WeWork is offering subsidized workspaces to Australian startups through a new community initiative aimed at helping boost the tech sector in the aftermath of the pandemic.
The WeWork Growth Campus will see the global co-working giant offer subsidized workspaces and mentoring to startups in the amount of $ 8 million.
It has already launched the program in the UK and has attracted over 800 registrations in the first six months.
Residents will also have access to WeWork Labs, which offers access to online mentoring and coaching opportunities, as well as access to a global community of members. The plan also promises live education sessions and on-demand learning opportunities.
In Australia, there will be spaces available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
To be eligible, a startup must: be less than five years old; looking to scale internationally; have fewer than 20 employees; and be started with a turnover of $ 100,000 or more, or have funds up to and including the Series A stage.
Accelerator or incubator programs may also be eligible if their primary service is helping startups grow and, if they are cohort-based, if they support a minimum of five startups per cohort.
Venture capital funds, mutual funds, syndicates and individual investors can apply as well, as long as they are actively investing in Australia.
Finally, non-profit or social impact businesses are eligible, but must support communities in developing STEM skills, facilitate employment in startups, or help develop entrepreneurial skills.
The Growth Campus is also about resource sharing and partnerships, according to the WeWork website. Participants are invited to contribute mentoring, education, branding or engagement, exclusive services, and community improvement events.
In a statement, Monica Wulff, WeWork Labs director for Australia, Southeast Asia and South Korea, said that WeWork has played an “integral role” in the growth strategies of many startups and small businesses.
“As COVID-19 continues to impact the economy and disrupt the way we work, we saw a need to offer a network and workspace designed to help businesses prosper,” she said.
As the economy across Australia begins to recover, Wulff suggested that more companies will consider what their workspace looks like and how it can be used “to advance productivity, collaboration and creativity.”
At the same time, however, co-working spaces have also been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with people like Depo8 and The Space closing their doors forever.
According to Wulff, WeWork’s Growth Campus is all about strength in numbers.
“The founders know that building a business is not a solo endeavor,” she said.
“Through subsidized workspaces, virtual tutoring, personalized education, and access to our global network of members, we can provide more to help startups grow and get this industry up and running.”