Silicon Straits Update

I’ve been quiet on the blogging front because I’ve been running on all cylinders and am still coming up short; it’s really tiring being a father, husband and entrepreneur all at once. The stuff that I’ve set in motion is starting to fall into place (yay!) so I figured now would be a good time to give everyone an update on Silicon Straits.

co-work@Silicon Straits - perspective sketch

co-work@Silicon Straits – perspective sketch

I first shared the perspective sketch of my upcoming co-working space with e27 in early March. I had just started the design process with Outofstock and there was a ton of moving parts. I’m glad to say renovation work has finally kicked off, and here’s how it looks today, versus how it should look at the very end.

co-work@Silicon Straits - renovation progress

co-work@Silicon Straits – renovation progress

co-work@Silicon Straits - rendered view from main door

co-work@Silicon Straits – rendered view from main door

It’s kind of hard to see, but the room near the left edge of the photo above (red paint) is meant to be a fab lab; I’m planning for at least a laser cutter with a heavy duty HEPA filter so venting won’t be required, 3D printer (yes, a Form One for some investor lovin’) and some tools for our hardware prototyping, RPi and Arduino community to go crazy with. The space is adorned with fancy designer furniture alongside customised pieces. You may have noticed that the tables are shaped to allow for all sorts of group configurations and are wheeled so folks can re-organize the space for events and workshops after-hours. There’s also going to be a well-stocked pantry with snacks and your choice of poison. Oh yes, and fast (fiber-powered) internet for all.

co-work@Silicon Straits - rendered view from outside

co-work@Silicon Straits – rendered view from outside

co-work@Silicon Straits - rendered view from the rear

co-work@Silicon Straits – rendered view from the rear

I hope I’ve done enough to create a space that has character, encourages anti-disciplinary collaboration and fosters a stronger sense of community. It’s a pity JTC doesn’t allow us to hack the walls and floors of the space; I’ve had to make trade-offs on the design front, which means it won’t be as perfect as I’d like the space to be, but hopefully isn’t going to make you love it any less. A complaint I’m going to get from software engineers is the lack of standing desks; worry not, I wasn’t able to fit a custom standing desk into the design specs of this project, but hope to have a few available a few months down the road. I also hope to upgrade the space with at least a “phone booth” or two for private calls so meeting rooms don’t get hijacked for 1-person calls.

My contractor tells me renovation will be completed by end of May, which means we’ll be in time to throw a launch party during Echelon 2013. Let us know if you’re keen to join as a member; hot desks (use whatever space is available) sets you back just S$200/month, while the damage for permanent desks is a mere S$350/month.

I’m also in the process of closing an investment for Silicon Straits from some kick-ass entrepreneurs, and am insanely grateful for the support that they’ve given me. I hope to have more to share on this front over the next few weeks.

I hope to see ya’all at our launch party come early June!

About James Chan

James Chan is an entrepreneur, investor, geek, photographer and husband/father based out of Singapore. Apart from frequent travels to Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia for work, James can also be found online via his trusty 15" Retina MacBook Pro or iPhone 6+.