WeWork, the biggest name in the coworking industry, is launching a new endeavor with an unexpected twist — WeWork Food Labs and an accompanying accelerator.

A massive coworking business may sound like an unusual ally to the food industry, but Roee Adler, global head of WeWork Labs, says it’s a sensible next step for the international company. “How we approach food and sustainability today will have an impact on us for generations to come, and as a global community, we are uniquely positioned to drive real change in this industry.”

About WeWork Food Labs

An idea heavily rooted in what WeWork is known for — creating inspirational coworking spaces — the WeWork Food Labs program offers paid members access to a shared space and programming dedicated to nurturing startups across the food and agriculture industries. WeWork is welcoming businesses focused on anything from food tech and agriculture to supply chain management and beyond.

Members have access to food-centric resources and amenities that offer businesses the chance to focus on innovation.

Some examples of what’s included in a WeWork Food Labs membership:

  • R&D kitchen
  • Merchandising showcase and tasting table
  • Podcast and photo studios
  • Urban agriculture R&D space
  • Workshops and events
  • Access to industry partners and resources

About the accelerator program

By eliminating some of the typical roadblocks young businesses face (think financial stability and equipment), the Food Labs Accelerator allows early-stage food industry innovators the opportunity to explore their ideas with fewer limitations. Adler says, “We will provide [startups] with the tools and resources they need to create sustainable solutions that address challenges both within our own community and on a global scale.”

The program, which will support around 10 startups, kicks off in October 2019 and lasts for five months. During that time, businesses will follow a focused curriculum. With the help of WeWork’s $1M in equity investment, the young companies will home in on their most impactful ideas that are poised to have a lasting impact on the future of food.

You can learn more about the Food Lab and accelerator in this FAQ.

This may be the first time we’ve heard of a coworking company designing a food industry accelerator program, but it’s certainly not the first time a big name has offered a springboard for innovation in the space.

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