Business Management

The New Social Club

Episode 1- Series - Conversations with hospitality entrepreneurs & leaders

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Federico Folcia is Italian, He left Italy about 20 years ago to go to Madrid for a student exchange then, he moved to Wales to research for his thesis. After that, he was working in financial services in London when he was transferred to the New York office back in 2005. He lived there for 7 years and a few years after, started his own company which was an e-commerce platform. It was the alter-ego of Airbnb, in 2008. In 2012, he moved to Singapore with his partner, where he's been since. In 2016, he started another company- a boutique digital transformation service. They advise companies on strategy to make them more efficient and implement technologies to close the loop and make sure they can get to the next level. Which leads us to when he started Crane Social Space.

What is Crane?

Frederico founded Crane: an open minded, collaborative, socially conscious community – free from prejudice – and built upon a foundation of idea-sharing and learning from one another.At the core, Crane is a global ecosystem with various dimensions spanning from community building to retail and hospitality. Crane redefines the concept of sociality by providing spaces and tools to encourage the sharing of skills and passions between people of all cultures and ages.

How did Crane come to be?

Crane was concept which came out of personal frustration. Frederico wanted to find a way to help his parents socialize, stay engaged and stay relevant as they were growing older so they don't lose their sense of purpose. He shared his frustration with his friends and found that most of his friends of - "grown up children"- also had the same problems and feelings. So he decided that there was a need to create something for a multi-generational audience.

Levergaing the sharing economy

Crane, similarly to Roomorama, taps into assets which already exist - in that case it was real estate. In the Case of Crane, it's people's skills, experiences and passions. And of course, the more mature people they are, the more life experiences they have and the more they have to share. So that's the knowledge link between Frederico's previous business venture and the one is currently developing - Crane. The company offers coworking spaces, events and masterclasses on a wide range of topics, there's a plan to produce a podcast in the near future and possibly expand locations. There are many possibilities for Crane to grow and develop in the community.

Online vs. offline interactions

The ambition is not to be a social platform. The mission is to be ecosystem. As such, there's a lot more components that need to be put into this project. At physical level, we would like to expand and open up new locations in Singapore and outside of Singapore. On a digital level, we would like to create a platform which actually launches life and live. The idea is to create content related to what the physical spaces are offering so that there is engagement with the services and with the people, sort of like an offline metrics program. So the idea is for people to access content created by members of the community and also people are not members of the community. Anybody with a passion, a skill or expertise to be available in the ecosystem of creation. Once people start to take part in activities, for them to basically be joined or consumed in a real space. So in a way, what Crane is trying to do is the opposite process that a lot of other marketplaces are doing. We try to move people from the digital space back to the offline space. That's the whole idea of crane. It brings people away from the sofa. Now they engage. We have experiences in real life.

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