Fill 6

January 11, 2016

In de Ruimte

written by: Hidde Meulenbeek

The vibes coming out of ‘In de Ruimte, right underneath the Oudegracht in Utrecht, are poised midway between the atmosphere of a networking event and a school dance. I know some people by face, a few from their picture on the website and some more from their messages on Slack, a cloud-based team collaboration tool, which is the only place where the project exists at the moment.

In a few weeks the plans need to have grown into something tangible – a stove, tables, chairs and maybe a little terrace – because everyone’s here for one reason only: building Syr Restaurant from the ground up. Many people here have sacrificed all their spare time over the past few months. This night we raise our glasses with family and friends to the build-up of the crowdfunding campaign.

Founder of Gys, Gijs, first explains how the idea was formed and after that Hester of the Policy & Ethics team reveals the well-thought-out plan. The feeling I had gotten from the conversations with other volunteers is reinforced tonight: this is a group of motivated professionals who have joined forces because they believe in the cause. This is also shown in the promotional video of the crowdfunding campaign, which premieres tonight. It is made by video makers Wereldgasten and Refractions, illustrator The Things We Are and animation studio Konacoast. The audience can barely contain their excitement. Everybody wants to know: how can I invest?

Not by putting money in the glass jar in the back, it appears, because that is the contribution for tonight’s drinks. We are all asked to write down on a small piece of paper what we are willing to invest when the crowdfunding campaign is launched. Just because we already see ourselves sitting at a table by the window at Syr tasting delicious food, 160,000 euros is still needed as start-up capital for the restaurant. And if we don’t make it, there won’t be any restaurant at all.

Actually I don’t doubt whether we are going to make it, but still it has to be done. Starting from the 25th of February everyone can watch the video and invest their money in Syr Restaurant. The interest is way more than on your savings account and if the project is cancelled, you’ll get your money back. The most important thing, however, is that you help Syr open its doors soon. A win-win-win situation.