A new type of office space for tech startup-hopefuls is opening its doors in San Francisco today. Falling somewhere between a co-working space and a full startup incubator, WeWork Labs is a “pre-incubator” — or as we’ve taken to calling it at VentureBeat, a pincubator.
WeWork Labs, a spin-off of the successful WeWork co-working spaces, has already picked many of its first crop of workers, including ShopperSeeks.com‘s founder Andrea Gouw and Twitter hacker Abraham Williams. The space is the second of its kind — the WeWork Labs in New York, which calls itself an entrepreneur residency, has proven extremely successful and recently added the mother of all amenities: health insurance. (VentureBeat has a space in WeWork’s New York co-working office.)
For $300 a month, aspiring “startup-adjacent” professionals and freelancers get 24/7 access to the SOMA space’s long shared tables, meeting rooms, telephone rooms, showers (for the bikers), and game lounge with a pool table and an Xbox.
Directors Kaitlin Pike and Seth Blank hope to bring together entrepreneurs, developers, designers, marketers, advisors, and investors, and then sit back and watch the magic happen as they bounce ideas off each other, meet-cute with co-founders, and ultimately “get the hell out of the space.” They hope to make the final mix 50 percent female.
Pike and Blank gave us a tour of the sunny new digs, which feels like a combination of a dorm, public library, and CB2 catalog.