Malaysia’s largest coworking space, Common Ground, launched its first Penang venue and the event was officiated by Penang’s Chief Minister, YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow.
This brings the homegrown coworking brand’s total number of venues to 14, inclusive of their outlets both domestically and abroad. Their latest venture into the Northern region of Malaysia aims to propel the growth of Malaysian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Penang by providing the community with access to a global business network and powerful infrastructure.
“Over the past decade, Malaysia has rapidly grown to become one of Southeast Asia’s most diverse and engaged business hubs. Aside from Kuala Lumpur, Penang’s emerging infrastructure and business market have rendered the city more than well-equipped in becoming the nation’s next most sought-after business nexus. We at Common Ground feel that the market is at the right climate to begin introducing our coworking lifestyle that is built on community and synergy,” said Juhn Teo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and co-founder of Common Ground. Common Ground Penang is developed in a joint venture with property developer, the Belleview Group.
They share a common goal – to provide a collaborative space for the business community to congregate, foster productivity, share resources, and meet goals. Located on the second floor of Moulmein Rise Shoppes in George Town, the 18,000 square foot coworking space will be able to accommodate over 250 entrepreneurs at any given time.
Juhn added, “At Common Ground, we host over 1,800 members across various industries, spanning from innovative sectors like technology and lifestyle, to societal cornerstones like law and finance. We are home to many startups, but we also house larger corporations who have decided to establish their teams at Common Ground – like Petronas and Amazon, for example.” Epicentres such as Penang have become well-equipped to contend with other regions as the nation’s next most sought-after business hub.
Penang’s Chief Minister, YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, recently announced that Penang is looking to grow its global business services (GBS) industry by constructing more office spaces to meet market demand. “In the past few years, we have seen Malaysia’s tech and startup ecosystem thrive rapidly, paving the way for Penang to become the next most innovative and startupfriendly city.
Penang has a number of multinational corporations (MNCs) who have established their offices on the island, and recently there has been a surge in SMEs setting up here – with about 67,000 SMEs in Penang alone, making it one of the top 5 states with the highest number of SMEs in Malaysia.
In an effort to solidify Penang as a Malaysian nexus for innovation and creativity, we have established the Industry 4.0 (I4) Seed Fund and Penang STEM. These initiatives aim to spur the tech startup ecosystem, creating the platform for talent to drive and support the digital economy, as well as the 4th Industrial Revolution. We’re glad that Common Ground shares in our vision for the business community here in Penang and are providing the perfect collaborative launch pad for these startups and businesses,” said Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow.
Dato’ Sonny Ho, Managing Director of Belleview Group, expressed that the collaboration between the property developer and Common Ground comes at the right time for their newest development, Moulmein Rise Shoppes. “The partnership with Common Ground is in line with Belleview Group’s principles, which aim to contribute to Penang’s social and economic growth. With Common Ground setting up their venue here in Moulmein Rise Shoppes, we hope to aid in facilitating innovation here in our community,” said Dato’ Sonny Ho.
Nestled in the heart of historic Pulau Tikus, also known as the commercial district just outside of the George Town City Centre, Moulmein Rise Shoppes is surrounded by retail landmarks such as Gurney Plaza and Gurney Paragon, in addition to a circle of hotels and accommodations. The property sits in one of Penang’s most affluent neighbourhoods, bridging together a two-level boutique shopping mall coupled with 84 luxury suites just above.
The mall is strategically located to benefit from a steady stream of retail traffic from the residents living in the Moulmein Rise Luxury Suites, as well as surrounding neighbourhoods. In true alignment with the rest of the Common Ground venues, Common Ground Penang houses a café, event space, board rooms, several smaller meeting rooms, quiet lounges, call booths, and offers more than 50 private offices, and 60 hot and fixed desks.
The workspace is built to spaciously accommodate a multitude of businesses and is conveniently situated amongst vibrant and established retail stores which comprise the boutique shopping mall. The island venue is also strongly committed to fostering a diverse and dynamic community for its members through its local partnerships and weekly events. What truly makes Common Ground stand out from other coworking spaces is its powerful business and social network that functions as a support system for all its members.
From business seminars to self-improvement workshops, and from professional networking panels to social mixers, Common Ground is committed to celebrating the diverse and unique interests of their individuals beyond the workspace. In addition to this, Common Ground curates a myriad of lifestyle and professional partnerships in order to secure exclusive benefits for its members. These initiatives aim to strengthen and connect the Common Ground community, as well as to add local value to the membership. Amongst the regional vendors offering benefits at the Penang location are ClassPass, Rising Ramen, Dear Dino, MEME Xpress, Witty Wick, Moulmein Gourmet, Tropics Eight Hotel, Hotel Jen by Shangri-La, and many more to come.