Shared workspace giant WeWork, co-founded by Israeli Adam Neumann, is about to spread its wealth by granting cash awards to budding entrepreneurs around the globe.
The New York-based company announced last week that it will be granting more than $20 million in prizes to individuals, small businesses, growing companies, nonprofits, artists and others, in celebration of WeWork’s 100,000-member milestone.
The “Creator Awards” will be part of a yearlong initiative to recognize entrepreneurs across all industries and all stages of growth, with varying application deadlines in different locations, the company said.
“Millions of creators around the world are nurturing their communities and inspiring others with work fueled by passion and purpose,” Neumann wrote in a blog post about the award. “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.”
Individuals or organizations interested in a financial award can apply according to their regional deadlines for one of three prizes: The Incubate Award for individuals with an idea or a project that needs funding, the Launch Award for businesses or nonprofits that have launched but are still learning, or the Scale Award for businesses or nonprofits with a record of success but have a goal of expanding to the next level.
Finalists for the Launch Award and the Scale Award will be selected from online entries and will be invited to present at regional events, a statement from WeWork said.
Winners will be selected at each event, and will then have the opportunity to compete for additional prizes at the Creator Awards Global Final in November.
For the Incubate Award, winners will be selected directly from online applications, the statement explained.
Regional application deadlines and finalist award events will be occurring on a rolling basis around the world throughout the year, with the first deadline on March 17 for the Washington and Philadelphia area event later that month.
The deadline for Israeli applications is October 3, with the accompanying regional award event occurring sometime that month in Tel Aviv.
Application submissions and events are also happening for Detroit and Chicago in May, for Texas and Southern California in June, for Mexico in September, for Germany in October and for New York and the rest of the United States in November.
Following all the regional events, the Creator Awards Global Finals will take place November 30 in Brooklyn, the company said.
Co-founded by Neumann with Miguel McKelvey in New York City in 2010, WeWork has expanded to 130 locations in 42 cities and 10 countries around the world. WeWork currently has six shared workspaces in Israel – four in Tel Aviv, one in Beersheba and one in Herzliya.
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