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WeWork expands WeWork Labs in India to drive growth for early-stage startups

twitter-logoPTI | October 4, 2018 | Updated 16:57 IST

Bengaluru, Oct 4 (PTI) US-based co-working firm WeWork Thursday launched 'WeWork Labs' in India to help early-stage startups in the country get access to investment, resources and mentorship from its global network of members to help these fledgling companies expand their business. WeWork, which launched the initiative earlier this year globally, has expanded the offering to its co-working spaces in countries like the US, China, Korea, Brazil and Israel and others. "India is among the largest start-up nations and is poised to continue growing at a significant pace. While there are programmes running in India that offer incubation and acceleration to start-ups, we believe the scale has to be increased manifold," WeWork Labs Senior Vice President and Global Head Roee Adler told PTI. With its global network of over 2.68 lakh members, WeWork is confident that its "unique and no-equity startup programme" can help support Indian start-ups through their journey as they grow their ideas and business, he added. Globally, about 1,000 start-ups are part of WeWork Labs. "We started a pilot three-four months ago at our Gurugram facility and eight startups have already become a part of WeWork Labs," Adler said. In India, WeWork has 11 co-working spaces in Gurugram, Mumbai and Bengaluru and has over 12,000 members. The company aims to have a network of over 20 co-working spaces in the country by the end of the calendar year. Asked if WeWork Labs would be available at select co-working locations in India, Karan Virwani, Chief WeWork Executive Officer (India), answered in the negative. "India has a large number of start-ups that are looking at solving not just Indian but global challenges and these are located across cities, be it large metros or smaller towns like Jaipur, Indore and others. We would eventually want to take WeWork Labs to them to help them connect to the ecosystem and grow their business," he added. Through WeWork Labs, the company will offer a number of benefits to the chosen start-ups, including subsidised monthly membership rates, weekly community events, access to other WeWork locations as well as the opportunity to network with potential new clients and investors. Participating start-ups will also be be offered courses, lecture series, and one-on-one meetings to learn everything from accounting and marketing to hiring and pitching future investors, Adler noted. WeWork Labs in India has brought together an advisory board consisting of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and corporate leaders to help guide the programme and support future innovators. The advisory board includes the likes of Harsha Kumar (Lightspeed Ventures), Jitu Virwani (Embassy Group), Mohit Thukral (Vivtera), Raghunandan G (TaxiForSure), Rahul Khanna (Trifecta Capital), Rohit Bhat (Airavat Capital), Sanjay Nath (Blume Ventures), and Shalini Prakash (500 Startups) among others. PTI SR SVK ANS ANS

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