Last week the Mettā Network hosted the first in a series of events designed to put the Edinburgh startup scene on international entrepreneurs’ radar.
Danish coworking entrepreneur and founding CEO of the The Library Group Anne-Sofie van den Born Rehfeld travelled to Scotland for the first time to speak to fellow entrepreneurs and local professionals about the creative spaces we need to flourish at work.
The sold-out event was moderated by WeAreTheFuture founder Bruce Walker who, alongside Zoi Kantounatou and Adam Purvis, has formed the Fx Group of companies of which the Mettā Network is a key brand.
The Mettā Network brings together impact-driven entrepreneurs building a better world through business with the founders of many of Scotland’s fastest growing companies – such as Amiqus, Float, Umega and Kitsch Drinks among its alumni. Anne-Sofie van den Born Rehfeld talked candidly to the audience at Leith’s new Round
The World Studios about the challenges of starting and funding a business as an expat “woman with a product”. She explained that, at first, “people simply didn’t understand how a coworking space could feel like a home”. When she opened her first Library in the trendy Brussels district of Ixelles, one local journalist reported that it was a hotel.
Anne-Sofie was also upfront about the challenge of protecting her brand, now that she’s established three over-subscribed coworking spaces in the Danish hygge style. Some have tried to reproduce her success, but she’s not going to let that change her open and welcoming attitude to sharing what she’s learned.
WeAreTheFuture founder and FutureX cofounder Bruce Walker, who moderated the event, said, “In the run up to Startup Summit, this event was a fantastic reminder of how important it is to ensure international entrepreneurs are aware of the impact Scotland is having on purpose-driven entrepreneurship. Anne-Sofie provides unique, nurturing and creative spaces for startups in Brussels and clearly there is a lot of wisdom we can share by bringing people of her calibre to the buzzing startup scene in Edinburgh. ”
Reflecting on the evening Anne-Sofie said, “I left Edinburgh feeling lifted up with new energy and excitement. The entrepreneurial vibe here is incredible. Receiving feedback and emails from fellow coworking entrepreneurs who are not my direct competitors has been both refreshing and liberating. There’s nothing similar to the Mettā Network in Brussels and I am delighted to have discovered a small part of what Scotland has to offer thanks to their invitation .”