The 13.000 square meter Trifolum building in Sydhavnen, where our office is located, is being transformed into a modern production Mekka named ‘BetaFactory’ - capable of taking maker’s ideas all the way to market.
When we moved into the Trifolium building in 'Sydhavnen' it was a community for entrepreneurs like many others in the Copenhagen area. Today, it is still a community for entrepreneurs, but when a new landlord bought the building five years ago, it was also the beginning of a transformation into something more.
”It’s an old industry building located just a short bike ride from the city. For that reason, we saw potential in using the building for something more than just offices and storage when we started renovating the facility,” Søren Nielsen, who owns the building, explains.
The idea was to keep attracting companies and entrepreneurs around craftsmanship and physical products. But to make the community stand out, he decided that the building should accommodate a full production setup – from prototype workshops to modern, flexible productions lines. Just like tech-entrepreneurs, who can find everything they need in various coworking-facilities – just aimed at production and workshops.
And as you might have guessed: This transformation - and all the possibilities, new skills and partners, synergies and inspiration it brings - is right down our alley
Biggest in Denmark
The company BetaFactory became involved when the transformation really began three years ago. The founders behind it have years of experience in running some of the premium maker communities around Copenhagen. But when they got the opportunity to make something bigger in Sydhavnen, they didn’t hesitate.
”The core is a startup community with physical products as their focal point. We provide access to workshop facilities, and we try to bridge the gap between traditional craftsmanship and new ways to think about craft and production,” Rasmus Nielsen, co-founder of BetaFactory, explains.
The collaboration between Trifolium and BetaFactory quickly led to the establishment of a wood-workshop, soon followed by workshops for metal, electronics, prototyping and textile (with more to come).
Today, BetaFactory has been up and running for three years, and it keeps growing. This also means that the founders have winded down their activities elsewhere – among other things the well-renowned maker space “Under Broen” in Copenhagen – to focus on BetaFactory at Trifolium.
Right now, BetaFactory is closing in on its initial goal of providing actual productions lines, where members of the space can access production capacity and turn ideas into market-ready products at scale.
”We just introduced an industrial-grade maker space to focus on production at a larger scale. We are the only place in Denmark with this capacity – both in terms of square meters and the number and quality of machines. The setup and production flows have been prepared to really start punching out products on a larger scale,” Rasmus Nielsen explains.
A vibrant community for inventors
Today, BetaFactory occupies almost a third of the 13.000 square meters in the Trifolium building. With its excessive setup and flexible membership model, it has started attracting serious makers, inventors and entrepreneurs.
”We actually started out with the sharing economy in mind so entrepreneurs could make things happen for a relatively small fee. For us, this means, that a startup that has a great idea for a physical product - be it a robot or a kitchen design - can stay with us for a few months until they’ve developed the idea and matured it for the market. From there, they are free to leave us again or stay and use us for actual production. All made accessible in a very flexible way,” the landlord Søren Nielsen explains.
After three years, the space has grown into a community of craftsmen, makers and entrepreneurs. And this is what makes the whoel endeavour so inspiring to us: The way the community can inspire each other – or even work together on real-world projects where their different skills can complement each other.
”The idea is to create a community and a culture that is interesting to be a part of - no matter if you use the workshop all days or spend a great deal of time in your office. Just the fact, that we have thousands of square meters allocated for workshops and production makes the place very special. When someone creates something physical it just emits that certain, vibrant energy,” Søren Nielsen says.