The Ask:

Successfully introduce hostels into the American market.


When moving to new cities, millennials are forced into a world of uncertainty.


Create short-term housing that provides the social opportunity and time to find your place in a new city.

How can we take a social housing idea and introduce it to a culture that values personal space?

The Ask:

Take Nomad, a popular Australian hostel chain, and successfully introduce it into the United States.


American Hostels are Becoming Airbnbs.

We found that, not only do hostels exist in the United States, but they’re growing and evolving to fit American needs. Chain hostels and ‘poshtels’ have blown up in the last half-decade, offering the same amenities as Airbnb and local Bed and Breakfasts for a slightly lower cost.

A True Hostel Experience.

To get a better understanding of a real hostel experience, we visited a local HI hostel in Richmond and were blown away. This newly renovated building had a lounge, kitchen, iMacs, even a projector for movies. Their rooms were clean, fully furnished and occupied – except one.


The room where occupants shared bunk beds was completely empty. The owners told us that no one wants to rent a bunk bed because they’re uncomfortable with sharing a room with a complete stranger. It was a surprise to us that these shared beds, a fundamental element of what makes a hostel a hostel, was not being utilized in the United States market. With this new information our objective became simple.

How can we encourage Americans to stay in shared bunk bed living spaces?

Initial Brainstorming:

Hostels Can Be Impactful.

Once we narrowed down the problem with introducing hostels to the US market, it was easier to find opportunities. We met as a group and brainstormed three directions that we could take the brand, picking the one we felt had the most potential both creatively and commercially.

User Journey:

Endless Cycle of Disappointment

To better understand the emotional impact of each step a mover takes, we put together a consumer journey map. While building the map, we started to notice that the negative emotions of consumers increased with each part of the moving process. We also noticed that the two most important steps, The Plunge and The Move, were the ones where users had the least amount of time. Lastly, because of the lack of time to make the best choices, new movers would often have to start the journey over, looking for a new apartment in a different neighborhood.

Using this new information we interviewed recent movers to better understand their emotional journey and, in doing so, we discovered our opportunity.


“Craigslist fails to identify more than half of rental scam listings and suspicious posts linger for as long as 20 hours before being taken down.”– New York University

The Woes and Headaches of Moving to a Big City.

Millennials are moving to cities now more than ever. Often when they do, they enter a world filled with unplanned decisions, unfamiliar locations, and no social network.

No Time to Avoid Nightmares.

A terrible apartment, a rental scam, a nightmare roommate, these have become a right of passage for many new residents of a city. But by providing a little bit of time and support, novice residents can find the perfect apartment and roommates.

“I had a weed smoking nudist as a roomate. I only met him for drinks and thought he was hot. Biggest regret ever.”
– -Emma

Alone With Little Options.

When moving to a new city, you may be surrounded by more people than ever before, but many report never feeling lonelier. You don’t know where to go, how to get there, or who to go with. Some suggest short-term leasing but that can cost double or even triple the cost of a regular yearly lease.

“The problem with short-term housing is that people expect it to be cheaper than long-term housing, and it’s generally more expensive. So there’s a disconnect between expectations and the way the market prices those apartments.”

– Alison Rogers, DG Neary Realty

An Emotional Rollercoaster.

According to Crimson Hexagon, three of the top five emotions consumers have when moving are Sadness, Anger, and Fear. Even the posts marked under “joy” usually mentioned pain points in the content, i.e., “It will be hard, but you will discover yourself.”

Can we use Nomad hostels as a tool to give new city dwellers the time, skills, and social opportunities they need in order to make transitioning to a city fun?

The Spot

Short-term housing
that helps you find your people and your place.

The Spot by Nomad is an alternative short-term living environment that provides opportunities for residents to become acquainted with each other and find available apartments to rent together as well as learn the ins and outs of the neighborhood they’re moving into.

Based on the Values of Community, Exploration & Prosperity.
  • Community: Fostering human connection is the core to building relationships, moving forward in careers, and find your place in this world.
  • Exploration: Fearless exploration is key to taking the leap beyond the expected to the extraordinary.
  • Prosperity: Through community, human connection, and helping Spotters find their place we give the most basic tool for you to prosper.

Testing Our Concept:

Interview With NYC Housing Council

We wanted to be sure this idea had legs so we sat down with Sarah Watson, Deputy Director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council of NYC. From our interview we were able to identify and differentiate ourselves from our closest competitors, curate The Spot’s rooms based on the housing laws of New York City, and imagine how this concept can co-exist in developing apartment buildings.


The Spot can function as both a Business to Consumer and a Business to Business model.


Find your village in the city.

The most daunting part of moving is having to rebuild your support system. The Spot gives you the opportunity to build a new support system, making an entire city feel much smaller.




Help your employees focus on your company, not their survival.

The Spot can become an extension of a company’s onboarding process, not only adding to the culture of the business, but also giving new employees time to find their place in a city while concentrating on their new careers.

Get the word out.

Room Designs

These one, two, and three person rooms offer the perfect balance between social interaction and personal space while following to the strict residency laws of New York City.

3 Person Rooms

2 Person Rooms

Single Room, Shared Bathroom

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