Recently, the Startup Campus has been established in the Rotterdam Science Tower near Marconiplein, on the border between Rotterdam and Schiedam. The Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE) transformed the eleventh floor of the tower to a paradise for entrepreneurs.
None less than prime minister Mark Rutte performed the official opening of the Startup Campus on Saturday. In the melting pot of young, starting entrepreneurs and experienced big corporates, studying, enterprise, and growth will be combined. “Everybody is welcome here; we do not differentiate in level of education, background or age. Most importantly, you should be ambitious and enterprising,” says manager Jochem Cuppen (24).
No failure can be blamed on the facilities: stylish modern furniture, spacious office and meeting rooms with a lot of light and a wonderful view over the Rotterdam harbor and the city itself. Mimicking the Google headquarters in California, the arrangement is playful and daring. For example, there will be a slide to the tenth floor, and it features a meeting room with swings for seats. Top that with the presence of a Starbucks branch, a bar, sports room, showers and table football, the renters will be provided with any and all luxuries.
Meeting room with swingchairs
Development of young talent
However nice the ‘dress’ of the Startup Campus might be, performance and development are of course the most important. Young entrepreneurial talent will be prepared for a prosperous start of their careers. “You definitely should not see us as a real estate developer. We are more of an educator: we support students who are talented and ambitious, and we have special ‘top sports programs’ for them. Under intensive supervision they can combine enterprising with finishing their education,” according to Cuppen.
Strong ties to the university
Although the Startup Campus is a place for entrepreneurs of all plumage, the ties to the EUR are certainly important. Cuppen: “One of our spearheads is promoting the Erasmus University as the university for entrepreneurs. Over here, we want to market the substantial knowledge which is produced in the EUR and incorporate it into society.”
The eleventh floor is currently rented out, but outsiders with interests in enterprising are welcome every first Tuesday of the month. On those days, the ECE organizes a Day@theCampus, where listening to prominent speakers – like the former Commander of Armed Forces Dick Berlijn -, interesting activities and networking are central. MvS