We’ve known a lot of people who have worked out of WeWork over the years (ok, it was founded in 2010, which wasn’t that long ago, but in internet years, that’s a considerable amount of time) and they’ve all stuck with the place for the same reason: it has something for everyone, from private offices to open desk seating, events and a summer camp (seriously!). Not to mention that the coffee is organic, the water purified and, at least in the WeWork at Varick Street, infused with lemons…the water, not the coffee. And with a foosball table and pinball machine: even WeWork isn’t all work. But wait! There’s even more!
There are two parts to WeWork: the co-working space and WeWork Labs, an incubator founded in 2011 with a focus on helping early stage tech startups in New York City. Besides desk space, they also offer accepted members access to healthcare packages, legal advice and office hours with investors. And yes, there is an application process.
“Different spaces focus on different things,” said Jesse Middleton, one of the founders of the Labs. “GA is about education. We focus on early-stage startups and all the things tech companies need. We help to accelerate that process of starting a company.”
Because there are eight WeWorks around the country, members have access to a massive community for networking – and even hiring your next employee, or finding your next co-founder.
“It’s a supportive environment,” Middleton continued, “and you’re surrounded by people who are facing the same thing as you are, every day. It’s about the community. You really get to know the people who work next to you, even though you’re working in a building with hundreds of people. That’s what WeWork is about: small communities within a massive community.”
There’s no doubt about its popularity: there’s a wait-list with over a thousand names on it. It helps if you already know a WeWorker and they can put in a good word for you, and don’t be discouraged: people do come and go.
“We do have more turnover in San Francisco,” Middleton offered. “Every month, we have 5-10 people who move out as their companies grow. Then we bring in new people – in both cities.”
Nate Westheimer and Jessica Lawrence from the New York Tech Meetup work out of WeWork, and members include Fitocracy, Picturelife (Westheimer’s new startup), Pricing Engine, and Turf, a mobile gaming app that ran a successful kickstarter campaign and received funding from WeWork sponsor Pepsico as well.
Sometimes all you need is to be in the right co-working space at the right time.