After successful rollouts in Miami and Durham, North Carolina, WeWork Labs has launched its first Atlanta location downtown today at 101 Marietta Street. Serial entrepreneur and Goodie Nation founder Joey Womack will manage programming for the space.
Since its launch in 2018, WeWork Labs has functioned as WeWork’s global innovation platform for early-stage startups and forward-thinking enterprise companies. WeWork Labs Atlanta will focus on revenue and funding by connecting startups and founders with global experience in metro Atlanta to corporations, influencers, and investors, putting emphasis on areas such as social impact, diversity, sports, media, entertainment, food, and consumer packaged goods.
WeWork Labs Atlanta’s launch event, taking place throughout this week, will feature panel discussions focusing on innovation in sports, entertainment, and consumer goods, networking meetups, and more. The new space will also serve as a physical space for Goodie Nation, an organization dedicated to dedicated to collectivizing technologists, business professionals, and community advocates to addressing civic issues.
“I wanted Atlanta to get a glimpse of what WeWork Labs will look like moving forward,” Womack says. “We wanted to leverage the assets of Atlanta, especially downtown. It never really set in that we have an entire week’s worth of inclusive programming until a month later and we thought, ‘Whoa … we’re onto something big here.’”
Womack says that the physical space for Goodie Nation was long overdue so that founders could collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs consistently without location constraints.
“While we had tremendous impact on the startups, it put a lot of strain on the founders as well as mentors and speakers,” says Womack. “A physical space means we have daily access to even more startups during business hours, and we can potentially have 10 times the impact on them.”
In a statement, Invest Atlanta president and CEO Dr. Elsa Klementich lauded Atlanta’s emerging prominence as an innovation center. “With more than 60 incubators, co-working facilities and corporate innovation centers, Atlanta has become a go-to location for innovation where creators and startups collaborate with leading companies and universities to build, test and scale big, bold ideas, said Klementich. “The addition of WeWork Labs in Downtown Atlanta makes our innovation ecosystem more competitive, bringing additional entrepreneurial connectivity to this area of the city. We are excited to see the company continue to grow its Atlanta presence.”
“WeWork is an amazing concept. I am ecstatic to see it come to fruition here in the great city of Atlanta. With Atlanta being a leader in developing, implementing and championing new and existing technology to meet and exceed the public’s needs, it is imperative that we continue to support organizations such as this as a cradle of the community, a place to foster change and space to creatively collaborate,” Gary Brantley, chief information officer for the City of Atlanta, said in a statement. “I can already foresee the immense value this location will bring to this community and the surrounding areas.”
“We have many talented innovators moving to Atlanta from other parts of the nation and world [and] a space provides a landing spot for them,” says Womack. “This is a huge opportunity, and it could help to cement Atlanta as the number one city for inclusive innovation in the country.”