Imagine. It is 2015. You are CIC. A community of entrepreneurs, with offices in seven cities in the US and you want to make the step to Europe. Will it be London? Berlin? Vienna? Or Rotterdam? Yes! CIC chose the gateway to Europe and does not regret it for a second. In only three years, CIC houses close to 200 rentals and already scaled up to 8300 m2 offices.
One big pool of talent
Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) offers a fully serviced work environment, with a community of tech, life sciences and clean energy entrepreneurs and investors. A well-known alumnus is Google, which moved to CIC Boston in 2005. Ten years later CIC opened its first international location. Rotterdam was the Lucky pick and CIC moved into the characteristic Groothandelsgebouw next to Central Station. The location is one of the reasons Melissa Ablett, the General Manager of CIC, is happy with her new home base. But it’s not the only one. Melissa: ‘Rotterdam as a location is perfect. It is only half an hour to Amsterdam Airport. But the big talent pool in Rotterdam, created by Erasmus University, Delft University of Technology, Rotterdam University and other academic institutions in the area, is also a reason why we like Rotterdam so much and grow so fast. And, last but not least, the strong industries like the Port of Rotterdam and the medical cluster. Partly because of this, we’ll be expanding another 2.000 m2 in February 2019.’
Collaboration with other start-up organizations
From a one man company to an organization with more than thirty people: every tenant finds at CIC Rotterdam the space and breeding ground to grow. This is because CIC offers more than just the usual facility services such as an office cleaned every morning, a fruit basket with yellow and no green bananas and a receptionist who speaks perfect English (like most Dutch people). Cross-fertilization between the companies is the main reason entrepreneurs like CIC so much. Lectures, workshops, a pub and even yoga classes ensure that tenants make easy contact with other entrepreneurs and thus expand their network. But also outside of the beautiful Groothandelsgebouw, CIC takes good care of its customers. Melissa: 'We continuously work closely with the City of Rotterdam and startup organizations like the Erasmus Center for Entrepreneurship, Yes! Delft, BlueCity and RDM Campus. And it works! We see it and we hear it every day: our customers here at CIC have no problem getting in touch with investors, launching customers, potential employees and entrepreneurs. This is essential, because entrepreneurship can be a lonely and heavy adventure. Especially if you come from abroad. Approximately 1 in 10 companies in CIC Rotterdam is managed by a foreign entrepreneur or is located outside the Netherlands. "
Willingness to experiment
With around 20 tenants from abroad, Melissa knows what these foreign adventurers think of the city of Rotterdam. ‘Rotterdam has a very strong community and drive to achieve. There's an entrepreneurial spirit, courage and willingness to experiment here. It made them to choose Rotterdam. And it also one of reasons we came to Rotterdam. And believe me, no regrets.’
You need a desk? Or an office? Go to CIC and check out the vibrant and convenience office space.