WeWork Labs Members on the Connections They’ve Made Within Labs and How the Community Pushes Them Forward
Access to a community of entrepreneurs is one of the most powerful benefits of being a WeWork Labs member. We asked Labs members from around the world to tell us about the strongest and most helpful connections they’ve made with their fellow members and how being part of the community has pushed them forward as entrepreneurs.
“I asked another member, Henri from Akinova, to become my mentor. He knows how to deal with corporates, how to keep investors going, how to create the smoke and mirrors that you need. I’m often too honest to create that and he’s a good sparring partner for it. I said to him, ‘I feel you have massive knowledge in certain areas where I don’t or where I’m not experienced yet. Would you mind having a regular exchange where we can spar with each other around certain topics?’ And he was very quickly down for that.
I try to give back with another member, too, who’s a one man show here because his cofounder is in another office. He has to take on quite a bit of technical tasks so I try to support him as much as I can so he can accelerate as much as he can. He sits just behind us so if I hear him struggle on something we often go grab lunch or take 10 minutes where I can push him in a certain direction or help him over a certain hurdle. I like helping other members because of the karma thing—I know at some point it will come right back to me.” - Phil Koenig, founder of Teebly and Labs member at WeWork 70 Wilson St., London
“I’ve made some major decisions and changes that led us to meet to the OKRs that we set for the company based on conversations with other members. The most impactful change we made based on a conversation like that is the way we go about client acquisition. Before I came to Labs it was a lot of referrals, and we changed to focus more on acquisition from networking. I became very intentional within the last quarter about connecting with new people. I used to resist that but I’ve started to see and value and power of those connections because of conversations with a specific member.
And three or four months after I joined Labs, other members started coming to me for branding and design services. Being in the same space really facilitated a lot of those interactions because we could just meet in a conference room and we were already connected via Slack. So a lot of things that clients generally have to go through to onboard with me, members who became clients could skip. There’ve been a couple of projects that have helped me grow as a designer, a creative, and a leader.” - Kat Araujo, founder and creative director at Afternoon Culture and Labs member at WeWork W57th Street
“The members here created a group we call Entrepreneurs Anonymous. We have a lot of problems as startups, and not only business problems. So we started a group where we talk about them. It’s very cool to talk to other entrepreneurs about the business problems especially because they can relate to that things that I’m living and the problems that they have in this moment are often problems that I’ve had in the past. As members, we’re supporting one another and the support we can give each other is very specific. There’s a woman who doesn’t know a lot about technology and I try to help her all the time. And for me, I’ll be looking for investors soon and some of the members have told me that when I’m ready, they have contacts I can talk to. They’re not looking for anything—they just want to help.” - Rodrigo Pérez Delgado, CEO of Trabajo en Digital and Labs member at WeWork Reforma 26, Mexico City
“We just sat with the CEO of another member company who’s fundraising as well. She provided very good insights on our pitch and deck—things that were obvious to her but somehow I missed. And the mentorship has been very good. There’s one mentor who’s the CMO of a very successful startup and he comes almost every week. We review our progress and get into the details with him and it’s just amazing. I couldn’t get someone like him as a consultant outside of Labs even if I paid him.” - Dan Blechner, cofounder and CEO of Volleto and Labs Member at WeWork Derech Ha'atzmaut, Haifa
“I have an advisor on my company’s board who owns a piece of equity in the business, and he’s a Labs member. He’s more experienced and doing his own direct to consumer company. He used to run creative for a very well-known, large consumer product company and he’s got incredible connections and an amazing marketing mind. He sits close to me in the Lab and I talk to him daily. That’s been a phenomenal connection. I also try to use my network as much as possible to help as many people as I can. If somebody’s telling me about a problem they have during standup, I try to put them in touch with someone who can help. I’m always extremely keen to share my network if I think there’s a good fit.” - David Olkovetsky, founder of Artisan Revere and Labs member at WeWork 175 Varick Street, New York
“We do a lot of outings together as members. It’s become like a family here. We go to networking events together and we introduce each other to people that we know to help everyone keep making progress. And I like that we hold each other accountable. It keeps you from slacking. Even though we’re here representing ourselves, we’re one big team and we’re trying to help each other progress. There was a time I went to Bali for a few weeks and there was one member I forgot to tell. When I got back, he was asking me where I was and told me about all of the programming I missed. He said he felt like he should have taken notes for me.” - Chima Osuka, cofounder of Cruate and Labs member at WeWork Riverpark Tower, San Jose