Paul Bischoff
Paul Bischoff
11:00 am on Oct 18, 2013

In an old factory among the hutongs near Beijing’s city center lies a temple. No, it’s not the kind of temple where you worship deities or pay respects to your ancestors. The people there do wish for longevity and good fortune, though.

Tech Temple

This is Tech Temple, Beijing’s biggest coworking space yet. Sponsored by China- and Japan-based VC firm Infinity Ventures Partners, the 1,800 square meter two-story space — about the size of seven tennis courts — has already filled 240 of its 280 seats since opening just last month. Tech Temple boasts an open air office area, event space for up to 100 people, breakout and meeting rooms, a dining area, and a cafe. “The only thing you need to bring is your laptop and you can start working,” says co-founder Akio Tanaka, a VC from Infinity.

Infinity sunk half a million US dollars into the project. Tanaka says his team spent the whole summer renovating the former electronics factory with the help of some French architects. The minimalistic and efficient design looks great, as a result. He says, “I know startup places don’t need to be luxurious, but it also doesn’t need to be a dump.” Tanaka says the atmosphere and location are what have drawn about two dozen Chinese startup teams to the new space. While most tech firms are located in the city’s northwest Zhongguancun district (AKA the Silicon Valley of China), most of the angels and VCs live on the inner east side, so Tech Temple’s central location is ideal.

Infinity Ventures vets every startup on an individual basis, and Tanaka says they prefer people whom they already know. Sometimes they refer to the expertise of local Chinese startup news website 36kr, which has also set up shop there. Tanaka says the space is aimed at early stage internet startups.

Tech Temple event space

Tech Temple’s event space

The price is 1,500 RMB ($246) per month per seat for a minimum of three months. Startups who stay past their early stage adolescence – more than a year, give or take – will be encouraged to leave and make room for others.

The space does not incubate startups for now, but Tanaka says that’s certainly a possibility in the future. He says he was surprised by how quickly seats were filled, so expansion or opening in more locations are also on the table. Tech Temple’s website will go up next month.

Similar spaces for tech startups in Beijing include:

  • Maxpace, Beijing’s premiere maker space.
  • Circuitpot, a hackerspace targeted at hardware startups, run by the guys who make the Arduino-like Stargazer chip.
  • Garage Cafe, where the only cost is a cup of coffee. Good for short-term bootstrappers.
  • AND Lab, for 3D printing startups.

After touring Tech Temple’s facility, I have to agree with Tanaka when he says, “I don’t think people have seen anything like this in Beijing.” Check out the photos below.

Update: Tech Temple’s full address in Chinese is 北京市东城区东四北大街107号天海商务大厦B座107

(Editing by Terence Lee)


Replies
  • http://www.virtu-games.com Samuel

    Looks great! Is there any information of where this is or how to get involved? This is just the sort of thing I’m looking for

  • Paul Bischoff

    Hey Samuel, Akio Tanaka says you can contact him at akio(at)infinityventures.com

  • http://www.bizdojo.com Nick Shewring

    Great write up Pual its unreal how fast the coworking movement is changing the way we work and how we build communities. If your planning to come out to New Zealand let us know, it would be great to show you around http://www.bizdojo.com

    Nick
    Co-Founder BizDojo

  • Zac Zheng

    Nice article, but what’s the name of the place and does it have a website with more details? Would love to check it out for a couple of days when I’m visiting Beijing next week – does it allow hot desking for guests?

  • Mel

    this is pretty expensive for a startup (6000yuan for team of 4)

  • http://www.leanstartupmachine.com Pelli Wang

    I love the location of Tech Temple because it’s so close to central Beijing instead of Zhongguancun. That’s one of the main reasons we, at Lean Startup Machine, are going to be hosting our workshop this weekend (Oct 25-27). Hope you can check us out at http://www.leanstartupmachine.com/workshops/beijing

  • http://chairmanmigo.com Miguel

    This is really awesome. But I agree with Mel, this is a little expensive for a startup atmosphere. If you want a small team of 6-10 people you end up paying a lot (9000-15000 RMB) and anything smaller than 6 members can be conducted at someone’s home or a coffee shop. But still a nice write up and interesting idea. Also, nice pics.

  • Paul Bischoff

    If you would like to know more about Tech Temple, I encourage you to contact Akio Tanaka at akio(at)infinityventures.com. At the moment, no hot desks are available, but Tanaka mentioned it might be implemented in the future.

  • http://www.coworkplanet.com Ruta

    Looks awesome! Why no address?

  • Paul Bischoff

    I’ve added the address to the bottom of the article.

  • Kwan

    This totally beats Innovation Works….

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