The Rotterdam Startup Port is a co-working and event space dedicated to startups, founders and anyone driving the field of disruptive innovation. Are you an entrepreneur looking for the place to get work done in an accelerated manner? Then join us, we’re just starting.
How and why the Rotterdam Startup Port came to be
The initial spark
Rotterdam Startups is an initiative from the Startup Foundation, at one of the Rotterdam Startup Meetups Raymond Hannes (a Rotterdam Startups Meetup organiser) and Leon Pals (chairman of the Startup Foundation) noticed demand for even more events, or any other way for founders to meet more often. Digging in on that demand they soon realised that there was actually a huge demand for a communal space for startups. Raymond and Leon got to work and soon validated the need for a startup centric co-workingspace.
How we got to where we are
We had a brainstorm during one of our Rotterdam Startup Meetups to discuss the ideal co-working space. We’d love to say that things were easy from that point, but we’d be lying. We had a couple of other brainstorms, initiated a crowd-funding campaign, got some press coverage, failed the crowd-funding campaign, got in touch with a lot of folks & a lot of folks got in touch with us and eventually we went to look at a couple of venues. We made friends and enemies along the way, but we signed the agreement for our own floor on the 3rd of September 2013.
Factoid: the crowd-funding campaign that the boys set-up failed miserably but resulted in tons of interest and even media coverage. We strongly encourage folks to see crowd-funding as an invaluable tool. It was arguably the first ever crowd-funding campaign with the sole purpose of validation but then again we also realise that crowd-funding itself could be considered purely as a validation tool.
What came out of the brainstorms?
Folks sure wanted a playful space, but we already decided that we’re not going to be installing a roller-coaster. The more useful data was that almost everyone preferred multiple spaces and one big open floor where work could be done. The other rooms would provide space to make calls, follow workshops and have meetings in. We also got tons of feedback not directly related to the day-t0-day startup needs, founders want plant to grow and activities to get kids excited about the web and possibly entrepreneurship. We’re providing all of that, and then some.
Where we are now
Right now we have an abandoned ex-Robeco slave floor on which we’re hard at work to transform. We’re making real progress as we’ve already doubled the actual space available to walk in and since we’ve already gave the space a fresh paint job. All the essentials like wifi and kitchen equipment are provided as well and we can even go to a clean toilet, go to work and close up the joint when we leave. Of course there is already way more being done, but to really get a gist of where we are at we encourage you to drop by!
We are always thinking about and actually making the space even better, but to give you a thought of where we are headed we’d love to talk to you. You can probably provide us with even more insights that would benefit the space since it is you that we are doing all of this for. In short, our thoughts are that the Rotterdam Startup Port should not only be a place to work on your startup or to connect with fellow founders. It should inspire and open up a whole world of new possibilities. Dare to dream big, and in due time, we’ll get there.
Spread the word
We would love it if you’d like to help us spread the word.
Our team is not that big (yet) but we make up for that with the size of our ambitions. We could really use your help to get the word out and to grow our community organically.
What to expect from us
Our community consists out of heroes
Everyone at the Rotterdam Startup Port is a member of the community. They get a vote in the direction of the space and can actually contribute to it. Even thought we’re one of the most open spaces out there, they even get to decide who is welcome and who isn’t. The community also crafts the house rules and even most of the furniture and decoration. Because our members are founders, they have insane amounts of knowledge to share. Since most are no direct competitors of each other, but do have the same goals, it is extremely valuable to work under the same roof and share insights and experiences.
In order to create the optimal this community we need to be clear that the Rotterdam Startup Port is a co-working space for startups. “A startup is a temporary organisation, searching for a repeatable and scalable business model” – by Steve Blank. Individuals that do free-lancing work for startups may apply, same goes for agencies which have their own products and corporate innovation teams, but might not make the cut.
Even though our main focus relies on actual startups, anyone and any company that can bring value to those startups and vice versa, will be considered.
The Rotterdam Startup Port has everything you need, and if we don’t, say so and we’ll be on it.
You’ll get a fixed, big L shaped desk, that comes with a lockable cabinet, decent chair and even more shared storage space. There’s wifi for everyone and if you need to set up a server we can get you a private IP address and ethernet port. Of course there are dozens of power outlets and we’re improving the kitchen constantly. You’ll also get your own set of keys so you can come and go as you please, 24/7. We’re working on arranging printing and scanning equipment, but these are not our own first priority.
Another key part of our offering is the multiple spaces we’ve got set up. In need of a meeting room? Walk right in. Busy doing calls? We’ve got a booth for that. Fancy giving a workshop? Dedicated space for that as well. Want to brainstorm about the next feature release? We’ve got a tailored room ready to do some crunching. Friday drinks? We’re not always sober either.
Other things you might be interested in are our plans for a small library with startup related literature, the lounge (build from all the left over cabinets we’ve got) and the in-house garden which we’re already setting up.
We know you work non-stop, and we’re not going to stop you.
We do want you to be healthy, relaxed and full of energy. That’s why we care about which coffee you prefer, have an insanely great in-house caterer and even make sure you’ll be able to play some sports. And laser games.
Since our space is so bright and filled with light it was obvious one of the first things we would be setting up is an in-house greenery. Which will be serving us with fresh oxygen and delicious herbs daily. Next to that we do know how to relax, which will become obvious when you take that unique moment to relax in our lounge or attend one of the Friday drinks.
Of course there are many more ways to improve the quality of life during work, especially on our floor where employees used to slave away in the past. We encourage you to come up with unique ways to improve the space.
The Startup Foundation started out organising events for the startup community. We’ve grown into doing a whole lot more, but we won’t stop doing what we do best. Securing a spot in the Rotterdam Startup Port means securing a spot at the best events for startups since the Port will become our main event centre. Some of our events you might have heard about:
- Rotterdam startups Meetup
- Evolv Weekend
- Lean Startup Machine
We’ve been flying in the most experienced coaches in the past just for our events. But we will now also invite angels, VC’s, coaches and many more interesting folks to our playground. And since you’ll be a part of the small community, you’ll be able to sit down to do coffee with them.
Pay it forward
The Rotterdam Startup Port is already hosting a ton of events that should be mighty interesting to you, but we’re also hosting initiatives like CoderDojo, where kids go to learn how to code. We strongly believe in paying it forward, and we encourage our startups to actually do so. From organising their own workshops and events or coaching at events to helping another founder out. We’ll all benefit, with the right mindset.
We’re not claiming this space just for our events and your day to day working pleasure. Even though that would be a good enough reason for us, we do see the potential that this opportunity brings. We can’t spill al the beans just yet, but we’ll definitely be working on some kind of program to launch in 2014.
This program should benefit founders foremost, and secondly should secure an interesting future for our non-profit. You’re welcome to brainstorm about this with us, and please imagine freely what would classify a strong program for you as a founder.
We’re not here to call it an accelerator / incubator program, since we’re not entirely sure those are best for you. But maybe, we could simply redefine those popular concepts into something that actually is in the founders best interest.
Join us, and we will back you in your adventure
- Be our guest, reserve a spot on Eventbrite and we will make sure you can get some work done!
You will not get a key or mailbox, but drinks are on us.
- Contracts start at
- A big dedicated desk, storage space and of course a decent chair + wireless and wired Internet. Coffee, tea and other beverages are on us.
Other facilities are several meeting rooms, kitchen and a shared lunch.
You’ll be able to register at the KvK and receive mail, guests and calls.
Monthly fee does not include VAT