Two major creative centers in Beijing and Shanghai recently announced they will work together to build China's biggest innovation service platform to boost "mass entrepreneurship and innovation" across the country.
The joint venture platform, Maker2, or Maker Squared, will integrate service resources of Beijing Makerspace (BM) from the capital and Shanghai's WeWork-like co-working space People Squared (P2), and expand services to another five large cities. It will offer shared working space with a total area of 150,000 square meters nationwide.
BM, one of China's biggest laboratories for makers, houses about 300 innovators in the capital, while P2 offers Chinese makers the biggest shared working space in the country. The total amount of financing of the projects served by the two reach 4 billion yuan (614 million U.S. dollars).
Chuangke, or makers, are hands-on technology enthusiasts who use 3D printers, robotics, and other advanced tools to turn creative ideas into pervasive products.
As the Chinese government promotes mass entrepreneurship and innovation to refuel the economic engine, Chuangke have been marked out as more than a creator, inventor or innovator, as the word has an entrepreneurial slant to it.
Currently there are 40,000 to 50,000 makers in China, according to Wang Shenglin, CEO of BM. Co-working has become a popular style of work for the rapidly growing start-up community as it is more economical and some places like P2 also offers incubation and funding services.
"Working together, we want to provide profound and considerate services to makers and start-ups in China," said Zheng Jianling, founder of P2.