Startup Feature: Eunice Ooi, Co-founder of spaceSense
spaceSense: Finding the right home to house your business!
A business that she gave birth to while on maternity leave.
Eunice Ooi left her career as a Project Manager with GIC Singapore in pursuit of a new life as a mother of her newborn. Armed with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering and her wealth of experience in fitting out corporate offices and managing projects, she began her entrepreneurship journey.
Read more about her interview below:
What is spaceSense?
Joe Kwan, Steven Ming and myself started the proptech startup in 2018. spaceSense is a digital platform to help SMEs and growing companies to rent office, engage qualified interior designer, buy office products and services at no cost.
Finding office space is just the beginning; to move into a new office space and kickstart business promptly is what it matters. This is what spaceSense want to achieve to distinguish itself from other property listing platform, which doesn’t design for office occupiers.
spaceSense provides a full suite solution with clarity on how much company needs to spend, in terms of time and cost, and support them in setting up and operating their office space.
What excites you most about your industry?
I think there is a lot of potential to address the under-served market- SMEs, growing companies and start-ups in the real estate space. Many prefer to own their office space instead of co-working space. But they face challenges and frustrations in getting all the information and professional service in the office search and setup process. They don’t know what to expect, how much will it cost or how long it takes just to start business operation in a new space.
This is why spaceSense is built to create the seamless experience to support their business growth. spaceSense is also where Eunice finds the opportunity to design her expertise into the technology behind the platform, disrupting her previous role as an office fit-out project manager.
What excites my founding team is that we envisage spaceSense to go beyond office leasing.
spaceSense wants to be the destination platform for corporates to sort out all their other needs like employee benefits, corporate events, office operation services and even
telecommunication services. spaceSense be an one-stop digital platform for them to manage office leasing and all other corporate procurement.
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
The challenge we face is hiring the right people and gaining market adoption. For hiring, I prioritise on hiring the critical roles which I can’t outsource to freelancer. Prioritising spending on manpower is highly critical. There are many options like hiring remote or local freelancers/interns/contract/ permanent/part-timers. Each comes with its pros and cons. Pros could be the short-term commitment, affordability, professional at a good price. Cons could be lack of control, slow response, communication issues, lack of business continuity. Through past experience, we resist to hire people quickly unless they have the right fit and attitude, not merely their current capability.
Since spaceSense is one of the kind in the market, providing the full suite corporate solutions, we emphasize on educating our users to create the market awareness.
Before Google Maps is known, we ask strangers on the street for directions. Now we use Google Maps to navigate with clarity on the travel time each transportation mode takes.
Before Grab is known, we hail for taxi on the street and worry at every wrong turn or long wait at traffic lights or jam. Now we use Grab to get taxi with clarity on the taxi fee.
Currently, people search on property listing, google or contact agents to find office space, worrying if they get all the available options to make the right decision and get frustrated along the way with surprises and hiccups.
We think people will use spaceSense more in near future, knowing that this is the most comprehensive platform they can trust and the journey they take from office search, setup to move-in is transparent, seamless and stress-free. They can be empowered to choose and get connected with landlords, designers, suppliers and vendors. Get more clarity to help in their office leasing decision and for other procurement as well.
Why did you join the BACECAMP programme?
I wanted to learn more about what BACECAMP could offer and how it can help start-ups like my company, spaceSense.
As an SME Talent Programme (STP) approved company, how has the programme been and how has it helped your company with your talent needs?
The STP programme has assisted us in getting exposure to a pool of suitable talents who are keen to support the company in the early stages of our growth.
What are your upcoming plans for acquiring and developing talents through the Global Ready Talent Programme (GRT)?
We’re looking to expand our team and plan to offer 2 to 3 internship positions in the areas of UX and Digital fields in the coming months via the GRT programme.
What are your company goals for 2019?
The goal is to get more market adoption for spaceSense website- telling people that search for office space, office designers, products and services can be simplified and managed within a dedicated dashboard on spaceSense platform. It’s FREE to sign up account and gain access to spaceSense technology, expertise and network.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who just started?
Spend time and effort on marketing as early as you can. Make sure you get a good product-market fit before spending time and money pushing out something nobody want.
(Side Note: spaceSense is one of the 2018 SSG Founder Grant recipients.)