SIM expands co-working incubator

By Timothy Tay, EdgeProp | 03 March 2018

The Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) entrepreneurship initiative, Platform E, unveiled the first phase of its co-working incubator, called The Space @ Platform E in September 2017. A second phase occupying another level of the six-storey SIM Management House on Namly Ave in Bukit Timah opened in January.

The new space adds 16 office suites, 90 dedicated desks, and two meeting rooms to the existing four office suites, 50 desks, and four meeting rooms located on the level below.

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The new space on fourth floor comprises 16 suites, 90 desks, and 2 meeting rooms (Pictures: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)

Platform E, which integrates entrepreneurship training, idea incubation, and start-up acceleration within its own co-working incubator, welcomed its second cohort of 12 participants on January 22. They share the space with the 15 participants who make up Platform E’s first cohort, as well as other programme partners that have moved in, says Wong Kee Meng, assistant director, strategy & partnerships at Platform E.

He adds that about 50% of the total co-working space has already been taken up, with more companies planning to join by the end of the year.

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The one-year programme at Platform E, called IntensE, is built on one-to-one mentorship for each participant. Mentors come from venture investors and early stage venture companies like Tri5 Ventures, FarSight Capital, and Budding Innovations.

“Platform E is attracting more incubates and early stage entrepreneurs to move into The Space and experience a vibrant community of people and organisations who believe in the same thing we do – to nurture the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” says Rina Neoh, managing partner of Platform E.

An Interactive Seminar Series and Expert Roundtable Discussions, like the recent Angel Investment Seminar held on February 8, provide young entrepreneurs the opportunity to get connected with the sources of seed funding and tap the vast network of mentors that exist around the region, Neoh explains.

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The Space @ Platform E has grown to occupy two floors in the SIM Management House in Bukit Timah

Situated on a small hill beside Hwa Chong Institution, Management House was SIM’s campus from 1988 until 2000, when the university moved to its current campus in Clementi. The 107,639 sq ft, circular building which was SIM’s alumni clubhouse for nearly two decades also houses other organisations and SIM affiliated programmes.

In December, One Maker Group set up a Maker Space on the 3rd floor to provide professional product prototyping and workshop services. The 6th floor is occupied by the university’s Professional Development team who run the executive programmes offered by the university. These courses are held in the 11 lecture rooms and auditorium in the building, which are also available for Platform E to use.

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The new Maker Space on the thirdfloor provides professional product prototyping services and workshops

The co-working space is not limited to SIM-affiliated organisations or students. Hot desks are available at $300 per month while the rates for dedicated desks are $400 per month and suites which can accommodate five to six desks will cost $2,400/month. Opening the co-working space to the public will introduce new people and ideas that will diversify the community, says Neoh.

A number of scholarships and grants are available for participants to offset the cost of the one-year programme which costs $12,000. The Platform E Scholarship covers up to 50% of course fees, while Platform E bursaries cover up to 25%. The $10,000 Industry Scholarship is for participants enrolled in the industry track, which costs $15,000, and the participant only pays a third of the course fee.

“With new partnerships forged with active angel investors in the region, as well as experienced mentors and venture capitalists for scale up projects, Platform E is geared to become the center for start-up ecosystem in Singapore and ASEAN,” she says.

This article first appeared on​ EdgeProp Singapore on 28 February 2018