Ren, Ken and Mark saying hello to all our friends and Kennelists out there in the wild, It was a great last Kennel Night for 2011. Our hearts and souls go out to all the ones fighting for creativity, values and peace. In just our first 3 months of being live its a privilege to have brothers and sisters cooking for love, biking across the globe for justice, being the voice to the voiceless, fathers to the fatherless, making new wine for passion, sustaining the earth we've been given and housing the homeless. This is Kennel. xxx
- Day pass: The interested and curious, wanting to try it out. Wifi, a desk, good company and a great view
- Day pass-Collab: Collaborators of existing members on projects. Just gets you into Kennel., you work off the same table as your collab partner.
- Communal: Daytime animals with a regular schedule, wanting in on the community, and who work portably. A communal desk and access during office hours and/or when others are in. 2Kbh.
- Communal ++: Night owls needing total flexibility, working random or long hours. Same as communal, but round-the-clock keycard access. 2Kbh.
- Resident: Those seeking a fixed place to call home. A desk of your very own, come and go anytime. Extra commitment to the cause through contribution to workshops. 3Kbh.
- Resident ++: Private and more solitary animals. Same as resident, but extra private space in locked access areas. 3Kbh.
What we mean by…
Access – 9-6 vs. 24/7
Those with 9-6 access means you don’t get a keycard and just come and go during office hours when the door is open. This doesn’t mean we’ll kick you out at 6 – just that it depends if others are working beyond that time. What we can guarantee is 9-6.
Idea Rooms – aka Meeting Rooms
We call them idea rooms because that’s usually what happens when people meet there – they generate ideas. If they’re not included in your membership, they can be booked by the hour. Included for own use means that if you’re not holding an external event in it, just book it and its good to go. Alternatively, if you want to have a 1-1 meeting in the communal area, feel free.
We hold workshops and events on a regular basis. Dedicated members get free access depending on the type of workshop, and also contribute to the programming of these workshops by knowledge sharing.
In communal areas most desks have a lockable drawer, or we can provide small chests. This is an extra service to add on to communal memberships. There is also a storage room where shelves may be booked. For dedicated members, the desk and space is yours.
Kbh – Knowledge Bank hours
This is the formalized collaboration model Kennel. practices, where members contribute hours back to the learning pool in the form of workshops, events, lectures or any other format that can be discussed. This way everyone learns from each other.
Following a series of posts about what we’re not, it’s about time we clarified what we are. The following are the answers to the questions that most commonly ensue. Let us know if we’re still not being clear as we should be. You know by now that we’re as open source as can be in terms of creating the concept of Kennel.; that’s the whole point and process.
Tell us what you want to see happen:
The definition of co-working space is pretty intuitive – a shared space for people to work together. There are about half a dozen in Singapore now, all with a different take on the co-working phenomenon, a different way of identifying themselves, and a different mission and vision.
A good example of a classic model is Cowork@SG, which neatly summarizes that ‘coworking is about working independently while sharing a physical workspace’. Smartspace, ‘the world’s easiest place to do business’ is probably the most established, with a host of flexible solutions, even booking by the hour. Hackerspace, ‘the Zouk of Geekdom’, is probably the coolest, with a very loyal following.
Similarities to a co-working space:
1. Working independently, living socially: Most co-working spaces are fun, casual, cool, with a vibe encouraging interaction between members.
2. Community events: co-working spaces will hold events that are like social mixers or skills-based seminars to cater to members needs and interests, and to forge new connections.
Biggest dissimilarity to a co-working space:
1. A formal commitment to the spirit of collaboration: on top of the serendipity that occurs in a shared co-work space, our members have a formal commitment to the community by knowledge sharing depending on their expertise. This could be workshops or events. We also do ‘screen’ potential members by speaking to them to suss out if they have, as we call it, the same ‘values and vibe’.
So – third, we’re not a co-working space. (not really)
The space of incubators is incredibly happening right now. What with the government’s many grant schemes to entrepreneurs and startups, and also considerable support (up to 70%) to capability development programs and incubators, there are incubators mushrooming everywhere and the startup ecosystem is slowly developing some weight.
The reason why we’re not an incubator is because incubators focus on startups, and require a very different focus and set of skills. There is usually a pretty grilling curriculum and resources are all geared towards getting a founder off his/her feet/bum and starting a business, which is a specific part of the entrepreneurship learning curve. The best and most promising one, we think is FounderHQ, a cooperative venture between Founder Institute and Singtel Innov8. Their curriculum and mentor base is seriously impressive.
But, an important part of Kennel. was the creative collaboration and random serendipity that could happen when you got like-minded people in the same space, not really the disciplined education and mentorship an incubator provides. Besides, incubators are usually industry focused, like MDA’s ‘Superincubator’ (it really is called that) for media startups, or tech-oriented Clearbridge.
Similarities to an incubator:
1. We have educational programming: we also run events, talks and workshops that cater to members’ interests. But these are more exploratory and not so focused on the startup journey.
2. There are startups too: while we see mostly sustainable businesses wanting to be here, we also have startups in our space. However these startups are usually someone’s second or third venture.
Biggest dissimilarity to an incubator:
1. Exploration and expansion: startups are singleminded and focused; they race with necessary blinkers on. Our members are looking to accelerate or expand their business through meeting complementary, like-minded entrepreneurs. Diversity in some areas is therefore key to the community, which the opposite case for an incubator.
So – second, we are not an incubator.
The most common response we had in the beginning was, ‘oh, so you are a serviced office’, by which we would say, ‘kind of, but not really’….The concept of a serviced office is straightforward – shared overheads and a sub-lease model, flexible space for corporate users without a fixed schedule. Basically, the division of one big space into smaller spaces and portioning that out. An example is Servcorp.
Kennel. on the other hand, was borne out of a desire to have a better experience than renting a cheap cubicle on an hourly/month basis, where it is flexible but not fun. The first premise was to create a space where people could explore; in order to do that, there must be a community.
Similarities to a serviced office:
1. We share facilities: meeting rooms, pantry, library, bathrooms, printers, broadband, view
2. There are many different businesses in one space: designers, digital communicators, consulting ++
3. Lease terms are flexible: month-to-month commitments with different hours depending on the rate
Biggest dissimilarity to a serviced office:
1. A curated community: smallish in size, with strong social ties, frequent interaction between members, shared vision/values and approach
So – first, we are not a serviced office.
It’s been a few weeks since the last few posts with photos of the space and some background as to what we’re about. We’ve set up a landing page, starting sending out our press release and boom, viewership on this space has gone up exponentially. The timing is great: we’ve finalized membership rates, starting to develop partnerships, and organizing events to get together. We’re excited and can feel that others who are hearing about us are too.
There is a lot of buzz recently about co-working spaces in Singapore, the best and most comprehensive by Terence Lee. Read it here.
We’ve learnt quantums about the dynamics of co-working spaces, incubators, and what-nots, and are learning what aligns with our resources, vision and passions, and what doesn’t.
First : we are not a serviced office.
Second : we are not an incubator.
Third : we’re not a co-working space. (not really)
The above is in progressive stages of similarity, i.e. we are closer to a co-working space than a serviced office. It’s always easier to think about what you’re not rather than what you are. It also helps us set up principles for how we’re going to run the space, almost like design rules for our evolution. Okay, so if we’re not an incubator, serviced office, or co-workspace, then what are we?
Besides space and support, Kennel., also offers educational programming, and workshops. We build a calendar of events from members as well as UNION partners.