In Rotterdam there is a famous saying: ‘Niet lullen maar poetsen’. The literal translation is: ‘Don’t blab on, just clean’ and it of course means: ‘Don’t just talk about something, but just do it.’ Coworking space Microlab is searching for companies with this mentality. Start-ups can win the Poetsprijs and a residence in the building.
Interested participants can register via the website before 1 January. They need to answer three questions about what they are bringing, what they want to get, and why their plan makes the world a little better. Five companies may pitch their mission on 19 January. The award show will be presented by famous presenter Sander de Kramer. A jury will choose the lucky entrepreneur who will win 25,000 euros in housing. This entrepreneur will also have the opportunity to make use of the services of the companies already established in the building, for marketing advice, a new house style or legal assistance, for example.
Rik and Luuk Visser are the owners of Microlab. They have been successfully building their sympathetic business for years. In hometown Eindhoven 260 entrepreneurs already found shelter in their buildings. To show Rotterdam what they are made of they organize the Poetsprijs to find no-nonsense entrepreneurs. They involved Sander de Kramer in their plans to enthuse entrepreneurial Rotterdam and hope to get off to the same flying start as they did in Eindhoven.
Microlab has been created when Luuk made furniture at home and he could not finance a professional workshop. The brothers realised many entrepreneurs with great ideas have the same problem. It’s difficult to start from scratch when there is no money for expensive machines or presentation rooms, no network for good advice.
They created crowdfunding for Microlab. It’s grown into a hotbed where young and established names work and use each other’s knowledge and energy.
The Rotterdam Building on the Aert van Nesstraat has been chosen as their next location. The first enthusiasts have already moved in on the 13th. Floors 11 and 12 are also nearing completion, which will add a genuine sky bar to the concept.
Microlab hopes that with the Poetsprijs they create a nice mix of commercial and social tenants who help each other and the city a bit. ”Because there is nothing more fun to do than that,” says owner Rik Visser.