Singapore’s first innovation club leverages on high-powered members.
TEXT CHARMIAN LEONG PHOTOGRAPHY (CHERYL LEE) TAN WEI TE
01 ANOTHER NOTCH
Cheryl Lee, a former banker and the woman behind 1-Rochester Group, is one of Spectrum’s co-founders.
New business club Spectrum pegs itself as a innovation business club that wants to bring together individuals and businesses from various sectors to build an ecosystem that thrives on disruption. Aside from claiming to be the first of its kind in Singapore, what makes Spectrum special? At the club’s press conference, one man declared: “Me.”
That man is billionaire and serial entrepreneur Taizo Son, founder and CEO of start-up hub Mistletoe and video game company Gungho Online, which created the massively popular Puzzle & Dragons app. You may also know him as the younger brother of Masayoshi Son, CEO of Softbank Corp. The thinking is – now that Taizo Son, who moved to Singapore last April, is based at Spectrum in Duo Tower, he can share his extensive experience and network.
And he’s far from the only raging success story that’s helping to run the club. Its co-founders are Cheryl Lee (pictured, right), a former banker whose accomplishments include building lifestyle venture 1-Rochester Group, and Shirley Chua, CEO of Golden Equator. The latter is a group of Singapore-founded companies covering finance, consultancy and technology.
Says Chua: “Our current members are unique in their own way and disruptive in nature, which is in line with our aim to create a forwardthinking business club.”
Current members include Mistletoe, blockchain consultant Jenga Solutions, South Korean governmentlinked health-care incubator C&R Healthcare Global, and Asia’s leading e-payment provider MC Payment, to name a few.
A notable member joining them this year is Blockcelerate, which comprises a team of experts that help accelerate the tokenisation of businesses through mentorships that hopefully lead them to a successful Initial Coin Offering.
“In our view, they will disrupt the future of fund-raising, and these are the kind of members we have access to and will continue to add to the ecosystem,” says Lee.
Members will have access to a digital platform that will connect them to other members and view content, investment opportunities, payment systems and the like. Spectrum also regularly holds events such as learning sessions, thought-leadership discussions and showcases of new technologies. The annual membership fee starts from $360 a month.
02 THE EXTRAS
Located at Duo Tower, the innovation business club will regularly host events covering thought leadership and new technologies.
The club is more than its physical space. Members can connect and know about investment opportunities via a digital platform.
Spectrum co-founder and Golden Equator CEO Shirley Chua with Mistletoe CEO Taizo Son.
PIECE OF THE PIE
Co-working spaces that have sprung up in the heart of town.
01 CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE
Formerly known as Lattice80, the renamed 80RR still pegs itself as a fintech hub – the largest in the world, in fact. It has all the co-working necessities, from meeting rooms to HD projectors, but it’s the connections made here that will prove invaluable to those in this industry. 80 Robinson Road
02 SUMPTUOUS SETTINGS
Hong Kong’s The Work Project has set up its first overseas outpost at OUE Downtown Gallery, taking over the building’s entire fourth floor with 24,000 sq ft of co-working spaces and serviced offices. Omotesando Koffee and gourmet food retailer The Providore will keep patrons sated through the day. #04-01/09, 6A Shenton Way
03 AN OLD HAND
One of the first co-working spaces in Singapore, The Working Capitol has expanded from its Keong Saik Road location to the CBD. The 11-storey facility includes an outdoor swimming pool, gym and a beer garden for those who need to blow off some steam.140 Robinson Road
04 THE HIGH LIFE AT WORK
With an emphasis on interior design, The Great Room, which debuted at One George Street, often feels more like a luxe hotel than an office, with lavish leather sofas, bar and cafe, complimentary breakfasts and free 10-minute massages on Mondays. It recently opened a second, 36,000 sq ft branch at Centennial Tower with panoramic views of the Singapore Flyer and surrounds. #17/18-01, 3 Temasek Avenue
05 MATCHMAKING BUSINESSES
Collision 8 was built to foster collaborations between traditional businesses and tech innovators. To that end, the management team regularly hosts welcome sessions, monthly check-ins, workshops, private dinners, forums and more. #08-08 High Street Centre
06 GET DOWN TO BUSINESS
Justco may have fewer frills in terms of facilities, but it’s good enough for big name clients like Dropbox, Japanese messaging app Line Corp and Web security firm Cloudflare. It also has five locations in Singapore, all located in the CBD. #10-01, UIC Building
07 PROFESSIONAL CONNECTIONS
District6 wants disruptors in its community, and its founders prefer to see themselves as partners in a cutting-edge business journey rather than just office providers. Which is why it offers law and accounting services, as well as partnerships with IT providers and consultancy companies – whatever helps its tenants grow their network faster. #02-01, Odeon Towers
08 GLOBAL NETWORK
US company We Work was valued at US$20 billion (S$26 billion) last year, and its Singapore offices mark the nation as the 20th country in which it has set up co-working spaces. The managers will assess each client to better understand their needs and work to bring relevant people together from its vast global connections. 71 Robinson Road.