Coworking Chronicles: Hong Kong’s CoCoon

by | September 8, 2014

When you work at a company like Zirtual that is 100% virtual you have to get creative with where you setup shop for the day to work. Sometimes you’re at a cafe other times you go to a more formal coworking space. Other times you take your MiFi to a nearby park.

For the past week I’ve been working remotely from Hong Kong, a place I’ve been visiting since 2009. With my better half now living in HK I’ve been able to take my digital office on the road, working from China’s financial powerhouse. I decided to give a formal coworking space a try, here’s what I found.

The space

HK CoCoon is a 14,000sq ft entrepreneur’s dream in the middle of Hong Kong. For those of you who’ve been here, large spaces are incredibly hard to come by so it’s no surprise at the amount of occupied desks on the Friday evening I chose to work here. Private meeting rooms with large whiteboards line the back of the space while library-style desks fill up most of the rest. There’s access to monitors, 1gb internet, vending machines, and ample coffee – pretty similar to the coworking spaces we’ve come to know in the states.

Who works here?

Coworking spaces are usually synonymous with tech startups in the US. What was surprising about this space was how many different industries were represented. “We see entrepreneurs in fashion, finance, business, tech, design, and creativity – it’s much more than just tech,” said Candy Yu, HK CoCoon’s community developer. Their people page gives a nice look into who is regularly using the space.

Seeing what people here worked on validated that. From web developers to copywriters to software engineers – the entrepreneurial mindset was the common denominator, not the industry.

More than just an office

One perk members have which can payoff big is a monthly Pitch Night. Founders are able to pitch their business to a panel of potential investors and VCs. The top 3 ideas receive prize money: HKD 20,000, 10,000, or 5,000 (about US $2,500 for the top idea). Additionally, there’s a job board on the wall with contract gigs – something more coworking space in the US should be doing. And of course there’s ping pong and foosball perfect for when you need a break.

Overall this space exceeded most of the coworking spaces I’ve been to in the states. It reminded of a well-funded tech company’s office. If you’re ever in Hong Kong and need a spot to work from be sure to check out HK CoCoon.