WeWork Labs relocates Northwest Arkansas office amid program growth
WeWork Labs Northwest Arkansas recently relocated from its initial location in downtown Bentonville to a larger space that’s also home to other organizations, including The Collaborative.
Chandler Abbott, WeWork Labs NWA lead, said the new location will allow the company to double its membership. On Nov. 1, WeWork Labs NWA moved to 702 S.E. Fifth St., Suite 34.
“We had an opportunity to begin a long-term study of how we could extend our presence in the area,” he said. “It became clear that we needed more space.”
In October 2020, New York-based co-working company WeWork opened its first Arkansas location on the second floor of the historic Massey Building on West Central Avenue. WeWork Labs is WeWork’s global digital platform connecting and supporting early-stage startups and small businesses. The Bentonville location is a partnership with the Northwest Arkansas Council and supported by the Walton Family Foundation.
WeWork Labs NWA outgrew its former space as COVID cases fell and in-person events became more prominent, said Abbott, noting that members still needed space.
“We’ve expanded the program both programmatically and space,” he added. “Our new long-term home is here at 702 S.E. Fifth St., and we’re amongst other ecosystem players in the entrepreneurship community as well.”
The company had looked at other Northwest Arkansas locations but wanted to retain a downtown Bentonville presence.
“We feel that a lot of energy for startups including investment and growth of the ecosystem is here in downtown Bentonville,” he noted.
Abbott said WeWork Labs is first a program supporting startups and entrepreneurs that also offers space for them to do business. Its programming includes mentorship, fundraising and startup education curriculum. It will be expanded to include special programs for entrepreneurs working in the consumer packaged goods industry, he said. Abbott added that it’s also working to create opportunities for entrepreneurs to visit other destination cities, and “we’re bringing in a pipeline of world-class speakers and entrepreneurs and investors for 2022.”
He said the company is looking to launch additional programs and partnerships with other co-working spaces in Northwest Arkansas in the coming months.