Brussels BURO Club Partner, a Belgian success story
Office Space news by BURO Club
News of the 25/07/2016
More than a hundred of independent BURO Club business centers exist in France and abroad, and then there are those of Brussels. Brussels Europe and Brussels Louise are the result of the work of two entrepreneurs at heart: Axel Kuborn, the centers’ creator and pioneer of the coworking concept in Belgium, and Alexandre Ponchon, his partner. Their goal: enabling businessmen to realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
With Alexandre Ponchon, co-director of the BURO Club Partner business centers in Brussels, we understand that coworking is a state of mind. "This is not just an open space in which we cohabit, it is an entertainment affair. What interests us is to put people in touch, creating exchange and foster co-creation", he states while telling the story of how the Europe and Louise centers came to exist. "Axel worked on the development of a project in textiles and faced a problem that all entrepreneurs know in their beginnings, he had no office." He was going from one place to another to take advantage of the Wi-Fi, a printer, etc. He met his clients and business partners in cafes. "One day, he read an article in the Times newspaper, which dealt with writers meeting to write, share and exchange." Thrilled by the idea, Axel Kuborn chose to develop practical and affordable offers for startups in search of office space solutions.
"In 2007, only one company of business centers offered offices to rent, but they were impersonal and expensive. On the other side, there were pure coworking centers, small ones. We took the best of both worlds", says Alexandre Ponchon. "Very quickly, our customers were able to develop their activities and had to hire. We followed their needs and we expanded as well. This is how we became a business center."
BURO Club Partner Europe and BURO Club Partner Louise
From there, BURO Club Partner Europe was born. It is close to the renowned Square de Meeûs, in the heart of EU District, 200 meters away from the EU Parliament and the Luxembourg train station. With its 2300 sqm of serviced offices, it especially meets the needs of workers dealing with Europe. As for the second business center, built a few years later, it offers a sophisticated design in a 3000 sqm space that borders the most prestigious street in the city: avenue Louise.
Whether it is for a single day or for a long term rental, Brussels business centers offer flexible solutions to settle and work in the best conditions. In the "flex" office solution, office management, reception services, expenses, taxes or telephone are included. "Customers only have one bill to pay at the end of the month and can focus on their core business", specifies Alexandre Ponchon. The first price of a fully equipped workstation is 295 euros per month, when renting a conventional 50 sqm office amounts to more than 1500 euros a month.
Independents, employees or entrepreneurs are free to choose the option that suits them, passing by a registered address for a company, fixed or private offices, collective work areas and meeting rooms from 2 to 100 people. There is no need for a minimum commitment or investment. All it takes is getting in touch with members of the business centers to define the most appropriate solution, try it if necessary, and choose it. "It's plug and play", exclaims Alexandre Ponchon.
Networking at the heart of Brussels’ BURO Club Partner offers
Today, Brussels 5300 sqm of workspace host more than 500 companies. Investment funds, digital startups, communication agencies, insurers, real estate agents or lawyers have found their place. "In five to fifteen years, little companies will no longer want to work anywhere else but in a place such as ours", foretells Alexander Ponchon. "It's cheaper, more interesting in terms of flexibility and it enables the possibility to enjoy a network", he says.
The success of a project also requires a rich and available professional circle. To promote further the link-building and exchange of experiences, Brussels entrepreneurs have developed the Open Incubator. This offer is based on inspiring presentations given by experienced contractors, training programs or after-work, dinners and cocktails to celebrate, learn and "network". These dynamic events give rhythm to the workers’ lives and provide companies with the tools they need to develop. "And this community aspect does not take precedence over the work, it serves it", states Alexandre Ponchon.
With their nine years of experience in the world of business centers, Axel Kuborn and Alexandre Ponchon intend to develop their activities. "We deeply believe in our business and we would like to have ten centers in 2020", declares Alexandre Ponchon. The next one, situated Place Stephanie, at the other end of the avenue Louise, is expected to open in November, still in partnership with BURO Club, first French network of independent business centers. "BURO Club seduced us with its realistic approach to the business world. The solutions they’ve made available for us are simple, effective and non-binding", he says. It seems to be the best recipe to enable BURO Club partners to develop as they please, while being accompanied.