By: Melissa Stevens
With one of the world’s most vibrant start-up and small business scenes, it’s no surprise that Hong Kong has some fantastic co-working spaces. These shared facilities, operated by a third party, give entrepreneurs and small businesses a place to base themselves when starting out without having to budget for Hong Kong’s exorbitant retail rents.
They typically offer affordable desk space, a meeting place for clients and colleagues and a host of other facilities that a sole or small operator would not otherwise have access to. Here’s a selection of some of the co-working spaces in Hong Kong:
Campfire has two locations – one in Kennedy Town and one in Wong Chuk Hang. They offer flexible and multi-functional spaces to their members, with different plans from a simple hot desk, to a dedicated office space. Members then get access to a range of support services including printing, meeting room access, locker access, mail and package handling, as well as the Campfire snack bar. They also organise lots of fun events for members, such as networking nights, yoga sessions and special occasion workshops.
The Hive is a network of co-working spaces with a presence in Sai Kung, Wan Chai and Kennedy Town. They provide hot desks, dedicated desks and meeting rooms, and can give small businesses a business address and post box. They also have coffee lounges and events spaces at their branches, where they screen films and offer networking and workshop opportunities. They cater for creatives with the Hive Studios which provides a facilities for photographers and the MakerHive, which combines a workshop and workspace, making it popular with designers and architects.
WeWork’s two Hong Kong locations – Wan Chai and their newly-launched flagship in Causeway Bay – are part of a global network of co-working spaces. Monthly membership plans give users a credit allocation and they then use an in-house app to book hot desks, dedicated desks, private office spaces and meeting rooms around the world. Users get access to practical amenities such as reliable internet, printers and scanners, as well as pantry access with free flow coffee/tea/beer on every floor. On the 20th “community floor” of the flagship Tower 535, there are hot desks, a ping pong table and lounge area. A barista from Coffee Academics is there on weekdays and breakfast is offered every morning. Members can attend events including wellness, networking, conferences.
paperclip describes itself as Hong Kong’s first dedicated startup campus, as they combine start-up accelerator programs with co-working spaces. Their three-month mentorship programs aim to support fledgling start-ups to develop. In terms of facilities they have hot desks, dedicated desks and office spaces. They have a flexipass plan, which allows people to pay just for five or ten sessions. They offer high speed wifi, meeting rooms, unlimited nespresso coffee and tea and 24-hour access.
theDesk opened late last year, offering flexible hot desk and private desk packages at competitive rates to entrepreneurs and enterprises of all sizes. Their plans include an hourly Power Pass for people who only have ad hoc need for a co-working space. They also can offer dedicated office space with a private balcony for a company of 5 to 10 people. They have a particular focus on tech and creative sectors. In addition to work facilities, they offer free premium coffee, tea, soft drinks and beers, as well as free magazines and books. theDesk is located in Sai Ying Pun.
The Garage Society
The Garage Society has three branches on Hong Kong Island – at Sai Ying Pun, Central and Sheung Wan. They take their name from game-changing companies that began in a garage, such as Google. By joining their “community” you can not only access their network of co-working spaces, but their programs to support businesses in the start-up community through the Garage Academy. They host weekly events and they also have regular workshops from one of their members, General Assembly, which offers a huge range of courses suitable to starts-ups and those working in digital and tech fields.
Kowloon-side start-ups will appreciate the convenience of ooosh, which offers hot desks for “solopreneurs”, as well as private desks, office space and meeting rooms. Amenities include 24-hour access, free wifi, coffee, snack bar, lockers and standing workspaces. They also provide support to start-ups with advice and information about funding. Community members can take advantage of regular events held at the space, which is walking distance from Lai Chi Kok station.
The Coffee House
It is not surprising that The Coffee House co-working space promises the “best coffee you will ever have”, in addition to hot desks, private desks and office spaces. They have a variety of membership passes and offer a one-day pass on weekdays from 9am-6pm which can be bought at the door. Members include freelancing creatives, small businesses and a number of coffee industry professionals, which has led to come great coffee-oriented events in the past.
The Loft is located in San Po Kong, near Diamond Hill MTR station. It offers monthly hot desk, work station and office membership, as well as monthly part-time membership for 10 weekdays a month, and day passes. They offer wifi services, 24-hour access, a communal reception, mail service and a business address to new businesses. They also have a sunny terrace and a barbecue court, and offer a schedule of talks and events aimed to support and educate new businesses.
Everest Serviced Offices
Everest Serviced Offices offers support to small-to-medium enterprises, which are defined as business with less than 50 employees. They have a typical co-working space in Central, which suits sole or small operators with services such as a receptionist to answer calls and a business address. In addition, they also offer fully-equipped offices at locations across the city to suit all budgets, sizes and business types. They have meeting rooms and a business lounge which is great for business travelers transiting through Hong Kong. Everest also offers a document management and storage service.
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