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Innovative Spaces: Southeast Asian Start-up Enabler Acceler8 Hits Two-Year Milestone

Acceler8 is currently the only coworking provider in the Philippines with a Southeast Asian reach.

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BY team-inc - 20 Oct 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

With the uptick in freelance occupations and growing number of remote workers in the Philippines, coworking spaces have emerged as the office-of-choice among businesses and the part-time, full-time, and contract workers they employ.

Whereas four years ago there were hardly any collaborative work spaces in Metro Manila, these days show an entirely different narrative with over 35 coworking spaces active in the Philippine capital alone.

One such business is Acceler8, founded by Mikko Barranda, Carlo Coronel, Bryan Cuison and Albert Goh with the vision of “building and managing a space where like-minded individuals could easily discuss and work together," and which recently celebrated its second-year anniversary last October 19 with a series of activities surrounding the theme “Making #RealConnections Happen.”

The community festival, which included a Wellness in the Workplace session by Urban Ashram Yoga and a series of talks by such businesses as Haraya Coaching, Kick Fire Kitchen, Felipe & Sons, TaskUs, and Huskee Digital, took place in Acceler8’s newly opened branch in 111 Paseo de Roxas Building, Legaspi Village, Makati City where it offers clients a larger, more versatile space, that includes dedicated desks, serviced office suites, and event spaces and conference rooms.

Thriving in a cutthroat property market

Playing in a property market that’s been long-dominated by the country’s real estate giants, Acceler8 definitely had its work cut out for itself as a young and smaller player. Undaunted, the founders were able to zero in on a niche that has largely been underserved by office property developers. 

“Traditional work spaces were starting to change into collaborative work spaces, and at the same time there were more entrepreneurs and startups in the Philippines,” relates Barranda, adding that their market, which comprises mostly young and lean companies, would have trouble finding good office spaces in Makati with its exorbitant rental rates. “We saw the opportunity to give a solution to these tenants in terms of office space.”

Guided by a vision of “creating real connections,” Acceler8 unwittingly worked its way around the cutthroat competition that defines Metro Manila’s office property sector by engaging as space operator for property giant Ayala Land, which has also entered the nascent cowork environment with its collaborative space called Clock. Acceler8 was able to fill up the center and achieve full occupancy, encouraging Ayala to grow and expand with its young collaborator.

A start-up in itself, Acceler8 has also achieved what no coworking space in the Philippines has yet to do: widen its reach in greater Southeast Asia. By partnering with serviced office provider vOffice, Acceler8 is able to offer its members passport access to vOffice’s conference rooms, meeting rooms, and business lounges in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

What started as a mere idea by its four founders two years ago, Acceler8 now has over a thousand community members, two innovative spaces, and one growing team with the passion to keep its community hustling every day. This just goes to show that, in the dynamic and exciting world of start-ups and entrepreneurship, the best ideas are really the ones that are acted upon.

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