Could you please introduce yourself?
Hi S2M’ers, I’m Erwin Kenter and I want to change the world. Well, at least my world. I’m 41 years old and I am the founder of there, a new business ecosystem in Northern Netherlands.
What is your background? What do you do?
I’m coming from the North and I worked in the past in one of the most traditional and conservative markets, the financial market. For more than 10 years I had worked for the Rabobank Group. My office was also in Utrecht. Six years ago it didn’t feel good anymore to work in the financial industry. Therefore, I decided to start as an entrepreneur in Fintech and created a startup with other entrepreneurs from Rotterdam. In this company, we created a solution for the wealth market. Our goal was to build a Software as A Service (SaaS), which would help people to take control and create more value from their money to fulfill their financial goals without any costs. For me, it was a huge step and the whole other world. New talent, skills, and technology became a part of me. Also, a flexible, creative and innovative workspace gave me a lot of energy. After a while, I decided to go back to my roots. However, there was no workplace for me which would provide me with the right environment, so I decided to create it on my own. One year later we opened there in Leeuwarden. there is a unique co-creation space of 3.000 square meters and an innovative ecosystem for (future) companies, innovators and creatives.
Please tell us about your new location in Leeuwarden. What is unique about it?
there is located in the center of Leeuwarden. Last year Leeuwarden was European Capital of Culture and the city is packed with creative people. Our location is just next door to the World Trade Center and the Chamber of Commerce. You can easily park your car here and it is not far to bike or walk to the train station. What makes our concept unique are the solutions we provide for our members’ problems. Besides, it is a place for co-creation. We have two large event spaces, five creative meeting rooms and a room for 30 tech-related startups and innovative companies.
At your location you are renting out office spaces for Tech startups, aren’t you? Do you focus only on Tech-related companies? Why?
No, we are a place for everyone who is interested in disruptive innovation. We are a home for tech and social impact makers. Everyone can subscribe to our community and platform. That way you will get access to the platform, community, and facilities of there.
The teams get access to the private office spaces on the first, second or third floor. We focus on tech people and companies because there is no real coworking place for them in the north. We believe that every company needs new technology and has to partner with tech (startup) companies. We facilitate this because tech companies are responsible for the biggest changes in the world and those companies will bring real innovation. So by creating a place for them, there is valuable for every company that does business in Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe and beyond.
What are the dynamic co-creation spaces you have?
there is a free open co-creation space and we like to call it our ‘Community garden’. You can use it for free after you registered in our online community. But no worries, it is an indoor garden, so you can also work or brainstorm here when the weather is not good. People who want to work at their own desk and chair can subscribe to our individual co-creation spaces.
What is your vision for your location?
We are ‘The working place of the future’. In our ecosystem, we connect the ‘new’ and the ‘old’ world and facilitate and support those people and companies that want to grow and work in a way which will bring the balance, inspiration, and innovation.
Why did you decide to become a powered by Seats2meet location?
I have known Seats2meet for some time. I got connected to Lenneke and that felt right. There was a mutual “click” and we share the same vision. The concepts of Seats2meet and The Social Impact Factory Utrecht inspired me to create my own ecosystem. We don’t just want to copy it but learn from each other. Our concept is new and not a typical Seats2meet location. By testing and creating a new concept we both have the opportunity to grow.
What do you expect from connecting to the Seats2meet network?
I hope to gain knowledge and meet people who want to come to there, since I believe in the vision of Society 3.0.
What kind of atmosphere can visitors expect from your location?
As I said, we are not a regular office, so don’t expect a regular office. We are growing and have a pretty laid back culture. There is a place for creative beings and people who want to inspire others. Whether you are a tech nerd, social impact maker, or seeking to share knowledge and creativity, then there is a place for you. To us, the possibilities at there are endless.
How can people book a spot at your location?
Go to our website www.letsgothere.nl or book a spot at www.seats2meet.com. If you are in the neighborhood, please pay us a visit. A lot of people just walk through the door and get a cup of coffee. You are always welcome at there!
List a couple of interesting facts about your location.
We are the largest ecosystem in the north, with 3.000 m2 we have room for over 30 tech and startup companies. We are located close to the city center of Leeuwarden and there is very easy to access by car, bike or on foot. From Leeuwarden, you are also very close to other business centers in the north of the Netherlands like Drachten, Heerenveen, and Groningen, but also just one hour and 15 minutes away from Utrecht and Amsterdam.
The future is there!
Thank you! 🙂