Shared space comes with caffeine shot

PHOTO: Shared space comes with caffeine shot

Something new is always brewing in Block 71 at Ayer Rajah industrial estate - maybe an exciting start-up or new technology.

Now coffee beans are brewing at the Joyful Frog coffee bar at a shared space there to help keep the bright ideas percolating away.

Barista Sharon Ho, 24, has been keeping technologists, business founders and investors caffeinated since the venue opened in early March. It is becoming a place where entrepreneurs and investors can network and share experiences.

They hold talks, workshops and meetings there.

Block 71 is a business incubation centre.

Ms Ho, who learnt her brewing skills at Starbucks, has served coffee to some high-powered business types.

One visitor was Mr Hian Goh who recently sold his company Asian Food Channel to American television network Scripps Networks Interactive for an undisclosed sum.

Another was English teenager Nick D'Aloisio, 17, who visited Singapore and dropped by at the cafe talk about his start-up Summly, which he sold to Yahoo for close to US$30 million (S$37 million).

Coffee is a great way of making connections between people, Ms Ho said, as entrepreneurs just want to share their ups and downs with a friendly, listening ear.

Ms Ho met the co-founder of the shared space, Mr Hugh Mason, at a Starbucks outlet in Shenton Way.

Mr Mason had frequented the outlet to use the Wi-Fi connection there.

They got to know each other and talked about the kind of ambience she wanted to create one day for her own cafe.

When the shared working space and Joyful Frog opened, Mr Mason employed her.

It has 20 individual members and about six corporate members. Coffee comes as part of the deal and the coffee bar is open from 9am to 9pm. To apply, go to

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