Co-working spaces catch on

Modelled on successful shared spaces in Sydney and Melbourne, the Majoran Distillery — a co-working shared space for digital entrepreneurs — was launched in September 2012 in Adelaide.

The Majoran Distillery is a community-focused tech start-up space with members ranging from iPhone app developers to venture capitalists, set up with the assistance of Enterprise Adelaide.

“We’ve provided mentoring and advice through Enterprise Adelaide, and we’ve also been able to provide them with some office furniture,” said Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood.

“Low-cost co-working spaces such as Majoran Distillery, where entrepreneurs can come together in one place and share ideas, opens up opportunities for greater innovation in the city and we are keen to support that,” he said.

Enterprise Adelaide assists businesses in a range of ways, including providing information, networking sessions, mentoring and business coaching programs and workshops. 

Support for young entrepreneurs in the Adelaide CBD was also behind the Capital City Committee’s ‘Emerging Leaders Forum’ where 100 of the city’s best and brightest considered ideas to make a more entrepreneurial city. A co-working space was one of the ideas generated.

Majoran Distillery founding members, Chhai Thach, Michael Reid and William Chau said that Enterprise Adelaide’s guidance gave them the confidence to set up the space. They believe the space will attract more like-minded people, which will ultimately help make Adelaide a hub for Australian Internet start-up businesses. 

“The individual businesses we’ve attracted previously worked in isolation. We believe having a space where we can come together to brainstorm ideas and collaborate is the way of the future,” said Chhai.

“The co-working space means we have access to facilities usually reserved for larger offices at a fraction of the cost, including superfast wireless Internet, 24-hour swipe card access to the office, regular community events and, of course, access to some of the best entrepreneurial brains in Adelaide.”

There are approximately 2600 co-working spaces around the world and the concept is growing fast. The co-founders of Majoran Distillery believe co-working spaces will take off quickly in Adelaide as more people realise the benefits, in line with other parts of the world.

In addition to bringing the tech co-working space model utilised interstate by Fishburners, York Butter Factory, Inspire9 and the like to Adelaide, the group aims to bring in first class mentors to help its members grow their businesses.