The Tesla minor is situated at Start-up Village since 2018. This is an inspiring environment where many people with amazing ideas from all over the world (Israel, Portugal, Oekraine, Egypt, Italy, France, England, the Netherlands and many more places!) meet each other.

But as many things happen in closed containers, we decided to open some doors, and introduce you to a few people walking around here. Let us introduce you to: Patricia and Suzanne (facilitating and expanding the start-up village), Claudio (our hero at the coffee virus), and Nick and Lars (both working for a start-up).

Start-up village is located behind Science Park and is built up of old sea containers. It consists of several offices, a co-working  pace/café, and an event space. The main purpose of this village is to offer start-ups office space and bring them together. There is a lot  of attention for sustainability, which can be seen for example in the small vertical gardens.

Patricia, 31, Alkmaar

Event manager for Start-up Village

How did you come to start-up village?

I was looking for a part-time job as an event manager. This job perfectly fitted my wishes. The vacancy seemed cool te me, and the pictures looked great, so I applied, got accepted, and I really like it now.

What is the next big event coming up?

A big event for about 200 people will take place at the Start-up Village at the end of September this year. It will be an ACE (Amsterdam Centre of Entrepreneurship) demo day for all start-ups located here, including their investors, sponsors, clients and other stakeholders. This enables all parties to see what happens at start-up village, and to meet each other in a nice open environment.

What is the weirdest/funniest situation?

There was a big dog once that caught a bunny, and was completely ripping it apart in front of the containers. No one dared to do anything as we were afraid he would pick us as a new prey.

Suzanne, 44, Nibbixwoud.

Site developer – how to build and expand start-up village

How did you come to start-up village?

I helped designing the building plan from the beginning and I’m involved in obtaining the money to build and expand it. We don’t really have money ourselves for building so we need to make deals with companies. For example the event space was partly financed by Equinix, who built the data tower. There is no space for events in the tower, so their events take place in our event space.

What will be different when you expand start-up village?

We built start-up village with containers because we didn’t have that much money and it seemed like a sustainable, cheap option. But we experienced now, that they are actually not so sustainable because they require a lot of insulation so we won’t use containers again when we expand. Furthermore, the new part is also meant for slightly grown start-ups. Now we have quite a few successful start-ups but once they grow a bit, they have to move away because there is not enough space. The expansion will allow them to stay a little bit longer in start-up village.

What is the weirdest/funniest situation you had at start-up village?

Unfortunately, Suzanne didn’t have time to answer this question because she had a meeting with a landscape architect. With him she was going to discuss the location of pathways and bicycle parkings for the apartments that will be build for students and refugees behind start-up village (this will be called SPark village, with the S for sharing) as she is also involved in that project.

Claudio, 28, Italy

World explorer, currently landed at the coffee virus

How did you come to start-up village?

Let’s first talk about how I ended up in the Netherlands. I am originally from Italy, but during the last 8-9 years, I have been travelling a lot. Basically I open a map and randomly pick a place to go. This brought me to the Netherlands. Before the Netherlands I was in Australia, but I prefer a place slightly closer to home, like here.

Next, how I ended up at the coffee virus. In fact I just sent an e-mail. I also work in a Salsa bar, but I wanted to work less until late hours (5/6 in the morning). And also not unimportant: I like coffee!

What is your favourite thing on your menu?

The 4 formaggi panini for sure. If you don’t care about your summer body I would definitely recommend it!

What is the weirdest/funniest situation?

Once a woman came along to start-up village to plant some trees, and then she came into the coffee virus to ask ús for soil. To me that’s a weird question to ask in a coffee bar.

Nick, 27, Nieuw Beijerland.

Start-up ConnectiveCare – develops a tool that measures conditions inside houses to help take care of elderly

How did you come to start-up village?

I was working for Connect to Innovate but that didn’t really work out because our scope was too broad. So my boss and I decided to focus on one thing specifically and started with ConnectiveCare. We are now developing a tool that measures several factors, like the humidity, the nitrogen levels and the light intensity. The values can be combined to give insight into the state of the person living in the house. If there is not much light for two weeks, meaning the curtains are closed, we can conclude that something might have happened to that person.

What is the biggest challenge you’re facing right now?

The biggest challenge I think, is selling our product. So what you are learning with Tesla is actually really useful. I am very enthusiastic about our tool but I find it really hard to communicate why this is so great. It seems like I’m speaking Chinese to a Dutch person.

What is the weirdest/funniest situation you had at start-up village?

The organisation of the start-up village organises events every once in a while. For Easter we had an event where we had to find boiled eggs with a number on it. The number linked us to another start-up with whom we could talk about what we’re doing and how. That was pretty funny.

Lars, 21, Zwolle.

Start-up Bitstudents – builds prototypes

How did you come to start-up village?

Our Start-up was first located at TSO (Start-up orgy) in the Reguliers Dwars Straat, but we had to leave that place. For a while we were in the Student Hotel and then we moved here. We had some contacts at the University of Amsterdam so that’s how we came to start-up village. We are developing prototypes for companies, which can be applications but also products, anything related to programming. But we don’t do the boring stuff, like making websites.

What kind of project are you working on right now?

I am currently developing an application for werkspot. If something in your house should be repaired you can post it on the website and handymen can offer their services. With this application you scan the thing that should be repaired, for example a wall that has to be painted. The application recognises the windows which shouldn’t be painted but also recognises objects such as vases, behind which the wall should be painted.

What is the weirdest/funniest situation you had at start-up village?

Most funny things are because of ourselves since we are all students who sometimes have parties. We also get a lot of people who think they have a great idea and drop by to ask us for help. Once a woman asked us for blockchains. On itself this is a concept, so nothing we can make a ‘prototype’ of, so we asked why she wanted this. Then she said she wants to use it to solve elephant mortality.


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