasks, eventually making it super easy for anyone to build a website or app using an open source framework.
As we improve the technology and prove this is something people actually want, we will double down on the machine learning technology that powers the assistant, and when we do the playfield has an American flag on it. Like so many others that started scaling in tech, to knock this out of the park the battleground is in the US, and we already started warming up. This is why it was time for me to move out of Nest.
I can say with 100% certainty that I wouldn’t be where I am without my experience in Nest. Nest plays a very important part with myself and Wiredelta constantly aiming higher. I hope any entrepreneur reading this will give him- or herself the same kind of opportunity and apply, so Nest continues to be a place filled with awesome entrepreneurs.
Worth mentioning is also that the number for members in Nest Alumni is now larger than in Nest Residents. Nest is less than 3 years old, and if the organisation continues to grow like this it will go from not “just” the largest co-living space for entrepreneurs, but the largest network of entrepreneurs in the world. Hallelujah and Amen!