Hello Simone, how you did you start Penrose?
I am originally from Genoa, and have been travelling around Europe these last few years, both for academic and professional reasons. In 2011, I was living in Amsterdam and studying at the Universiteit Van Amsterdam; that’s where everything started.
After finishing my MSc in European Studies, I started sharing ideas with other colleagues at the UvA and developing experience. We were tired of internships and felt confident about teaming up our various skills into a project. And that is how we created Penrose CDB.
Penrose is a digital communication company, which supports both public and private stakeholders for a better promotion of their brand…but not only. In fact, Penrose CDB, also offers Web development, ICT related services, as well as strategic communication consultancy services.
We are 15 innovative experts from different fields, such as political science, design, programming, architecture, etc.
We are located mainly in Amsterdam, Brussels, Birmingham and Bucharest.
Penrose DPA is the natural extension of Penrose CDB in Brussels, which provides consultancy services in the public affairs field and European projects.
Why did you come in Belgium ?
I arrived in Belgium three years ago almost as part of the European Commission programme, “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs”. At that time, I was working as a policy officer for a public affairs consultancy, creating my own Euro Bubble network.
When you arrived in Belgium what were your facilities ?
It took me a while to actually gather all the documents and consolidating my business. At the beginning, I was working from home, bothering my girlfriend and some friends for help with translations since I don’t speaking any French or Flemish (oops, my bad).
I was surprised at the amount of bureaucratic documents required. I thought that Italy was the only country in Europe with such high level of bureaucracy…apparently I was wrong.
I was looking for a social security company and was almost « forced » to choose Zenito since they were the only ones providing a good English service together with explanatory brochures.
What is different/better in Belgium (in your market or sector or simply to launch a business)?
The presence of many European Institutions and an hyperactive and multicultural working environment makes Brussels the right place to be for my business.
What can you say about Silversquare?
Before establishing Penrose DPA at Silversquare Europe, I visited many co-working spaces and, in my opinion, this place was the best amongst all the ones I saw. And it was not just a decision made on costs.
Being located at five minutes from some of the most important European Institutions is just one of the many advantages of working here.
The work environment is also very challenging; working close to so many businesses different from yours triggers your curiosity, expands your network, and also fosters great ideas for developing your business. Being based in a co–working space actually teaches you a lot.
Businessmen are not perfect and they do not know everything, therefore sometimes they can get lost. In a co-working space it happens less, because you can share your doubts with someone who might have some advice for you.
Last but not least, knowing you can always count the kindness of Silversquare’s team, as well as help or advise, is a real added value.