“About cocktails and dreams” : 1 year Snowball

Today, February 6th 2021, marks the 1-year anniversary of our first public event at Snowball. As Regional STARTS Center with our partner Gluon and part of a European consortium of 7, we hosted an exceptional event dedicated to The New Green Deal, approaching our society’s challenges and the future of energy from different angles and disciplines. Our event hall was covered with a varied set of unique and exciting artworks, we got inspired by several keynote speakers among others Prof. Dr. Pattie Maes and practised what we preached through “do it yourself” workshops.

We welcomed entrepreneurs, engineers, researchers, artists, art enthusiasts and curious minds. We mingled, we raised our glasses, we agreed and begged to differ, we laughed and broadened our horizons. Our excitement for the year to come, for the realisation of the hopes and dreams for Snowball we had been working on for over 2 years, was apparent.

Little did we know that just 3 days before, covid-19 was diagnosed in Belgium, and that a mere few weeks later, our lives were put on hold for the foreseeable future. No official opening party, no workshops, no networking events, no demonstrations or knowledge sharing sessions, … simply (nearly) no activities on site. As a brand new Cleantech hub, a Living Lab for product and service innovation, a test and validation site for prototypes and a one stop shop for sustainable entrepreneurs just off the starting blocks, admittedly a significant stroke.

Without much ado, a deep breath, all hands on deck, and back to the drawing board.

Today, February 6th 2021, marks the 1-year anniversary of our first public event at Snowball. Looking back on the last 12 months, we are grateful and pleased with what we’ve accomplished so far. 

As a one-stop-shop for sustainable entrepreneurs, we fine-tuned our service offering. We opened our food bar Daltons, our on-site gym & our terraces, and finalised the installation of 50 EV charge points on our parking. We welcomed 30+ new residents, hired 4 team members and engaged the services of a multitude of external experts. We planted 42 trees and over 1000 herbs and plants, we produced 140 MWh solar energy and we charged over 700 electric vehicles.

Electric charging car park

Finally, we held our second public Regional STARTS event on the subject “Entropies”, an exploration of sustainable future energies. We organised lectures, workshops and pitches, held a guided tour through the art exhibition, heard Prof. dr. Philipp Pattberg detail his vision for Global Environmental Governance and again shared food & drinks, thoughts & laughter with a fierce and spirited crowd. We also unveiled the artwork SNOWHOOP, created by Brussels-Ostend based artist Pieterjan Ginckels as a reflection on the UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities”. The installation comes to life through game play & energy exchange with its players, and awaits patiently for this second round of seclusion to pass.

So all in all, for sure not the year we had in mind, but a good year, and a happy year.

Today, February 6th 2021, marks the 1-year anniversary of our first public event at Snowball. Looking forward to the next 12 months, our mission remains unchanged and our eagerness is bigger than ever. We will continue to facilitate and advocate sustainable entrepreneurship, we will continue to promote a green mindset & attitude, and we will continue to help cleantech companies grow. And we do so with passion, determination and some additional wisdom. We will undoubtedly come across new challenges and new opportunities. Challenges we will overcome and opportunities we will seize. Our focus lies on growing our community, sharing our assets and expertise with our current and future friends.

As a Cleantech hub, we want to strengthen our alliances and are eager to join forces with new partners. We are open to contribute to new R&D projects in the domain of Cleantech, on a regional, national and European level.

As a one stop shop for sustainable entrepreneurs, we want to cherish our current residents and help them grow. We are also keen for anyone with a heart for climate & wanting to contribute to a more sustainable world to join Snowball.

So from us to you: please like & share this article, talk to your colleagues and friends about us and spread the word: Snowball is where cleantech companies grow. If you have a prototype to validate and fine-tune or are looking for a partner in an R&D project, please contact us. If you are looking for office space, co-working or storage, or want to organise an event in top notch facilities, please contact us. If you want to join our community of like-minded sustainability ambassadors, please contact us.

Thank you for helping us realise our hopes and dreams. Looking forward to meeting you soon!

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