My First Five Years Running Betacowork

ramon-betacowork-garcia-madrid-5-years-20151123

It has been five years already. I can’t hardly believe it. Thankfully, there are pictures that showcase the evolution and the passing of time, where I’ve grown larger and larger, just as Betacowork membership has…

 

3 years of Ramon Suarez at Betacowork Coworking Brussels: the Garcia Madrid photo

Beyond age and weight, a lot of things have changed. Betacowork has grown to have its second employee (Sara), who came as a trainee with one of our European programs (just like Stefania did right before her). We’ve continued to grow and to meet new and interesting coworkers, strong until June an now catching up after the summer vacation lull. We’ve gotten to increase a lot the number of women in the space (our record 24%), but we have to increase it even more :) We’ve had to expand the seating in Betacowork a bit, which did not even enter my mind when I opened the business with a single long desk, eight chairs and a big empty room.

We have activated ourselves even more in the organization of events, namely internal workshops for our members. Our record month was June, where we organized 34 events. That’s a lot of events! This is being managed by Sara who deserves credit for all the learning and stress she’s been able to manage. I don’t know if the learning curve at Betacowork is steep, but it is definitely fast paced.

The vibe at Betacowork has improved. We could not imagine it but it has happened. It has gone from great to greater (if that makes sense in English). We may have something to do with it as a team, but most of the credit has to go to the betacoworkers: they are great :)

Our lunch on Fridays (the #betacooks) has gotten a bit out of hand. We are regularly 30 people having lunch together, which is a challenge accepted and overcome by the volunteering cooks. We regularly have too much to eat and lots of fun.

To celebrate this five years the team made the above video, with the betacoworkers explaining what Betacowork and coworking are for them in one word. We also prepared a document and an infographic with some stats to help understand what has happened in this time. A lot of numbers to give an idea of what the business has accomplished, what people get out of it, what’s great…

So far we have not been able to close the deal for the second location in Brussels, but we keep on working on it and also on the offers we are receiving to open in Belgium and beyond.

A special happy and sad moment is coming too. Stefania will leave at the end of the year to continue building her life and her career in her home country. This has been a difficult step but very important for her, and she has taken the right decision. I’m really proud of her. She’s always been bright, but in the years she has spent working at Betacowork she has matured a lot, she has become more assertive and sure of herself, she’s grown a hell of a lot professionally. I’m going to miss her a lot.

On a personal note, the time is getting closer and closer for the birth of my first baby (scheduled for January 2). I don’t know what it is going to be like to be a real dad and not just a papa poule, but I know it will be challenging :)

How has this past year treated you?

About Ramón Suárez

Tech startups, entrepreneurship, & coworking; @Betacowork Coworking Brussels and Coworking Belgium @Cobelgium founder; President and cofounder of the European Coworking Assembly @CoAssemblyEU@startupsbe founder and board member; blogger; chocolate ambassador; Brussels lover. For speaking engagements, please contact my agent at Startups.be, Laura Ortiz: laura@startups.be / +32 484 10 74 69 Connect on Twitter: @ramonsuarez and Google+ Watch me talk about coworking & entrepreneurship on YouTube

, , ,

28 Responses to My First Five Years Running Betacowork

  1. Mateusz November 26, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    Hi Ramon,

    I’m happy and proud to have been growing larger and larger with you. For me, it’s also a five year adventure, with plenty of memories due to you and your coworkers.

    Thank you for all you have already done and thank you for what you gonna do in the future !!

  2. Patrick November 27, 2015 at 10:15 am #

    From what I can see, there are still some room in the picture to sustain your personal growth…so, let’s go for another 5 incredible years.

    Thanks a lot for everything my friend!

    PS: if november is movember, what about a “dadbodcember” ?

  3. jeremy blezard November 27, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    Hey Ramon,
    with your five years experience at Betacowork, you’re gonna be one of the best Daddys in the world!
    Congratulations

  4. Nicolas Usuwiel November 27, 2015 at 11:06 am #

    Congratulations Ramon for this amazing adventure you realized.
    I hope I’ll reach that point so far in 5 years.
    Nico

  5. Manuel November 27, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Congrats Ramon! What an amazing adventure. You are a constant source of inspiration for me.

  6. Jean-Edouard alias Jed November 27, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    I don’t know for other members, but I can’t imagine running my incipient business without Betacowork. The team, ambiance, stimulations, encouragements,… How would it be without it (it = team and members).

  7. Sidar Ok November 27, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

    Ramon – it is my only 2nd month in Beta cowork and I am beating myself why I didn’t start it before. I missed the first one but I hope I will be part of next 5 years!

  8. Jennifer November 27, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    Ramon,

    You’ve accelerated a lot of serendipity for me, and as a result I’m always happier when I come to Beta! It feels like a family in the best sense of the term, these five years have certainly prepared you to be a great daddy!

    • Ramón Suárez November 27, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

      Grazie / Gracias Jennifer :)

  9. Stefania Scognamiglio November 27, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    Thank you Ramon. I owe a lot to Betacowork. You’ve been an excellent mentor, and I am sure that you’ll be a great father too :) Never give up!

  10. Muriel Mattiussi-Kirchhof November 27, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    Thanks Ramon! In French we say ‘maintes fois copié, jamais égalé”… Betacowork has brought me a lot and that’s thanks to your great ideas, kind words, rocking team and great events. Very inspiring, keep up the good work for the next 50 years at least!

  11. Stefania Cao November 27, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

    Ramon, you are the bright soul of Betacowork!

    Your spirit, that you infuse to all the others approaching you, makes all the difference: that’s why Betacowork is unique! :)

  12. Christophe Bruynix November 27, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

    I had the chance to discover the world of coworking at the Betacowork, and god, was I lucky. What a place!

    This is the most stimulating work environment I encountered, thanks to Ramon’s energy!

  13. Olivier Caeymaex November 28, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

    For the past 3 years I’ve been here, everything has worked for me. Great people, great ideas, great co-motivation, great food, great business, great everything!

  14. Jean-Cédric Bienfait November 30, 2015 at 8:47 pm #

    Ramon, for the last 2 years and a half I’ve now been at the BertaCowork, I enjoyed your company not only as a great entrepreneur and good manager but also a very nice roadmate, full of good energy, creative ideas and empathy for the others. You made the betacowork a great place to be and work at but most important, a great community to be member of.

    And to you, my dear betacoworkers, thank you for your smiles, genuine interest, curiosity and sympathy. You are great fellows.

    • Ramón Suárez December 2, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

      Merci beaucoup, Mr. Bienhecho :)