Category: Economy

STOX Energy Socks move to Zuidas

As from the first of August, STOX Energy Socks have taken up residence at Zuidas. To be more precise, the new premises of the scale-up can be found next to the…

As from the first of August, STOX Energy Socks have taken up residence at Zuidas. To be more precise, the new premises of the scale-up can be found next to the Olympic Stadion. “Our Herengracht office was not big enough. This new location suits us perfectly,” says Wouter de Keizer, CEO at STOX.

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Zuidas won’t lean back

Like so many other entrepreneurs, shop owners at Zuidas are having a difficult time during the Coronacrisis. To sit back is not an option. Several restaurants at Zuidas started home…

Like so many other entrepreneurs, shop owners at Zuidas are having a difficult time during the Coronacrisis. To sit back is not an option.

Several restaurants at Zuidas started home delivery services, now, flowers, tailored suits and wines can also be delivered to the front door.

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VU open info evening online

Due to the Coronacrisis, VU Executive Education organizes an Information Evening online on May 13th. There will be several ‘live’ presentations and Q&A sessions for professionals about: Accounting & Control, Finance and…

Due to the Coronacrisis, VU Executive Education organizes an Information Evening online on May 13th. There will be several ‘live’ presentations and Q&A sessions for professionals about: Accounting & Control, Finance and Management & Leadership.

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The construction of the Zuidasdok project in Amsterdam may cost 1 billion euros more, according to the NOS yesterday. Moreover, a letter from Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen to the House…

The construction of the Zuidasdok project in Amsterdam may cost 1 billion euros more, according to the NOS yesterday. Moreover, a letter from Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen to the House of Representatives reveals that the large-scale construction project is once again being delayed.

Construction had initially been planned for nine years. But even before the first shovel hit the ground, the prestigious project was delayed. One of the reasons for this was the complexity of the project, with many tunnels in a small area.

Because of the delays, the cabinet had the project investigated by a committee led by former minister Sybilla Dekker. It now concludes that the project must go ahead at all costs. “Doing nothing is not an option,” she advises. Otherwise there will be too many traffic jams on the highway and at the public transport.

In view of the complexity, the project should be divided into small parts, Dekker advises. The last part will then be completed between 2032 and 2036, which is four years later than planned at the earliest. But all this also costs more money. The budget deficit is now estimated at between 700 million and 1 billion euros.

Source: www.nos.nl

Update:

From an article that newspaper NRC Saturday 28 March devoted to the developments on the Zuidasdok, it appears that the expansion of Station Zuid in particular has high priority. The number of passengers grew by 47 percent in the last year. Partly due to the arrival of international trains, 300,000 passengers per day are expected here in due course instead of the current 80,000, according to NRC.

Walter Etty, chairman of passenger organisation Rover, even calls the situation dangerous. “People are falling off the platform, it’s so crowded there.

Two professors, the economists Coen Teulings and Henri de Groot, who were consulted by Dekker, find the plans for two additional tracks too modest. They advocate eight tracks.

In her advice, former minister Dekker concludes that the national prosperity will only benefit if the Zuidasdok project is completed. Bureau Decisio calculated that two billion in costs would be offset by 2.1 billion in benefits.

According to a spokesman for the municipality of Amsterdam, the municipality is now entering into talks with the national government. The agreement is that Amsterdam will pay a quarter of the extra costs, and that the government will pay the rest. Dekker expects that politicians will agree to the extra billion, because the transport hub is of national importance. “You don’t solve anything by stopping, especially in times of crisis,” she says to NRC.

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‘We lift it safely or we do not lift at all’

28 The largest Dutch courthouse, the New Amsterdam Courthouse, is undergoing a complete renovation. It is a project being headed up by Heijmans, a leader in the construction industry. Amer Mahmutovic…

28

The largest Dutch courthouse, the New Amsterdam Courthouse, is undergoing a complete renovation. It is a project being headed up by Heijmans, a leader in the construction industry. Amer Mahmutovic is a crane operator, and one of the many people working on the site.

This interview took some preparation as we needed to go high up. I met him at ground level, wearing who wears the expected combination of work shoes, hi-vis jacket and hardhat. From this staggering height. Firstly, we went up three levels on a ladder, and then a further three levels via an elevator. Once sixty five metres above ground, we were in a cabin, from where Amer is key to the realization of the renovated courthouse.

Before we set foot in the tiny space, we changed our shoes for slippers. Once inside, the hand-held vacuum cleaner, baby wipes and bottles of surface and window cleanser reveal his love of a tidy workspace.

Enormous crane

Up until last year, Amer was a driving instructor. Nowadays he is operating the enormous crane we find ourselves near the top of.

“I was fed up with giving driving lessons; youngsters have changed so much. So, I re-trained to become a crane operator,” he says. “I had to get used to life in the construction industry. And in my case, this is quite a lonely life, being up here. I was always used to always having a student sitting next to me. But, this isolation is for the best, because for this job you need to be fully concentrated at all times.” 

Amer has been working as a crane operator for eight months.  His first job was contributing to the building of the nhow Amsterdam Rai Hotel (the one with the three triangles). He is currently watching the New Amsterdam Courthouse grow beneath him at a great speed from a dizzying height.

“Whether I am lifting a beam, a wire construction, a block of concrete or braided concrete, it all adds something to the Courthouse. Sometimes it is a serious piece of craftsmanship if I might say, with real military precision. But at the end of the day, that gives me my satisfaction. On the other hand, it is a hazardous job. Everything here is about safety.

Carefull

When working with this kind of machinery, you have to be careful, we lift it safely or we do not lift at all! Do you see those other two cranes over there? My colleagues and I are in touch constantly via radio. However, on the rare occasion our booms are too close, they are brought to a halt automatically, just like the automatic distance device in the latest cars.” 

Amer’s crane weighs 32 tons. When dual wired, the boom (the long, moving arm) can hoist up to eight tons, and, when four wired, at least sixteen tons, which is comparable to the weight of ten cars.
As well as taking into account the weight, there are also weather factors to consider, like wind.

“Everything here is checked, checked again, and then triple checked. From the moment I start to lift, it is all about millimetres. With the utmost accuracy, I hand the boys down there their goods. They advise me via their radios. Another two metres, one more, fifty centimetres, thirty, ten, etc. Though I am physically secluded, we have to work together as a team in order to avoid accidents.”

 

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Epicenter: professional workplace with a real buzz

Under the roof of Epicenter, a community of start-ups, scale-ups and established companies is working side by side, inspiring and learning from one another, pushing innovations and growth. Epicenter opened…

Under the roof of Epicenter, a community of start-ups, scale-ups and established companies is working side by side, inspiring and learning from one another, pushing innovations and growth. Epicenter opened its doors more than a year ago, so we were wondering what it is like to actually work there. And how do companies benefit from this digital innovation house? Four members tell us about the added value of Epicenter.

“The first time I walked in here, the paint was still wet but it felt like the lobby of a five-star hotel. We decided on the spot that we wanted an office here”, David Kat remembers his first encounter with Epicenter. He was looking for a workplace in Amsterdam as three months earlier he and his business partner had decided to introduce their Israel-based start-up Wasteless to the Dutch market. 

“Epicenter is perfectly located: close to Schiphol Airport and within the A10 ring road. From here, it’s only 10 minutes by bicycle to the city centre. And the building is very sustainable. Wasteless uses artificial intelligence to provide supermarkets with dynamic pricing for their products, with digital tags displaying a smart price incentive on the product with the shortest expiration date. This way, the 500 million euros worth of goods that Dutch supermarkets discard on a yearly basis, can instead be sold and turned into a revenue stream. As these products don’t end up in a landfill site, this leads to a considerable reduction in carbon dioxide emissions as well. We bring our customers profitable sustainability, so it makes sense that we hold office in a sustainable and smart building.”

Sunken sitting area

Like so many others, David started in the open office space at Epicenter. He and his business partner worked from the sunken sitting area and this really helped them to meet all kinds of interesting people. In the meantime, Wasteless has grown into a team of 4 people and often gets visitors from abroad, so they decided to move into a studio. 

The flexible staffing options are a big plus for many members, confirms Michel Spruijt of Brain Corp Europe. “We look 90 days ahead and adapt our staffing plans for Brain Corp Europe accordingly. At the moment, I’m the only one here but by the end of this year we could well have 12 people at this location”, he says. In July, Michel started setting up the European branch of American-bases Brain Corp, a company developing software for machines (e.g. cleaning robots) navigating autonomously in public spaces. 

Flexibility

“Developments are going very fast and we’re adjusting our plans all the time. We need to be able to act swiftly as we want to be the Microsoft of autonomous navigation and robotics. If I need more staff tomorrow, I simply get a subscription for them and they can start working right away; that’s the flexibility I require’.”

For Antler, a start-up generator and venture capital fund with a global mission to help driven people set up ground-breaking businesses, scalability is a requirement and crucial to the way they operate, explains Kim Oreskovic. “Our basic team consists of 11 employees; we rent a meeting room for them and use the open co-working space. When a new programme starts, we’ll get in another 100 people for two months. In that period, we help start-ups form teams in order to build up their business from scratch.”

Positive vibe

“These teams pitch their plan to the Antler investment committee and then around 40 founders will stay on at Epicenter for another 3 months during the follow-up phase. That works out very well here, because there is a good mix of open and confined spaces of various sizes. What’s extra special, is the positive and creative vibe in this place. There is so much room to meet people, but at the same time the acoustics is so good that you can have a good conversation without others hearing what you’re saying.”

Scaling up without any hassle is also one of the advantages Katinka de Korte of DEARhealth mentions. “We started out three months ago with four people, now we are a team of fifteen and before Christmas there’ll be 25 of us”, she explains her need for flexibility. The international Epicenter locations have proved a big bonus for her company as well. 

“DEARhealth is a digital platform that connects all carers of a patient with the actual patient. And using Artificial Intelligence it presents the most accurate care path for the patient by, amongst other things, steering the patient away from predictable risks. This way, medical teams are getting support in their decision-making regarding treatment. As a result, patients are healthier and care costs are significantly lower”, Katinka explains. This system has been developed with the help of a team of medical specialists in the US. With the support of its investors, DEARhealth will be scaling up in the US and will start implementing programmes in Europe in the next two years.  

Epicenter Stockholm

“This summer we started in Dutch and Belgian hospitals, and the next priority on our list is Sweden because of the country’s innovative healthcare system. When I told that to the staff here at Epicenter Amsterdam, they immediately put me in contact with their branch in Sweden. That helped me tremendously as the Swedish office opened a box with index cards and I was introduced to various companies. Moreover, together with people from Epicenter Amsterdam I went on a business trip to Epicenter Stockholm, where start-ups from both countries were pitching plans to each other. Offering people these opportunities is what makes Epicenter so unique. Their team knows all Epicenter members personally, they know what your ambition is and they often ask: ‘Is this connection useful to you?’ That really helps.”

David Kat is also very happy with the Epicenter team. “I appreciate the fact that they’re not only very nice and professional people, but they also think along with us. When our guests come in, they are welcomed in a pleasant and dedicated manner; that builds trust.” Michel Spruijt adds that the atmosphere in the building and between companies makes it even better. “It’s always busy here – in a good sense, the place buzzes.” 

Douwe Dirks, the manager of Epicenter Amsterdam, is happy to hear that Epicenter is such an attractive business partner for so many companies. “Innovating and growing is a lot easier when you’re part of the right community. We are that community and we do everything we can to connect people and help them share their knowledge. We like building a strong business environment for Amsterdam where local companies get the chance to learn and new digital opportunities arise.” 

 

Epicenter Amsterdam offers: 

Knowledge Memberships
Flex Memberships
Community Events
Office spaces
Top-of-the-line event spaces
Meeting room facilities 
Innovation Labs & Digital Safaris
Hackathons & Ideathons
Management Days

 

Epicenter Amsterdam
Fred. Roeskestraat 115
Amsterdam

W www.epicenteramsterdam.com

 

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VU Amsterdam delivers top finance professionals

When 41-year old Aimée Geerts was a student, the area around VU Amsterdam was a fairly quiet and remote part of Amsterdam. These days, that very same university is the…

When 41-year old Aimée Geerts was a student, the area around VU Amsterdam was a fairly quiet and remote part of Amsterdam. These days, that very same university is the academic epicentre of the thriving Zuidas business district and there is a lot of interaction between Zuidas companies and VU Amsterdam.

“One could say I have seen Zuidas grow from my office at Commerzbank” says Aimée, who has been working at Zuidas since 2006 and is Assistant to the Country CEO at the German Commerzbank. Initially, her office was located in the Atrium but three years ago her company moved to the Viñoly Tower, the building with the conspicuous staircase on the outside.

“After I completed my degree in International Business Administration at Maastricht University, I started working for Commerzbank. From the very first day I really felt at home there but I was missing a bit of focus as my degree was a fairly general one. That’s why I went looking for a course that was in line with my job but would delve a little deeper.”

Perfect place

“I was looking around for the right postdoctoral degree and then I found the Executive Master in Finance & Control (EMFC) at VU Amsterdam. This was the perfect place for me. During the introductory interview, the commitment and enthusiasm of one of the teachers really inspired me.”

“The Commerzbank fully supported my choice. Not surprisingly as the Executive Master in Finance & Control (Registercontroller in Dutch) at VU Amsterdam was the first programme of its kind in the Netherlands and VU delivers all the top professionals in the Dutch financial world. Moreover, VU Amsterdam is a leading  institute when it comes to the development of this area of financial expertise.”

The fact that Aimée was working next to VU Amsterdam and the university’s leading role in finance and control, were the decisive factors in choosing this degree. From 2011 to 2013, Aimée spent every Friday studying and attending classes at VU Amsterdam. 

Enriching experience

“Back then, we were right in the middle of the financial crisis but my course was full. It was such an enriching experience. Getting feedback from others on your everyday work was so useful. You’re studying together with other people; every one of us was working in a different field so we could really learn from each other.”

“We were working on business cases in groups of four students. My group contained people from the aviation, banking, healthcare and insurance industries. Right from the kick-off weekend we were studying together. Every one of us had his or her own expertise and that gave me a lot of insight. And obviously the teachers challenged us big time.” 

Variety of subjects

With the Executive Master in Finance & Control, Aimée has added another degree to her impressive resume. “That’s nice but what counts is what this degree has brought me. The variety of subjects, finance, reporting, strategy, corporate and tax law, has enabled me to cooperate more efficiently with the various departments within the bank. I’m really happy with my choice for this degree course.”

With her job and university close by, Aimée feels at home at Zuidas. She lives in Naarden with her husband and two children, but from her office she has seen the steady growth of ‘The Big Apple of Amsterdam’. In the old days, there was only De Blauwe Engel to go for drinks and a bite to eat, but these days people are spoilt for choice. “I consider Naarden Amsterdam’s backyard. I take my kids to school with my cargo bike and it only takes me 30 minutes by train to get to my Zuidas office. This way I still feel like an ‘Amsterdammer’.”

Alumni Association

In Aimée’s field of work, regular training is a necessity. That’s why VU Amsterdam organizes activities for members of the alumni association throughout the year. There are usually two teachers present during these alumni evenings. “It’s very informative. You meet up with your former fellow-students and it’s also nice to see the teachers again. For example, I’m still in touch with Bert Steens, who has been a professor at VU Amsterdam since the year 2000. If there’s anything I need help with, I can always ask Bert for advice.”

Bert Steens adds: “We have a wonderful and active alumni community and we’re very proud of that. We regularly meet former students such as Aimée. I think that is due to the good relationship we’ve built during the course, as well as to our location at Zuidas, where many alumni are working in finance positions. There are a lot of things going on, a lot of traffic and accessibility is excellent, both with public transport and by car or bicycle. VU Amsterdam could not have chosen a better location. Students working at Zuidas can pop in during their lunch break to discuss something.”

Executive Education

Senior finance specialists also find their way to VU Amsterdam for training courses and master classes. “Apart from doing a Master in Finance and Control, professionals can keep abreast of developments in their field by participating in our Executive Education programme, for example following a course in Business Analytics.”

Early 2020, VU Amsterdam will start a new degree programme in cooperation with other universities abroad: an International Executive MBA in Finance & Control.  

“This course is meant for experienced business professionals who are aiming for a financial role at senior management or board level, like a position as finance director or CFO. This is an executive MBA programme with a strong focus on general management and finance & control, tackling all the challenges that the combination of those two disciplines entails.”

 

 

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
School of Business and Economics
W www.sbe.vu.nl/nl/

 

 

 

 

photo Aimée Geerts by Katja Mali

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KLM head office leaves Amstelveen

After having had its head office in Amstelveen for fifty years, KLM will move to a new location in Schiphol-East in 2024. The Dutch national airline wants to have a…

After having had its head office in Amstelveen for fifty years, KLM will move to a new location in Schiphol-East in 2024. The Dutch national airline wants to have a “campus” of 35,000 square meters built, which also houses KLM subsidiaries Transavia and Martinair, as well as the current offices at Schiphol-Rijk and Schiphol-Oost.

KLM has come to this decision because the current office building in Amstelveen needs major maintenance. The airline moved in 1971 from Schiphol-East to the edge of the A9, near the Old Village of Amstelveen. Before that, the head office was located in The Hague for decades.

The municipality of Amstelveen regrets the departure of its largest company, but is also very proud that the KLM head office has been in Amstelveen for fifty years. The Amstelveen alderman Floor Gordon (spatial planning) has attempted to maintain the head office for Amstelveen by proposing a better access to the head office with Schiphol-East. Yet, she thinks it is a logical choice for KLM to concentrate all its components in one location.

 

Photo by MartinD – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7553621

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Zuidas versus The City

Obviously, one cannot compare the Zuidas with its bigger financial brother in London as the British capital has ten times as many inhabitants. But still, the Zuidas is slowly but…

Obviously, one cannot compare the Zuidas with its bigger financial brother in London as the British capital has ten times as many inhabitants. But still, the Zuidas is slowly but surely getting a more international image and – due to the impending Brexit – more and more companies are opening offices in Amsterdam. Reason enough to ask three experts about the opportunities in both cities and the differences and similarities between Amsterdam and London.

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A passion for real estate

Fifteen years ago, Ramón Mossel started his own real estate agency in the Rivierenbuurt in Amsterdam-Zuid. Every day, he and his team at Ramón Mossel Makelaardij show their passion for…

Fifteen years ago, Ramón Mossel started his own real estate agency in the Rivierenbuurt in Amsterdam-Zuid. Every day, he and his team at Ramón Mossel Makelaardij show their passion for real estate, bringing supply and demand together.

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