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Wouter van Beek

Lawyer in Life Sciences and Intellectual Property at WvB Advocatuur

''In Groningen, you have everything: from big companies to energetic startups.''

Before he walked around the Zuidas, now he moves around Groningen. Wouter van Beek (30) is a lawyer and entrepreneur in the medical and cultural sector. Sectors that flourish in Groningen. ''In Groningen, you have everything: from big companies to energetic startups.''

Growing up, he did so in Leusden and Emmen. Since childhood, he has been fascinated by music. Not surprisingly, he studied Composition, Music and Studio Production at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen. But he wanted more. He started  studying law and he realized that this was an instant match. ''I am incredibly fond of rules. You can take advantage of them if you know them,'' says Wouter. He eventually graduated from the conservatory as a songwriter and did an internship as a lawyer in the Zuidas.

Although he learnt a lot in three years there,  he did not feel quite at home in the end. Working in a big firm, working long hours. ''I couldn't quite ground myself there.'' After all, his heart was still in the North. With Groningen as his base. When Corona came and he was allowed to work from home, he seized his chance. He packed his bags and went to live with his girlfriend, who still lived in Groningen. He started thinking about what to do with his future. Becoming an independent entrepreneur seemed like a good idea. And so it happened.

He now has his law firm. His areas of expertise include ICT law, medical technology and intellectual property. On the latter, there are similarities with his other passion, music. ''I find it fun and important to assist creatives. It helps a lot if you know how the industry works,'' he explains. And Groningen is a place for him to grow further. To seize opportunities. After all, the conditions are right for it, says Wouter. ''Here there is a fine mix between academics and creatives. Large companies and fine start-ups. The opportunities are numerous.

''Here you can learn, grow. You don't have to go to the Randstad for that.''

Groningen's versatility is therefore reflected in the many sectors in which Wouter is active. After all, he is not only a lawyer and musician. He is also a creator of board and computer games and is attached to the Faculty of Law at the University of Groningen, where he provides legal advice to start-ups in the medical sector, among other things. ''It is important to me to take and offer opportunities, to let people and companies grow,'' he says. Wouter, therefore, sees Groningen as a good place to make a career. ''Where, because of somewhat less supply, you can respond well to rising demand.''

Wouter also applauds the living climate in Groningen. According to him, living here is more than good. ''The city has a very nice atmosphere. The international character of the rich student life adds a lot,'' he says. He, therefore, encourages others to come to Groningen. ''Come and have a look, you can learn a lot here, and grow. You don't have to go to the Randstad for that. Groningen has it all.''

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