As Australia’s tech startup scene has matured over the last five years, so have the tastes and standards of the entrepreneurs building those businesses. Pizza and beer at a coworking space are all good and well for the initial years but as the bank account begins to grow and the little black book of connections starts to fatten, these individuals start to seek new places to interact and network as their life becomes a little less ‘local pub’ and more ‘penthouse private bar’.
Seeing the opportunity to combine the camaraderie that coworking encourages and the exclusivity of private club culture, entrepreneur Daniel Hakim decided to launch CUB Network.
The venture is a business club, described as a space that fuels the ambitions of Australia’s next generation of industry titans. The establishment offers a range of networking services and features within its facility that assist its members in manifesting their ambitions into reality. For example, if a business is looking for a new marketing firm, then CUB Network can match them to a list of potentials. Essentially, it is a little like Entrepreneurs Organisation reimagined and with a physical footprint members can hang out in.
Facilities include a bar area which during the day is a place to have a buffet breakfast and read the paper. At night time, this is turned into a little bit more of a lounge bar. There is an entertainment lounge or ball room, which is used for events or meetings. There’s also a garden terrace and wireless internet access throughout the whole building. Finally there’s the office, which is full of collaborative working spaces, a board room, a private room, a presentation room, and a fitting room.
“What members get by joining is access to an incredible group of business minds,” says Hakim. “The clubhouse, which is there for them to socialise with other members, can be utilised however they wish. We have boardrooms, meeting rooms, a work space, all that type of stuff. They also have a team of staff who are dedicated to making sure they build relationships so that the members are able to find opportunities with other members.”
Anyone can apply for CUB membership but the venue only accepts and has between 500 and 600 members at any one time.
A membership sets you back around $600 per month if you are accepted. Having said that, for those that cannot afford the full membership, and are identified as being people that will help strengthen the community, there is a starter membership that the organisation offers with a scaled down version of the perks that full members receive.
“I grew up very lucky with a loving and encouraging family who fueled my ambitions and gave me the courage to chase my dreams along with the resources and the knowledge and advice and the network to do so,” says Hakim. “That’s what CUB is, a replication of the platform that was provided to myself by my family.”
It should be noted that while many tech-focused entrepreneurs are members of the club, CUB Network does not seek any particular industry or type of company as a preferred member.
“We invest our membership into the person not their company,” says Hakim.
Part of this investment includes some core events and panel discussions for members. Currently these run twice a month but eventually they will become a weekly CUB Network staple. Each event focuses on a particular topic and the speakers at those events are specialists in those fields. Some of these events also take place around a social breakfast or lunch, to allow members to meet one another and build new relationships with each other.
CUB Network was funded by Hakim and his family; at this point in time, considering the business is based on growth via paid memberships, he does not foresee a capital raise for the venture. However, he is planning to open a network of CUB Network clubhouses within Australia. This will be a slow-growth process though, as Hakim is focused on getting the recipe right with the current establishment first.