BANK15: a place to experiment, share and learn. For companies that are making a name for themselves and absolute beginners. Established brands, creative entrepreneurs and new talent.

It is not yet 10 o’clock in the morning, but BANK15 is all abuzz. Shoe brand Wednesday Whiskey is preparing a stock sale. Students are on their way to their first class. In passing, Opier recruits a young filmmaker for a small gig.

The entrepreneur jumpstarted his own career in advertising. In Amsterdam, he has his own agency: Tafel15. He also founded Talententafel 15, where creative marketing talents receive coaching and can gain working experience.

Fully booked

Tilburg is where he can keep building his dream. BANK15 opened in September 2016 while still under construction. The renovation of the stately former office building took more time than anticipated. But the tenants were eager to get started. “We are fully booked,” says Opier.

The impressive entrance on the ground floor serves as a food hall. Starting hospitality entrepreneurs can try out their concept here. Brands like Wednesday Whiskey, Fontys and Kraftbier are also housed at BANK15. The building also accommodates small creative companies and offers flexible workplaces and exhibition space for artists.

The idea is that tenants and visitors learn from each other, share experiences; that they use their talent to help out others. Opier: “Here they can test, they can fail, they can adjust their concept.”

Tilburg is the ideal location to do so. “This is truly a pilot city, both for start-ups and corporates who wish to try out new things,” says Opier. That is because Tilburg quite accurately reflects the Dutch population and also counts almost thirty thousand national and international students.

Rock Academy and yoga

Sometimes, BANK15 is literally open 24 hours a day. During Brands & Talents, technical-creative Sint Lucas students had 24 hours to come up with a new retail formula. Rock Academy musicians play acoustic sessions on Wednesday nights. There are lectures and other events. Opier is still looking for someone to teach yoga on Sunday mornings.

A good example of what BANK15 stands for is the Fuck-up night. Famous as well as less well-known entrepreneurs, mostly clients with Opier’s advertising agency, tell about things that have gone wrong in their careers. Because you can learn as much from a failure as from a success story.

“BANK15 offers space to make mistakes and grow. If it goes well, the people make room for others,” says Opier. “We hope that they, in turn, will share their experiences to help others.