As WeWork continues to spread throughout Toronto, the city has formed an official partnership to help bring coworking spaces to as many entrepreneurs in the city as possible.
The two have joined together to launch the Toronto Startup Passport, offering entrepreneurs and members of Toronto’s innovation community the chance to work and hold meetings at various WeWork locations when working in different cities around the globe.
Startups associated with MaRS Discovery District, the DMZ at Ryerson University, the University of Toronto Entrepreneurship and York University will have access to the passport.
“Community is at the heart of WeWork—it starts at the local level within each of our 274-plus locations and extends to our digital member network reaching our more than 250,000 members around the world,” said Jarred Paperman, community director for WeWork Toronto.
“Toronto is one of our fastest growing markets and we’ve built a strong network here. We’re excited to continue to help the ecosystem grow beyond local borders and provide them with the infrastructure to succeed at a global scale.”
The Toronto Startup Passport will include a few different perks, listed below:
- Access to any WeWork Space once a month.
- Business and service perks available only to WeWork members.
- Access to the WeWork Member Network App, which can connect a user to more than 250,000 peers around the world.
- The ability to attend WeWork programming including panels and events, as well as the ability to host events as a way to drive awareness in international markets.
“Toronto has a thriving entrepreneurial community and for these businesses to compete at an international scale, we need to provide them with the right infrastructure to succeed,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “The Toronto Startup Passport lowers the barrier of entry for businesses to build their presence outside of Toronto by providing them workspace and access to the WeWork community for programming and networking.”
WeWork will be providing a number of passes to the partner organizations themselves, then those groups will distribute them within their own network of alumni, clients and portfolio members.
This passport came from an ongoing effort between Toronto and WeWork to find new ways to collaborate. WeWork picked up on the fact that startups in the country need a home base when travelling internationally, so the idea grew from there. In the past, WeWork has launched similar partnerships like this, though this one is specific to Toronto due to the exact organizations involved.
WeWork has been growing at a quick pace over the last year both within Canada and around the globe, with Softbank investing $4.4 billion into the company, as well as a recent report that WeWork would open 20 locations in Toronto by 2020.