Startups might dream about being the next addition to the Fortune 500, but these large corporations also have their eyes on working with entrepreneurs to drive innovation. Nowhere is this clearer than at WeWork, which is now home to more than 256,000 members around the world, including a quarter of all Fortune 500 companies.
WeWork Labs—the company’s international program providing early-stage startups with the space, community, and educational resources to help them succeed—is announcing a new partnership to bring the energy, creativity, and innovation from startups to the world’s leading enterprises.
It’s teaming up with Mercer, the world’s largest human resources consulting firm, to debut the Future of Work Technology Sprint—a program to incubate, support, and grow the next generation of workforce innovation.
Interested startups that fit the technology focus can get more information and apply to the program. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through July 9.
In late July, leading startups focused on the future of work will join WeWork Labs and Mercer for a two-day intensive kickoff in New York City. The program will include an eight-week development program, during which the startups will pilot their cutting-edge technologies and develop new business opportunities alongside Mercer. Mercer and WeWork will help the startups refine their product and messaging with the goal of taking their final offerings to Mercer’s robust client base.
Startups will also have the opportunity to be a part of WeWork’s global community across 22 countries, and have access to WeWork Labs programming, including customized educational resources, mentorship programs, and career development opportunities.
“There’s been a macro shift toward a new way of working,” said Roee Adler, global head of WeWork Labs. “At WeWork, we’re committed to helping companies of all sizes navigate this evolving market. WeWork Labs’ collaboration with Mercer will further our commitment to shaping the future of work as we provide a global platform for startups to incubate their ideas.”
At the end of the program, startups will be invited back to New York for a demo day to showcase their integrated proofs-of-concept to representatives from WeWork and Mercer, along with top executives from some of the world’s largest companies.
The program is recruiting startups focused on a variety of core areas related to the future of work, including training and development, artificial intelligence and chatbots, employee pathing, big data, virtual reality, and other topics.
“We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with WeWork to help revolutionize the future of work,” said Barb Marder, innovation leader at Mercer. “When we consider the speed of innovation in the workplace and what is required to fuel it, this collaboration will provide access to the best opportunities for our clients.”