The Majoran Distillery – Adelaide’s Only Start-up Co-working Space Launches: Innovation

Adelaide’s first private start-up co-working space set to open

By Michelle Hammond
Monday, 30 July 2012

A new co-working space is set to open its doors in Adelaide, understood to be the city’s first business-collaboration space, modelled on the likes of Fishburners and the York Butter Factory.


The Majoran Distillery, set up by tech entrepreneurs Chhai Thach, Michael Reid and William Chau, will open this Thursday. It will initially accommodate up to 16 people.


In addition to co-running a start-up and The Majoran Distillery, Reid organises Adelaide Silicon Beach. 


The Majoran Distillery, aimed primarily at tech start-ups, is located at Pulteney Street in Adelaide’s CBD.


According to Enterprise Adelaide, it is the city’s only business-oriented co-working space. Thach told StartupSmart there is a desperate need for it among Adelaide start-ups.


“There’s nothing here in Adelaide [of that nature] and a lot of people have been talking about it. A lot of people need it,” he says.


“We badly need to get something like this happening. There’s so many different groups getting around in Adelaide but they don’t know each other.”


“We want to try and bring them together and collaborate.”


Thach says the South Australian Government had previously set up a co-working space, but it fizzled out before making any real impact.


“There was a co-working space set up by the government. It was fully funded by the government and had three years to become sustainable,” Thach says.


“After that, they just cut the funding and there was nothing left for Adelaide. When myself and my partners tried to find a place to work, we couldn’t find one.”


“We thought, we might as well find a co-working space, build a community and go from there.”


“We’ve been working closely with [start-ups] to see what kind of space they need. We’re bringing in mentors, and regular speakers and events,” he says.


Thach says The Majoran Distillery will be modeled on established co-working spaces in Sydney and Melbourne, including Fishburners, the York Butter Factory and Inspire9.


“They’ve been tried and tested. We’ve been talking to York Butter Factory and Inspire9 and The Hub, and we’ve learnt a lot from them,” Thach says.


“They seem to be sustainable, although a co-working space is not a money-making business model. It’s there to build a community.”


Thach is hopeful The Majoran Distillery will attract support from the state government, having already won the support of Enterprise Adelaide, an initiative of Adelaide City Council.


“We want to prove we’ve got something going on [as a way of encouraging the government] to support the start-up ecosystem,” he says.

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