Getting to know resident - Nico from Hectre 

Nico rides to work on a motorcycle and parks just at the door of The Workshop. That’s how this French man rolls.

He grew up in Toulouse, south-west France, in the countryside 1 ½ hours from mountains or sea. His family home was a 300-year-old house which his grandfather and father spent most of Nico’s life restoring to the splendid home it is today. Nico’s younger years were very happy. He spent his childhood playing foosball, football and stereotypically like many software developers - video games and pulling apart computers. His family also went on many trips abroad to places such as Sinagoga, Morocco, Indonesia, Turkey, Italy and Spain.

Nico's mother and father were hard-working in business. They owned shops selling lighting fittings as well as designing and distributing them to other stores across Europe.

When the testosterone kicked in as an adolescent so did the adrenaline addiction. Nico started spending his summers rock jumping and his winters snowboarding to give him the hits he needed during his school years.

At 18 he went to study his masters in computer science at a private tertiary school in Paris. He explains his love and skill for technology did not run in the blood, but his hands-on approach to fixing things he has his father thank for - his entrepreneurial spirit too.

On year three of his course he was made by the school to work four months in London to improve his English. He got a job at KFC and, lucky for Nico, his metabolism kept up with the absurd amount of chicken he ate. As his English improved he had enough of KFC and went to work at a good old London Pub where he not only had to understand English, but drunken English too, not to mention a Kiwi manager.

He then went on to an internship to China which he loved working on and then he was back to France. His intention was to travel but he found “romance” (you have to read that in a French accent) and then studied Entrepreneurial Studies while his girlfriend completed her education. At this time he loved skydiving and motorcycling.

The relationship ended and off Nico went to Australia to visit his friend. He brought a van, put out a call online to see if anyone wanted to join him along the way and off this daredevil junkie went for an adventure of a lifetime around the continent. Many others were doing the same, so they too convoyed with him, stopping at times to fulfill his visa obligations to stay in the country.

He then went home to visit family, then to Bali and next he was off to ride a motorcycle around parts of Asia. At the time his younger brother had moved to Wellington, NZ and so Nico went to visit him. Next he was off to Auckland where he flatted with his business partner Matty. They decided to take over some outdated software and Nico recreated it to better serve orchards daily operations. Nico now helps manage four other developers at their business Hectre. There is a lot of competition in software development for this industry - that’s where Matty comes in. He has a background in sales and marketing and his role as CEO is to raise capital for the business.

The business is growing well explains Nico with the biggest clients being in Nelson, Hawkes Bay, Australia, New York and Washington State. They expect to keep increasing their market share of this industry in the coming year/s.

The whole team works out of The Workshop and they all sit together and use the meeting rooms regularly. Nico enjoys being part of a bigger community, the vibe and the spacious interior, oh and the VIP parking outside I’m sure.

Written by Justine Jamieson

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