The 3200 square foot co-work space, meant for fintech-related community events and ventures, comes with a bouquet of facilities, a fintech library with books curated by Life.SREDA and a café.
Additionally, the co-working space includes an art gallery that will feature a changing selection of art pieces from renowned international artists, an events zone complete with small stage and seating areas within the co-working space to host events, meetups and other community activities, the firm said.
Located at the core of Singapore’s startup ecosystem in One North, the co-work space is clustered around major business-related government agencies and business schools like ESSEC and INSEAD.
Explaining the basis for launching the space, Slava Solodkiy, the principal of Life.SREDA, explained to DEALSTREETASIA: “We have so many requests (especially from young entrepreneurs) not about money – but mostly to give them advice or to introduce for somebody.”
When numbers of these requests increased – we decided, that it will be easier to share our knowledge with them, and to introduce them to right people (because we always meet with banks, funds, other startups), if we will be closer to each other,” he added, saying that Life.SREDA engaged in extensive market research and wanted to share this knowledge with both professionals and those outside the industry.
Solodkiy shared that another factor leading to the concept of the co-working space came about due to frintech ventures from overseas and within the Life.SREDA portfolio were approaching Life.SREDA about establishing a representative office in Singapore. Currently, Solodkiy says that many use Life.SREDA as an intermediary for correspondence, meetings, and other activities.
Elaborating on plans to position the co-working space as a community platform and how it would be integrate into the operations of the InspirAsia accelerator and Life.SREDA, Solodkiy told DEALSTREETASIA: “My dream is that creative young people from schools or universities, which think right now about their future profession, will come to us to listen, learn more and to meet and talk with other creative people.”
He added,”We will inspire them to explore new projects and hope to influence their life choices.I believe in people, not in numbers. And I believe in providing the right advice in my\your\others life. I believe in passionate people. And I do not believe in money – you always have to be interesting and useful for people around you, and then the money will come. Without a social impact, without sharing and educating ‘new blood’, your are just a ‘hungry zero’.”
For now. Life.SREDA is sponsoring the space and providing it for free. In a statement, Life.SREDA stated “…we believe that our space truly represents our commitment to being startup evangelists here in Singapore,” adding that any fintech startup could use the space for free, provided they filed an application.
Igor Pesin, Life.SREDA’s investment director, explained: “The idea of Life.SREDA’s brand new space is to contribute to the development of the fintech industry in Singapore, accelerate sharing of knowledge, experience and ideas between different participants of the local fintech ecosystem.”
When asked about monetisation, Solodkiy disclosed to DEALSTREETASIA that monetisation was not a concern at this point and that the Singapore government had supported Life.SREDA in establishing the space.
This aligns with the positioning of co-working spaces as both a professional working space, but as a place for enrichment, networking, professional development and community building, with regular courses, talks and mentorship sessions to maximise your time at our space. This provide a setting where community of individuals and organisations can thrive.
He remarked: “With this opening – we want to support new talents. When they mature and move one – for instance, if they launch their startup venture – they will remember us and come to us for investment at first. It is long-term strategy about growing together. Right now, publicity is the best monetisation!”
In his interaction with DEALSTREETASIA, Solodkiy opined: “I do not believe that ideas are created in vacuum – fashion, books, movies, music, food, etc – so many “life phenomena” influence to fintech, before fintech starts to transform this demand for technologies and services. And we want to add life into fintech – how fintech can sound, can smell or can look like to people.”
He added, “We want to see and interact with the people for whom we are creating all these things. And, sorry, it is not just about money! Sometimes you understand more or can imagine new ideas. It’s not about gaining understanding from one more fintech-presentation! Trendy fashion-show, cool DJ’s or new books can inspire you.”
However, there is also an intensely personal angle to the opening of the space as well. Solodkiy shared: “I have a almost 8 year old son. I hope, that when he will come to our space and see all these interesting people, and feel their energy, and see their eyes, – he will tell me, that “Oh, I didn’t know, that you do something interesting! Maybe, I can also can create something here? Because right now all my words about work sounds like blah-blah-blah.”