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News  9, Aug 2012

Coworkify of Japan, the AirBnB for event and coworking spaces, enters public beta

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One of the biggest problem that event space owners often face is under-utilisation of  spaces. While AirBnB has been a phenomenal success worldwide for helping property owners rent out their private properties to short term rental guests, it does not serve event spaces or workspaces. Recognizing this gap, Kenshin Fujiwara, launched Coworkify to address that need.

“With this launch, we are trying to solve an issue of businesses and governments having an excess of unused workspaces by providing infrastructure to rent out these workspaces and monetize them. We were initially focusing on just coworking space market. However, we found there was much bigger problem out there while listening to feedback from our own users in the past few months,” says founder Kenshin.

With the newly launched Coworkify web app, you can discover and rent event or workspaces that are available around you. The website reads, “Coworkify helps you turn any workspaces into coworking spaces, rent out them to anyone or a select group of people, manage bookings, and do self-marketing and branding.” Event and workspace owners can also create profile pages for their spaces.

Prior to the public beta of the Coworkify web app, Coworkify was available as a Facebook and mobile app. While the web app might be seen as a complement to the Facebook and mobile app, most of the old features that used to be available on its Facebook and mobile app are not available in the web app.

“This web app is an intermediate milestone to new mobile app that we plan to re-launch within few weeks. The new mobile app will have a “wish list” feature where people can vote for workspaces they want to unlock and work from. By having enough number of votes we believe we can convince businesses and governments to open up their spaces. This is a whole new way of thinking and it requires some form of education to venue owners. However, it will give a huge impact to industry (and the world) if it works.”

Will it work? Well I certainly think so. With Coworkify democratizing the event space, there will be more options available for event organizers to choose from. Event attendees could also visit different event places rather than sticking to a usual few.

Coworkify won the grand prize at Startup Weekend Kyoto 2011, and pitched at San Francisco New Tech Japan Night last April.

Jacky Yap

Jacky Yap

Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Jacky used to run N-House, Singapore's first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS, and was also part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. You can reach him at jacky [at] e27 [dot] co

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