When e27 walked into Blockchain Space, the coworking space was bustling with preparation for an event. Seats were carefully arranged and the stage was all set; soon it will be filled by audiences from the blockchain industry, eager to learn something new from the speakers.
“Feel free to drop by and watch if you have time,” said BlockTech co-founder Steven Suhadi during our interview that day.
Blockchain Space is a coworking space based in the Slipi area of West Jakarta, which is nicknamed “Slipicon Valley” due to the great number of tech startups opening their HQ in the area. Situated in the ground floor of an office building, the coworking space specialises in servicing companies in the blockchain industry.
With 17 to 30 desks available for grabs, the coworking space was the result of a partnership between BlockTech, a South Tangerang-based company which provides blockchain and cryptocurrency infrastructure and funding, and Union Space, a Southeast Asian coworking space chain.
Blockchain Space was built with the goal to grow the blockchain ecosystem in Southeast Asia.
“I am very much into the blockchain space while Albert [Goh, co-founder of Union Space] is very much into coworking spaces and building an ecosystem for startups. We share a common belief that everything is moving into a decentralised world; that is why people are moving into decentralised offices, for example,” Suhadi explains how the partnership came to be.
“And the principle of blockchain is decentralisation. We also have the passion for growing companies, helping smaller companies from Southeast Asia grow to, hopefully, reach a global stage,” he continues.
Having only been launched this year, Blockchain Space claimed to have gained the interests of global and regional startups who are looking to expand their business into the Indonesian market.
“For many companies coming into Indonesia, they see a big market but they don’t really know where to start. We want to build an ecosystem to help them grow and also provide specific services for an overseas company to basically launch in Southeast Asia,” said Goh.
In addition to physical facilities such as desks, meeting rooms, and a venue for events, Blockchain Space also hosts regular events on topics such as women in blockchain or the implementation of blockchain for supply chain.
The coworking space is also home to Indonesia’s first blockchain industry players association, and is fostering partnerships with similar organisations in Singapore and Australia.
They routinely host teleconferences as a mean to exchange knowledge about the industry.
Interestingly, according to Goh and Suhadi, the space that they are currently using is only temporary.
The coworking space plans to move into a new location in South Jakarta by mid-year, which is said to be “three times bigger” than the current location.
They are also planning to launch a similar space in Manila, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur.
Union Space itself has launched Fintech Space, the result of a collaboration with AFTech Indonesia. Similar to Blockchain Space, the coworking space focusses on startups in the fintech sector.
Is there any reason why the coworking space chain builds each of its spaces for a specific industry?
“It’s all about delivering value to the ecosystem, by catering to specific industries instead of a one-size-fits-all approach,” Suhadi says.