WeWork is giving free access to the co-working giant’s more than 20 Seattle, Portland and Vancouver B.C. offices for select businesses and organizations that aim to further ties between regions in the so-called “Cascadia Innovation Corridor.”
Under the new “Cascadia Passport” program, WeWork will grant a limited number of passports to local leaders — such as elected officials, economic development organizations, universities entrepreneurs and more — to distribute to local businesses, foreign delegations or others interested in strengthening bonds in the region. WeWork is also offering the option to directly apply for a Cascadia Passport.
The program includes a free “hot desk” membership for six months, access to all of the Seattle-Portland-Vancouver locations and credits for conference room bookings.
“WeWork already has a strong and growing footprint from Portland to Seattle to Vancouver,” said Gina Phillips, WeWork’s Northwest General Manager. “With this infrastructure already in place we wanted a tool that could instantly move the Cascadia needle, which became the Passport. By offering it at no cost to the user, we are opening our doors to creators of all stripes committed to building a more interconnected region.”
WeWork has been growing rapidly across the Pacific Northwest, especially Seattle. By early next year, We Work will have 1.5 million square feet of office space in the Seattle area spread across 14 buildings, with even more activity further down the line. By the end of the year, WeWork will also have five locations in Vancouver and three in Portland.
The announcement of WeWork’s Cascadia Passport comes as the third Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference, a meeting to connect Pacific Northwest leaders, kicks off in Vancouver B.C. The effort to build bonds between Seattle, Portland and Vancouver has been led by both civic and business leaders.
Microsoft has been a major proponent of the corridor, opening a big Vancouver development center, financially backing studies for a high-speed rail line between the cities and supporting a “nerd bird” flight between Seattle and Vancouver. The Global Innovation Exchange, a partnership between the University of Washington and Tsinghua University in China backed by $40 million from Microsoft, recently added the University of British Columbia.
WeWork is following in the footsteps of Microsoft, in its own way it says, by providing accessible office to groups building Cascadia connections
The vision of the Cascadia Innovation Corridor is strongly aligned with what WeWork aims to do all across the world — bring people together, build partnerships and community, and create a thriving environment where people can do their best work, together, prioritizing ‘we’ over ‘me’. When one region in Cascadia wins, we all do.