Co-working spaces are becoming increasingly popular in many parts of the world, including Asia. In Hong Kong, the co-working market has taken off in a significant way, with experts enthused about the industry’s prospects.
Among the players is an entity called Jumpstart, which was founded in 2003 and currently operates a network of business centers in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
With 14 years of experience in the industry, Jumpstart’s co-founders Chapman Leung and Felix Mok recently created a new venue named Bloom in Tsim Sha Tsui, targeting female entrepreneurs.
“According to an industry report, only 9 percent of startups in the US were founded by females,” notes Leung. “Lining up female venture capitalists and entrepreneurs can help close the gender gap in venture funding in the startup world.”
Addressing the gender issue, Jumpstart’s new co-working space Bloom feature feminine elements like an all-female staff, and regular ‘Female pitch night’ for women VCs and startup founders.
“Even when the startups are on the right track, it is not uncommon for some female founders to leave the ventures in order to put their families first. Let them vent and take a breath. [If we give them proper support], they are more likely to find a way to balance work and family, and stay longer in the startup world,” says Leung.
Leung and his partner Mok aim to provide ‘localized service and facilities’ to startups and businesses through Jumpstart, whose tenants once included the online content platform 9GAG and the job review website StealJobs.
A wave of technology-fueled startups has sparked the boom in co-working spaces in Hong Kong. But Mok calls it a “dangerous market”. Creating a successful co-working space is not about frills such as splendid interior decoration, it’s all about providing the right service that startups really need, he says.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept 18
Translation by Ben Ng
[Chinese version 中文版]
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