WeWork Labs Startup Stages
Hello Members! The goal of WeWork Labs is to deliver content, relevant services, learning opportunities, mentorship and expertise as well as introductions to investors when you need it most and at the most appropriate time in your business lifecycle.
Because we welcome startups from various periods of growth, we implemented Startup Stages. For those of you unaware of Startup Stages, it's a framework within the WeWork Labs global program that allows us to understand and then aid in that growth through stage-specific learning opportunities, mentorship and expert guidance that will meet your needs at that time, or stage. This framework encourages movement through stages over time, ensuring you and your company will continuously receive value from our programming throughout your experience at WeWork Labs.
WeWork Labs Meets You Where You Are
Some Labs members come as first-time, solo founders. Some as small teams graduating from elite accelerators. And some as growing teams that are scaling internationally. Because of that disparity, we know that our programming cannot be a one-size-fits-all standard. All of our startups require various levels of support and different types of resources, and we recognize that.
WeWork Labs Is A Long-Term Partner
We do not have time-stamped cohorts, a program end-date, or limits on team size. As such, we need our programming and learning opportunities to progress and adapt alongside you and your company. We are here for the long-haul!
WeWork Labs Is Global
Our transcontinental reach is what sets us apart. Wherever you are based or visit (through our Satellite Program), our goal is to provide the same high-caliber, personalized experience across the globe. That means that no matter what stage you are at, you have access to stage-specific resources at any Lab visited.
Through our Member Portal, you have online access as well. You view Calendars for "in my lab", events "near me" and global events. You can also Connect to other Members, discover Discounts, read WeWork Labs Insider and have access to Learning Sessions powered and taught by some of the smartest people in the industry.
What Are The Stages?
We've identified three distinct stages that are accompanied with exclusive content, learning lessons and mentorship:
1) Pre-Launch: At this stage, you may be developing a concept, idea or prototype, running early user tests, and conducting market research.
Moving beyond this stage, here are the suggested requirements that the company has likely achieved or completed before entering the Validation stage:
- Conducted initial market research
- Conducted user tests
- Gathered customer insights
- Built and iterated on a prototype based on market research
- Built online presence (website, social media, Crunchbase, AngelList, etc.)
- Finalized business plan
- Created early product pitch
Learning Sessions: Helpful learning sessions for this stage include "Building Your MVP", "Understanding Your Competitive Advantage", "User Testing for Early Feedback," and "Finding Product-Market-Fit."
Service Partners: Helpful partners for this stage include: Crazy Egg, Shulman Rogers, Flatiron School, and 8Base.
To move from Pre-Launch to Validation, you have built a working prototype based on research, completed a formal business plan, and launched your product in the market with early marketing strategies.
2) Validation: At this stage, you may be proving a hypothesis, iterating, establishing performance metrics, and beginning to grow the team.
Moving beyond this stage, here are the suggested requirements that the company has likely achieved or completed before entering the Growth stage:
- Developed a clear go-to-market strategy
- Developed a marketing plan
- Identified and defined target customers
- Developed a product roadmap and are ready to execute
- Formed the business as a legal entity and has established a legal contact for the business
- Developed an initial hiring strategy
- Created an investor pitch
Learning Sessions: Helpful learning sessions for this stage include "Creating an Investor Pipeline," "Early Marketing Strategies & Growth Hacking," "Legal Support to Ensure a Smooth Launch," and "Product Roadmapping to Success."
Service Partners: Helpful partners for this stage include: AWS, Zendesk and DocSend.
To move from Validation to Growth, the company has acquired customers with a formal marketing plan and a product roadmap. The company also has legal supports in place with consistent revenue growth.
Growth: At this stage, you may be growing month-over-month and seeing traction in the form of revenue, customers, or partners.
Here are the suggested requirements for remaining in the Growth stage:
- Set performance metrics (KPIs, OKRs) and are consistently achieving set goals
- Acquired paying customers
- Proven sales strategy and are executing on it
- Created a company culture and HR policies
- Expanded to other markets or have identified additional revenue streams
- Developed a social impact strategy
Learning Sessions: Helpful learning sessions for this stage include "Finding a Repeatable Sales Process," "Fundamentals of Digital Marketing," "Do You Have an Expansion Strategy?," and "Forming a Hiring Process as Your Business Grows."
Service Partners: Helpful partners for this stage include: ADP, FounderSuite, Hubspot, and Segment.
Pivoting and Feeling Like You're Moving Backward
There is no shame in finding that what you built wasn't exactly what your customer wanted / needed and then pivoting the business to fulfill that newly found demand, service or product. As such, we see companies move back in stage to ensure that those objectives are completed for this new mission, ensuring a more successful path forward.
Staging and all the programming, mentorship, introductions and beyond associated with helping move you forward in your business is to ensure you succeed and eventually outgrow us! That means you have leveraged all the platforms and programs we have offered, and now have money (revenue or funding) to hire more people and move onto a dedicated office(s). When that happens, we know we've done our job!
If you have any questions about stages, please contact your Labs Manager or feel free to reach out to the WeWork Labs Programming Team at HQ!