Hong Kong Coworking Boot hk Featured in Fastcompany, Shenzhen Next?

In china business, hong kong business by Michael Michelini9 Comments

Congrats to boot hk Hong Kong coworking space and Jon Buford. I am a member and its a great way to quickly meet and network with like minded entrepreneurs. I am so excited that it was covered the other day in fast company. Sure that will help Hong Kong be known for more then just banking and financial companies (BORING!) and get more entrepreneurs from all over the world here.

Hong Kong is a great place to base your business….freedom to really act on the business alone and not be tied up with all the red tape crap so many western countries make entrepreneurs go through.

I have always enjoyed hanging in coffee shops, in Shenzhen, China I haven’t found a coworking space, and instead build up my friends and network in cafes and bars in Shekou. We have talked about forming some sort of workspace to work together, but it does take some time and commitment.

I worry though – Hong Kong is much different from Mainland China, and I worry due to government controls on information, seeing a group of internet and entrepreneurs congregating may not be so easy to setup.

Chatting to Jon this afternoon about setting up a coworking space in Shenzhen, and the regulations involved in mainland China, he suggested I talk to @theliuyan who is running a successful coworking space in Shanghai, China – Xindanwei and could probably give some insight.

In Shenzhen we have been organizing a couple Shenzhen internet marketing meetups, and last Saturday’s even Alex Hornstein presented about hacker spaces and coworking to the audience (which was over 100 people). The crowd really got excited about it, and we have been sending out surveys now to everyone who attended.

So for the Shenzhen coworking idea, we put together a website (still purely in chinese) , http://szteam.com to start spreading the word and seeing who contacts us and shows interest.

Tomorrow I’ll head from Hong Kong to Shenzhen again, with some people from a hackjam.hk group by William Liang. They are looking for electronic components parts in Hua Qiang Bei market, and I will connect with with some of my shenzhen friends. Just like Jon said in his fast company interview – ITS ABOUT COMMUNITY and putting everyone’s minds together.

Some Chinese say though, the environment in China is different for sharing and being open, that many are afraid to give away their ideas as others in the group will steal the ideas and copy them in the marketplace. One of the girls, Ella, sent me this email:

regarding the szteam, it ‘s a great idea and I am sure lots of persons will show interests. and it’s sth which worth working on. To get it prepared better, here are some concerns for your reference:

1) our target clients

we need target our clients so we know whom we should work on.
fits for media and IT environments with sort of high freetime amateur element , i think, so called SOHO group and the startup groups.

2) the community atmosphere?

It’s good to share opinions, however as Buford said” as for tech or software, people are often extremely protective about their ideas”
as some might be afraid of stealing ideas or tech , how can build the trust atmosphere? as you might understand China is a society with low trust( i hate to admit but it’s true in some sense)
Does that mean the clients will get limited?

3) I guess it’s not just limited to sz, maybe add gz, dg in later

bit hurry to meet some friends soon, I will talk with you tomorrow then,

So lets start experimenting with how the Shenzhen, China market reacts, I wonder how many local Chinese or foreigners will show interest.

I just truly believe shared office space is the way to go. Even in education, in schools, why do children need to have such structured programs? There should be more openness, collaboration, networking…teambuilding. That is what the future holds….

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  1. Good post, and I’m looking forward to see how things come together there.

    As far as openess and sharing go, I think you just start with anyone that is interested in trying and make it easy for other people to join in. If people see the benefit over the risk, then it will grow.

    1. Author

      thanks Jon,

      Yea, lets see….running a survey from last week’s event…..

      I’m in Shenzhen this weekend, will try to visit seeedstudio monday – they are 2 blocks from where I’m staying…..I had no idea!

  2. Agree with Jon, ‘just do it’. The spirit of trust and collaboration is infective and will spread virally through your community. In the UK our business communities are protective and somewhat isolationist but a new wave of sharing is sweeping through the economy and creating a kind and generous new marketplace. Maybe set up a Jelly to build your community first – have not checked to see if there any such groups in China – we will be happy to mentor you – have a look at http://www.uk-jelly.org.uk and http://www.enterprise-hq.co.uk VITAL for the success of a co working hub that you build the community first. Very best of luck and more than happy to help across the miles.

    1. Author

      thanks Fay,

      yes the world is changing so fast, people globally are becoming more open and pro sharing…..i will reach out to you for sure.

      i was told about jelly before, i will research more…..

      as for the community first, we have been having monthly meetings and its gaining traction now

  3. hey michael, is there a coworking place in Beijing? Maybe I will move to Beijing this summer.

    1. Author

      hey Jane,
      YOU CANT LEAVE ME!!! haha, why beijing? well, wish you the best.. I hear they are trying to start one up, I subscribed to beijingcoworking.com email list, see some people gather in coffee shop. Check it out, signup for their weekly newsletter

      but tell me before you leave!

  4. aiya,,,I don’t want to leave shenzhen. It is nice city for living and working. My bf wants to work in beijing,so we have to go. I have no idea when we will leave shenzhen,but before I leave,I will let you kow.
    Thank you for your information. I will check beijingcoworking.com.
    Since I know you,I am benifit a lot from your blog and also the meetup. you are so generous and kind. I am always taking….what i can give? If you need any help,please do contact me!

    1. Author

      awww, thanks Jane…..yea well I don’t mind giving and connecting…I think sharing is the way of the future…..and while you may receive a lot from my information sharing, you may help others, and others help me back. Its kind of like a 3 way trade, where you may not know the other person of the 3, but just have to believe good people help other good people and the world will be a better place.

      hope to meet you soon, keep me updated on your ecommerce and SEO developments.

  5. Pingback: Moving Quickly With Shenzhen Coworking!

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