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This AI-centric Co-working Space Is Standing Out From The Crowd

Co-founder Marcus Tan Wants To Give Back To Singapore’s Vision Of Being A Smart Nation

Singapore has experienced an explosion of co-working spaces in the past two years. So when the news broke of yet another to enter the fray, it is not surprising to learn that a few eyebrows were raised.

Fortunately, its co-founder and CEO Marcus Tan remains unfazed. Firmly believing in what The Carrot Patch has to offer, he is adamant that his concept has its own unique niche.

“Our collective mission at The Carrot Patch is to build a suite of ‘frontier technologies’, whereby start-ups and companies with a common goal of building technologies that could potentially create disruptions in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), and Robotics via Deep Learning technology find common ground to success. We want to provide support and create a community to these businesses in Singapore.”

Opening this month in Bukit Merah, the 150-seat co-working space aspires to be an ecosystem providing opportunities for collaboration between innovative start-ups, freelancers, digital nomads and consultants.

Tan’s decision to open The Carrot Patch was fuelled by a technology start-up he also owns, AIQ, that offers a computer vision interactive solution connecting offline interactions to online activities. As a result, he also met many similar AI and AI-related companies searching for a space to house their businesses and people. 

Additionally, the Singapore Government is leading “a big push” towards being a Smart Nation and AI has been identified as the “next big thing”. “Riding on this wave, we want to help Singaporeans achieve the goal of becoming a Smart Nation,” shares Tan.

“I want to give back to society and simultaneously, I feel very strongly about helping Singapore build the next generation of technopreneurs, social entrepreneurs and business leaders, hence, The Carrot Patch is a small initiative in our contribution to nation building.”

Tan reveals that it will work closely with the various government initiatives, offering workshops, business advices and even potential investment funds to help its start-up tenants.

It has three advisory boards helmed by experts in various fields, such as Marketing, Technology and Finance, offering their expertise to further enable successes to these businesses housed at The Carrot Patch. There are also plans to work with university entrepreneurship programs, such as NTUitive and Platform E, to provide spaces for start-ups after the incubation stage.

“We are investing S$5 million worth of funds to enable a support system for our members. As our tagline goes, the space is for the AI-savvy and AI-curious but we welcome any other businesses looking to collaborate and partner in AI.”

On the issue on overcrowding, Tan is doggedly optimistic. He points to Singapore and Asia being a technology hub for digital advancements and innovation, which will lead to start-ups flourishing here. Compounding this is the maturation of the office-leasing market, although it has not yet reached the saturation point.

“Many businesses are still working out of traditional office spaces, but with shared business models like Uber and Airbnb taking the market by storm, the concept of collaborative working space has since become increasingly welcomed, and will continue to evolve as our needs and habits change, and we strive to be in a ‘larger community without walls’,” he points out.

“We will also see more millennials and Gen Z individuals starting their own business ventures in a ‘cohabitating’ environment, which requires less commitment and permits greater freedom of movement.”

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