Considering Futian District Coworking / Incubator (Am I a Realtor Now?!)

In china business by Michael Michelini6 Comments

Seriously feeling like a real estate agent lately…but I am in cross fires getting both people who want to utilize coworking space, and office owners who have space they want to utilize.

My buddies in Hong Kong, Felix Lam and Jon Buford, introduced me to a company in Futian district of Shenzhen who is interested in converting their office into a coworking / incubator office, as they will be growing out of it moving into a bigger office about 5 minute walk down the road.

Honestly, I was a bit hesitant to go there, as (selfishly) it is about 1 hour (sometimes more) away from where I’m currently living and working in Nanshan district. This is the major problem with Shenzhen, ITS SO WIDE!….and not only is it wide, the populations are also so spread out….. whereas in the majority of cities I know of, they have downtown and the residential areas, and clear spots in one’s mind where the majority of people would want to rent. We have Shekou, where we looked at a 2nd floor of a cafe, and I am still really liking the idea of leveraging the hackerspace network at Chaihuo.

But, I did take the time to come over, and honestly I am glad I did!

Carman the owner of the space, is a great HK businesswoman, and has been in contact with the Hong Kong startup community about this space for almost a year from what I gather. It is 3 rooms (if needed, but the video and photos are for 1 space), in a Free Trade Zone of Futian district. RIGHT ON THE HONG KONG BORDER, in my video below, you can see exactly what I’m talking about. The current workers here can even catch Hong Kong mobile signal. And a lot of them live in Hong Kong, and commute to this Shenzhen office.

Carman’s idea is to be a mix of incubator and coworking. The place is well decorated and finished, and we can connect angels with startups, and have separate glassed in rooms for those invested startups.

Its also a great gateway office for Hong Kong companies that want to enter the Shenzhen / Mainland China market.

Which is exactly what Carman did 6 years ago, she came to China to hire R&D talent, her company, is a Chinese mobile app company for the educational industry, for parents and their children to accelerator the learning process. She has built up quite a nice company, and wants to offer this Shenzhen “gateway” office to other companies starting out.

I’m talking to a lot of my friends in Southeast Asia, as well as in USA about coming to work and visit Shenzhen, and I think this office is a great window for that chance.

Hoping to get some comments / ideas over this Chinese New Years.

She is currently using the space, but plans to move out end of Feb, probably launch this space in early March 2012.

Secretarial services:
Send and receive fax to/from HK (Free)
Copy, scan, print (Free for Registration address:
Unique address and rental contract for registering company in SZ.
*In China, each unique address can only register one company.
Security: 24-hrs access card system

Each room:
Renovated office
Air conditioning
Manager and staff furniture
Wireless broadband
Phone and fax lines
Broadband network per seat
Document cabinet

Sharing (no extra charge):
Toilet and lounge bar
Balcony (outdoor smoking area)
Meeting room
Printer / Scanner / Copy
Paper/CD/card cutting machine

-Can receive HK mobile signal within office
-Each room has two VPN account that can allow browsing any websites in the world inside China.

Incubator Team Offices

Room A
Two managers

Room B
275 sq.ft.
One manager + two staff

Room C
321 sq.ft.
One manager + 4 staff

Room D
287 sq.ft.
One manager
Room (2 mgrs)
+ three staff

Room E
170 sq.ft.
Four staff /
Two managers

Room F
258 sq.ft.
One manager + 4 staff

Shared area 460 sq. ft.

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  1. Problem you will have with this is no subway there (unless they recently opened one up)…only way to get in or out of there is by bus, taxi, walk 30+ minutes or if you have a car…I before considered living or working out of there previously but found it a big inconvenience due to transportation and lack of choice in restaurants…and it was freaking expensive compared to other places I could live and have better conditions…but thats my opinion. 

    If anything, should be 5~20 minute walk (at most) from a subway not 30~40+ minutes…

    1. true, I am also concerned about the location….but the Hong Kong people that told me about it really like it – I think its best positioned for Hong Kong companies / people who want to enter the mainland market easily….

      1. Nice office and it could work, but the goal of the office as you pointed out would be to bridge HK and Shenzhen probably.

      2. Bridging the HK and SZ gap, you got to get rid of that border…but even then, you have a wide-spread city like Shenzhen to over come in terms of choosing a location. 

        I personally prefer something like Gang Xia only because its freaking cheap and has a subway.

        Can get an office ~ apartment in Gangxia, 100~120 meters for 5-7k rmb /mo give or take. Its center of Futian, near Lou Hu and not that far travel coming from Nanshan (on subway). Although you have to over-come the fact that Gangxia is a little run down. Though you get what you pay for in the big cities and in China, its not like you’re getting a nice mountain view. You get good view of dirty old buildings with dirty old laundry hanging on balconies, streets filled with cars/people who honk their horns and shout at each other over village drama. 

        Thats why I was contempt (for a while) living an hour away from Shenzhen (in Danshui, Huizhou) and only paying couple hundred USD for the penthouse (120 meters) in a really nice (and secure) garden. 

        Try to find a location first you like, then start sourcing some companies who has huge offices and willing to work with you. Perhaps make friends with some property agents in that area and tell them you’re looking for shared office or apartment. They show you around (cause they want to make commission), you write down the address and later go back to negotiate with the people leasing the space…

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