New co-working space to connect startups to ‘Fortune 500’ companies

Cover art Samantha Gonzales

Words by

Digital Reporter

Parallel to the growing number of startup companies in the country, the demand for affordable and flexible work spaces have also increased in the past few years.

Today, entrepreneurs can bring their companies to shared offices while they have yet to grow and scale their businesses.

But for London-based co-working space provider International Workspace Group (IWG), an office space is no longer enough as entrepreneurial interests grow among more people, especially millennials.

IWG, which is also behind co-working space Regus, is bringing to the Philippines its “second and fastest growing” brand “Spaces,” which the company envisions to become a hub that will connect startups with more established businesses and even Fortune 500 companies.

Present in 25 cities worldwide, Spaces is set to open at World Plaza in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, on June 4.

The 3,200-square-meter space will have about 447 workstations, including rooms for private meetings. It will also house its own Wild Flour Bakery + Cafe.

In a bid to create a community of both young and experienced entrepreneurs, Spaces will also feature a 500-square-meter “community hall,” where business and networking events will be held regularly.

“Co-working space is a term of yesterday. What we are building is a community,” Spaces country manager Lars Wittig said in a press briefing.

He added, “When we call it co-working, it is sort of describing a work style. We’re not promoting a work style, we’re promoting a lifestyle. We want people to connect.”

According to Wittig, the company envisions the hall as a venue where “all types of industries and people will be able to network with each other.”

“We need to have the right balance of startups, millennials, and baby boomers.,” he said. “We want to have industry A as well as industry Z, and we want to have the startups as well as Fortune 500. That is how we can get synergy and learn from each other.”

Wittig said three companies in Fortune 500 list, which he refused to disclose, have expressed interests to join the space.

Cost and demand

According to him, rental for Spaces is “not more expensive” compared to those of local small players. However, he added that each square meter would at least be 35% more expensive than the Regus brand, which is currently more expensive than typical commercial leases.

According to Wittig, “today is an exciting time” for the company to launch the space given the “exceptional” demand for shared offices in the country.

In fact, he said monthly inquiries for Regus since January this year have increased by 22- to 33-percent than the same period last year. In March alone, he added they received almost 1,300 inquiries.

While the first location has yet to be launched, the company is already considering expansion to two “major cities” in the metro.