Lab 55: where 2 worlds come together


“We are working on the Future” was the first thing I saw when I arrived at Lab 55: the new location at the headquarters of Centraal Beheer Achmea in Apeldoorn. I made the journey from Amsterdam to Apeldoorn to experience a location within a corporate headquarters and to meet Silvia Onos, one of the initiators of this location.

This blog will give you an insight in to what drove Achmea to start a location at their headquarters.

Creating a Hub-location

Working in different environments with different people gives a different energy to employees. We noticed that our employees would come back to the office with a different kind of energy and enthusiasm whenever they had been working from a coworking location or for example at one of the start-ups that we support, Silvia says. We wanted to be able to facilitate this energy and enthusiasm within the walls of our own building and combine the best of both worlds. On the other hand, coworking is not a gimmick anymore. SamenwerkenEverybody is talking about it and we decided to not only talk, but act! We had already taken the first step back in 2013, where we opened our doors for our clients and invited them to come work at our office (we were the first insurance company in the Netherlands to do this). We opened the doors to our clients because we wanted to be able to make a connection with them in order to develop the best possible products. With the launch of Lab 55, we now invite everybody to come work at our location. We see that the world is changing, start-ups and Self employed professionals are changing the markets and with the opening of Lab 55 we want to create a Hub location where start-ups can learn from us and we can learn from them.

Finding the right partners

After we decided to not only talk about coworking but also act on it, our journey for the right partners began. One of our partners is CVJO Apeldoorn, who help starting entrepreneurs with their broad network, workshops and knowledge. The other partner is Employees had already experienced working at and their vast experience in building a platform where people can meet and co-create made us decide to contact them. During the meetings we had with Vincent Ariens, community manager at, we quickly realized that based on our shared vision was the right partner for Lab55.  Within a few months we went from finding the right partners to opening our doors to coworkers!

Bringing two worlds together

We are constantly looking for new partners to join Lab 55 in order to create a certain energy where employees of Achmea and coworkers can work together on multidisciplinary issues. We truly believe that bringing these two worlds together will bring the best to both worlds. The coworkers can help the employees with new insights and different methods of working what will have it’s impact on the rest of the organization. On the other hand the different experts of our divisions can help the coworkers with the forming-  or increase of their own business and connect them to the right people in the industry.

IMG_0280We do not only want to challenge people on basis of their field of work at Lab 55, but also based on their intrinsic motivation. By challenging them on both terrains, we strengthen the true potential of our employees and coworkers and encourage them to come with new and innovative solutions.

With Lab 55 we basically want to create a platform where employees and coworkers come together and reinforce each other. This forces them to break loose of the fixed patterns and come up with innovative solutions.

A future I would love to work in!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, the first thing I saw when entering Lab 55 was the sign: “we are working on the future”. After my interview with Silvia I am more eager then ever to help build this future not only at Lab 55 but together with the entire Mesh of It is exciting to see that an organization as Centraal Beheer Achmea has opened it’s doors to coworkers to stimulate innovation.

Do you want to help build the future by opening your location to coworkers? Please check out My Own S2M and contact us!