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...
The young gentlemen in this picture are the true definition of the millennial hustle. I can't remember what I was doing at 21, but it definitely wasn't in a boardroom hashing out global domination through music, art, and fashion apparel. Watch out for 49North, Manila Grey, Skulpist, and Frontrvnners putting the West Coast on the map.
We hold these gluttonous chowdowns every 2 months, and at the very minimum you get to eat something homemade from at least 8 different cultures. If you're keeping a close eye on your waistline, we may not be the ideal coworking space for you.
Without a space like Beta in the suburbs, meetup groups such as Surrey CodeCamp would cease to exist, much less thrive. Since forming in early 2017, CodeCamp has attracted a slew of sponsors with its bi-weekly gathering of developers and hackers, offering up everything from cash, to food, to prizes. Better yet, people no longer need to make the long commute to DT Vancouver in order to network and learn.
Patience Nyoni (2nd from left) is Founder of the Afro-Canadian Positive Network BC which provides outreach and resources to people inflicted with HIV and AIDS. She herself is HIV Positive, but has realized that the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS is often more dangerous than the diseases themselves, as many in her community do not seek help for fear of others finding out about their illnesses. Organizations like ACPNetBC are doing incredible work break the stigma and Beta is honoured to have Patience as a member.
Where you will find me...
We're a 9-minute walk door-to-door from the Surrey Central Skytrain Station, and a block away from the future Light Rail Transit line.