Three Years of @Betacowork

Friday, November 19, 2010. I’m at the first Coworking Europe conference in Brussels. It is around 6 pm and I’m very nervous checking my phone when I receive the call from Jean Derely letting me know that the contract to start running our coworking space in Brussels was signed. You cannot imagine the thrill that went through me when I heard it and the happiness I felt when I stood up and announced it to all participants in the room. This was me then:

Ramon Suarez 2010 Coworking in Brussels And this is me now:

More coworking in Brussels ! Ramon Suarez 2013-11-20 11.46.00

Just three years… and a lot of good things. The space has grown to have rooms and almost 200 members. I have also grown, physically, professionally and personally. Back then I did not know much about coworking, now I’m writing a book on how to manage coworking spaces. Back then I was optimistic, but full of doubt about the success of a new coworking space. Now I’m still optimistic, and also confident about the future of coworking, on my own and as a whole. From eight chairs in an empty room, we have grown to 3 rooms full of interesting people with whom I love to talk and work with. We have had many successes, but nothing beats the collaborative, open, trustful, and professional exchanges among the members. New companies have been created, apps launched, funds raised, clients signed, and many more things that you most likely not know about because as an outsider you are not in the know, you don’t share the professional lives of all these great people that have given me so much personally and professionally. I have enjoyed the #betacooks, the barbecues, and many other eating events, that you can tell by looking at me. I have also enjoyed a continuous knowledge and experience exchange that has done a lot to improve me as an entrepreneur. You may not be able to tell that from a picture but I’m sure that if you ask around or you’ve known me for a while you can tell yourself. Along the way the team has changed a bit. Jean left to concentrate on running his startup Woorank , and Stefania has become the first hard working employee. Now, we are focused on growing and improving the value we provide to the coworkers and the community, learning from these three years of coworking and collaboration to improve and make even better mistakes than before. There are a lot of interesting challenges ahead :)

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

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