Founders Fridays is a new StartupAmsterdam initiative that showcases local entrepreneurs who help strengthen our ecosystem. By inviting founders to answer five questions, we want to shine a light on our ecosystem’s most inspirational stories and role models. We hope that we’ll all learn and grow together by providing startup founders with a space to share their insights and experience.
This week we spoke to Tom Remy, co-founder of Plekky. Its platform analyses companies’ office floor plans, helping them to find options for sharing their offices with startups. This provides an opportunity to bring an innovative startup into the office and creating an inspiring environment, but also means businesses can make more sustainable use of the available space.
1. How did your career journey lead you to found Plekky?
My career started together with my friend Casper, who I know from our hometown: Bergen op Zoom. After we had some brainstorms, I registered us for Dragons Den, an investing programme on TV (without telling him). We participated with success: we received our first funding! That's where my career started.
Casper and I started Plekky during the pandemic. This crisis was the perfect time for us to start up a new business. We think as a founder you have to be adaptive, innovative and disruptive.
We saw a lot going on in the new way of working, offices and company cultures. Where hybrid working is becoming the new standard, office occupancy and functions change. Today’s companies have to ensure a valuable use of available office space to motivate and attract talent for their organisation. Especially now.
We help established companies ensure this by matching them with a startup and creating an inspiring incubator at their office. In this way, we connect generations, create value and innovation in available space and help startups grow in an environment full of knowledge and networks.
2. What makes Amsterdam a great city and a great ecosystem for a startup founder?
We think Amsterdam is a city with a lot of opportunities. The fact that (established) companies in Amsterdam embrace innovation from startups creates a perfect ecosystem for us! Many companies want to pioneer innovation and are willing to take the first step.
We are in contact with a lot of startup communities in Amsterdam. In this way we’re connected with all the innovative startups and match them with established companies. I especially chose Amsterdam because I think it’s the Netherlands’ leading city for innovative startups and practically because I live in Amsterdam.
3. What are the goals and needs for Plekky in the upcoming months?
We’re running our first locations at companies’ offices in Amsterdam for a few months. We want to work with some more prominent companies to make more impact, even in their buildings outside of Amsterdam, in the upcoming months. To achieve this goal, we have to spread our mission: “connecting established companies with startups to create value and synergy at the future office.”
We need to be known by established companies that want to innovate their office and secure valuable use of available office space. We have a unique value proposition that must be added to their ‘top-of-mind’ list.
4. What has been a recent win for your business?
As a startup founder, your first deals are the ones that you’re always really excited about. So are we. You learn a lot from your first clients, and it gives you the energy you’ll need to scale the company further.
Our first clients are very excited about how we helped them with their offices. The biggest insight I've gained from our first clients is how much impact we can make with Plekky. Everyone should have a Plekky.
But of course, our biggest recent win is that we’re selected to exhibit at TNW2022 with StartupAmsterdam.
5. What trends do you see in the future of work (remote, hybrid or in-person) and what is the role that Plekky can play in that?
I think Plekky can play a unique role in the trends we see at the moment. We will be going to the office less often than we used to, but it should be highly qualitative if we go. Where we can perfectly work individually at home, the office becomes more and more a ‘clubhouse’ where people come together for inspiration and creativity. Besides only meeting your colleagues at the office, you can also gain many insights from an exciting startup at the office now. That’s how we see the future of work.
Bonus question – You’ve been selected to exhibit at TNW2022 with StartupAmsterdam. What are you looking forward to the most there?
We’re honoured that we’re selected to exhibit and are extremely looking forward to this event. We hope to meet many inspiring people and inspire them with our vision of how companies can make better use of Amsterdam startups.
During our pitch we will talk about how we see the future of the office and how Plekky jumps on this bandwagon to make those office days count and connect generations. It’s a big opportunity to pitch in front of all those big companies and investors that are attending the TNW2022 conference.