Sep 14, 2017
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With the arrival of global co-working giants, Melbourne is poised to become the innovation hub of the Asia Pacific region, reported Forbes.

WeWork and RocketSpace are expected to open their doors in the city’s Central Business District (CBD) in the coming months.

Considered the hottest clubs in town, RocketSpace was popular for firms such as Uber and Spotify in their early days.

Featuring a global network of startups and corporates, RocketSpace offers membership to “an ecosystem that is engineered to help the greatest ideas have the greatest chance of success”.

“We help startups scale up and we help traditional corporations transform into digital conglomerates”, said RocketSpace CEO Duncan Logan.

A key player in the real estate sector, WeWork, on the other hand, not only provides beautiful, shared office spaces but also a mission that is driven with a community focus. The company recently confirmed a whopping $4.4 billion investment from Softbank as well as its Vision Fund.

But while this development spells good news for local startups, the arrival of these giant companies may affect smaller co-working spaces, which may struggle to compete with the international superstars’ polished infrastructures and local fanfare.

“Melbourne can be a key business innovation hub for Asia,” said Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Arron Wood.

“The City of Melbourne is already home to 35,000 international students, with around 85 percent from Asia. Our city is home to people from more than 200 countries who speak 260 languages and practise more than 135 faiths. We’ve always celebrated this diversity as a key strength and sought to establish and strengthen our international business relationships.”

In fact, the city’s CBD is now recognised as Australia’s co-working capital. Melbourne was also named as the world’s Intelligent Community of the Year.

“International collaboration is key to Melbourne’s strong biotech, clean tech, education and medical sectors. As a city we’re now more focused than ever on the startup and knowledge sectors,” noted Wood.

 

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg

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