Entrepreneur

They Broke Into Profit 4 Months After Launch - Proves Trendy Meeting Spaces Are Lucrative

HUONE Singapore takes workspace creativity to a whole new level. From an igloo to a runway, the place is one of Singapore’s most innovative work venues.

And proving their concepts work, the company broke even and moved into profits within 4 months of launch.

The Igloo room is a popular draw / Image Credit: sg.asia-city

Open to both corporates and startups, the venue already saw major brands Sephora and Barclays come by during its early launch days in February 2017.

Huone Catwalk / Image Credit: sg.asia-city

The brand stems from Finland but officially made its way into the Little Red Dot, thanks to this local entrepreneur.

A Finnish-Singapore Partnership

Alongside HUONE’s couple co-founders Evon and Jussi Söderlund is Singaporean Joewin Tan.

From left to right, Jussi, Evon and Joewin / Image Credit: instarix

A successful entrepreneur with her own startup, Joewin shares how she first met HUONE Evon Söderlund at a Starbucks.

With Singapore’s rep as a MICE city, Malaysian-born Evon had chosen it as their first international location, and Joewin was roped in as a host.

The Swing Room / Image Credit: sg.asia-city

“A 1-hour talk turned into a 2-hour intensive session about industry trends and partnership,” shared Joewin.

A few minutes into the pitch, I thought, ‘How come nobody ever thought of this? A month later, I flew to Finland to meet the rest of HUONE.

Running event startup Linear Dots gave her insight into what clients want – something new, different and convenient.

“Clients [sometimes organise] meetings on yachts, but these places aren’t conducive,” she shared. These places also come with a “6-digit price tag”.

“I knew HUONE was the answer.”

Image Credit: slyzor

Neither Evon nor Jussi are based in Singapore. Instead the Singapore space is managed by CEO Joewin.

Despite her workload, Joewin considers herself fortunate to have outstanding board members, one of whom is Huang Shao-Ning (JobsCentral Group).

Image Credit: Amanda Jayne Lee / Yahoo

A Money Conundrum

Learning is steep, she admits, and an unexpected hiccup was about money.

“Despite our track record and $2 million investment, local financial institutions require at least 6 months of operation before we could take a loan. In Helsinki, we could take loans from Day 1.”

“We had to buy equipment instead of leasing them. This set our cashflow back a fair bit.”

The HUONE Singapore Team / Image Credit: Joewin Tan

Weaving In The Singaporean Spirit

HUONE Singapore preserves the Finnish identity, but Joewin also adds kiasu-ness to the mix.

Merging Singapore’s competitiveness and Finland’s humility allows them to better serve customers.

“We offer a fresh take on meetings. Not only are we creative and flexible, we also have consultants to provide event advice,” Joewin shared with Channel News Asia.

We want people to fall in love with meetings again.

Image Credit: Huone Singapore Pictaram

A Corporate – Startup Space

Huone doesn’t rent long-term. Instead, they are a space to convene for meetings and conferences.

Time room / Image Credit: The Honeycombers

“The beauty of a collaborative meeting venue means having a mix of companies of different sizes. We like to think [this] could spark breakthrough collaborations, ” she gushes.

“We have our eyes set on being in the region’s top MICE cities [and] are dedicated to get there no matter how tough it gets.”

Sandbox room / Image Credit: Mothership

If you’re looking for someplace new and fresh, why not make the trip to Clarke Quay?

HUONE Singapore

3D River Valley Road

#03-01 Singapore (179023)

Featured Image Credit:@BeingRiku Twitter

 

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