Podcast #22: Co-Working & Entrepreneurship

In this episode of the podcast I sit down for a conversation with Mike, who hails from Canada and is a recent graduate of New York University. After graduating, Mike immediately came to Chengdu to start a business: a co-working space called Walnut. Since opening last year, Walnut has expanded to several locations around the city and grown into a full-fledged lifestyle brand, organizing community events, brewing it’s own beer, and much more.

In our conversation we talk about what it took to get Walnut off the ground, the challenges and obstacles that Mike has faced and overcome, and much more. If you are running a business in China or thinking of starting one, this episode will have a lot of useful insight for you.

Note: unlike previous episodes, this podcast has chapters which you can use to navigate to different topics in the conversation. These will appear only if you are listening to the podcast app which supports chapters. If you are using an iPhone, we suggest Overcast which is a free download.

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Photos from Walnut

Walnut Chengdu

Walnut Chengdu

Walnut Chengdu

Check Out Walnut Online

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Charlie

About Charlie

Having lived in Chengdu for ten years, Charlie has traveled to every corner of China and back again, calling the Yulin neighborhood of Chengdu his adopted home.

2 Responses to “Podcast #22: Co-Working & Entrepreneurship”

  1. Chris Ziich

    Excellent podcast. I remember briefly meeting Mike and being skeptical about this idea of a coworking space in Chengdu. I was once part of the “digital nomad” scene in Thailand and was in and out of several coworking spaces there and I knew that Chengdu didn’t have that same freelancer demand for workspaces.

    The fact that Mike was able to quickly adapt to the local market and continue to offer new things that aren’t part of the traditional coworking space business model outside of China is a sign that he’s a good businessman. Good work and good luck in the future!

    • Charlie

      I agree with you, Mike’s ability to adapt to the local market is really admirable. At this point Walnut barely resembles what we (Westerners) would consider a co-working space at all, so that label itself may be a little misleading in this case. It is also a good example of going pretty far outside the conventions to cater to a local market which most foreigners would have a very difficult time understanding or adjusting to. Thanks for the feedback Chris.

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