Open office for new ideas

Updated: 2012-03-23 08:47

By Su Zhou (China Daily)

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Open office for new ideas
Through a job board at the cafe, companies can share their messages.

Su says most of the teams he has met are working on application development, e-commerce, or online games.

In Shanghai, the projects are more diversified. A lot of startups with ideas or projects about art, new media, environment protection or even human powered aircraft have set up shop in Xindanwei, an open working community located in the former French Concession.

Liu Yan, CEO and co-founder of Xindanwei, says startups in Shanghai are more likely to communicate with people in different fields instead of staying in one circle. "People can share their knowledge and resources, inspire each other and turn good ideas into innovative actions," she says.

However, selling coffee and desserts or undertaking events alone cannot support the running of either Garage Cafe or Xindanwei. The two establishments can barely make both ends meet. But Su defines himself as a startup unable to develop a business model for his passion.

"Cafes like ours in the United States usually get external funding support. But, such an option was not our mind at all as we wanted to establish a neutral platform."

Su says Garage Cafe is now working on an online platform but refuses to divulge more details. "This is not about making money, but more about providing better services for startups."

Liu of Xindanwei is also working on an online platform and she thinks it could be the best way to establish a business model for Xindanwei.

"Unlike, which is a free and open website, the new website will only allow registered and paid members to browse certain information," Liu says.

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