BEE Creative - interview with creative business heads worldwide - No. 3
Leo van Loon, Creative Factory, Rotterdam
Leo van Loon (MsC) is the co-founder and owner of Creative Factory Rotterdam, a creative incubator with over 70 companies (3.500m²) with club and event halls (1.600m²) in an old grainsilo with a wonderful view over the skyline of Rotterdam.
The Creative Factory is a private initiative in close cooperation with partners from business, education and government.
Together with 15 agencies from 10 countries Leo van Loon is also Founding Partner of European Creative Business Network (ECB Network). His agency PopVox is the agent who executes the activities of the network.
You did not start your business to get rich. What was your motivation?
My motivation is to create more opportunities for more people. We do this mainly by building business networks: in a single location as the Creative Factory, start-up programs for youngsters in cities as with the Buzinezzclub and by building networks at a national and European level as the European Creative Business Network.
Everybody has role models. Who is your ideal-typical business figure?
Steve Jobs and Alan Weiss.
Everybody knows Steve Jobs for his dedication and breakthrough innovations.
Alan Weiss redesigned consultancy work and describes this in bestseller: million dollar consultancy. A great book for experts who love their niche...
Business means to overcome crisis and change. When and what was your first big challenge?
My first big challenge was buying my first company. I had co-founded the Creative Factory and was given the chance to buy it. This meant quick growth to perform at a new level. Managing two companies, starting up shareholder firms and also bringing the business and organization in other fields to a new level.
These periods are always more fun to look back at, than to be inside the storm.
Creative Business means to mission and convince a market constantly. Where do you get your sisyphus energy from to do that?
My energy comes from realizing the vision.
Knowing that a simple idea can actually grow into a network with 80 partners in 22 EU-countries as the European Creative Business Network. Of course you can only do this with the support of many people and it makes it easier if your idea is born in other minds at the same time...
Entrepreneurs need inspirations – year for year, again and again: Which places and situations are inspirational for you?
Holiday is a very important one and of course the power and energy of the people I meet every day. I have so many meetings a day with many different people from directors to dropout’s. This makes every day a special day.
Entrepreneurs are expected to have a vision. What symbol or icon represents your vision best?
The symbol of eternity.
Everything is intertwined and builds on each other.
Every entrepreneur has once (or twice…?) overseen important trends. Which trend – still hidden to most in the market - do you recommend to watch out.
The atomization of companies is a very important trend: companies get smaller and smaller. The end of this trend is the young creative who works in an ever changing network of other entrepreneurs without secretaries or account managers. No intermediaries everybody delivers concrete value. State-of-the-art expertise and speed combined!
Teaser picture by NoiseCollusion, creative commons, flickr