Starting today, the City of Toronto and its partners in the innovation community begin a partnership with WeWork by launching the Toronto Startup Passport, which will offer Toronto-based entrepreneurs access to a network of WeWork sites to work and hold meetings when working in cities around the country and the world.
WeWork’s mission is to help create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living. It currently provides more than 250,000 members around the world with space, community and services through both physical and virtual offerings. In Toronto, WeWork currently has two open locations with two more opening this year, and is home to companies such as Shopify, RBC, and Techstars.
“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 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 programing and networking.”
With a goal to help new and emerging businesses access international markets to accelerate their growth, startups associated with the MaRS Discovery District, the DMZ at Ryerson University, the University of Toronto Entrepreneurship and York University will have access to the passport program giving them access to WeWork's international locations and network.
“There is certainly opportunity for Toronto entrepreneurs to do a lot of business internationally, but it’s hard because you need a way to plug into local networks and you need a space where you can meet these prospective partners,” said Dave McLaughlin, Northeast General Manager for WeWork. “WeWork provides the space and support to do that in 74 cities all over the world and we’re adding more all the time. I’m grateful to Mayor Tory for his vision on the Passport, because we see this as another way for WeWork to help grow the Toronto economy.”
“This initiative builds upon the success of our ongoing partnerships with Digital Main Street and Civic Hall Toronto to provide resources and spaces for emerging entrepreneurs,” said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development Committee.
The Toronto Startup Passport includes:
- access once a month at any of WeWork’s 274 locations
- ability to book and pay for workspace on an as-needed basis after the first complimentary booking
- access to the WeWork member network app that connects to more than 250,000 members worldwide
- access to programming in WeWork spaces, including panels and events, and the ability to host events as a way to drive awareness in international markets, and
- business services and lifestyle perks available only to WeWork members