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WeWork hits 100,000 global members, launches $20M grant competition

Meet the Creator Awards.

Name this WeWork location. (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

WeWork, the global coworking brand with eight spaces in the D.C. area (and a ninth on the way), announced on Thursday that it is launching a new grant program for creators. Meet the Creator Awards.

“‘Create Your Life’s Work’ is more than a mantra to us, it’s a way of life,” the website declares. In this spirit, and as a celebration of the company’s 100,000 global members, WeWorks Creator Awards is a year long series of events around the world through which WeWork plans to grant over $20 million to artists, startups, nonprofits and other creators. And it all kicks off in D.C.

“Millions of creators around the world are nurturing their communities and inspiring others with work fueled by passion and purpose,” WeWork cofounder Adam Neumann wrote in a blog post. “Yet, there is no adequate system to recognize, reward, or support the ideas, businesses and organizations driven by creators across all fields and in all stages. We are ready to change that.”

It’ll work like this: “Creators” (WeWork members and the general public alike) can apply to be considered for a spot at one of the regional final events in one of three categories — The Incubate, The Launch or The Scale. (Which category you apply for depends on the status of your idea.)

The selected creators will display their work and/or pitch their idea to a panel of judges at the event — winners will have the chance to move on to a global finals scheduled to take place in New York in November.

The $20 million is being funded by WeWork itself, Technical.ly was told, though they’re not writing off the idea of having sponsoring partners in the future. The grant amounts are on a sliding scale depending on your category — $36K to $72K for Incubate, $72K to $180K for Launch and $180K to $360K for Scale. There will be winners named at the regional finals as well as at the national final.

The D.C. regional finals will take place on March 28. Want to be among the presenting creators? Applications for that are due March 17.

Are you eligible? Probably.

“The Creator Awards is intended to acknowledge and empower those who exemplify what it means to be a creator,” Neumann writes in his blog post. “Anyone who brings a new idea into the world, pursues his or her passion, and believes in something greater than oneself is a creator.”

Find more information, and apply, here.

Companies: WeWork

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