Nam Do, founder of office space provider UPGen, started his business after being influenced by the growing coworking industry. Do spent eight years in San Francisco studying the concept, and found there were several issues with the traditional coworking model, mainly the dilution of branding and the lack of actual sharing in these spaces.
“The important thing is for companies to build their own brand and culture. It is very hard to do when you are in the same space with other companies,” said Do. “That is why when you go to a traditional coworking space, you will see new faces after six months.”
After returning to Vietnam following his exit from technology company Emotiv, he was exposed to the country’s startup scene and started advising companies on their policies to help them innovate.
UPGen opened its first location in Hanoi in 2016 and just two years later, the company enlisted Tiki and BE Group as its first corporate partners and anchor tenants.
UPGen is larger than the average coworking space, taking up 10,000 square meters where anchor tenants occupy 40% to 50% of the space, eventually taking up the entire area. Until the anchor tenant gets there, the leftover space is converted into a coworking area.
This year, UPGen will open its first coworking facilities in Kuala Lumpur at Menara Etiqa and Menara HLA in partnership with venture fund and seed accelerator 500 Startups, where it will move all of its portfolio companies into the space.