In an attempt to empower entrepreneurs, WeWork is launching the Creator Awards, offering $20 million in grants across the globe. According to WeWork CEO Adam Neumann, “anybody that feels that being part of something larger than themselves and really wants to contribute” can apply.
“The idea is to recognize anyone in the world who’s doing amazing things. It might not be the traditional person that would win an award or be recognized regularly and have access to this kind of cash,” Neumann said Thursday on “CBS This Morning.”
Grants will be available under three categories: The Incubate Award, The Launch Award and The Scale Award.
WeWork, founded in 2010 and now with a reported valuation of $17 billion, rents out space to entrepreneurs in hip, collaborative office environments equipped with amenities including high-speed internet, coffee and spacious common areas. With 100,000 members around the world, the company also hosts networking events and weekly happy hours.
Asked about reports that Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. was set to invest up to $4 billion into WeWork, Neumann said, “There’s nothing I can say on that topic, but that sounds like a big number.”
As WeWork expands into a big new market, India, the most important thing Neumann said he’s learned is “as much as we think we know, there is a lot more that we don’t know.”
“So the secret of expanding into India is finding the local culture and understanding how we can take our values that we so much believe in but then finding a way to connect them locally,” he said. They are partnering with locals as they create nine offices by the end of 2017 in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore.