Here’s the backstory…
What is the vibe of your space? It’s a box of chocolate. You never know who’s in the space each day. Our membership makeup is quite diverse, which makes for wonderful watercooler conversations. On any given day you will run into video game developers, accountants, programmers, clinical counselors, data analysts, non-profits, and even faith worshipers (yes, Beta’s also a church!). While there isn’t an obvious ‘vibe’ per se, food is what we bond over — and our epic bi-monthly pot lucks are truly something to behold.
How does Beta Collective define community? Our mission is to be the hub of Surrey’s startup community. We pride ourselves in being the glue that connects local startups, entrepreneurs, corporates, non-profits, government bodies, civic organizations, and youth. We’re often just a few degrees of separation from triggering amazing business opportunities and partnerships between groups in the local community.
What did you learn about people from managing Beta Collective? All coworking spaces have their shortcomings. However, if you clearly communicate what they are from the get-go, majority of members are extremely self-reliant and content. For instance, we do not have a receptionist and therefore our doors are accessible only by key FOB, which means members must come to the building entrance to let their guests or clients in. After you explain that this helps with affordability and security, we’re all Kool and the Gang!
What’s your best lesson from running a coworking space? I learned early on that not every member fancies collaboration or care to participate in extra curricular activities that are typical of coworking spaces…and that’s OK! They’re still great members! In fact, they’re probably the easiest clients to deal with (no fuss, no muss) and you can always rely on them to pay their membership dues on time, each and every month.
Tell us something we might not know about you. (small tiny subtle hint: TALK ABOUT YOUR COMMISSARY KITCHEN!!!!) Fine…here goes: I’m also opening YVR Prep — Western Canada’s premier commissary kitchen because I felt I wasn’t keeping busy enough. Just kidding. In truth, I was inspired by a number of unusual inquiries when we first opened Beta. Because our website stated that we offered a kitchen(ette), we had people asking if they could rent it out to prepare products to sell at the farmers markets. Unfortunately, our kitchen only had a toaster oven and microwave so we had to turn them away. But the concept of a shared kitchen to support food entrepreneurs stuck with me until some partners and I decided to take the plunge. We hope to be open for business in a few months.”
Some of my favorite moments at Beta Collective…