After more than tripling its Bay Area footprint last year, WeWork is now ramping up its philanthropic efforts.
The co-working startup is providing free office space for 10 entrepreneurs who are military veterans for six months in San Francisco and 10 other cities. The program, Veterans in Residence, is a partnership with BUnker Labs, a Chicago-based nonprofit incubator for veterans. It’s the first time WeWork has provided free space in multiple cities through a national program.
In WeWork’s 25 Taylor St. office in the Tenderloin, a 10-seat office that is normally priced at $5,800 per month is now operated by Bunker Labs. In the country’s most expensive office market, it’s a rare offering of new, free space.
Finding affordable office space is “incredibly expensive. It’s time-consuming. It’s difficult,” said Mike Nemke, a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces who served in the Middle East and joined the veterans program. Nemke is co-founder of a data science startup, Datamyne.ai, and MKTR.ai, which provides marketing and consulting to other startups.