Lately we together with a squad of Belgian startups were off to the Parisian startup ecosystem. In 4 days' time we visited some unique places and met amazing people.

One of the top highlights was our meeting with Nicolas Van Rymenant, founder of Menu Next Door, who shared his insights on success, startup growth and the power of being connected with communities.

Nicolas’ experience, as an entrepreneur, is truly inspiring. After a couple of failures, in 2015, his new project Menu Next Door, had a truly flying start. In less than one year the Brussels-based startup has received the support of Venture Capitalists, and is already active in Paris and in London.

Before Menu Next Door

Nicolas argues that a lot of entrepreneurs have creative ideas. But what really matters is working on ideas and eventually make them happen. He recollects that during 2 months he tested one idea per day. After some tests, he decided to cook at home and to invite friends via Facebook to buy what he had cooked. After having done it multiple times and a rapidly increasing demand, he understood that he got more than just an idea. 

Community was the magic ingredient in Menu Next Door from its early start

What brings people together more than food? What social network allows to connect with friends, family and other people? Nicolas pieced these two questions together. He started a Facebook group and invited his friends to cook too. Each day, more people were cooking and more people were ordering meals. 

Menu Next Door opened a new way to eat and connect with the local community; it allowed to meet people who love good food, share moments with them and eat the meals they cook with love. Besides, meeting your chef and getting the chance to talk to them about the dish they've prepared is what makes this something more than just a takeaway. Notably, that most of the meals are still ordered via the Facebook group.

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