van buren

general manager b.amsterdam
November 2017
Isrid van Geuns - Recruitment - Specializing in fashion and luxury
interview by Isrid

'Without our members we are nothing'

B. Amsterdam is an industrial club founded in 2017, or as they like to say: An incubator with focus on facilitating connection and growth. The foundation of B. Amsterdam is buying up properties in which start ups, creative minds as well as established high tech companies can lease workspace. The community is being formed based on the creation of a city within the building in which all amenities are available to establish a complete work environment. The sense of belonging to a club flourishes due to a careful selection of tenants by looking at their business and their intention to carry out the core values: ‘connect, create, learn and grow.’

At the moment B. Amsterdam includes 40.000 square meters, divided between 3 properties located in the Amsterdam Riekenpolder. They house approximately 250 companies and 800 people. Most recently B. Amsterdam acquired the former Nissan and Mexx headquarters building for which tenants are currently signing up to lease workspace.

Diewke van Buren is General Manager of all teams in Amsterdam. Just by knowing her age, she is 26 years old, it is apparent that the criteria of drive and passion for the club very much outweighs status and history. ‘Three years ago I was looking for a graduate internship in which I could really make a difference. I came across this initiative and was instantly taken by the ambitions and the idea of the founders. During my internship I more or less created my own position. Now B. Amsterdam has grown to be the biggest start up and scale up ecosystem in Europe. My main responsibilities are safe guarding the culture, to carefully guide the explosive growth and the optimization of processes.’

'Our growth ambition is to open up international hubs and bridge them together.'

B. Amsterdam operates a balloting. We curate on growth ambition and we are very keen to know what it is one wants to get out of it as well as what it is one’s bringing to the table. We strongly believe in diversity and we expect our tenants to contribute from a sense of independence. Our properties and rentals are the basis but making connections and facilitating online visitors from an informative platform is our goal, since we can’t accommodate leasing to everyone.

We will not spread our concept throughout the Netherlands. Our growth ambition is to open up international hubs and bridge them together. Since the realization of our scale size in Amsterdam we were able to give shape to this ambition by opening B. New York City in Brooklyn Navy Yard.’
The rooftop café restaurant Bureau, located in B. Amsterdam, takes on a public function and is very popular in the Amsterdam restaurant scene. “We work together with Maison van den Boer as our partner but we as shareholder own 75% of the shares because we like to run the most beautiful spot in the building ourselves. In doing so, we believe that if we welcome external companies and people, it will contribute to diversity and inspiration and in the end to growth. It’s why we host a lot of events at the restaurant. A large portion finds us outside our community and our members also organise a lot of meet ups and because of that, sub communities are being formed from common knowledge and interest. We also organise several events every year, meant for different parties to get to know each other and make a connection and a possible cooperation. Last summer we hosted our first annual start up versus corporate run around and inside our buildings and one hundred and fifty people joined in at the start.

B. Amsterdam has a modern, creative and raw appearance. The three buildings that form the campus are located just outside the ring A10. The foundation is to rent out workspace and to build a community, both offline as well as online. It all revolves around connection. ‘It is the collective goal in which we believe and making it valuable together. Without our members we are nothing at all!”
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