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Meet WeWork Labs: the accelerator-focused startup community

Coworking community WeWork has transformed the way companies all the way from startups to corporate businesses approach the world of work. WeWork was founded back in 2010 and is currently headquartered in New York with over 460,000 members globally in 105 cities.

The numbers are certainly impressive, but the real achievement is from the community of startups that began their journeys in their offices.

With a focus on accelerating startups, back in 2018, WeWork Labs was introduced to provide early-stage startups with desk space, educational programs and mentorship.

“When you look at the global WeWork business, we serve a lot of different customers. We saw this opportunity with our global expansion that we could actually support our customers in a new way,” said Prahdeep Singh, Global Head of Operations, WeWork Labs.

“WeWork Labs is two different things – we have our core product which is the startup program typically located in a WeWork building, and then we have a Labs Manager who is a dedicated person, usually from an entrepreneurial background who is there to create customised programs and offer mentorship for the startups.” Singh added that the incubator aims to “provide startups coming through with a huge amount of resources.”

WeWork Labs began its European launch with London – “within a month the office was completely full,” added Kenneth Siber, who is the Head of WeWork Labs for UK&I.

“The startup community is underserved and we believe this is an area where we can have a large impact. WeWork Labs provides scale ups with a community and mentorship, and they share an office with peers who are going through the same thing.”

“The people and businesses that come through the program is phenomenal.”

WeWork Labs is expanding on a global scale – since launching in January 2018, its opened offices in over 24 locations in 14 cities and 9 countries, supporting over 1,000 startup companies around the globe. It’s now expanding its presence in the British capital by opening two more offices in Devonshire Square and Merchant Square, and also expanding to Manchester.

Earlier this year WeWork published its Global Impact Report to track the community’s impact on people and businesses, neighbourhoods, and cities across the world.

Interesting findings about the workforce include:

  • In London, 51% of WeWork members say WeWork has helped their company accelerate its growth.
  • 79% of WeWork members in London are in the innovation economy.
  • Of WeWork members that are entrepreneurs in Dublin, 5% are first-time entrepreneurs.
  • 54% of members globally credit WeWork with accelerating their company’s growth.
  • The WeWork economy supports 680,000 additional jobs around the world
  • Globally, a company of four can save $24,000 (or 35%) on average annually over traditional commercial real estate options.
  • Over a third of Global Fortune 500 are WeWork members
  • 45% of enterprise members globally say that WeWork has helped them enter new markets.

The study also shows that 83% of enterprise members chose WeWork for its location, where talent lives and wants to be.

“The vision for us was to create a program where you can go to any city in the world where WeWork is and have an offer that’s ready and compelling,” added Singh.

“We want to support entrepreneurs in a new way.”