A BRITISH entrepreneur has opened a co-working space on A.S. Fortuna St. in Mandaue City to offer local entrepreneurs a venue for collaboration and work.
Location63 opened in January but was officially launched last March 1. It was put up by Chris Ducker, the chief executive officer of local business process outsourcing company Live2Sell, Inc.
Location 63, according to Ducker, is the first co-working space in Cebu. The facility is about 160 square meters and could accommodate 55 people working on desks or at the lounge.
Ducker said he invested about P1.3 million to set up the facility.
He said he chose Cebu first because it is the location of his call center and he could just pipe in technology from it. Ducker said during the launch that business is doing well in the area with the presence of JCentre Mall, Starbucks and the Design Center.
He sees the area becoming a tech center and destination for start-ups in the coming years.
“The reason why I put up Location63 is to give young Filipinos who want to become their own bosses, who want to work for themselves the opportunity to hang out and collaborate together,” Ducker said.
He said the space offers “very fast Internet connection” to enable entrepreneurs to work on their projects.
“Not like when you go to a coffee shop and you sit there and you buy coffee and you
have slow Internet connection, half the time it’s not even working, anyway,” he said.
He said they built power sockets into their desks to answer a common complaint by those working in coffee shops.
“You never have to look for a power socket at Location63,” Ducker said.
The co-working space opens from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays. Ducker said he might eventually look into opening the space for 24 hours. He said he decided to set aside weekends for hosting tech events. Location63 was the venue of several recent technology events.
Location63 charges P500 per person per day. It offers a monthly package of P8,000 per person.
Ducker said he knows not everybody can afford the fee.
“This is not the place to come and surf Facebook. This is a place to come and work.
This is about promoting productivity and innovation and achieving greatness through business. This is not a place to come and check your email. This is not an Internet café,” he said.
Location63 has several tables and chairs, including bean bags, that are arranged in a modular layout so that these could easily be rearranged for events.
It has a mini-kitchen with a refrigerator and a microwave and kitchen utensils. The facility does not sell or cook food but Ducker said “we’re okay with people bringing food in and reheating it.” He said they have free-flowing “awesome Italian coffee.”
Location63 also has a conference room for meetings or taking calls and even recording podcasts.
“I’ve worked out of many co-working spaces in the US and Europe and even elsewhere here in Asia. And for me it was just an actual conclusion in what I want to achieve and that’s to ultimately help the next generation of Filipinos become more entrepreneurial in their mindset,” he said.
Ducker said the space’s design is “very functional” and open. “There are no cubicles here, no partitions. The reason for the open design is that it promotes that collaborative approach to building and doing business,” he said.
Ducker said they installed cool lighting and “very bright colored furniture. We just want the vibrance and energy to be able to be felt by everybody.”
He said that in putting up Location63, he set out to build “a cool place for people to come and hangout and work. I have a private office on the fifth floor of this building but I work down here now more it’s a cool place.”
Ducker said the country needs to encourage entrepreneurship.
“The Philippines is not yet an Asian tiger but it can get there. That would be a direct result of how many real entrepreneurs that we have, how many real small business owners we have,” he said. “We can’t rely on the big multinational companies, we can’t rely on the BPO companies to fuel the economy forever. Every economy in the world needs small businesses. It fuels the economy.”
Ducker said most of those who used the facility when it soft-opened in January are freelance graphic artists, developers and writers and virtual assistants.
Ducker said his goal is to build a local community of tech entrepreneurs who want to start businesses. He said he’s looking at opening three or four more co-working spaces throughout the country. He is considering Makati and Davao as next locations.