HOMEGROWN co-working space Common Ground is looking to further expand in the country with the opening of its venue in Penang.
The new venue at Moulmein Rise Shoppes, Pulau Tikus, is its first one outside of Kuala Lumpur, bringing its total number of outlets to-date to 14.
“Aside from Kuala Lumpur, Penang’s emerging infrastructure and business market have rendered the city more than well-equipped to become the nation’s next most sought-after business nexus.
“We at Common Ground feel that the market is at the right climate to begin introducing our co-working lifestyle that is built on community and synergy,” said chief executive officer and co-founder Juhn Teo.
The launch of the new space was attended by Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
Located on the second floor of Moulmein Rise Shoppes, Teo said the 18,000-sq ft space would accommodate over 250 entrepreneurs at any given time and would propel the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Penang.
Common Ground Penang is developed in a joint venture with property developer, the Belleview Group, and aims to provide a collaborative space for the business community to congregate, foster productivity, share resources, and meet goals.
“At Common Ground, we host over 1,800 members across various industries, spanning from innovative sectors like technology and lifestyle, to societal cornerstones like law and finance. We are home to many startups, but we also house larger corporations who have decided to establish their teams at Common Ground – like Petronas and Amazon, for example,” added Teo.
Meanwhile, Chow said the opening of the first Common Ground in Penang was also in tandem with the state’s Penang 2030 Vision and indicated that Penang is ready to become Malaysia’s next business nexus.
“In the past few years, we have seen Malaysia’s tech and startup ecosystem thrive rapidly, paving the way for Penang to become the next most innovative and startup-friendly city. Penang has a number of multinational corporations who have established their offices on the island, and recently there has been a surge in SMEs setting up here – with about 67,000 SMEs in Penang alone, making it one of the top five states with the highest number of SMEs in Malaysia.
“In an effort to solidify Penang as a Malaysian nexus for innovation and creativity, we have established the Industry 4.0 (I4) Seed Fund and Penang STEM. These initiatives aim to spur the tech startup ecosystem, creating the platform for talent to drive and support the digital economy, as well as the 4th Industrial Revolution.
“We’re glad that Common Ground shares in our vision for the business community here in Penang and are providing the perfect collaborative launch pad for these startups and businesses,” said Chow.
What makes Common Ground stand out from other co-working spaces, noted Teo, is its business and social network that functions as a support system for all its members.
From business seminars to self-improvement workshops, and from professional networking panels to social mixers, Common Ground is committed to celebrating the diverse and unique interests of their individuals beyond the workspace.
Common Ground also curates a myriad of lifestyle and professional partnerships to secure exclusive benefits for its members. These initiatives aim to strengthen and connect the Common Ground community, as well as to add local value to the membership.
Meanwhile, Belleview Group managing director Datuk Sonny Ho expressed that the collaboration between the property developer and Common Ground comes at the right time for their newest development, Moulmein Rise Shoppes.
“The partnership with Common Ground is in line with Belleview Group’s principles, which aims to contribute to Penang’s social and economic growth. With Common Ground setting up their venue here in Moulmein Rise Shoppes, we hope to aid in facilitating innovation here in our community,” said Ho.