How WeWork is Supporting New Small Businesses
As co-working's remit expands, hospitality operators are evolving their spaces and services to better support small businesses. Along these lines, WeWork is launching a food start-up accelerator called WeWork Food Labs to assist entrepreneurs in resolving challenges facing the food industry.
The global co-working giant (which recently rebranded as The We Company) will contribute $1m in seed funding to a cohort of food and beverage start-ups, alongside opening a food-centric co-working space and innovation lab in New York's Chelsea neighbourhood. It will include an area dedicated to research and development and merchandising, a large pantry for users to store supplies, and an events space.
As well as new food and drink product propositions, the brand is specifically looking to support individuals and start-ups developing solutions to the problems facing food production's future. These range from designing tech to help farmers produce greater yields, to sustainable procurement systems.
Roee Adler, global head of WeWork offshoot WeWork Labs, said: "One of the most interesting areas of innovation in the world today is food, and we are uniquely positioned to support the next generation of food and agriculture start-ups. We believe that by creating a space for the most inspirational innovators and inventors to come together, we can help them make their mark on the world."
WeWork also recently debuted its concept Made by We – a hybrid retail outlet, café and rent-by-the-minute co-working space with meeting rooms, also in New York. The shop sells products produced by WeWork's membership base, including candles, speakers and clothing accessories, alongside the company's branded merchandise.
For more on how co-working spaces are offering hospitable services for digital nomads, see Tomorrow's Wandering Workers. For a further example of how the co-working community is supporting food businesses, read Co-Working for Creative Bartenders.