Vindicat opens centre for start-ups at Nieuwe Markt
‘Many people come here to study and then move out west. We want to make sure they leave something behind’, says Ruben Petit (22). He came up with the project, together with Eduard Hietink.
The pair are on the Vindicat anniversary committee together. The student association is celebrating its 405th anniversary this year. ‘We wanted to do something that isn’t focused on partying. Something concrete’, says Petit. They met with a few former members and concluded they needed to create a place for student start-ups.
The centre will be housed in a monumental building at the Martinikerkhof, the back of which faces the Nieuwe Markt. Vindicat already owned the building. ‘We’re not using the building, and it’s the perfect spot.’ The building was constructed in the nineteenth century by Groningen industrialist Jan Evert Scholten. The garage on the ground floor will house the pub, the first floor will have meeting rooms, and workspace will be created in the attic.
Vindicat is keeping in close contact with the RUG and the city to ensure the project goes as smoothly as possible, says Petit. Everyone will be able to have access to the centre. ‘Vindicat wants to open its doors, and this is they way to do it.’
They’re still thinking about a name. ‘We wanted to name it Gouden Horizon, sort of like a new Golden Age for Groningen. But we’d rather give it a name in English.’ The language spoken in the centre will also be English, in a bid to attract international students.
The centre is scheduled to open in July, during the anniversary celebrations. ‘We won’t be finished with the renovations, but we’d like to have an open day so people can get an idea of what it’s going to look like. We can finish it afterwards.’