WeWork announced that it is opening up its Creator Awards initiative to Toronto.
The Creator Awards will award more than $20 million to entrepreneurs, small businesses, growing companies, non-profits, and artists that are building fresh projects and “achieving real change.”
The Awards are being held in Detroit, Austin, and New York City in the US; while WeWork also has spaces in Montreal, and a planned opening in Vancouver, the coworking organization decided to only open up its Detroit competition to Toronto due to its proximity to the midwest and central US.
The competition is open to non-WeWork members, and does not look for a specific vertical or industry to support.
“The Creator Awards align with our mission because as we continue to support entrepreneurs, artists, startups and nonprofits by providing them with a workspace, we also want to financially reward those who are thinking in new ways, building fresh projects and achieving real change,” said Dave McLaughlin, WeWork GM for Eastern US and Canada.
The Awards fall into three categories: Incubate, which is open to applicants have a great idea or a specific project that needs funding and assistance; Launch, which is open to applicants with a product that need help expanding to th market; and Scale, which is targeted to already-successful applicants with a proven track record. The funding, which takes the form of loans or equity investments, range between $18,000 to $360,000.
Toronto-based finalists at the Launch and Scale levels will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges in Detroit to compete for cash prizes totaling more than $1.5 million. Winners have the opportunity to advance to the Creator Awards Global Finals in New York November 2017.
Applications for the Detroit finals are due May 12, 2017.