Coworking company WeWork is bringing its incubator program to Portland and tapped well-connected entrepreneur Stephen Green to run it.
Green is currently WeWork’s Portland community director. In his new role he will oversee WeWork Labs, in the group’s Custom House location. The program offers space, mentorship and education, as well as access to the broad network of WeWork members globally.
Membership costs $380 per month and the program will launch in January.
Target companies, which will employ between one and 10 workers, must need hands-on support to help scale their business. The program neither makes capital investments or takes equity in startups.
“Everything has to be based in community and being an additive community benefit,” Green said of the program. “We are non-dilutive (to equity) and strictly founder focused.”
Green’s deep Portland startup community work includes his well-honed entrepreneur mentoring skills. With WeWork Labs, he’ll work closely with such local organizations as ad agency R/GA, which operates industry-focused accelerators globally, as well as Portland Incubator Experiment and Xxcelerate Fund, a WeWork member that supports women-founded companies.
WeWork Labs will also take Green’s project Pitch Black, a pitch competition that highlights black founders, to a more global stage. The competition will take place in six cities next year.
WeWork also works with investors who use the coworking services as landing pads for visits to new communities.
“Investors from outside Portland find it hard to access the network here in authentic way,” Green said. “Being able to bring in investors from outside who have had Portland on the roadmap but don’t have a way to have an authentic connection; we can be the connector.”
Portland’s WeWork Labs program is the company’s 29th such effort. It counts 1,000 startups globally in its network.
Seattle’s Labs, the Northwest’s first such location, launched earlier this month and supports more than 20 startups. Green expects the Portland program to support 15 to 20 companies at a time. Companies that exceed the 10-employee threshold can move into a more traditional WeWork membership.
Seattle-based Elizabeth Scallon oversees the Northwest’s WeWork Labs program.
Originally Published on December 6, 2018 at 11:28AM
Article published originally via “wework” – Google News https://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2018/12/06/wework-brings-its-incubator-to-portland-taps-well.html