I had the chance to sit down with George Pai, who is the program manager of WeWork Labs yesterday. If you ever get the opportunity to meet George do it. He is a young, smart and energetic individual that loves startups.
Full disclosure, I applied to WeWork Labs and was turned down by George. I may have said some awful things on Twitter about WeWork that I now regret. George kindly offered up his time to explain his program to me. The following is what I learned.
The WeWorks Lab program involves:
- Is available for WeWork members
- Is a revolving program with no start or end date
- WeWork does not take equity & does not invest
- Offers connections to mentors
- Programming is based on members needs
- Offers direct connections to brands
- Is exploring partnerships with VC’s
- Demo day is optional & put on a regular basis
- Noteworthy companies include Meerkat & Coffee Meets Bagel
Who this program is for
This program is first and foremost for WeWork members. It is best for companies that are pre or post accelerator. These services are really value added services for WeWork members. If you need space WeWork is great because its favorable prices, terms and locations. This could be a good program for companies seeking access to large brands.
Who this program is not for
Since the program caters to a wide range of companies in a wide range of industries the programming is generic. Depending on where you are and what your companies needs these program may be a distraction from your core business. If you are not able to able to communicate exactly what your company needs this program may not be a good fit for your company
In general, the WeWorks Labs program is a great value add to WeWork members. For WeWork the goal is to help you grow your business, so you can purchase more space. There goals and objectives are completely authentic and aligned with the entrepreneurs needs. I would recommend this program and WeWork for companies that need ongoing support pre or post accelerator.