You can find it in Spoorzone: Ondernemershuis Station88. As an entrepreneur, it is the place to go for inspiration, help and workshops. We asked director August de Vocht (0)13 questions about doing business in Tilburg.
#1: How do you feel about doing business?
‘Entrepreneurship is for me the ultimate search for freedom. I was involved in this from an early age. I want to set my own rules and it feels good to be responsible for my actions. I’ve had all sorts of ventures. I started an online store in 1999 and I was involved in telecom marketing and bluetooth marketing for a while. I am also the founder of NoFoodWasted, the first app platform against food waste in the world. I founded this to create a better world for my children. Wasting less food is a very important step in this.’
#2: And now you are the director of Station88, tell us more about that?
‘It is true. My predecessor, Esther IJzer, decided to do something different. When I heard that, I jokingly said to her, ‘Should I apply for your job?’ One thing led to another. I had never written a cover letter and never had a job interview. In any case, there is a first time for everything.’
#3: Can you explain exactly what Station88 is and does?
‘Station88 exists to make Central Brabant more enterprising. We help entrepreneurs in all possible ways by offering seminars, workshops and inspiration sessions and are also a contact box when an entrepreneur needs help. We also offer digital coaching via artificial intelligence. Cool huh?’
#4: Very cool! How would you describe Station88 in a few words?
‘We are enterprising, accessible, inspiring and we have both feet on the ground.’
#5: Who is Station88 for?
‘For entrepreneurs of small and medium-sized companies who want to further develop themselves and their business. We are also there for freelancers and student entrepreneurs.’
#6: Why do you think every entrepreneur should come to Station88?
‘Entrepreneurs can choose to participate in the program themselves, but are always welcome. I think that is also important in entrepreneurship: that you can do your own thing. We would like to convey that atmosphere here. All our services are still free. We want to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop and thereby create success. It’s great to be able to contribute to it as Station88.’
#7: The college tour with Jos Burgers is planned, can you tell us a little more about it?
The event with Jos Burgers takes place at the Koning Willem II stadium. The setting is also different than usual. Entrepreneurs can ask Jos anything during this College Tour. He has ten years of experience and can help entrepreneurs one step further. So remember to register!’
#8: How has Station88 grown in recent years?
‘I feel that our target group has moved quite a bit in recent times. We are addressing a wider audience than before. We also organize more events, and our service package has become more complete. You can say that Station88 has become even more enterprising.’
#9: What goals do you have for Station88?
‘Station88 is a place where entrepreneurs are always welcome with their questions and stories. With our programming and services, we want to make an active contribution to tackling current entrepreneurial issues. Think about staff, financing and more turnover. We also bring entrepreneurs and education together to give meaning to lifelong learning. With our meetings, we offer meetings between entrepreneurs, courses and entrepreneurial networks, which are becoming increasingly valuable.’
#10: Beautiful! How do you see the future of Station88?
‘I want to make Station88 the institution in the region that entrepreneurs can turn to in good times and bad. First during the corona crisis and now with the problems surrounding energy, Station88 must be a tool that helps entrepreneurs weather the storm. Is it better again? Then we are there to celebrate successes together.’
#11: Which places in Tilburg do you like to visit?
‘I like to visit Spoorzone, where Station88 can also be found. I love the entrepreneurial vibe there. The skating rink in Reeshofparken has been activated by enterprising skaters, I also think that is fantastic’.
#12: How would you describe Tilburg?
‘Tilburg really is a great place to be and do business. It has a very pleasant business climate!’
#13: What makes Tilburg special to you?
‘I always come back to the modesty of Tilburg, while the city does so many beautiful things and there are many beautiful companies. The Tilburgers roll up their sleeves, I love that.’