"The VU StartHub must become a showcase of entrepreneurship"

In the second half of 2021, a temporary VU Entrepreneurs Pavilion will be built on the campus square (Campusplein), near the bicycle parking at the Mathematics and Physics building. Under the name 'VU StartHub', this facility will not only provide space for 20 to 25 companies or startups, but it will also bring innovation, education and business meetings under one roof. Erik Boer, Lead of VU Amsterdam priority area Enterprising and Impact shares the following. “Together with Real Estate and Facilities (FCO) service department, we recently selected the firms who will be responsible for the design of the pavilion. The design agency Overtreders W, in combination with architecture firm Bureau SLA, has been chosen. They frequently work together on spatial development projects and do so in a creative, sustainable and innovative way. This combination has convinced us that we can make our wishes and requirements for the VU StartHub a reality.”

Entrepreneurship and sustainability

“The VU StartHub must become a showcase of entrepreneurship. Vibrant and open in character and sustainable in design. A place where you can go without having to rent an office or a meeting space. Where you can enjoy good coffee and ask your questions about starting a business.”

Reusable and relocatable

“The pavilion will be on campus for about ten years and will have to be mobile and capable of being dismantled. This is an important requirement because VU Amsterdam’s campus will change dramatically in the coming years. The Mathematics and Physics building will be demolished in a few years, bringing the southern border of the campus closer to the campus square. The VU StartHub must be able to move along with it.”

Drawing board

“The architects will spend the next two to three months at the drawing board to finalize the design. A user group, comprised of VU Amsterdam student associations and councils, will look at the overall set-up of the VU StartHub, including the necessary facilities and the desired activities. I expect that FCO will be able to start building the pavilion in mid-2021, after the final design has been confirmed.” “In my eyes, building the VU StartHub can be counted as a success when I visit the pavilion in December 2021 and see various people interacting and working there—from students, teachers and VU staff to coaches, investors and experienced entrepreneurs. When it is a step towards satisfying VU Amsterdam's long-term ambition to be an innovative player within the Zuidas district. When I see interesting initiatives emerge, see creativity flourish, and I can feel that it’s bubbling with positive energy.”

Would you like to contribute ideas to the design and programming of the VU StartHub as a user group member? Do you have an affinity towards entrepreneurship and sustainability? Do you have innovative ideas that you would like to implement? Sign up for the Enterprising VU team or pitch your idea to erik.boer@vu.nl.