Today we are closing our co-working space

Today at Development Innovations we announced the closure of our public co-working space. As we work to refine the Development Innovations’ project, a public co-working space no longer fits our aims. We will continue to focus our efforts on building an innovation lab and providing advisory services to civil society organizations. You can find out more about the Development Innovations project here.

Here is the email I sent out with more details on the closure of our space:

Dear Lab Member

Today we are announcing the plan to close our co-working lab on June 1st, 2016. I am sure you may have a lot of questions about what why this decision was made and what it means for your work.

When we set out to start the 5D Lab at Development Innovations in 2013, we wanted to help foster a community and connect local civil society groups to the innovation community in Phnom Penh. A lot has changed over the last three years, a variety of new hubs and co-working spaces have opened around the city, serving a variety of needs. From social enterprises, to startups, to maker spaces, and innovation hubs, the technology ecosystem has grown significantly since we started.

We are proud to be a part of this community of innovators, creatives, technologists, and businesses. We’ve seen new startups launched, products developed, and partnerships created in our co-working space. It’s been rewarding to be a small part of this growing community.

Currently, DAI’s project will end in July 2016. However, because of the demand for key services, we submitted an extension request to USAID for a smaller version of the current Development Innovations program with a 5D innovation lab focused on services. We are in discussions with our donor right now and hope to hear a positive result in the next two months. As we look to the future, we want to help address gaps and key needs, and focus where we can continue to add the most value. We have determined that our co-working space is no longer the need it once was, and very much want to support the growing market of other co-working spaces. If extended, we will continue to offer our advisory services and media lab as a resource to those in the community that need it. If you’re interested in any of these services, please visit our website to book an advisory session with us.

Below are links to the other co-working spaces in Phnom Penh that would be happy to work with you. We’ve spent the last month talking to the various groups to try and make sure our lab members would be well taken care of as we transition away from managing a co-working space. I am confident that the local community of spaces will make you feel right at home.

If you have any questions about this closure please feel free to reach out to myself or our lab manager, Vantharith. We want to make this transition as easy as possible for you and your work and encourage you to stay through June 1st if you are interested. Thank you for being a part of the Development Innovations community! We hope to continue to work with you in the future.

Thank you,

Jesse Orndorff (
Innovation Program Manager
Development Innovations

Update: I forgot to attach the list of still active co-working spaces in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh Co-working Spaces

Emerald Hub
The newest co-working space in Phnom Penh. Large working space above PPIU and close to coffee shops and restaurants. For our lab members, you can receive 50% off your first 3 months of your Emerald Hub membership.
Location: Olympic Stadium Area

Impact Hub
Impact Hub Phnom Penh is a co-working space, a business incubator, a social enterprise builder and above all, a community of like-minded people who believe they can make the world a better place.
Location: BKK1

coLAB is a co-working space, innovation lab and start-up pre-incubator in the Russian Market area of Phnom Penh.
Location: Russian Market

Small World
SmallWorld helps entrepreneurs test, refine, design startup model, build, and launch fast with small capital by providing a share workspace and a supporting community of like-mined people.
Location: Toul Kork

About the author

Jesse Orndorff

The founder of Glean, an agency for change. Formerly Innovation Program Manager at DAI. He's now focused on building technology and startups that work on challenging issues and doing social good.

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Jesse Orndorff

The founder of Glean, an agency for change. Formerly Innovation Program Manager at DAI. He's now focused on building technology and startups that work on challenging issues and doing social good.

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