A co-working space at Iskandar Space

Iskandar Space, another initiative by Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB), was recently launched by guest-of-honour, Chief Executive of Iskandar Regional Development Authority, Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, in its premises at Afiniti Medini, Iskandar Puteri.

Iskandar Space was launched in a simple ceremony
In 2015, I had the privilege of attending an event held here and was impressed with the wellness themed development, wholly owned by Pulau Indah Ventures – a 50:50 joint-venture between Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd.

In a tour of the property, I was informed about the specific purposes of the various blocks of buildings and cannot forget the beautifully landscaped gardens with refreshing water features.

This time, I was back here again to witness the launch of Iskandar Space, a co-working space designed to support and spur the growth of start-ups of Small and Medium Enterprises in Iskandar Malaysia.

Group CEO of Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, Nazrin Hassan,
presenting his keynote address at the event
The opening of such a space is part of Khazanah Malaysia’s place-making exercise to establish Iskandar Puteri as the preferred destination for investment and careers, education, sports and leisure.

In line with IIB’s desire to develop the local startup ecosystem and community building in South Johor, Iskandar Space was created.

It is a workplace solution for local entrepreneurs who can enjoy an instant work space equipped with premium facilities, including indoor and outdoor chill-out spots and of course, high-speed and secure internet connections.

Situated on level 2 of the CIMB Leadership Academy, Iskandar Space with its tagline: Community – Co-working – Events, covers 8,000 sq ft of fully-equipped open co-working space and private suites.

A section of the open office in Iskandar Space
Rates are from as low as RM20 per day or RM150 per month.

Iskandar Space has been working closely with Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, and early stage startup influencer, incorporated under the Ministry of Finance to provide government grants, equity investments and funding to qualified startups.

Qualified startups will also enjoy non-monetary aid such as commercialisation support, coaching and other value-added services, to meet their individual needs.

Group CEO of Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, Nazrin Hassan, said that Cradle has funded more than 600 startups including two from Johor since the start of this initiative.

A view of the private suites in Iskandar Space
From his observation, he noted that Johor entrepreneurs are more profit-driven. With Singapore as its neighbour, Johor has regional proximity to its advantage and commented, “Competition always brings out the best in everyone.”

Chief Operating Officer of IIB, Akmal Ahmad, said IIB promotes inclusiveness and described this as the beginning of another exciting chapter of Iskandar Malaysia.

Recognising the co-working trends happening everywhere, Iskandar Space will allow entrepreneurs to share a common work environment while their individual activities remain independent of each other.

He said a community defines a city and now that the hardware has been put in place in Iskandar Malaysia, IIB is focused on creating a community – adding in the software – to put the soul into the city.

Startup Johor is a community set up to educate, inspire and connect entrepreneurs in and around Johor through business partnerships and investment linkages.

Startup Johor, Community Director, Feng Lim, said Iskandar Space has the capacity to fit up to 120 people at a time and with its flexible rental rates, he described it as “the largest and coolest co-working space in South Johor.”

Since 2015, he was connecting and training existing groups of entrepreneurs in Johor and working with them to obtain the necessary financial support to help in their business startups.

He was pleased that these startup operators now have a ‘home’ in Iskandar Space which is designed with covered event spaces and open office spaces as well as private suites.

Over the next five years, he aimed to help startup entrepreneurs with better market access and to set up their own operations, through mentoring and training.

Mohd Salehoddin Abd Hamid, Akmal Ahmad and
Feng Lim [Fom Left to Right] speaking to the media
He explained that Iskandar Space will nurture the startup businesses and when they have developed a solid base, they should move out to their own business premises in Iskandar Malaysia.

They in turn will create jobs in the community and later become mentors to share their knowledge and experience with new startups here.

Senior Vice President, Investor Relations IIB, Mohd Salehoddin Abd Hamid said that entrepreneurs, SMEs and even Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and freelancers may join the programmes at Iskandar Space to help them take their work forward into the digital community.

Iskandar Space is also working with several agencies at state and federal levels to support an ecosystem for local entrepreneurs in Iskandar Malaysia as well as forming strategic partnerships with corporations, NGOs and foreign entities so that local entrepreneurs may tap on these networks.

For more info about Iskandar Space, visit website: www.iskandar.space

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