Alright, my co-working space walking tour continues and today I am visiting the west side of the Hong Kong island, starting with Kennedy Town.
Innovation Lab – 29 July 2015 morning
As advertised on their website, the building is just 1 minute away from the newly built Kennedy Town MTR station. Well, I think even if I walk backwards and managed to fall down a few times, I could still get there in less than 1 minute. Yes, it’s really that close! It is a traditional factory building (so you have a gentleman operating the lift), yet since there aren’t too many floors (and startups like The Hive also operates 2 floors there), the waiting time for the lift (as well as the overall feeling of the building) is actually much better than what you’d associate with factory buildings.
So the moment I approached the front door I saw a note, and it says, “The Innovation Lab is currently unattended”. Great! Why do I always start the day this way? The good thing is that the note shows the floor plan and it seems the place only offers dedicated offices rather than coworking space. So anyway, off I go…
Maker Hive – 29 July 2015 morning
True to my words – this is a walking tour – I walked up 2 floors to check out Maker Hive (not on my original plan). It’s spacious, sunny, got that cool design just like what you’d expect from the Hive and it’s…. empty! There was only one tenant there and no one was attending the reception area. The lady kindly showed me around and told me she only moved in this week (I later learnt that the place was only opened for 2 weeks). There are lots of open benches and in the middle of it all, there is a ‘design’ room – sewing machine and 3D printers, etc. (yes, this place is built for designers!). But anyway, off I go again…
The Hive Kennedy Town – 29 July 2015 morning
There is something about these backstairs – it’s wide and bright – it doesn’t give me that claustrophobic feeling that I usually associate with backstairs. I just love these ones! So I walked down a few floors to get to the Hive Kennedy Town.
I met Crystal at the reception. She was busy handling parcels and calls but still managed to greet me with a big smile and asked me to take a seat first. After a couple of minutes, she came to me and took me around for a tour. Crystal is extremely friendly and helpful (I am starting to develop this expectation for the Hive)! The place is wonderful too – perhaps because today is a great sunny day – the office is so bright with just the natural sunlight (they have lots of windows). The place got a nice hot desk area, dedicated desks/rooms, a studio room (which offers some privacy) and even a smoking room! Same with all the Hive offices, it just has that cool factor to it. Crystal also mentioned, apart from regular newsletter that they would use to connect/introduce members to the community, they also host regular lunch events for its members here.
Yes, I did take the backstairs again to get to the ground floor. It’s great!
Paperclip Startup Campus – 29 July 2015 morning
So I took the MTR to Sheung Wan station. It should take about 5~10 minutes from Exit A2 to get to Paperclip Startup Campus (hereinafter referred to as “Paperclip”). I got lost a little bit on Wing Lok Street but overall it’s pretty easy to get to.
So I offered my standard script at the reception and the receptionist quickly escorted me to a meeting room, offered me a drink and said her manager will be with me in a few minutes (I noticed the manager was also sitting at the reception). Yes indeed Lorie came in in just a few minutes! Contrast to every other visits, Lorie spent quite a bit of time asking what I do. She then explained the range of workshops and events that they host (these are open to the public and not exclusive to their members). At the end, she even passed me a stack of 2-day free pass (great business development)!
She then showed me around the office. The place is nicely decorated. It’s got a big function room that can host more than 100 people. It’s also got the usual open area, pantry and dedicated offices. Lorie told me they are going to open up another floor on the same building soon. The new floor is mostly for dedicated offices.
Overall, Paperclip gave me the feeling that it’s really well run, professional and very business driven.
TusPark Causway Bay – 29 July 2015 morning/lunch
So I am back to Causeway Bay again. I have to admit, this is really bad planning on my part. I wanted to visit ‘Workground’ but later found out that it has been acquired and rebranded as ‘TusPark”. But then the headquarters of TusPark is actually in Kwun Tong (closer to Ngau Tau Kok MTR station) where they occupy 9 floors of a factory building. I probably should have visited that one but anyway…
So I went to the TusPark Causeway Bay. There was no reception area so I started wandering around a little bit. After a couple of minutes, I was greeted by a young gentleman named Nigel. Nigel is very polite and patiently explained to me the background of the company – for example, TusPark stands for Tsing Hua University Science Park and it’s a Chinese company that builds “business parks”, they also have another office in Central and will soon have one in TST as well.
Their causeway bay office is pretty small and has only a few desks for hot-desking. Nigel said that they do host events for its members as well (may be 5-6 events a month) but they do give me a feeling that they are more of a serviced office than a coworking community.
May be I should visit their Kwun Tong office soon.