WeWork Launches Lab Focused On Food Startups

WeWork’s Lab unit announced Thursday (March 14) a new incubator program dubbed WeWork Food Labs.

On its website WeWork said it launching a Food Labs membership program and an accelerator program. With the Food Labs membership program, members will get access to workspace and a global platform dedicated to startups that are trying to change or impact the future of food.

WeWork said it is supporting early-stage startups covering all aspects of the food ecosystem including artificial intelligence, robotics, kitchen appliances, supply chain, agricultural tech, distribution software, consumer goods, hospitality and other categories. The fee starts at $300 a month and gives members access to the usual office necessities plus an R&D kitchen, pantry, and storage, merchandising showcase and tasting table, event space and a podcast and photo studio. Members also get access to a dedicated lab manager, weekly workshops and events, pitch competitions and its global network of experts and industry partnerships.

With the accelerator program, WeWork said, it is committed to investing more than $1 million in food and agriculture startups via the Food Labs Accelerator. The program is focused on solving critical issues in the food industry, according to its website.

Those applying to the accelerator program, which follows a structured curriculum over a five-month period, will have to do so before the May 15 deadline. The program kicks off in October.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Roee Adler, global head of WeWork Labs, said the WeWork Food Labs could be the first of more vertically-focused lab programs the company launches in the future. “I do have to say, food carries a disproportionate amount of weight and attention,” Adler said. “We think it is one of the most exciting areas in the world right now because this isn’t merely about encouraging businesses — this is about the future of the world, no less than what our children will eat.”