With a name that spells out exactly what it is, The Launchpad is an open working space nestled in the heart of Cyberjaya built for startups.
Due to a variety of factors Cyberjaya has a lot of unused resources. Its lofty aims to become the center of the Multimedia Supercorridor of Malaysia have not yet come to fruition, so now the powers that be are reimagining the area to focus on the Internet of Things and startups—the creators and innovators of the tech scene.
“The aim is to populate Cyberjaya from 40,000 to half a million in 8 years,” said a representative from The Launchpad. They aim to build something of a quasi-Silicon Valley a short drive a way from our own Klang Valley.
Editor’s note: The 40,000 refers to people who live in Cyberjaya. This is the night-time population of people who reside there, excluding the commuters who do not live there.
The Launchpad is a brand new co-working and event space that was set up to build and expand the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Cyberjaya. This was all “in a bid to utilise the 240 commercial and about 300 empty residential lots in Cyberjaya” according to our guide from The Launchpad.
Billing themselves as managed by startups for startups, The Launchpad doesn’t just see itself as a space for hire. It means to be a centre of innovation, collaboration and development.
Bookings are currently only available online on their website, but we were invited by the team to try out their workspace.
In An Open Working Space
To address the most important concern: yes, there is ample parking space available for RM6 per day in the Century Square area, provided you get the parking ticket stamped off by The Launchpad’s front desk.
However, finding the place might prove to be difficult, as evidenced by two out of three on our team getting lost before being able to find it.
The clearest landmark? Look for the Block 2330 Century Square building opposite the Maybank in Shaftsbury Square.
Since there were three of us there that day, we were given space at the lowermost floor at the desks costing RM300 a month.
Our guide informed us that LAN cables are currently not available, but the basic WiFi strength goes up to 5 Mbps for the free guest network, and tenants get a 10 Mbps dedicated line.
The open space provides everything from plugs, blackboard and glass whiteboard surfaces for discussions and no shortage of chairs. Our team did find the space very cold, so we recommend bringing in any winter gear you may have, or at least, a jacket.
Besides that however, the space was airy and comfortable to work in. The basic office beverages were well-stocked, although unfortunately, the day we were there, the café downstairs was not open.
We were still able to find food relatively easily in the nearby shop areas across the street at Shaftsbury Square, which also had convenience stores and a decent variety of food.
There are also lockers available on a first come first serve basis and also printing facilities. One thing we did notice though—there were no sinks in The Launchpad. This means that to do something like washing your cup, you’ll have to head over to the toilet.
It has most of the hallmarks of a typical startup office, inclusive of a 60″ Smart TV, gaming space, comfortable couches with cushions you can bring with you to your work area, an isolation room you can hole up in for a bit of privacy, Netflix, fridges of sponsored Coke products, and the important pantry area for caffeine-seekers after any all-nighters.
There’s also a game room, which comes equipped with various consoles, in case you need some down time. Notably missing are bean bags and fake turf grass required of every startup office, which may or may not be on their way.
But of more relevance perhaps are the multiple meeting rooms available for startups at RM500 daily, on top of a space that will eventually be designated as a studio that can be used for things like photo shoots and product video shooting.
To benefit the IoT aspect of Cyberjaya that the space aims to attract, The Launchpad currently has empty space that will turn into a tech lab reminiscent of Hax in Shenzen.
Our guide notes that even though purchasing parts for any gadget builds may now lead founders outside of the Cyberjaya area, finding a startup that is able to provide parts is of top priority to address the issue.
Ideally, any IoT startup is able to do everything they need, startup-related, within the confines of the building or at least within Cyberjaya.
Our guide also told us that day that there were partnerships and funding available for interested startups, if they were in-line with Cyberjaya’s goals and direction.
At the end of the day, the consensus of our small team was that we did enjoy the experience of working there—but the location was a big damper. Since we’re based in Petaling Jaya, the one hour journey (even though free of traffic) would be a possible deterrent to anyone wanting to set up base there.
But given the right promotions and initiatives to grow the area, as well as attracting the right startups for investments, there is definitely a possibility for The Launchpad to bring Cyberjaya to its initial vision of tech glory.