July saw the launch of a new co-working collaborative space, Collision 8. Founded by experienced business woman Michelle Yong and ‘serial entrepreneur’ John Tan, this impressive space is housed on the eighth floor of High Street Centre on Northbridge Road. Taking the popular shared office space concept to a new level, Collision 8 has big plans for the future. We asked the founders to tell us more.

Gallery (Dedicated) Desk Area 1

What is the concept behind Collision 8? Why do you think shared working spaces are gaining popularity in Singapore?
Collision 8 is a collaborative innovation workspace, where people and ideas intersect to create opportunities. The space comprises a mixture of open plan hot desks in the lounge, dedicated desks in the gallery and private offices. It is designed to give our members the freedom to imagine, experiment and create.

Co-working spaces offer companies the flexibility to grow and scale up, which suits their fast growing businesses and teams. Co-working spaces, like serviced offices, also take care of all the administrative matters to allow their members to focus on their work. However, unlike traditional serviced offices, co-working spaces foster community building. At Collision 8, the shared interest among the community members is innovation and collaboration – being in a shared workspace with likeminded individuals provides members with the opportunity to meet potential partners with whom they can forge alliances or build new business opportunities.

Founder - John Tan, Collision 8

How do you differ from other shared offices or workspaces? What are you doing differently?
We chose to distinguish Collision 8 from other co-working spaces by focusing first and foremost on the community and collisions aspect – not just the space. Collision 8 is a private members club, it is a Collaborative Innovation Workspace – think of it as YPO (Young Presidents’ Organisation) meets Soho House (private members club for creatives), but for innovators rather than CXOs and creatives. The current space on Level 8 of High Street Centre can accommodate approximately 175 people but we already have over 400 individuals in the community, and over 70 member companies. We hope to grow the membership of innovators into the thousands, and not just within Singapore, but across the region.

Who are you hoping to appeal to? What are you looking for in your members?
We are seeing interest not only from entrepreneurs and start-ups, but from leading investors, corporates, institutions and innovation experts in the industry, many of whom joined us to celebrate our launch. In particular, we are seeing increasing interest in corporate innovation programmes and corporate startup engagement (CSE) from many ‘traditional corporates.’ Many of these traditional corporates are talking about the need for innovation, co-creation, diversity and collaboration. Some have already embarked on their own accelerator programmes, whilst others have started innovation labs. Many others have only just begun to think about innovation, but do not know how to go about doing it, and it is these companies that we would like to help make innovation more accessible to, and help them move up the innovation curve through a Collaborative Innovative Workspace and community.

We offer different membership tiers to cater to different needs. Membership ranges from lounge (hot desks) to gallery (dedicated desks), studio (private offices) and labs (private offices for short-term innovation projects).

Founder - Michelle Yong, Collision 8

 

What are your favourite design features of the interior of the space?
Occupying the entire 8th floor of High Street Centre, the 8,600 sqft space was selected due to the awe-inspiring panoramic views of Marina Bay Sands, the CBD, Boat Quay and Fort Canning Park, which connect the past and the present, and remind us that we are here to shape the future. The best views have been given to the bar and lounge area, where we hope people will congregate to exchange ideas, forge friendships and hopefully form business partnerships. The design takes inspiration from a relaxed gentleman’s club, but is filled with quirky surprises intended to spark curiosity, creativity and conversations at every turn.

What are you hoping to achieve with Collision 8? Why is this important?
We believe in the power of collisions to trigger new ideas and opportunities. This in turns drives collaborative partnerships that spark innovation. We believe that innovation will disrupt every industry and is key to building the next generation of successful businesses. We believe that we can help our members take their businesses to the next level. We see Collision 8 as also helping our own businesses achieve sustained growth opportunities.

Board Room 1

What challenges in the business world can be overcome with places like Collision 8?
At Collision 8, the wider community becomes an extension to small teams of entrepreneurs in a social context as well as professionally, offering a high level of peer support, experience, expertise, insights and friendship. These elements are critical to start up success as it can otherwise be a challenging and lonely journey. At Collision 8, we don’t just leave this to chance. We have a welcome session with each member to understand their needs and then hold monthly check-ins with them to make personalised introductions to other members of the community. Whether they are looking for investors, technical talent, informal advice or strategic partnerships, our neutral position and diverse and growing community allows us to be the ideal corporate matchmaker for their business.

Lounge 1

What sort of events can members expect?
Collision 8 will offer inspiring experiences and events to bring our community together. We are putting together an impressive events calendar comprising expert talks, masterclass workshops, private dinners, closed-door forums and lively parties. We will host at least one innovation-centric event and one social event per week. Our members are also invited to host events that benefit the wider community. For example, we will be hearing talks and hosting panel sessions with many of our founding members, such as a talk on growth hacking from a representative at Innosight, and a talk on innovating from within an established corporate structure from a very successful family business owner. With Kiddet, we look forward to hosting pitching and public speaking boot camps for kids, and with Next Money, we are excited to host a talk exploring future trends of the ASEAN finance community. In late August, we are hosting LetsVenture’s Angel Investor Mixer and start-up pitch session, bringing awareness to some great local startups and enhancing the start-up culture in Singapore.

At present we are exploring partnerships with innovation experts like KPMG Digital Village and Courage Partners, to offer corporate innovation programmes that trigger next level business innovation.

Hot Desk Area 1

Is Singapore a good place to start a business and why?
In 2015, Singapore came up tops on the World Bank Group’s annual ease of doing business measurement for the 10th year in a row. Contributing factors include the favourable tax environment, strong credit markets, well developed infrastructure, skilled labour force and the efficient judicial system. In particular entrepreneurs here are benefitting from government initiatives to facilitate new businesses especially in innovation and R&D led by National Research Foundation.

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