Zhi Ning Lee13 Feb, 2019
Will Siau , founder of Bizcnd
Having spent six years in co-working industry, Will Siau noticed the abundance of underutilised commercial spaces across Singapore. While one would traditionally dismiss such wasted spaces as “business expenses” or “part and parcel of doing business”, this did not settle well with Will, and he decided to start Bizcnd.
According to Will, Singapore is a small country facing land scarcity problems. He added, “It is appalling that 82% of space owners and operators have at least 25% of unused and underutilised spaces lying around every day.” Hence, he made it his mission to help space providers discover and derive value from these previously neglected spaces.
Bizcnd is an online marketplace platform. Specially for space providers with underutilised spaces, Bizcnd helps connect them to people looking for ad-hoc short-term places to fulfill their immediate needs. Essentially, Bizcnd aims to be “Airbnb without the overnight hassle”. Space providers offer greater value to users with increased flexibility and cost-savings compared to what one normally finds on the market.
Will shares further, “Our motto ‘unused space is wasted space’ signals our desire to discover and reduce wastage. We want to share our industry knowledge and experience with space providers so that they can realise the full potential of their spaces.”
Bizcnd wishes to challenge conventions by reinforcing that one does not need a permanent location to support their daily activities. Work space should follow business activities and needs, not the other way round.
Will finds market education particularly challenging - as sharing fragmented, unused spaces is a new concept to both landlord and on-demand tenants. But he relishes this challenge. “It fires me up every time I share Bizcnd with others.”
When asked to share a word of advice for fellow entrepreneurs, he says, “Stay curious. Only by understanding the ‘why’, can one figure out the ‘how’ and provide the ‘what’ to the market.” This is the way Bizcnd was founded and Will Siau strongly believes that entrepreneurs who dig deeper are the ones who can offer better products that will address the underlying problems of their consumers.
Bizcnd has received the StartupSG Founder Grant managed by TRIVE and raised an undisclosed angel funding for a 18-month runway. TRIVE and Enterprise SG’s efforts enabled them to have the financial security to focus on market education, and in the next 12 months, the startup will be running a series of marketing campaigns themed “My Space Your Way”. By 2020, Bizcnd aims to help 100 space providers to reduce wastage and bring 10,000 daily listings to the market.
Visit Bizcnd’s website to find out more about their work.
From 24 April 2018, TRIVE has announced that it will administer the grant free-of-charge, without any requirement of sweat equity or payment.
Interested entrepreneurs are invited to apply for the grant at TRIVE’s website.