Interview / Maptia - First startuping experience in Taghazout


We’ve interviewed Maptia, a successful startup built by 3 british entrepreneurs, who chose Taghazout to develop their startup and launch the beta of their website. Maptia is also the first startuping experience in Taghazout.

Hi Maptia ! first of all can you describe your startup in a few words ?

Maptia is a world of remarkable stories, told by some of the most inspiring photographers, writers, and adventurers on the planet, and to publish and share your stories as part of our thoughtful community.

It's seems completly crazy to move to Taghazout for work, why did you choose the region to work on your startup ?

It was a little bit! Needing to make our runway last until we had launched the Beta for our product, we instead spun the globe and found a cheap apartment only ten metres from the Atlantic ocean in the Moroccan surf town of Taghazout – now equipped with high speed broadband (thanks to Ken’s technical genius) and enough space for all five of us currently on the team to live and work comfortably.
I had previously worked here as a surf instructor so knew the area fairly well, but even so it was a bit of a risk making the leap in the first place.

What are the things (Activities, food, etc...) that you've enjoyed the most in Taghazout ?

Like any startup team (especially when launch deadlines are fast approaching) we have a tendency to burn the candle at both ends, but we adopted a few routines to refresh team energy levels when needed.

To share a couple here – Dean sometimes played the ukulele and makes up ridiculous songs, if the swell was good I’d give the others a quick surfing lesson or go for a quick sunset surf at Anchor point, and Ella (our flexible intern) led a rooftop yoga class most evenings. There are also a few cliff jumping spots nearby and a local Hammam where we got an intense massage in the next village south!

Did the atmosphere of the village impacted the way you came up with ideas for Maptia ?

Removing all unnecessary distractions by being out in Morocco did wonders for our team productivity. While we were taking part in both the Start-Up Chile incubator, and in the Techstars program, we found that although the constant stream of meetups and coffee meetings were great

for intensive learning and networking, we struggled to focus on building the product as much as we would have liked. Giving ourselves the opportunity to focus exclusively on this (plus community building) was fantastic, and entirely appropriate for the stage we are at.

In your opinion, what are the things Taghazout needs the most ?

I like Taghazout exactly how it is. With the hotel developments I can imagine that it will become more of a tourist hub in the coming years, but I hope that this doesn’t change the laid back and relaxed feel that it has kept for the past few decades!

Do you think that Taghazout is a perfect hub for launching startups ?

It depends on what stage your start up is at… if you are able to manage your team and relationships remotely, looking for somewhere cheap to live and in a beautiful environment then I would certainly recommend Taghazout as an option. It recently made the top 3 locations in the world to work from on the website.

“Continue to build an entrepreneurial culture of giving without expecting anything in return. This is the single most important lesson that we took away from Techstars and although it takes time to grow I think that this would make the biggest impact in the long run.” -Maptia

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